Sunday, December 16, 2012

Norway to Continue Internet Voting in 2013

As reported on this blog about a year ago Norway had a great experience with its first large trial of Internet voting. Now there is more good news.

“It's official,” proclaimed Christian Bull, head of the Internet voting project in Norway, “we're doing another Internet voting pilot in 2013.”

In a December 14, 2012, press release, The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development made this announcement: *

After positive experiences with the experiment of 2011, the Parliament of Norway will continue the trial of Internet voting in the elections of 2013.

“We need to know more before we conclude whether this is a future way to vote for all voters in Norway,” says Secretary Dag Henrik Sandbakken.

The evaluation of the experiment in 2011 showed that voters have high confidence in the election process. 92% of the voters in the trial cities had positive opinions about their experience. They found it to be an easy and convenient way to vote.

Even 75% of the voters who did not take part in the initial trial expressed positive opinions about using Internet voting in the future.

One of the key findings from the evaluation is that Internet voting enabled voters with disabilities to vote alone and without assistance for the first time. This includes the blind and visually impaired voters.

“We have also received positive feedback from the Norwegian Association of the Blind, who welcome another trial in 2013,” says Sandbakken.

Two conclusions in the evaluation of the last election are that no evidence of violations of voter secrecy were found, and that there were no reports requiring official investigation of problems with attempts at undue influence or vote buying for either Internet voting users or other voters.^

The researchers point out that the initial Internet voting trial raises several unanswered questions to which this evaluation does not provide answers, and that there is a need for further testing and research. They want, for example, more data on the effects of Internet voting on turnout among the various groups of voters.

The ten municipalities that participated in the previous experiments will also participate in the 2013 trials.
[End]

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, author, speaker,
CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund
Email: Internetvoting@gmail.com
Blog: http://tinyurl.com/IV4All
Twitter: wjkno1
Author of Internet Voting Now!
Kindle edition: http://tinyurl.com/IntV-Now
In paper: http://tinyurl.com/IVNow2011

* Google Translation used for this report

Just in - the English translation by Norway is up, at

^ Translation corrected in consultation w/ Mr. Bull 12-18-12

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Obama: We have to fix that

Dear President Obama:

This written note follows up on the message I posted on the White House form recently.

While I am happy that you have been re-elected, I am very disappointed about our election system. You know the problems, as you said “we have to fix that.”

A recent New York Times opinion mentioned a fabulous challenge by Harvard Prof Keyssar – President Obama should call up a Federal Election Tribunal to investigate whether or not digital voting can securely enhance the democratic process in the USA! I totally agree. The last presidential commission on Internet voting was called by Bill Clinton in 1999. A lot has changed in this technology since then.

Our election system is in decline compared to the world leaders. In Canada over 40 cities have used it w/o security incidents. Elections Canada wants it for federal elections. Estonia uses it. Cantons in Switzerland, overseas voters for France and Mexico City, and the largest state in India, Gujarat, have used it. West Virginia and Arizona have, too.

The Luddites, like Barbara Simons, Ron Rivest, and David Jefferson get too much coverage in the sensationalist press. They have half the nation afraid for no real reason.

The professionals who have actually run Internet voting elections, such as West Virginia Secretary of State, Natalie Tennant have recommended it for the whole country. But she doesn’t get 1/10 the coverage of the nay-sayers. Our nation needs a real debate, to get all the pros and cons out in the open!

Please call up a new Presidential Commission on the Use of Internet Voting in the USA.

I am qualified, and would be honored, to be a part of it.

Respectfully,

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist
CEO, The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund
Twitter: wjkno1

Author: Internet Voting Now!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Three Reasons to be PRO Internet Voting for All US Elections

Here are 3 reasons why I advocate Internet voting in all US elections –

1). Internet voting can take power away from Big Money, and bring more rationality into the campaign-election process.

IMAGINE: You are watching candidates debate online or on TV. After each debate you log on to your state’s secure voting website, using your own PC, cell phone, iPad, or other electronic device. Your voter registration is checked, and then the ballot appears. You mark it, and send it w/ a click.

This will neutralize the power of Big Money! How? Most of the Big Money spent on political campaigns is meant to impress, persuade, and even manipulate the decision of the voters. The theory is that if a voter repeatedly hears a lot of positive information about one candidate’s name, and negative information about the names of others, the voter’s mind will be conditioned to vote for the name with good stuff connected to it when he or she goes in to the voting booth.

But with secure Internet voting, there is NO TIME for campaign advertising to try to persuade or trick you, or to condition your mind like a pigeon trained to peck on the blue button rather than the red one. You watch the debate. You form your own opinion of what you have just seen, and you vote strictly on that basis.

