In defense of Internet voting (Let the debate begin!)

What a lot of bunk! This is precisely the propaganda you get from folks who BELIEVE in anti-Internet voting as a RELIGION, w/o any science behind it. Several states in Europe and provinces in Canada have been using Internet voting for years, w/o technical or security glitches. (One 45 min delay in Toronto in 2003) The actual FACTS show that the security technology for Internet voting is as reliable as that used by the multinational banks, which are rich as hell because they have such security.

Soper knows there is a huge difference between email voting, and genuine Internet voting – from your PC or cell phone to a secure server – but he doesn’t mention that. He tries to make people think that the two technologies are equivalent as far as security is concerned. They are not.

Another small item he overlooks is that California has had voting by fax, yes fax, for years. Military people, for example, sometimes can’t vote by mail because it is too undependable in foreign places. While fax voting isn’t very private, at least your vote gets there, and counted. Two political scientists w/ Cal Tech who study the subject, Hall and Alvarez, write of California: “There have not been any allegations of widespread fraud or irregularities associated with faxed UOCAVA [overseas] ballots that we have found…” 87, Hall and Alvarez, Electronic Elections

In 2009, Obama signed the MOVE Act. Because of the problems for military voters, the Act encourages states to try out electronic technology for ballot returns. In 2010, over 33 states used some form of fax, email, or real Internet voting. West Virginia, for example, used real Internet voting in several counties. SOS Tennant was so pleased with the results that she asked the state legislature to let all the counties use it for overseas voters.

Paper security blankets only give false hope. The history of paper ballots is replete w/ fraud. Don’t convert to Soper’s religion. Instead, demand real Internet voting for our troops, and show them we appreciate their sacrifices.

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
YouTube: WJKPhD
Follow me on Twitter: wjkno1

You can see all comments on this post here:

6 replies on “In defense of Internet voting (Let the debate begin!)”

I say this as a tech-junkie and someone who fully believes that Internet-based systems can assist our election systems – but only in certain ways: I draw the line at using the Internet as a mechanism to cast ballots.

Also, I think you would be hard pressed to find a computer scientist or cyber security specialist in all of the USA who would try to convince you that Internet Voting is the secure and advisable direction in which to push our voting systems. Go ahead and try. I’ve tried – and I haven’t found one yet.

There is already a loss of confidence in our election systems. Every day there are more cyber attacks, hacks and online breaches. We are not in front of it, we are being chased by it.

Hi Susan! Thanks for your comment. Bad news: all you have to do is search
Michael Shamos (lawyer, computer science Ph.D), or Ed Gerck, for starters. In 2004, DoD had an Internet voting system ready to use for military and overseas voters. There were lots of experts involved. It was suspended when 4 extremists made wild accusations published by the New York Times (a paper-based business). Countries in Europe, states in India, and provinces in Canada all use it. Small trials have been conducted in the US — Arizona, Alaska, West Virginia, and Michigan. All these systems were built by computer scientists who know that secure Internet voting is very possible, and is happening right now! (The DC system was the only one hacked — built by incompetents). Check me out on You Tube for lots more –at
William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.

William, who were those “extremists”?

That kind of name-calling doesn’t do much for your case; and neither does trying
to cast the New York Times as part of a pro-paper conspiracy.


Points well taken — no more “name calling.” I think I am right about the NYT, but that is a side issue so I won’t push it.

Hats off to you for hosting! Maybe traffic will pick up after the students go back to school.

(I tried to nudge Jim Soper, but no response!)


William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
YouTube: WJKPhD
Twitter: wjkno1

In case you missed it, the UOCAVA Summit 2010 featured an international Internet Voting Debate. The entire debate is broken down into sections which are easily navigable and available for viewing on You Tube.

You can experience the debate yourself – it was all captured on film and is posted here:

Here is the description and the speaker line-up:

Featured Debate: Internet Voting
Two-team Panel Debate of Pros and Cons – In-depth discussion with Q&A

Description: This competitive Panel Debate will allow time for in depth discussion with Q&A. The topic is the hot and sticky, controversial and challenging topic of Internet Voting. Two teams will be formed, a Pro-team and a Con-team, with a mix of US and European scientists and activists who will be encouraged to take their gloves off and get the issues on the table for passionate, contentious and potentially entertaining debate. Are there aspects of agreement? And what are the real points of disagreement? The objective is to first define the dialogue then identify the elements of divergence. Audience participation will be a key aspect of this debate session. It is as yet undetermined as to whether a winner of the debate will be identified – but anything is possible.

Moderator: Gregory Miller, Chief Development Officer, Open Source Digital Voting Foundation

Andrew Appel, Professor, Princeton University

Con Side

Harri Hursti, Author: Hacking Democracy
Constanze Kurz, Engineer/Dipl. Inf., Humboldt University Berlin
Pamela Smith, President, Verified Voting
John Sebes, Chief Technology Officer, Open Source Digital Voting Foundation

Pro Side

Alexander Trechsel, Professor of Political Science and Swiss Chair in Federalism and Democracy at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy
Christian Bull, Senior Advisor, The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Norway
Thad Hall, Associate Professor of Political Science and Research Fellow, University of Utah, USA
Tarvi Martens, Development Director at SK, Demographic Info, Computer & Network Security, Estonia

Debra Bowen, Secretary of State, California

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