Australia: Same-sex marriage postal survey ballot for sale on eBay | The West Australian

An eBay user is attempting to sell their ballot paper in the upcoming same-sex marriage postal survey.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will start mailing out forms for the postal ballot on Tuesday, after the High Court dismissed a challenge to the eight-week national survey. User Garistides posted the item on the online auction website today with a price of $1500. “The reason I’m selling my vote is because either way I don’t care but thought there are people who do,” the post read. “Part of this auction proceeds will go to help kids battling cancer.” The West Australian has contacted Garistides, who confirmed the offer is genuine. According to the ABS, attempting to sell a ballot paper would likely be an offence against the Census and Statistics Act 1905 or the Commonwealth Criminal Code. A conviction could lead to a $2100 fine or 12 months imprisonment.

United Kingdom: Why electronic voting isn’t secure – but may be safe enough | The Guardian

We do everything online – book doctors’ appointments, manage our bank accounts and find dates – but we still can’t yet vote from our PCs or smartphones. By 2020 that should be set to change, with a government report calling for online voting to be trialled again by that year. But critics continue to call for caution, saying electronic voting isn’t secure enough to trust for the basis of our democracy – and may never be. The UK has run trials for local elections before – in 2002, 2003 and 2007 – and Estonia famously became the first to offer online voting for its general election for parliament in 2007. However, Meg Hillier, Labour MP and member of the digital commission that wrote the 2020 report, admitted that the team was “not set up to investigate in detail the issues of security and the mechanisms for delivering that,” hoping that the Electoral Commission “and others will take that on”. …  Despite spending years developing GNU.FREE, an open-source online voting system, Jason Kitcat – leader of Brighton and Hove City Council – isn’t a fan of e-voting (nor is his party). “Through working on this I came to the conclusion, now shared by most computer scientists, that e-voting cannot be delivered securely and reliably with current technology. So I stopped developing the system but continued to campaign on and research the issues,” he said. That includes observing e-voting and e-counting systems used in the UK and Estonia. His reports don’t make for encouraging reading.

Editorials: Dangers of Internet Voting | Kurt Hyde/New American

Yesterday’s USA Today had an article entitled “Internet Voting ‘not ready for prime time.'” The story quotes Verified Voting as saying that there are about three million people eligible to vote online in today’s elections, most of them members of the military. Numerous security risks are cited that are inherent in Internet voting. Readers of The New American have often been warned about the dangers of Internet voting. For instance, the October 9, 2000 issue carried an article entitled “Voting on the Web,” in which readers were told of the dangers to electoral integrity due to the inherent insecurity of the Internet. … There are a great number of security weaknesses in Internet voting: no voter-verified paper audit trail, denial of service attacks, spoofing, eavesdropping by servers along the way capturing people’s passwords and enabling verification of vote selling, just to name a few. There are also security weaknesses in the user devices such as laptops or smart phones. They include key-stroke monitors, stored passwords, and many others. There are numerous special interests in both the United  States and foreign counties for whom the outcome of our elections is of major importance. They have the resources to exploit these security weaknesses, and it’s well worth their investment.

United Kingdom: Scottish independence: Referendum votes ‘for sale’ on eBay | BBC

Police have launched an investigation after a number of people apparently tried to sell their votes in the independence referendum online. Votes for the 18 September ballot were listed on internet auction site eBay, which has since removed the items. The Electoral Commission said both the selling and buying of votes was illegal. One online listing offered buyers a “unique piece of British history”. The Glasgow-based vendor wrote that he was selling his vote – with a starting price of 99p – because he did not “give a flying monkeys [sic] about any of this”. He went on: “This is my very own unique piece of British History!