All the advertising before or after the debate will be useless, because everyone will vote while their own views are fresh in their minds. Big Money will become irrelevant. Elected officials will owe their job only to the voters.

What could be more orderly and conducive to reason and deliberation, than to watch debaters trying their best to perform at a presidential level, and then to have each voter vote his or her considered assessment of each debater’s efforts?

2). The US requires TWO votes for a presidential election: one in the primary, and another in the general election. But Americans are a practical people. Many regard the first vote as too inconvenient, its not worth the effort of driving to the polls, looking for parking, then waiting in line; so only about 25% vote in primaries. The ones who do vote in primaries are highly motivated by partisan feelings. Hence, they elect extreme partisans to office. Now we have gridlock in the US Congress because the partisans refuse to cooperate with each other.

This need not be. Convenience is empowerment. Make voting more convenient, and more people will vote in both the primaries and general election. When more people vote, more moderate votes by ordinary Americans will be cast. When more moderate votes are cast, the partisan gridlock in Washington will diminish. The moderate voters will elect problem-solving officials. Because Congressional elections can be done online, special interests will have less power. Internet voting can get this country going again!

3). Voter ID: Currently, some states are requiring voters to show IDs. This is a problem for inner city folks who don’t drive cars, and thus don’t have a driver’s license. Old folks and poor folks are also affected. But w/ Internet voting, voters don’t have to show anybody an ID. When they log on to the secure website, their registration is checked. It’s the same convenient process for everyone. (Registration is moving to biometrics, and it will all be biometrics soon.)

Internet voting can greatly enhance democracy in the USA! All that is necessary to make this happen is a letter to your local election official asking that an Internet voting system be implemented. They will be happy to hear from their constituents, because they already know that online voting is a far less costly and troublesome process than the polling place and paper-based system currently in use.


Note:
Also see in this blog - 



*********************
William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.

Political Scientist, author, speaker,
CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund
Email: Internetvoting@gmail.com
Blog: http://tinyurl.com/IV4All
Twitter: wjkno1
Author of Internet Voting Now!
Kindle edition: http://tinyurl.com/IntV-Now
In paper: http://tinyurl.com/IVNow2011


PS
Over 100 cities in Canada have used Internet voting - all w/o having even one vote changed. Sure, there have been attempted hacks, but none succeed. Why? Because professionals know how to prepare for the attacks, and fend them off. Elections Canada wants Internet voting for all national elections. Also, numerous other Internet voting trials around the world, have all worked well. These include Estonia, Norway, Switzerland, France, Mexico City, Australia (New South Wales), and Gujarat, India. West Virginia did it for their overseas military in 2010, and everyone loved it.  Search this blog for lots of info on Internet voting security.




Friday, September 28, 2012

Alex Halderman Debates Internet Voting Security w/ Me!


Kudos to Alex Halderman for not shrinking from a challenge! Our debate on You Tube runs from 21:30 to 42:00. What is more important to consider in the debate over Internet voting security -- known facts about the many successes of Internet voting trials, or scary possibilities that haven't happened? What evidence is RELEVANT to this debate. 

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, author, speaker,
CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund
Twitter: wjkno1

Author of Internet Voting Now! 
Kindle edition: http://tinyurl.com/IntV-Now
In paper: http://tinyurl.com/IVNow2011

For more on Alex Halderman see, in this blog,

Cyber Bullying in Connecticut: A Lesson in Empathy

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

INTERNET VOTING IN CANADA – My Series at IVN.us


I am writing a series on Canada’s National Debate over Internet Voting - Check it out!

First article: Elections Canada Favors Internet voting,
Movement towards offering Internet voting in all national elections

Second article: Three Major Canadian Cities Love Internet Voting
Big successes here, w/ old folks biggest users in one of the cities

Big Mo Favors Internet Voting in Canada – Pt 3 in series
Demand is rising, and governments are responding - even Native Canadians are doing it

Post 4 - The Canadian Model
The Canadian Model shows how to discuss Internet voting security concerns REASONABLY, w/o using scary stories to try and stir up fear and panic. Why can’t Americans be more like Canadians around this topic?


