Voting and Free Software

Harald Welte laforge at
Fri Nov 15 11:30:04 UTC 2019

One short follow-up.

Some people in the discussion have brought up the topic of the Debian voting
mechanism.   While I'm not familiar with its details, I think the situation
here is extremely different:

In Debian elections, everyone eligible for a vote (I presume Debian
developers) is a person highly skilled in information technology.  In
such an exceptional situation, a sufficiently simple and reasonably
well-designed/verifiable (and Free Software) electronic/computerized
voting system may be acceptable, as every voter can at least to some
extent be expected to understand and reproduce the system of couting the

But in pretty much any other election/vote, where voters aren't
only reasonably skilled software developers I would argue it's
impossible that every voter is able to understand the voting process and
hence doesn't simply have to blindly trust the creators [or professional
auditors] of the system.


- Harald Welte <laforge at>  
"Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
                                                  (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)

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