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David Bismark: Fraud Proof E-Voting Machines


I watched an interesting TED video about a solution to preventing fraud in e-voting machines. The solution to provide a system that is both verifiable and private is pretty ingenious. It would be great to have this in place before the next election.


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I also question the theory which says votes must stay private

I understand the fear of those who theorize plausibly that widespread public voting may result in violence against or bribing of some of the participants, but I think that these fears need to be more closely examined in relation to what happens with the secret ballot.

The expectation that the problem of vote buying would be of greater concern in elections which matched the citizens' names to their votes seems to make little sense. Vote buying happens under the current system which uses a secret ballot; but the buying is reserved for the very few. As elections stay private, those who buy the votes often retain privacy under the guise of "legality".

If the market for vote buying were open to the whole of the population then it seems more likely that the government would be more representative of the people. The market for elections would have more interested participants in the absence of the now prevalent restrictions. As a market grows (noted by the increase in participants) the products or services offered by it necessarily trend to a point which provides a greater satisfaction to those who consume them. Presently the elite few are the consumers of the services provided by law makers. More restrictive laws are not the answer. Openness to all who wish to participate seems to be the more practical alternative.

The law is a service. Why should the market for this service be reserved for an elite few? Is it a wonder why the lobbyists who so profoundly influence politics demand such a high price for what they do? The influence is hard to come by because it is regulated. As with regulations which effect all other markets, the barriers to entry in politics are raised as prohibitive laws are put into effect.

I think that the process of secret voting needs to be carefully scrutinized. It seems to have been taken for granted.

I, for one, am proud to say I will vote for Ron Paul and I fear no one as I do so. My opinion, I think, is effected most by the outspoken pride of my fellow Paul supporters who understand human freedom. They are not afraid to exert opinions and invoke the name of the man who speaks with honesty and truth for the sake of what is right.

Nothing can stop and idea

Nothing can stop and idea whose time has come. No Government. No Army. No electronic voting machine!

Do we have the technology to make representatives irrelevant?

On the surface, it would seem the main reason to even have representatives is to represent people over great distances, and in great numbers that would be physically impractical.

But with computer technology, it would seem that distance and a physical presence have been made irrelevant. Every single American could virtually connect and communicate with the Capitol in an instant or over a given time period on computers. Imagine actually placing a vote, rather than trying to tell some schmuck politician how to vote for you.

But then this would really be a pure democracy, and would people simply propose and directly vote to give themselves stuff? Or would the majority of people stop those seeking something unconstitutional and follow the law, unlike representatives? Would the people that care the most be the ones that have something to lose, or the ones that have something to gain?

At least a representative can be held accountable and replaced. You could not eliminate direct voters.

Just some thoughts.

why cant local officials get primary authority over federal law

I think we should reverse the precedent to primary authority delegated to the fed so that separation of powers is able to ease the transparency of elected representation into something more viable for local rule.

growth can be inequitable.... as long as that which is driving the inequities is the diversification of producers.... which is best served at the local level than through the nationalization of production through the commerce clause.

Ron Paul 2012

A true flower can not blossom without sunlight and a true man can not live without love.


All we need is an open source voting machine that spits out a receipt with an easy to read list of who you voted for. Then you take that receipt and verify your votes and put it into a separate ballot box.

The electronic ballots are counted and sent on. Then a random check is done to verify that the receipts match the results.

And if someone questions the results, they can be manually counted.

The fraud with elections has

The fraud with elections has nothing to do with how they are conducted; it has everything to do with humanity believing in the legitimacy of majority rule.

Why does our Ballot need to be Secret?

I never hear anyone question the idea that our ballots should be secret, yet it seems to me that detaching the person from their vote may be at the heart of the problem.

If I care enough about a particular candidate to favor them with my vote, then why should I want or need to keep that a secret from my friends and neighbors? In fact, if I want to make certain that MY vote is accurately counted, shouldn't I demand that MY name be attached to MY vote? If my name as an INDIVIDUAL is not a permanent part of my ballot, then the second it leaves my fingertips and slides into the ballot box, it becomes just another generic piece of paper with an "X" on it.

