Why Online Voting is a Bad Idea for #ERRE

ballot-boxComputer security people will be able to tell you:

You can have a secret ballot OR a secure system, but not both. Internet banking and commerce can be secure, but only because the bank knows who the customer is.

Fair Vote Waterloo says:
On Referenda, Consultations, and Postcards

Australian Computer Expert Vanessa Teague:
Election explainer: why can’t Australians vote online

Daily Dot takes a much more technical look:
Online voting is a cybersecurity nightmare

“The” computer security expert, Bruce Schneier agrees:
More Voting Machine News

Barbara Simons asks: Why can’t we vote online?

Online voting is one of the things Canada’s ERRE Special Committee on Electoral Reform has been tasked with studying, so WRGreens own Bob Jonkman framed this important issue in the Canadian context in his Submission to the ERRE Consultation:

“I am opposed to electronic voting and online voting. I am a computer consultant by profession, and nothing I see in my work shows that people’s home computers or even the computers in most businesses have the security capable of upholding the Integrity requirement, ensuring reliable and verifiable results.

“The main issue with online voting is not computer security, but a fundamental incompatibility between voter identity and the secret ballot.

“When voting takes place outside of a polling station it is important that voter identity is established to prevent fraud. It must be provable that the ballot filled in online was actually filled in by a registered voter, and not by someone impersonating that voter. To achieve this, voters need to be issued a ballot with a serial number or barcode to ensure that only that one ballot is filled in for that registered voter. But if every ballot cast has a serial number, then the completed ballot with the voter’s choices is identifiable with the voter’s name and registration information. The secret ballot is impossible, and the Integrity criterion cannot be met.

“When voting does not take place in a polling station then it is possible that a voter will be coerced into voting according to the demands of the “head” of the household, or voting at the workplace according to the employer’s demands. Without the scrutiny of Elections Canada, voting integrity cannot be ensured.

“But computer security is an issue too. People’s personal computers are constantly being attacked by computer viruses, malicious web sites, and denial of service attacks from compromised Webcams. And spam. The difficulty of ensuring online voting integrity is at least as great as is the difficulty of eliminating spam (unsolicited, unwanted e‑mail, sometimes commercial in nature, sent in bulk). If you haven’t experienced problems with spam then it is likely your E‑mail Service Provider is filtering your e‑mail for you – but how many good messages are being filtered accidentally? You’ll never know, because you’ll never see them.

“There are actually very few large-scale spammers on the Internet, maybe a couple of dozen at most. But they’re responsible for almost all the unwanted e‑mail that clogs up billions of e‑mail accounts in the world. It shows how a few bad actors on the Internet can completely overwhelm an e‑mail system. Similarly, a few bad actors on the Internet can completely compromise an online voting system. If we can’t secure our mail systems to solve the spam problem, it is unlikely that we’ll be able to secure everyone’s computer to guarantee online voting integrity.

“It is unfortunate that there were so few computer security experts providing witness testimony to the Committee. Almost every computer security expert who has commented on electronic voting since the U.S. “hanging chad” elections in 2000 has decried the use of voting machines, and, more recently, online voting. Voting machines are regularly compromised, are not auditable by design (they have proprietary source code), and are prone to failure when needed most. Computer security lecturers delight their audiences with tales of voting machine touch screens that dodge the target when the “wrong” vote is selected, or that play marching band music after they’ve been compromised by a prankish hacker.

“Voting is very much different from buying a product from an online store. If the wrong product is delivered, the store will ship the right product the next day to ensure customer satisfaction. But if the wrong candidate is elected, there is no recourse the next day. It is unlikely that fraud will be detected until the voting machines are audited many weeks after the election, and even when fraud is detected the outcome will be hotly contested by the affected candidates. In fact, if voting machines don’t use publicly published open source code then it is likely election outcomes will be hotly contested because proving that no fraud was committed is impossible.
Bob Jonkman working in the WRGreens office
“However, vote tabulation by machine is perfectly acceptable, although there must be a requirement that vote tabulators are also audited and their source code is made public. Ballots designed for vote tabulators (optical mark cards) can always be counted manually if the electronic tabulation is in dispute.”

