Tech & society

France issues eVoting report

A Politech reader reported last week that the French-government-supported Internet Rights Forum (“Le Forum des droits sur l’internet”) has published recommendations about the future of eVoting in France.

The audit recommendation does not explicitly call for a “voter-verifiable audit trail,” which is the goal of two European advocacy groups: the Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR) and the Free E-democracy Project. Last month, California became the first state to require a voter-verified audit trail, but not until 2006.

The report also does not detail security measures, but references a European Commission definition [1]

[A secure system] can withstand deliberate attacks – [is] reliable – it works whatever the shortcomings in terms of software or hardware. (…) In addition, the voter must be able to obtain confirmation of his/her vote(…) and the transparency of the system must be guaranteed, in the sense that correct operation can be verified.

The report includes the follow recommendations:

  • Electronic voting should be introduced in a gradual manner.
  • Technically, there must be access to source code by approved experts as well as a “posteriori” audit of the voting system
  • Citizens may expect SMS or telephone voting, because they have been exposed to this technology via television shows; the group refers to this as “distance voting” and endorses the concept while acknowledging security issues.

A European Gallup methodologist, in an interview published last week, believes that voters expect more confidentiality in voting than they do when expressing an opinion in an online poll.

Links: (5 Dec); Wiredpen (25 Nov); Wiredpen (19 Nov); (12 Nov)

[1] The “European Commission for democracy through law” published a “Code of good practice in electoral matters” (Opinion no. 190/2002 of 19 October 2002).

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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