More to come …

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, author, speaker,
CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund
a CA Nonprofit Foundation
Twitter: wjkno1

Author of Internet Voting Now! 
Kindle edition: http://tinyurl.com/IntV-Now

Monday, August 6, 2012

Common Cause Caught using Junk Science to Fuel Moral Panic over Internet Voting


Common Cause, the darling of Democratic Party liberals, and one of the top fund-raisers among the professional progressive 501c “non-profits,” has fallen below its saintly claim to Moral Purity. Along with volunteers from the Verified Voting Foundation and the Rutgers School of Law, Common Cause has joined the nearly 10 year old movement to create a Moral Panic in the US over the supposed insecurity and untrustworthiness of Internet voting. Their most recent effort is a pseudo-scientific propaganda tract entitled “COUNTING VOTES 2012: A State by State Look at Voting Technology Preparedness.”* 

The study was largely conducted by contacting the office of the Secretaries of State, or other local election officials, and asking them about their election equipment and procedures. While this approach seems sufficiently empirical to merit the esteemed rubric “science,” the authors then go a step further and cook up their own “rating system,” which is very far from “scientific.” Indeed, under the guise of science, their tract is really a polemic against Internet voting.

What is Internet Voting?
In furtherance of their mission to alarm the American people about the specter of Internet voting stalking the nation’s election processes, the authors conflate the email return of voted ballots with voting on a state’s website. In their words, “Both e-mailing voted ballots and transmitting them through a Web portal are forms of ‘Internet voting’ (page 78).”

However, this is decidedly NOT the common usage of the term “Internet voting.” Normally, that term means logging on to a state’s website, passing the security and registration check, being presented with a blank ballot, marking it, and clicking the “vote” button.

Ordinary emails are far less secure than voting on an official website. On website voting, for example, a military quality encryption can be used, which scrambles the information so that only the website server can decipher it.  Such encryption is not used in emails. Hence, emails can be viewed during transmission in ways that web based information cannot. Voting officials understand the difference. That is why they have confidence that voting on a website with a secure server can be done without a loss of privacy for the voter. But the regular practice for voters using email and fax transmission is to require a privacy waiver from the voter before the vote will be accepted. 

Governments require these waivers both to inform the voters of the risks they are taking, and to protect themselves from lawsuits in case a voter’s vote suddenly appears in the media.

In their rush to fuel the current Moral Panic over Internet voting, the authors deceptively lump Internet voting together with emails, and even with “Internet fax services” (page 78).  Using this fudged meaning of “Internet voting,” the authors then create the “fact” that up to 31 states use “Internet voting” (wink, wink).

Rating
The authors, like Greek gods from atop Mt. Olympus, declare “ratings” for the various state practices. As advocates for paper-based polling place voting, they rank states that follow this “best practice” exclusively as Excellent. Their key measure is the use of paper.  Twenty states require their overseas voters to snail mail their voted ballots.  Never mind all the well known problems of a ballot going through the mail from a foreign land to the US, these states are honored with a “scientific” rating of Excellent.

States, like New Jersey, that allow fax or email return of voted ballots, but also require that the voter send in his or her marked paper ballot may be deemed as “generally good,” or “needs improvement,” depending on how tightly restricted is the use of electronic ballot return. For example, Iowa requires paper ballots from most of its overseas voters, but allows its small number of overseas voters in dangerous areas to just fax or email their voted ballots. For this deviation from a strict paper-based regime, Iowa and six other naughty states are scolded with a “needs improvement” rating (page 459).

With all the majesty of Common Cause, the authors express their imperious contempt by using the epitaph “inadequate” for those 24 states that accept fax, email, or web based ballot return.^  The only way for these wayward states to get back into the good graces of Common Cause, is to demand that their overseas voters use snail mail – no matter what the hardships or inconvenience that may entail, whether the state’s voters are patrolling some vast desert, out at sea, stuck on a mountain top, or under fire in a combat zone. The main message to the 50 states of this report is: Use all paper, or be bad! It’s that simple.

The Opps! Department
While paper-based polling place voting is the Gold Standard for these authors, they conveniently fail to mention anything at all about the long history of this voting method’s short-comings. With Internet voting, there could be no boxes of uncounted ballots from overseas found floating in a river, or misplaced under some clerk’s desk, or miscounted by rushed and tired government employees working overtime to count each ballot by hand. Opps! While they were talking about how Iowa needs improvement for allowing a small amount of fax or email return of ballots by soldiers under fire, they forgot all about the fiasco earlier this year. Hand counting paper ballots in Iowa resulted in Romney being declared the winner of the state’s caucus votes. But a couple of weeks later, after Romney got all the credit and moved on, they discovered some uncounted and miscounted ballots. Then Santorum was the winner! But wait, not all the precincts had yet reported their counts. Precinct captains promised that they would turn in their voted ballots – as soon as they could find them!