— Bob Jonkman:  Electoral Reform — My Submission to the #ERRE Committee

Here’s hoping the #ERRE Committee puts Online Voting aside until it might be accomplished securely.

Community Dialogue Voting Results #ERRE

Julia and Sam were the driving force behind the WRGreens Community Dialogue at Kitchener City Hall on September 17th, 2016
Julia and Sam were the driving force behind the #WRGreens “Canada’s Voting System Is Changing” #ERRE Community Dialogue at Kitchener City Hall on September 17th, 2016

Fair Vote Waterloo Co-Chair Sharon Sommerville explained gave an explanation of the kinds of electoral systems on offer.
Fair Vote Waterloo Co-Chair Sharon Sommerville explained gave an explanation of the kinds of electoral systems on offer.

voting-results-2

Waterloo and Kitchener Centre Greens were on hand to lead small discussion groups.
Waterloo (Stacey Danckert) and Kitchener Centre Greens were on hand to lead small discussion groups to discuss electoral reform issues and make group submissions to the ERRE Committee.

voting-results-3

Bob Jonkman (Kitchener Conestoga) and David Weber (Kitchener-South Hespeler) are also long time Fair Vote members, were on handf as facilitators and expert advice.
As well as participating th discussion, group members had the opportunity to cast ballots in mock elections for the different electoral systems. Long time Fair Vote members Bob Jonkman (Kitchener Conestoga) and David Weber (Kitchener-South Hespeler) Greens were on hand with expert advice.

voting-results-4

The Kitchener CTV affiliate gave the event some nice coverage.
The Kitchener CTV affiliate gave our event some nice coverage.

voting-results-5

The conversations continued for quite some time after the event.
The conversations continued for quite some time after the event.

WRGreens visit Brantford-Brant Greens #ERRE

Greens in Brantford ~ Ken Burns, Temara Brown, Jason Shaw, Bob Jonkman ~ ERRE Community Dialogue

On Sunday, October 2nd the The Brantford-Brant Women’s, Youth and Seniors’ Liberal Clubs hosted the multi-partisan Brantford-Brant Electoral Reform Community Forum in the Odeon Building at the Laurier Brantford campus.

[Note: the CPC MP attended and spoke at the LPC event, and of course Greens were there by invitation as well.  Where was the NDP I wonder?]
Temara Brown explains electoral systems

Temara Brown described the six different electoral systems, a fairly difficult task, particularly when being challenged by unruly audience members at every turn.  But she carried it off. Temara Brown, Cambridge GPO
The event followed the usual Library of Parliament script for Community Dialogue suggested by ERRE.
Small Group Discussions
The Brantford Expositor covered the event in Forum puts spotlight on electoral reform

Bob Jonkman chats with LPC Ray Wong
Unfortunately there are some errors in the Expositor article. For instance, Michele Braniff was the 2015 GPC candidate.  As well as being a GPO Candidate, Temara Brown is the GPO’s Shadow Cabinet member for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

The article gives a capsule rundown of the 6 electoral Systems discussed, where the worst error in the article mischaracterizes the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system as “A variation of the preferential vote”.   Electoral systems are complex,  which is one of the many reasons why a referendum would be a bad idea at the best of times.

Historically, STV predates AV by a few decades, so it would be more correct to say AV is a variation of STV.  But that’s just semantics. The real problem is that STV is perhaps the best system of Proportional Representation, while AV is a winner-take-all system much like our First Past The Post.
Post Community Dialogue dialogue, with Jason Shaw (FVC) and Temara Brown (WRGreens Cambridge)
Even so, it was nice to see some balanced coverage of the ERRE event.  For the most part, Canada’s Main Stream Media is making no bones about it’s desire to retain the status quo.  That is perhaps the biggest reason Canadians are so woefully uninformed about electoral reform options.  Instead of informing Canadians of our options, or even actually reporting on the ERRE consultation process, the media tables at ERRE consultation events are standing empty.  So kudos to the Expositor for reporting the news!

