Thankfully, the New Zealand government appears not to be pressing ahead with online voting — at least, for now. An Electoral Amendment Bill was released yesterday, which improves online registration through its RealMe identification service, but nothing appears to have been said about actual online voting itself. Voting online was always seen as one of those inevitable things as part of an e-transition, as it were, to an online world; something that we all saw as “a good thing”. But recent events have made me turn against such “progress”. Having free and fair elections are fundamental to the democratic process, but can we trust such e-ballots?
We have seen in the United States how the government can target political parties of all persuasions through the tax system, and how Republican-controlled states are working to suppress the minority vote through added restrictions. We have also seen how governments can spy on its citizens in what was once the Land of the Free. We have seen similar controversies in New Zealand over the abilities and rights of the government to spy on its citizens. There are even claims that no email is safe and secret nowadays from state-sanctioned snoopers.
It might seem like tin-foil hat stuff, but how safe is your vote? Will the snoopers be able to see which way you voted? Might someone be able to change your vote without you even knowing? Even the pioneering Swiss have such concerns, noting how a computer virus did exactly that.
This all confirms how there will be those seeking to use hacking or other systems to rig an online ballot. And might such online fraud be easier to commit and harder to prove?
Source: Can we trust voting online? | ZDNet.