The authors tell us that, “in fact” Internet voting is vulnerable to a variety of “security threats including cyber-attacks such as modification in transit, denial of service, spoofing, automated vote buying, and viral attacks on voter PCs (page 78).” Opps! They forgot to present their scientific studies showing how these have happened in real Internet voting, and how probable each event is in the real world. Well ... maybe they didn’t “forget.” They didn’t present any such science because NONE EXISTS! None of these things has ever happened. Internet voting has been done in Estonia, Norway, Switzerland, France, Mexico City, several places in Canada, and a few US states; but none of those scary stories the authors tell has ever come true.

The authors also make the unsubstantiated claim that Internet voted ballots cannot be audited. But that is not at all true. Module logs can be used to audit and to cross check one another. (See my post here on
 The Audit Problem)


William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, author, speaker,
CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund
Twitter: wjkno1

Author of Internet Voting Now! 
On Kindle and in Paper 

Notes
*As the authors state, at page 6, this 2012 paper updates the data provided in another paper on election practices in the US, which they issued in 2008. Their current project is different only in that it focuses on an area not discussed in the prior study; that is, the use of fax, email, and Internet voting for overseas voters (page 6). My comments pertain to this new area of focus in their paper.

^ Feeling generous, the authors treat Washington DC as the 51st state, so all their state totals are 51. They also offer the 2010 comedy in DC as “proof” that Internet voting systems can be hacked. But that was merely a first run trial of a poorly built system, which was never used for any real voting – see DC Fiasco  and DC Hack a Conspiracy?


Friday, June 22, 2012

The Pathetic State of Internet Voting in the USA

Why doesn’t Internet voting have a massive following in the US, like it should?

The anti-Internet voting special interests have created a Moral Panic about it in the US. (I explain how they did it in chapters one and five, Internet Voting Now.) Those of us who see the potential for democratic reform in Internet voting can only try to chip away at the security fears they have engendered. That’s what I’ve been trying to do with this blog and my other writings.

I am not alone. The guys who wrote reviews of my book at amazon.com are strong supporters of Internet voting. Indeed, the book review pages at Amazon.com give an excellent insight into who populates the separate camps. See, for example, my review of the newest anti-Internet voting propaganda tract, Broken Ballots (Don't forget to click yes if you like my review.) Take a look at the other “reviews” and comments. Nearly all the members of the opposition special interest groups are there. In fact, they are so well funded that they can even afford to have Rush Holt represent them in Congress and recommend their book. David Jefferson is their public face. The Verified Voting Foundation is their propaganda machine. They have a paid full time staff.

Advocates of Internet voting have a very modest presence on the web. Besides my blog there are:

Cyber the Vote

The League of Internet Voters on Face Book

And this FB page, too! Internet Voting Now

Welcome to this newer voice, at the iVote Face Book page.  Here you will find the wise statement that, and I paraphrase, Internet voting can make the voting process more simplified, convenient, and accessible to all citizens of the United States. Votes will be cast for our future leaders from, break rooms, coffee shops, libraries, living rooms, anywhere, and everywhere. By its convenience alone, Internet voting will empower every voter more than ever before in US history.

Voting in the United States today is an inconvenient, confusing, and time-consuming process. This process is, and has been, a barrier to many who want to vote. There are over 207 million eligible voters today, of which only 56.8% were able to vote during the last presidential election, and 37.8% during the last non-presidential election. More votes were cast for the last American Idol (97.5M) than were for our last President (69.4M), because it was simpler.

The voices of citizens stationed overseas, traveling abroad, or those unable to take a day off work, cannot be heard under our current voting process. An absentee ballot helps, but is also inconvenient. Technology exists today that can provide our citizens the opportunity to participate in our democracy, and vote online, no mater where they are on the planet.

I endorse this statement 100%! I also endorse, with equal passion, this explanation of how US presidential elections can be organized around Internet voting so that the voters, and not the two-party system elites, have complete election power. Also, see the comments to that article by me and iVote.

Pathetically, except for a limited use in Arizona,* NO states will be using Internet voting for the 2012 election.  Friends of Democracy! Don't be swayed by a Moral Panic ignited by nothing more than scary stories w/o science. Read. Think. And demand Internet voting from your state's Secretary of State.

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Email: Internetvoting@gmail.com
Twitter: wjkno1

Author of Internet Voting Now!
Kindle edition
In paper

*The West Virginia legislature did not allocate the funds needed to renew that state's exemplary 2010 Internet voting program for its overseas military.  According to the AZ SoS, to use Arizona’s secure ballot upload system, the overseas military voter must have received a user ID and password from their local election official.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Americans Elect is a FIRST ATTACK on the Two-Party System!

Friends of Political Reform!

