«President Business is gonna end the world? But he’s such a good guy! And Octan, they make good stuff: music, dairy products, coffee, TV shows, surveillance systems, all history books, voting machines… Wait a minute.»
Emmet Brickowoski in «The LEGO Movie»
The last (2020) presidential election in the US reminded me of the Coursera Course “Securing Digital Democracy”. The most important things I took from that course were that voting matters, that trust in having one’s vote counted as it was given — even if it’s only one vote in (literally) millions — matters, and that electronic voting is really bad idea.
And so is mail-in voting.
Frankly, anything where the voter is not alone with his conscience when he votes is a really bad idea.
Because that is what voting is about. People deciding for themselves, and themselves only, what they thing is the best course of action. Which is very hard to accept for those who think they know best what others should do. But if that is the standard to decide upon, why vote in the first place. Just be honest that you do not want a democracy or republic and be done with it.
But I guess (hope) that would be a step to far for most people.
So, no matter how “digital” our society gets, voters should still go to one place and cast their vote a booth, being responsible only to their own consciousness. And the vote should not only be counted digitally, but there should also be a print out that the voter can inspect. Because it’s not that difficult to change electronic votes (see, e.g., Simons & Jones, 2012).
And if those paper ballots that are created and checked by the voter himself are used for recounts, then we could save a lot of problems from … strange election results.