 

Ken Burns (Brantford-Brant candidate), Temara Brown (WRGreens Cambridge GPO Candidate), Jason Shaw (Fair Vote Canada) and Bob Jonkman (WRGreens Kirchener-Copnestoga and Fair Vote Waterloo)
Ken Burns (Brantford-Brant), Temara Brown (WRGreens Cambridge GPO Candidate), ________, ________, Jason Shaw (Fair Vote Canada) and Bob Jonkman (WRGreens Kitchener-Conestoga and Fair Vote Waterloo Co-Chair)

In spite of the Main Stream Media obstructionism, the process marches quietly on.

And a good thing, too.

 

Voting Reform in #Brantford-Brant Today! #ERRE #Q

Haven’t had your fill of electoral reform yet?   Come on out to the Brantford this afternoon for a multi-partisan look at Electoral Reform.

Brantford-Brant Electoral Reform Community Forum

womenSunday at Laurier

Get the facts and have your say at this Electoral Reform Forum!

This is a non-partisan event officially recognized by the government intended to discuss the issues surrounding electoral reform.

temaraThe federal Liberal government has set up a wide ranging consultation process to inform the all-party committee in Parliament which will be making recommendations to the government in December. A report will be submitted to the committee based on input received at this event.

WRGreens own Temara Brown (Cambridge GPO) will be giving the Green Party perspective on electoral reform at this event.

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
Brantford-Brant Electoral Reform Event
1pm – 3pm
Laurier Brampton Campus
The Odeon Building
50 Market St. ~ Rm 110
Brantford, ON
(parking behind building)

[You can Register if you like, but it is not required]

The Electoral Reform consultation process wraps up Friday (October 7, 2016) so this may very well be your last chance to attend an event.  Get the facts on electoral reform!

Submissions to the consultation can be made until midnight, October 7th, 2016. Then the process takes the next step up the ladder.
Submissions to the consultation can be made until midnight, October 7th, 2016. Then the process will take the next step up the ladder as the ERRE Special Committee on Electoral Reform studies the question.

Every Canadian who wants to should have a say to help shape what our system looks like for 2019! This is your chance!

Canada’s Voting System Is Changing

Stanley Park Community Centre - Maryam Monsef's National Electoral Reform Community Dialogue Tour

Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions“For the past month I’ve been traveling across Canada hearing from Canadians directly on the values and expectations they feel should be reflected in Canada’s electoral system.

At every stop, it is clear; Canadians expect greater inclusion, transparency, engagement and modernization from their public institutions.”

— The Hon. Maryam Monsef,
Minister of Democratic Institutions ~ Ottawa, ON, Sept. 15, 2016

Hundreds of Waterloo Region residents crowded into the Stanley Park Community Centre on Wednesday night for a chance to participate in the Federal Electoral Reform Consultation with the the Honourable Maryam Monsef, the Minister of Democratic Institutions.  Ms. Monsef shared the stage with local LPC Mps, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Bryan May, Marwan Tabbara and Kitchener Centre host, Raj Saini,  But the evening’s main course was the small group dialogues where participants considered issues and shared their views.  Each group came up with a series of conclusions, all of which were duly passed along for consideration in Ottawa.  The Record‘s Luisa D’amato reports:

As I felt the unmistakable sense of optimism that comes when a powerful person asks your opinion, it occurred to me that we might have got it wrong all this time.

We’ve asked young people to vote, and shook our heads when they didn’t. “Don’t complain if you don’t vote,” we said.

Yet the rules by which we held the elections seemed designed to silence their choices.

D’Amato: It’s heartwarming to see a packed room for electoral reform discussion

Julia and SamJulia and Sam (Kitchener Centre Greens) are passionate about meaningful electoral reform.  The shape of their future depends on it.  They’re the driving force behind our Canada’s Voting System Is Changing event at Kitchener City Hall tomorrow.

Canada's Voting System Is Changing poster
Canada’s Voting System Is Changing poster ~ click to download larger size

The main goal of tomorrow’s event is to provide public information about our options.

Every MP in Canada has been asked to consult with their constituents about what they would like to see in terms of electoral reform.  Although our evening with Ms. Monsef was excellent, it would have been nice to see 4 Liberal Town Halls.  Knowing how long it took me to get my head around electoral reform, more events might make it easier for many citizens.

