Electronic Voting in Australia

Okay, we’ve all seen and heard about the shitfight that took place over the past three months, known as the 2016 Federal Election. Votes not counted for two whole days, the best part of 14 da…

Source: Electronic Voting in Australia

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Electronic Voting in Australia

Okay, we’ve all seen and heard about the shitfight that took place over the past three months, known as the 2016 Federal Election. Votes not counted for two whole days, the best part of 14 days before a result that’s not entirely accurate becomes known…
all the hassles that can be easily wiped away with the introduction of electronic voting.

So, “What’s the best way to do that?”, I hear you ask.

Well, first and foremost, the security of the votes is paramount. In order to get that security, each and every Polling Place would need to have its’ own off-grid private network. By that I mean the touch screen computers in each Polling Place would not have any ability to be accessed from the outside world, or have any connection to existing telecoms infrastructure. Only after polling concluded at 6pm on election day would one single authorised person, namely the Returning Officer for that polling booth, be able to collate the votes that had been cast on the touchscreen PC’s, then forward that data via a secure hardline internet connection directly to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). There would of course be no identifiable tags to show what time Elector X cast their vote, or what polling place the data came from, making each elector essentially anonymous. With an encrypted single client connection to the AEC’s data centre, the only real ‘checks’ the AEC could make which might possibly be intercepted by ‘hackers’, are:
1) How many registered voters attended that Polling Place?
2) How many absentee votes were cast?
3) How many completed ballots were sent to the AEC? and
4) Did Polling Place X submit their data (Yes/No)?

On Election Day, it wouldn’t matter where you were in the country, you’d simply turn up at your nearest Polling Place, offer suitable identification, your name would be marked off the roll electronically – over a direct connection to the AEC to eliminate any opportunity for Voter X to vote twice – and the staff member would direct you to a private booth where a touchscreen was set up with the ballot page for your electorate. This would eliminate the issues faced during the 2016 Election where people wishing to vote ‘absentee’ were not able to complete a ballot paper, simply because the polling place they attended did not have ballot papers for every single electorate in the country. The Returning Officer could go online to the AEC’s secure system, download the correct ballot papers for the individual elector, copy that to a touch screen and submit the voter’s preferences to the AEC (once the person has made his/her decisions) with all the other votes at the end of the day. This method would not identify the voter in any way, as the data would simply be added to what the AEC received for the candidates in that voter’s electorate without being tagged as coming from a certain booth.

An electronic voting system would also eliminate ‘donkey’ votes, and also prevent people from not filling out ballot papers correctly. A touch screen system simply would not allow an incomplete ballot to be submitted, therefore ensuring people voted correctly to generate a much more accurate result. So, what do I think it might look like?
With artwork compiled by Hairy, I’m guessing you’d see on the screen in front of you the names of each candidate, the party they represent, a square beside each name – pretty much very similar to what we’ve had on paper – a number keypad with Enter key and a SUBMIT button. You would tap the square of the person you were choosing, tap the numpad to enter what preference you were giving them, and tap the Enter key. If you wanted to change your mind, you simply tap the square you want to change, tap the Backspace key (‘X’ in a box) and enter another number. Once the required number of squares were filled, the green ‘Submit Vote’ button would become active, tap that button for a “Are you sure (Y/N)?” popup to appear, and you would then cast your vote or go back and make changes.

EXAMPLE SCREEN FOR HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
houserepsscreen

EXAMPLE SCREEN FOR SENATE/UPPER HOUSE:
senatetouchscreen

Pretty simple system to implement, not too difficult to explain to voters about how to use it, nothing much different to technologies people haven’t seen in shopping centres for those ‘store locator’ panels, easy to use, and brings about a definite accurate result of the polls much sooner. The above features of this much simpler system would be assured, and would spark cries for the elimination of ‘postal voting’ for all but Australian citizens of voting age living overseas. Pre-poll voting would be conducted with exactly the same electronic system envisaged, but of course no access to the submitted voting results available until the close of polls on election day. Also, this ‘pre-poll voting’ would only be available for the five business days prior to the official Saturday Election Day, and in limited locations to minimise disruption.

One last major change electronic voting would bring, is a much more accurate capture of those who fail to vote. You’ll essentially have six days to visit a polling place to cast your vote, removing any excuse. Mobile polling places will, of course be set up in every hospital and aged care facility across the country, giving every single person of voting age plenty of opportunity to have their say.

An electronic voting system is indeed the country’s future. Thing is, if the fucktards in Canberra don’t wake the fuck up and bring something like this in before the next election, we’ll end up going through the same shitfight we’ve had over the last few weeks following July 2 2016. Here endeth the lesson!

With Thanks to Hairy…

More post election ranting…

It disgusts me that 50% of eligible voters are so ignorant of the world around them, that they vote for their tax dollars to be poured directly into the pockets of privately owned telecoms companies. These funds have gained for Australia outdated (and in many cases unserviceable) infrastructure, which has seen this country drop from 30th to 60th in the world for average internet speed.
What also disgusts me? Journalists who spread false information about how the National Broadband Network actually works. I’m not sure how a technically illiterate voter was ever able to make an informed decision in this election, considering that more often than not false details about the NBN were being smeared across the media landscape.
I am personally sick to death of journalists presenting their politically biased rhetoric at every opportunity, while treating our elected representatives with kid gloves just so they don’t upset the apple cart. The community look to the media as not only a source of correct information, but as a voice to speak to those they normally wouldn’t be able to. Unfortunately for the sake of common sense and normality, there are far too many journalists across the country who
(a) present themselves as completely ignorant of verifiable evidence,
(b) spread false information about what is by far the largest infrastructure project this country has ever seen, and
(c) maintain a job security biased ‘softly-softly’ approach to questioning of those people who have made alarmingly nonsensical decisions which affect the entire nation.
These journos hold a large percentage of blame for why Australia is no longer a great place to live, do business in or even visit. We’re going down the gurgler, yet the journalist voice of the community seems no longer willing to take those we entrust to run the place properly to task, especially when the politicians make blatant errors of judgement and totally ludicrous decisions. It’s because of such incompetent journalism that I’m not expecting to learn from the responsible government ministers anytime soon Why Australians are paying 200% more for electricity and telecoms than the rest of the developed world.
Are you listening, Brent Bultitude? Get stuck into these pollies and business tycoons, put them on the spot, demand answers to the tough questions and stand up for the community who keep you on air, or you’re best to leave the job that you’re increasingly proving yourself to be quite inept at doing.