It seems intuitive (to me at least) that if our ballots were inexorably tied to us as the individuals who placed those votes (with a receipt issued to each voter confirming their vote), the potential for fraud would be greatly reduced if not eliminated altogether.

Secret ballots provide the perfect mechanism for fraud. Truth does not require secrecy.

To Prevent Intimidation

To prevent wife-beaters from getting even with a spouse who wants to vote differently. Etc. If your vote is a matter of public record, it can and will be used against you.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

I don't accept your premise

that in a free society, one should ever be willing (or have the need) to endure intimidation.

I agree

Why the secrecy? I go around the next four years saying "you can't blame me, I voted for the other guy". This way I could prove it. You could go to a national database and see who everybody voted for and do the counting yourself. And if you see someone voted one way and you didn't believe it, you could question the person directly. Why the secrecy? Is it because you would be ashamed of your vote? Or would it be because of the repercussions? Does not seem to be worth the secrecy. Good point Gary.

It is better to look dumb and not be, than to look smart and not be.

as per my comments below.

The status quo is maintained for one reason only.

To prevent vote buying.

The status quo would much rather have fraud than bribery and I don't see why that has to be.

It's ironic that, once elected, bribery is overlooked and fraud is demagogued. Demagogued because they bad mouth it but don't do anything about it.

Electoral College

I think the most disgusting thing about elections is the all-or-nothing electoral system. As far as I know, CA has 55 electoral votes. If Dr. Ron only gets 27 of those electoral votes, but Commissar Hussein gets 28 of them, then the California Electoral College (whoever the hell they are) reports to Central Control that California has cast all 55 electoral votes for The Commissar - they actually CHANGE YOUR VOTE!

Howcome nobody's paying attention to that kind of outrageous corruption?

Freedom is my Worship Word!

It's not a trick.

It smells like a duck, but it's actually a firewall.

The whole idea behind the electoral college is similar to the Senate vs Congress. It's another safeguard between mob-rule and a representative republic.

At one point in our country's founding, we considered letting the Senate elect the president. At another point, we considered letting a completely democratic vote elect the president. Instead, we let each state choose electors who elect the president.

I personally think a small optimization to the system would be to have a jury-duty-style drawing of, say, 0.1% of citizens to vote. As do jurors, the voters would see their responsibility as more important. They could remain anonymous if they choose. Each voter could receive a standard-issue printed material packet from each candidate, whose candidate-registration fees could pay for. The candidates could still choose to spend money on TV ads, but it's going to be up to the voters themselves to seek out the information.

I know that's not a perfection, but I personally think it's an improvement.

Michael Nystrom's fists can punch through FUD.

Old story

Voter fraud has been going on for at least 25 years, back to the days when Janet Reno got elected DA in Dade County Florida. This was with the old fashioned lever-type machines, and the League of Women Voters were caught red-handed.

Sadly, as long as the powerful have money and resources, vote fraud will remain with us.


...didn't watch the video did you?

Everyone is in agreement that voter fraud is going on (and for quite more than 25 years, I might add)...This guys talk concerns working towards correcting voter fraud in e-voting...I think he's on to something, but those in power will do their best to squash it and continue the fraud....

So, with that said, why do we still look to elections, and consider them for solving our problems. My question is, what's the next step? Where do we go from here?

Best to everyone!

25 years????

Did you just crawl out from under a rock? Voter fraud has been going on since there's been such a thing as voters.

Freedom is my Worship Word!

Voting Machines

For those who are insecure about this electronic voting system, things wouldn't be much different than they are today. The way we vote today we already use electronic voting machines to cast our votes. However there is no way to verify that your vote is counted correctly. Everything would be the same as before, you pre-register with the local clerks, you present your ID to the voting official, you vote and you drop your ballot into possibly the exact same machine as before, only this way you can verify that your vote is counted correctly. This concept is not perfect, but is a heck of a lot better that what we have today. But I would venture to guess that it would never be used in this country because our elected official would have a harder time trying to control or cheat the system.

