[LINK] Voted Electronically in the Australian Federal Election

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Fri Nov 23 15:31:24 AEDT 2007

At 11:39 AM 21/11/2007, Rick Welykochy wrote:
>Jan Whitaker wrote:
>>At 07:57 AM 20/11/2007, Tom Worthington wrote:
>>>I voted electronically in the last two ACT (Canberra) local 
>>>government elections. ...
>Is there a paper audit trail? ...

Not that I am aware of. There are much more effective ways to ensure 
the integrity of the voting system than with a paper trail.

>I wonder how these systems differ from those that are causing so 
>many concerns with our American friends.

The American systems suffer from being built for a fragmented 
electoral system, resulting in poor system design, implementation and 
testing. In the US the running of a national election is devolved to 
local officials, who buy their own equipment. As a result there are 
lots of different products with few strong standards and test 
processes.  In Australia we have just one body overseeing a federal 
election, buying the equipment and checking it works.

You can read my comments in "What the U.S. Is Doing Wrong with 
E-Voting", Lisa Vaas , eWeek, 30 July 2007 

>What about peer source code review and open source?

That would be a good idea. The ACT system is open source 
<http://www.elections.act.gov.au/Elecvote.html>. As far as I know, 
the federal systems are not. The system for blind and vision impaired 
voters is from Software Improvements, a company of software 
engineers, so I assume there are extensive code reviews 

>I hope we've learn from the dreadful Diebold fiascos and "done better". ...

No need to learn as Australia was already doing much better than the 
USA. The UK has had some not entirely successful e-voting trials, 
sharing some of the USA's problems, but just about everyone in the 
world is doing better at e-voting than the USA is 

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, ANU  

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