Voting and Free Software

Florian Snow floriansnow at
Fri Nov 8 05:13:06 UTC 2019

Hi Bruno,

bruno at writes:
> For all the rest, it depends on the threat model: "cui prodest?" Who
> could have enough of an incentive to spend time, money and effort in
> manipulating any specific vote? For real political election the answer
> is always "a lot of people", so there is no reason to ever allow
> electronic voting for those.

I agree that manipulation is a real threat that should also rule out
voting machines.  However, manipulation is not the only issue with
voting machines and one important question around election systems is
always "How difficult is it for voter to understand?".  That can be a
reason not to use a voting system, even on paper, that avoids certain
defects, but most people may not understand properly.  The same is true
for electronic voting: While anyone can check if a ballot box is empty
in the morning, is sealed properly, and can then watch the vote count,
only a few experts can understand what a voting machine does and even
they need access to the hardware, and ideally to the source code.

Happy hacking!

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