Americans Elect has entered a new phase. First, it has now gained ballot access in 25 states, and the momentum to have it in the rest of the states is unstoppable. They have a sterling legal team hard at work in every state. All the rich investors are in. Their money has been committed to creating the asset. Now the roots are firmly in the ground and growing. Now, AE is a $30M asset waiting to be used. Any organized group can grab it and use it to put one of their own on 50 state ballots.

Secondly, the investors have laid off most of their paid staff. They are intentionally giving the process over to whomever volunteers to take on the responsibility. Any organized group can become volunteers and rule by democratic means. That is what the Ackermans intended from the beginning. Soon a website, built by volunteers, will come online. Candidates will have pages, blogs, and be able to meet with voters and discuss issues. There will be debates between candidates.

As organized and purposeful volunteers, we can make Americans Elect a first attack on the two-party system! If this succeeds, we will be a threat to that system in every state in 2014 and 2016. If we can unite third parties and independents, and agree on one candidate, we can take over this asset.

This is NOT about policy. So what if a former Dem and a former Repub are the first candidates nominated by AE? So what if they are “centrists”?

Policy is not the key issue in this pregnant moment. Remember, in the 1930s Communist Mao Tse-tung joined forces with his arch-enemy and capitalist Chiang Kai-shek to fight the Japanese invaders of China. These two leaders had their priorities straight – first defeat the common enemy, then go back to fighting over how China should be governed.

Lets learn from that historic event. We can beat our common enemy! Our country is crippled by a two-party system that puts its own interests above those of the nation. They battle each other over the leadership of their system and the spoils their puppet masters reap, while the rest of the country goes down the tubes.

It doesn’t matter if AE lacks a candidate with lots of celebrity. Just because we don’t have a Second Coming of Jesus doesn’t mean we have no chance at Salvation.

We don’t have to roll over and let the two-party system walk on us. We don't have to work, like fools, within that system. If we can unify the opposition to the two-party system, and use AE to erect a viable alternative process to the selection and election of office-holders, we can then go back to disputing the best policies for our country.

This is a HUGE opportunity to begin a real revolution in our sick political system.

The sickness is due to the current PROCESS of selecting and electing candidates for office. As we all know, money rules in the two-party system. That system is the cover used by the Ruling Rich so they can govern and claim we live in a “democracy.” Now comes Americans Elect, and all the candidates are self-chosen or drafted by AE members, and they all appear before the voters FOR FREE. Imagine – winning a national primary and having no political debts, except to the voters.

The original American Dream was to have Liberty through self-government. We can realize that dream with this priceless asset now within reach.

Past conceptions of AE conjured up a trap by Wall Street. Some donors remain unidentified, because they fear economic retaliation from the agents of the Establishment. But the donors are not in control of the process. The process can’t be manipulated without detection. Don't let your concepts from yesterday blind you to today's opportunities! It is an open and transparent PROCESS, not a party.

Their online primary is in June. It is open to all - as candidates or as voters. It is a $30M asset that any organized group can use. We only need to back one candidate, and she/he will be on the ballot in all 50 states. Also, because AE will be conducting our country’s FIRST online national primary, there will be many hours of media coverage; again, free to the AE nominee! Not only that, but the AE nominee will be in an excellent position to qualify for the coming series of presidential debates.

Don't let fear cause you to loose this chance for real reform - the rich guys who pay the bills WILL NOT interfere. That would destroy their asset, because AE's success depends upon being truly democratic. The donors are business people. They aren’t going to throw away $30M by acting like dictators.

“Death to the Two-Party System!”


William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist:
CEO, The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund
Internetvoting@gmail.com
Blog: http://tinyurl.com/IV4All
Twitter: wjkno1

Author: Internet Voting Now!
Kindle edition
In paper

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gail Collins Critique of Americans Elect – Rejoinder Americans Elect Fights Back

A cute little pixy jester who writes for the New York Times recently wrote that what “makes our current politics particularly awful isn’t procedural.” She blames it all on the extremists in the Republican Party. She opines that Americans Elect is not only a mere “fantasy… But it’s too dangerous.” For her, “the whole Americans Elect concept is delusional…” and a cyber temptation for people with a “purity of heart” to waste their votes on “Fred Website.” In her view, the only way to save the nation is to re-elect Barack Obama.

In just a few hours, this opinion drew so many comments (close to 400) for and against that the NYT closed the comments section.

So, here is a comment from AE Delegate, Don Gordon, that didn’t get passed the gate before it was shut. (It’s followed by a few of other comments, as well.)

