Just weeks after the trouble-plagued first online Census, Victoria is pressing forward with public hearings to examine the effectiveness of electronic voting as part of a Parliamentary Inquiry into the matter. Beginning today, the Electoral Matters Committee will hear from electoral commissions, technology specialists and community advocacy groups. The inquiry will hear from experts and stakeholders during sessions on Monday and Wednesday this week as they examine what has become an increasingly contentious issue. In the fallout from the bungled online Census, many commentators lamented the damage it had done on the movement towards online voting. … Plenty of advocates remain undeterred and would like to see the government explore ways to deliver comprehensive electronic voting in the future. But according to those who have provided submission to the inquiry, there are plenty of pitfalls to consider.
“The potential advantages of electronic voting are obvious, but the risks are not,” Vanessa Teague from the University of Melbourne and Professor Rajeev Gore from ANU wrote in their submission to the inquiry.
“Voters’ democratic rights are not enhanced if their votes can be manipulated, the privacy of their vote can be violated, or if the system fails to provide evidence that withstands a legal challenge.”