It is better to look dumb and not be, than to look smart and not be.

lol @ that

sound smore like a false sense of security to me no electronic voting machine will ever be fraud proof its just not possible the only way is to have real paper ballots and even that's not 100% every time

"All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. We are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death. Life is a dream and we are the imaginations of ourselves. "

Bill Hicks


For what it's worth, I saw that someone -1'd your comment. If I had stopped to think about your comment, I would have +1'd. No voting system will be fraud proof, and what we need is to consistently teach all around us the truth and seek the truth, a difficult task with a wonderful goal.

But I just wanted to say that I +1'd your comment both to eliminate the -1 and also to show my support.

Maybe this is a reflection of the kind of voting system we need...where we can vote -for- someone and also vote -against- someone? I don't know, that might actually be a bad idea.

Michael Nystrom's fists can punch through FUD.


but the only way to get fraud out of elections is to make every bodies vote public.


This doesn't keep dead people from voting.

You have to open up the possibility of legalizing the purchase of votes in order to have completely verfiable voting.

That isn't going to happen.

Cash going to the idividual voter instead of huge multinational media conglomerates in the form of advertisements?

Get real.

That's a good idea actually.

That's a good idea actually. If everyone got a dollar for voting, the number of dollars given out would have to equal the number of votes cast.....I wonder how that would work!

one dollar wouldn't get anyone's vote.

If Obama gets the same number of votes that he received last time (50 million) and raises a billion, that's $20 per vote and that is just for president and it doesn't include independent expenditures. Every 4 years one should expect to turn in their voting receipt and get a hundred dollars for voting from the candidates that they voted for.

I don't see the big taboo behind this.

1. It would be all out in the open.
2. The candidates already are spending that money.
3. The supreme court has said that money is speech.
4. Such a tactic may in fact backfire if the public doesn't want a candidate buying votes.
5. A portion of the electorate would never sell their votes.
6. The remaining voters would be left to be bought. If the race is a tight race, it might come down to money, which is exactly how it works right now.

Once you lift this taboo, then elections can be completely verifiable.

I just don't get it.

Glad to see this

getting attention.

I fear this may be a problem...wouldn't it be great if it could be nipped!

Like when the bad guys get eliminated in a movie where you think the hero will never make it.

Sorry, fantasy taking over...

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

This will work if and only if

This will work if and only if all receipt codes are available publicly with their corresponding votes, but I can see them setting up a system where you go online, punch in your code and only get to see your own vote, which makes the entire thing absolutely worthless except to the crony who gets a nice fat contract building the machines.

I'd still prefer a proof of work system where it cannot be rigged so easily with all codes available to the public so they can not only be viewed, they can be rehashed and rechecked.

With that said, here in

With that said, here in Washington State, the State government has decreed that all votes have to be by mail (all of them. . . mandated), so much for that anonymous voting thing. Let's see: Who voted for candidate X. . . ah, and their return addresses. Very convenient for persecution.

Perfect point. If it is all

Perfect point.

If it is all released as one giant database, then independent geeks can devize their own programs to analyze the outcomes to see if they match official ones. It would be VERY easy to prove election fraud that way. If the numbers match the official results, you know it's a fair election, and if they differ, you file a lawsuit and hit the media circuit.

Then again, we could do that with anonymous paper ballots as well. They could just scan all ballots and provide them for analysis online just the same. I'd prefer that, to be honest, as at least there are more layers of human beings to check against possible fraud. It's a lot harder for actual people to get away with skewing things. Automating everything makes it much easier to engage in fraud.

I personally believe it is

I personally believe it is time for a Webolution



Shouldn't that be "webowution?"

Freedom is my Worship Word!

Computers are made to be hacked.

Paper Ballots and locked boxes is the only way to go.

Live in Liberty
Tom Rankin