Well Gail, you should know that I’m a regular subscriber to the NYT and I’m also a Delegate Leader for Americans Elect here in Illinois. From time to time I find your opinions quite lucent and on target. Today is not one of those moments. When I opened the paper this afternoon – yes, I’m one of those dinosaurs who still read the tactile version of the NYT – I was quite dismayed that your opinions on Americans Elect were so off the target. There are so many misconceptions in your short piece that I have to be diligent in not writing a tome in response.

So, let me start by saying that overall you make the same mistake that many others have, though a few get it right. That mistake is to evaluate Americans Elect on what it is attempting to do immediately and to ignore the long term implications. You’re to be forgiven for that because our political system is so banged up that expectations are extremely high for any organization that comes along to make a change to repair that system. Part of the problem lies with Americans Elect as well. [AE spokesperson,] Ms. Malm should have made the point that not only is this about “disruption for the good” but it’s about setting in play “future disruption”. There are lessons to be learned once this is over, and those are going to be valuable lessons that Americans Elect is creating and will inform future initiatives such as this. Now on to some of your quotes…

Gail: “History suggests that this election could be decided by a small number of votes…”
Don: Ok, here we go down the rabbit hole of don’t vote for the other 3rd, 4th, 5th party candidate because they could upset MY candidate from winning – what is becoming known as the “Nader Effect”. Really, Ms. Collins? Well, I’m appalled at that assessment. Your job, my job, everyone else’s job as the electorate is to assess the candidates based on their qualifications – not party labels – and to vote for whom we think is the best qualified not the one who has the best chance of winning. And that last notion may eventually go down in the Republican dialogue as the “Romney Effect”.

Gail: “The whole Americans Elect concept is delusional…we the people are good and pure and if only we were allowed to just pick the best person…”
Don: What is delusional – actually insane by Ben Franklin’s estimation – is that we continue to cough up the same old, same old candidate choices because the Republican-Democratic Party Politburo limits our choices and prevents others from gaining any traction whatsoever regardless of how qualified they may be. To continue to pick from the pre-ordained party hacks in expectation that the system will get better is not only delusional, it is indeed insanity.

Gail: “Buddy Roemer, the former governor of Louisiana whose candidacy was so deeply unsuccessful that he couldn’t even qualify for the debates…”
Don: And should he or anyone else for that matter on the Americans Elect ticket or the Green Party or the Libertarian Party achieve ballot access in most the 50 states, they will still be denied access to the Presidential debates if they don’t achieve a 15% polling as dictated by the Republican-Democratic Party Politburo’s communication arm – The Commission On Presidential Debates.

Finally, and this is my favorite faux pas that I hear so often:
Gail: “There is the opportunity to create a presidential nominee who will promise to bring us all together … Barack Obama.”
Don: Well, you’re either delusional or na├»ve. I voted for Barack and I certainly didn’t drink the Kool-Aid that he – a Democrat – was going to take his partisan ideologies into Washington and convince all those Republicans that they’re on the wrong side of the aisle. I voted for Barack because he could put two sentences together and would keep the rest of the world from viewing us as some bunch of crazed cowboys. Did you really drink the Kool-Aid, Gail? Because it certainly appears from this article that you did…

Thanks, Don! Somebody needs to start fighting back for AE. RE Gail's claim that our problem is "not procedural," here are a couple of comments that did get included following Gail’s essay:

One “JRHCarmel” commented in the NYT,
“The greatest aspect of the Americans Elect process is enabling voters to match their views against those of the candidates based on a battery of policy questions that the candidates must answer. Most voters would like to tune out all the divisive rhetoric and pandering and determine which candidates most closely reflect their views without pundits, ads, or party elites directing their choices. The more of us who participate in AE, the more quickly it will evolve toward a process that places the needs of voters ahead of parties.”

Another comment in the NYT by “W.A. SpitzerFaywood,” states, in part,
“The major problem is the two party primary system which tends to select fringe candidates. This is amplified by the fact that more than a third of the voters consider themselves to be independents, and in many states are prohibited from voting in the party primaries.” His “solution” is to have a national primary, very much like the one AE is now offering. “This would force the candidates to run more toward the center where the majority of voters are truly represented, and would therefore select more moderate candidates; it would prevent a candidate from winning a general election unless they had at least 50% of the votes; and by having one primary rather than two it would not subsidies party politics, and would be less expensive.”

Finally, another critique of the NYT article comes from Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Candidate for President on the AE website

As to Ms. Collins’s fear that AE might result in votes being drawn away from Obama, Mr. Kotlikoff writes
“Gail, … Fear is no basis for choosing our leaders. Americans Elect may be the country's only hope of staving off indefinite political gridlock and watching the country continue to slide down hill. [You need to educate yourself.] For starters you could look at the policies I lay out, [and] the policy plans of the other declared candidates on Americans Elect. … America's future is no joke.”

