[LINK] New proposal for e-voting - Turnbull

Richard rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Tue Sep 10 19:12:40 AEST 2013

My previous message to Link seems to have gotten lost. I write it this way:


Turnbull was running off at the mouth in the original interview, really. 
He's got this fixation, common on Australia's right, that we have a 
dreadfully corrupt electoral system. As Antony Green told me for the 
story, the verified level of voter fraud in Australia is tiny.

When I got the "you must correct" call from Turnbull's office today, I 
conceded a factual error, and stood my ground on inference. I think he 
was winding up to give me a lecture, but I talk faster, louder, and I 
was having a bucket of fun.

In my opinion, even if he backtracked in later interviews, Turnbull was 
clearly suggesting that voters should have to carry a formal ID to the 
polling station. And I'll leave that particular can of worms for others 
to unpick!


On 10/09/13 5:18 PM, Roger Clarke wrote:
>> On 10/09/2013 4:28 PM, Jan Whitaker quoted The Age:
>>>   Mr Turnbull, who was easily elected to his Sydney seat of Wentworth
>>>   on Saturday, said he thought there was also a large number of people
>>>   who voted fraudulently, "in the sense that they go to the polling
>>>   place and say they're someone else".
>>>   He said he thought many people who did so were voting for a friend or
>>>   relative who was away or sick - and that this was based on anecdotal
>>>   evidence he had received since first running for Parliament in 2004.
>>>   Impersonating another voter in a polling place is a serious offence
>>>   and carries a jail term of 6 months.
> At 16:47 +1000 10/9/13, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
>> And how does e-voting fix this?
>> Or is he conflating e-voting with a national ID system?
> Possibly.
> However the report continues:
>> Mr Turnbull said that electronic voting could be done in a closed
> network in the polling booth so that it could not be hacked from the
> internet.  ...
>> He suggested that an electronic system could point out to voters if
> they were about to cast an informal vote and give them the
> opportunity to correct it.
> So he could be proposing no change to the elector-authentication
> process, and only a change to the means whereby the elector's vote is
> recorded.
> It would presumably cost quite a bit to kit a very large number of
> locations, once every 1-3 years, with kit that's
> certified-hardware-secure, and runs software that is effective,
> sufficiently flexible, and certified-software-secure (whatever that
> means) and certified-data-secure (which isn't easy to spec).
> And maybe the hardware would have to have a screen 2 metres wide ...
> It would be interesting to know how much lower the informal vote
> would be if a user-friendly application were in place.
> A quick stab in the dark is below.  Sensitivity testing is always fun.
> ________________________________________________________________________
> Blank   28.9    No effect?  Or would that be rejected??
> Protest 16.9    No effect?
> Just 1  27.8    Some effect?                            Say 20%
> Ticks   11.8    Some effect, perhaps considerable?      Say 50%
> Non-seq  9.2    Some effect, perhaps considerable?      Say 50%
> TOTAL   94.6    (I wonder what the 5.4% do)
> So maybe 17% would become formal, of 6% of 15 million = 153,000
> Across 150 electorates, that's 1,000 votes per electorate.
> If the votes are distributed much the same as the already-formal
> votes, then there's no change in the outcomes.  There might be some
> bias towards Labor, if error-making is correlated with lower-socio-ec
> demographics, and if people in that demographic still think Labor is
> what it's name suggests.
> But even if the difference in distribution were considerable, very
> few seats would change hands as a result of the investment.
> So don't look for payback from that quarter.

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