[ExI] elections again: was RE: left on iran

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Jun 26 16:03:18 UTC 2009

> ...On Behalf Of spike
> ...
> Celebrities used to have causes...

> The reason this whole Iran thing caught my attention is that 
> I have been thinking of ways to do elections in such a way as 
> to maintain secrecy of the ballot, while simultaneously 
> allowing confirmation of the validity of the election...
> The one thing that I find striking is that while it would be 
> theoretically possible and even easy to do, not one democracy 
> anywhere is doing it, not a single one... spike

OK I am declaring myself a celebrity and now this fair and verifiable
election thing is my cause.  To be a proper celebrity, I need minions, and
to justify the plural so that I might be called Spike and his minions, I
need at least two.  Volunteers please?  Reliable Johnny Grigg?  One other
volunteer minion?

Please indulge me on this, for I know we discussed it in the past, but I
have had some new ideas that came about, oddly enough, as a result of the
2/3 game.   With the usual grand prize (my everlasting admiration, scaled
for second and third place etc) here is the challenge:

Design a way to encode ballots so that any individual can go onto any
computer, log into a website, give their secret password and view their vote
in a spreadsheet or something, see that it counted in the totals, was
accurately recorded, etc.  At the same time, assume one is under some kind
of pressure (such as being a secret flaming commie in a family of Reaganites
for instance.)  The flamer should be able to call up a ballot that was not
cast by that person, but would convince family members that they did not
have a mole in their midst for instance.  It would allow anyone to collect
payoffs for voting a certain way, while simultaneously allowing them to vote
their own conscience, and verify the vote afterwards.  Similarly, the
government should have some means of discovering if large scale fraud is
taking place, but disallowing government from creating fraud.

Recall that accuracy precision is essential.  The 2000 presidential election
was decided by a few hundred votes out of millions.  We already know a bunch
of wrong ways to do elections.


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