Way to go, Laurence! Come on AE supporters, more of us need to start fighting back!

“Death to the Two-Party System!”

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, author, speaker,
CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund, a CA Nonprofit Foundation
Email: Internetvoting@gmail.com
Blog: http://tinyurl.com/IV4All
Twitter: wjkno1

Author of Internet Voting Now!
Kindle edition: http://tinyurl.com/IntV-Now

In paper: http://tinyurl.com/IVNow2011

Thursday, February 16, 2012

News Hour Internet Voting Story

Have you seen the News Hour Internet voting story?

Internet Voting: Will Democracy or Hackers Win?


They followed the exact storyline set out in my blog posts!
Here they are:
Cyber Bullying in Connecticut: A Lesson in Empathy

West Virginia Secretary of State, Natalie Tennant is the victim!

Also see,
Kelleher’s Account of Cyber Bullying in Connecticut Verified


For more on Tennant:
Internet Voting Profile in Courage: Natalie Tennant


On my continuing debate w/ David Jefferson (leader of the opposition):

My Comments on the News Hour story:

Over all, its a balanced report. But they left out one hugely important FACT - namely, Wagner, Jefferson, Halderman, Rivest et al can't give even one instance of a hacking into an actual Internet vote election. DC was just a very first trial, and it failed. But DC was NOT a real election. All over the world - Norway, Switzerland, Estonia, India, Canada, New South Wales, and other places have had Internet voting election w/o security breeches. Elections Canada, the agency that administers national elections there, has ask the gov to make all national elections online. Tennant's experience shows, along w/ the rest of the world, that Internet voting can be done securely. It will boost turnout, too!

Another thing the News Hour report doesn't tell you is how Internet voting, rightly organized, can neutralize Big Money in all US elections. Yet another is that paper based businesses, like big newspaper corporations, spread false scary stories about supposed Internet voting insecurity. This is the main reason why the USA has almost no Internet voting. If we had it, it could empower the moderate middle class like never before, end elite rule, and stop all partisan bickering in Washington. That is what my book, Internet Voting Now, is all about. But here are a couple of my old blog posts on this:

How Internet Voting Can Support Nonpartisan Politics

and
US Social Forum


William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, author, speaker,
CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund, a CA Nonprofit Foundation
Email: Internetvoting@gmail.com
Blog: http://tinyurl.com/IV4All
Twitter: wjkno1

Author of Internet Voting Now!
Kindle edition
In paper

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oscar Internet Voting Plan Attacked With Scary Stories, But NO SCIENCE!

Here is my Letter to The Guardian Newspaper, which as far as I know was never printed by them.

On Sat, Feb 4, 2012 at 2:48 PM, William J. Kelleher, Ph.D. wrote:

Dear Editor of The Guardian UK:

Your recent article about the plans to have Oscar voting done online falls far below your usual standard of responsible journalism. The article presents several scary stories about what security breaches “could” happen, but offers no FACTS to back up the fear mongering.

Here is one scary story, for starters: “Computer security experts have warned [of] … cyber attacks that could falsify the outcome but remain undetected.” Well, that is scary! But has it ever really happened?

The answer is a big NO! Internet voting has been conducted in Norway, Switzerland, India, Canada, and here in the US in several places, including West Virginia. In every case, technical and political experts, including officials and the public, were satisfied with the integrity of the vote. There were no undetected Leprechauns that snuck in and changed everyone’s vote. In Estonia one voter challenged an election by Internet voting, but the court rejected the claim after studying the evidence.

Mr. Dill, whom you quote as your authority, states a perennial problem for all large voting systems when he says you can’t know if your vote for A was really counted as a vote for B. But this is not just a problem for Internet voting. Unless you can see the raised hands of all the voters in a room, you can never know how, or if, your vote was counted.

In all representative democracies, the voters must rely on their representatives to do a responsible and professional job. That is what has happened in all Internet voting trials around the world – and it will happen in the votes for Oscar, too. Responsible officials can be trusted to pick professional technicians to set up the Internet voting systems. These technicians understand all the security threats Mr. Dill dredges up. They know how to mitigate each threat, and how to protect the integrity of the election.

Unfortunately, the writer of this article seems to have slipped a bit on his journalistic integrity. He fails completely to list all the successful Internet voting projects that I mentioned. Also, in one paragraph we are told that "30" computer scientists signed a letter warning of the dangers of Internet voting for overseas Democrats. Yet the writer then reveals that he told “the Academy's chief operating officer, Ric Robertson, … of the near-total unanimity of computer experts [that Internet voting was insecure].” Give me a break!

