After listening to some arguments against online/internet based voting I found most arguments absurd. Here are my views. (My views are subject to change as I gain more knowledge).
Invalid assumption about voting systems:
That such system should not depend on anyone trusting any other person/system.
Well, if there is an online system with such features, then I would prefer it than the one without it. But that does not mean this requirement needs to be satisfied to used for voting.
In human life from birth to death there are very very small number of things we do without trusting any other person. Our entire society depends on the trust in existing systems, people and entities. When I send say $10k to someone online, in that process I trust 100s of entities(directly and indirectly) to do their work. If any of them do not do their work as expected, market forces will make sure they have -ve consequences and sometimes law itself will punish them.
Why should my vote casting process be any different? There is value to everything. At lease some number can be put to everything even if we don’t all agree on that number. So there is an amount of value for my vote to be secret (At least I can assign one), there is a value for my vote to be counted reliably, and there is value for my time for actually voting. There is a number to everything. And we take risks based on the numbers.
For example, if someone pays me $10k I would myself tell to whom I am going to vote, and I don’t even care if my vote is counted or not. Or I would travel 1000km to caste my vote.
Like this, every person already has a value assigned to their vote. It is only that no one is asking them, and no one is telling it. If the value is less than their inconvenience to go to poling station, people are not going. There is no other explanation for it.
Now once they have a value, how would this process be any different than sending that much amount online to some other party? There might be some differences on how you store or process this data, but it is nothing our computer science can not solve.
Some professor was arguing that you need to trust entire software stack that this system runs on. This seems to be a crazy requirement to start with.
I bet all politicians/govt officials are using some iPhone or Android phone for sure. If all the govt is already running on the software that is already partially trusted, what’s the issue with trusting the process of electing next one?
Also why not include some market forces to align with the expected result?
Why my online vote can not be insured? If someone hacks it, I get paid. Why not insure everything? I am sure they will come up with everything required to make sure that it does not happen.
Remember we all living because we trust. We will be put into mental institutions if you stop trusting others. There would be no way to prove that you are sane. 🙂
I am open to listen to arguments against my views. And I know somethings I said are not fully formed ideas. But they provide you an indication of what I am saying.