Post-election thoughts, Part Two

Now I move on to how the Liberal National Coalition have attempted to brainwash the nation with their, “She’ll be right mate!”, bullshit.

Every independent report about the National Broadband Network, an absolute shambles of a project, indicates how slow the speeds customers are getting, that costs to consumers are far higher than other countries, for infrastructure which is the best money can buy – if the year is 1990. The multi-technology mix of fibre to the node, fixed wireless and satellite broadband was what Telstra wanted John Howard to climb into bed with them and build when he took office. That’s the difference between the two parties right there: one will buy the most cost effective and future proof resources and infrastructure for the nation, while the other doesn’t care what industry experts believe, or if its economically viable, or if its going to cost heaps to fix, or if it breaks down a lot. As long as a few of their business bumchums are making a few coins out of the deal, who gives a fuck if the taxpayer gets the raw end of the stick? Just look at the Joint Strike Fighter.

Since Howard locked us into a contract back in 2002, taxpayers have poured $1.5 billion each and every year since into a black hole that’s provided nothing except a few pages of redacted reports about the progress of the project. We can’t find out where the manufacturer are up to with construction and testing; hell, Lockheed Martin can’t even say when we’ll get our first plane! And, do you really think they’ll be giving us a second thought, when the US Air Force and US Navy are their number one customers? The UK are in it too, so I can’t expect to see one of these aircraft with an Australian Government rego plate on it touching down at Williamtown RAAF Base until at least 2025. By then, not only will it have cost us $30 billion for an aircraft valued at around $300 million each, they’ll be as useless as tits on a bull, especially when so many avionics experts across the world are calling them junk right now.

The LNP have long proven they’re no good with technology and engineering. Problem is, Australian voters have just agreed to them pouring $4 billion each year down another black hole, on submarines we may not see in our ports until at least 2030! All this, while with the other hand they give $4.8 billion to the multinational companies that have been proven to be evading their tax responsibilities, they keep shoving cash into the pockets of privately owned telecoms companies for technology that drops us to 60th in the world for internet speed, and they think they’re the best economic managers?

Go fuck yourself, Turnbull. I’d give anything to meet you or any of your brain dead party members in person, because it would be my pleasure to stand in front of you and call you exactly what you are: a FUCKWIT!

RIP Martin, and Thanks to Hairy…

Post-election thoughts, Part One

I’m just going to have a say about the Liberal National Party’s incessant complaints about the Labor Party’s (supposed) ‘scare campaigns’ with respect to the privatisation of Medicare. Here’s something to ponder…

What about the Rural Fire Service fiasco, where the LNP claimed during the election campaign that the Victorian Labor Government under Premier Daniel Andrews were going to wipe away the workplace rights of volunteer fire fighters? How ironic it is that Never in this country’s industrial relations history has there ever been a more blatant disregard for the average worker – volunteer or otherwise – than the Liberal Party’s range of proposals for IR reform known as ‘Work Choices’? Odd how they could call it that, when in all honesty their plans would mean a worker’s unreserved acceptance of the employer’s decisions on conditions of employment such as workplace safety, hours and times of work, wages, penalty rates and job security, with no opportunity for discussion, compromise or mutual agreement. So much for ‘choices’, huh?

The removal of enterprise bargaining in favour of individual payment agreements between employer and employee, leaving people not well-versed in such matters to essentially fend for themselves without the support of a trade union or their fellow workers, was the mainstay of that Work Choices policy. You can be sure as shit sticking to a blanket that if the Lie-beral dildoes (fake pricks) get the chance to govern in their own right, they’ll push for the same changes to industrial relations legislation they’ve wanted for the last 20 years to be ratified. In the meantime, the LNP use rumours that the Victorian state government, led by Labor, intend to reduce and possibly eliminate protections and rights of volunteers within the CFA to directly tarnish the Federal Labor Party’s reputation as a ‘party for the people’!

Simply put, I see the LNP as nothing more than a ruthless pack of self-serving scum. I sincerely hope that, following this election being a complete disaster for them, they do fight among themselves so violently that National Party members move to end the coalition alliance between them and the Liberals. The only reason the Liberals and Nationals formed their Coalition was so they could ‘gang up’ on the Labor Party, after realising they could only win government and control the nation’s purse strings if they (as the LNP) combined the amount of seats they held in the Parliament.

Since the arrival of the First Fleet this country has seen The Establishment doing everything they can to reduce the both the social stature and rights to prosperity of the working class. Until the 50% of voters who didn’t choose the Labor candidate in their electorate wake up to themselves and recognise LNP policies are purely for the benefit of no-one except the upper crust greedy well-to-do, the social divide across our country will continue to grow wider, prosperity for all will remain but a dream, and we will see life for ordinary Australians get tougher as the rich pricks keep cruising down Easy Street.

With Thanks to Hairy, and RIP Martin… 😦