How does any credible writer get from “30” to “near-total unanimity”? There must be thousands of computer scientists in the world, and Dill was only able to recruit 30. For every successful Internet voting event, there were dozens of experts who worked on the project, and who knew it could be done. So, no "unanimity" there. I'll bet that NOT ONE of those 30, including Mr. Dill, has ever actually worked at setting up an Internet voting system. So, what do they know? Just a bunch of theoretical scary stories!

Also, the writer of this article made a statement about the hacking incident in Washington, DC which is, at best, misleading. He tells his trusting readers that “overseas voters were invited to vote by internet in a local election in Washington, DC.” Not exactly! The Internet voting system was opened to the public for its first ever test. This was definitely NOT “a local election,” but mere practice several days before the scheduled election. The practice showed that the system wasn't ready to be used; so, it was not used for the real election.

Your readers expect some balance in the articles they read. But they won’t get that unless they read this letter to the Editor.

Yours,

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Twitter: wjkno1
Email: Internetvoting@gmail.com
Blog: http://internetvotingforall.blogspot.com/
Author of Internet Voting Now!
On Kindle
And in paper http://tinyurl.com/IVNow2011

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Americans Elect Invites Vote Buying & Selling, Rejects Voter Privacy!

AE presents itself as a bold alternative to the two-party system. “Pick a person, not a party,” they say. All you have to do is be a registered voter, and sign up on their website at AmericansElect.org. Then you will be eligible to vote ONLINE for any of the qualified candidates in their primary competition.

Up to this point, the project seems to have some promise as a democratic reform. Any registered voter can participate, no matter what party affiliation, or no party affiliation. Candidates can self-select, or be drafted, and don’t need any campaign contributions to be considered by the voters. Best of all, from my point of view, they are going to use Internet voting.

Unfortunately, the process is far from flawless. As first reported in Rick Hasen’s Election Law blog, the AE vote will NOT BE A SECRET VOTE. According to AE, “Each vote is tied to name. Necessary so we can audit the convention afterwards. This is not a secret vote (like the general election is).”

What are they thinking? Does AE have a public relations Death Wish? Let me try to put this problem in context.

Internet voting is being used all over the world. In Europe, Estonia, Switzerland, and Norway use it. In India, the state of Gujarat uses it (and in a recent election had over 77% turnout). Based on the several successful online votes in Canadian cities, Elections Canada, the agency that runs national elections, has requested that the government make Internet voting its official voting technology. In the USA, Hawaii, Kings County Washington, and West Virginia have used it. Both France and Mexico City are planning to use Internet voting for their overseas voters.

Each of these systems was set up by teams of professional technicians who knew what they were doing, and did it well. No security breaches or hackers changed any votes, or violated the privacy of any voters. These systems were set up to allow voters to log on, have their eligibility verified, and then vote on the secure servers which held the voting website. Separate modules verify the voter’s registration, and keep the record of the vote. Thus, no voter’s privacy is compromised. Also, since there are no records kept of a voter’s name and how he or she voted, no one can prove to a potential vote buyer how he or she voted.

AE declines to use this well tested Internet voting technology. Instead, they use a process that dredges up some of the worst election practices ever used. They reject the principle of voter privacy, and they will keep both an electronic and a paper copy of the voter’s name and vote together. Indeed, these records will be shared with the auditing company they have hired. Untold numbers of people will read these names and votes.

Worse still, I have been told that AE will mail out paper copies of name and vote together to each voter, so that he or she can see how his or her vote was recorded. If so, what a handy receipt this will be for a vote seller to show a vote buyer!

Haven’t the Ackermans ever heard of the “Australian Ballot”? This was once a major reform of election practices in the US. Now AE is going to ignore this reform and thereby invite a resurrection of the very corrupt practices the reform was meant to stop.

AE has a lot of promise as a democratic reform. But once people, who are eager for more democracy, see what they are getting into, who will want to support such stupidity?

There is still time to correct this misguided slipping into the worst of America’s past, when voters had no privacy and votes were bought and sold. True Internet voting is being done around the world. Even the vote for the Oscars in 2013 will be true Internet voting! Hey, AE – lets get with it!

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, author, speaker,
CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund, a CA Nonprofit Foundation
Email: Internetvoting@gmail.com
Blog: http://tinyurl.com/IV4All
Twitter: wjkno1

Author of Internet Voting Now!
On Kindle and in paper

For my discussion with Joshua Levine about AE potential PR problems, see this