Sadly Kitchener-Conestoga residents don’t get any Town Hall at all.  Our Conservative MP Harold Albrecht has declined to conduct a consultation.  Fair Vote Waterloo will be putting on 3 more Library Information nights at Elmira Library, New Hamburg and the Ayr Public Libraries.

Earlier in the year the Waterloo NDP put on an information event with Fair Vote Waterloo, but now it’s our turn.

Proportional Representation is not a partisan issue; it is simply a way to better represent citizens in Parliament.  This isn’t about parties, but about what is best for all of us, the voters.  That’s why each of these events have worked hard to put partisanship aside in order to both inform and converse with the public.

the Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions speaks to a packed house in Waterloo Region, Wednesday Night.
The Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions speaks to a packed house in Waterloo Region. September  14th, 2016

So many other countries have adopted meaningful electoral reform that there’s a lot of information out there. And yet, Canadians have heard almost nothing about the alternatives before us.

That’s why Fair Vote Waterloo co-chair Sharon Sommerville will give an introductory talk about Proportional Representation. Then we’ll break into small group discussions, much like Maryam Monsef’s National Electoral Reform Community Dialogue Tour the other night.   We have decided to have two kinds of groups; one to help those of us just beginning to learn about Proportional Representation, and another for those who have an idea of what kind of reform they would like to see.  The latter will be able to discuss the issue as a group in order to make a group submission we can forward on to the ERRE Committee.

Even if you have a pretty good handle on Electoral Reform, we look forward to seeing you in Carl Zehr Square.  It is always a lot more fun to work on a submission together, and it is amazing how much discussion can help clarify the things we’re fuzzy on.  The more Canadians participate in this electoral reform process, the better the outcome will be.

This is a perfect opportunity to help your friends and neighbors get the facts about electoral reform.  We hope to see you there!

Canada’s Voting System Is Changing: Community Dialogue
Saturday September 17th, 2016
3:00pm – 4:30pm

Carl Zehr Square, in front of Kitchener City Hall
200 King St W, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada map

RSVP on the Facebook Event:
Community Dialogue: Proportional Representation

Bob Jonkman & Maryam Monsef
After the consultation, Ms. Monsef was available & approachable

The #ERRE #Q Committee will Consult in Toronto

Excerpt from HOUSE OF COMMONS SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ELECTORAL REFORM TO HOLD HEARINGS IN REGINA, ST-PIERRE-JOLYS, WINNIPEG, TORONTO, QUÉBEC AND JOLIETTE


September 21st, 2016

ERRE Committee in Toronto



Chelsea Hotel
Churchill Ballroom
33 Gerrard St W,
Toronto, ON
→ map ← 



1:30—4:15 pm
Witness Panel(s)

13 h 30—16 h 15
Panel(s) de témoins



4:15—5:00 pm
Open mic

16 h 15—17 h 00*
séance micro ouvert



6:30—9:30 pm
Open mic

18 h 30—21 h 30*
séance micro ouvert



*Please note that the end time for the open mic sessions are approximate



This month is just flying by!  Before this event, don’t forget The Honourable Maryam Monself will be consulting with Waterloo Region at the Liberal Town Hall on Wednesday Sept. 14th, and and our own Community Dialogue will be the following Saturday.  It would be tremendous if you could print a poster or two to hang on local bulletin boards or hydro poles.

And remember, you can keep up with Waterloo Greens events in our Calendar, or by subscribing to this blog!

Electoral Reform Events!

Kitchener Public Library

September 8th ~ Kitchener Public Library Special Event on Electoral Reform #ERRE

Understanding Electoral Reform

TONIGHT 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm ~ September 8th, 2016

Kitchener Public Library
Meeting Room C ~ Central Branch ~ 85 Queen St N, Kitchener, ON N2H 2H1 map
REGISTER here




September 14th, 2016

monsef-wr

“You’re invited to join the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions, at a series of federal electoral reform community dialogue events across Canada. These events, which complement the work of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, are intended to raise awareness of electoral reform and provide an opportunity for you to engage in discussion with others about the future of Canada’s democracy.

These events will be hosted in English and French in physically accessible venues. No pre-registration is required, but note that seats will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Can’t make it to one of these events? Find out about other electoral reform events happening across Canada on our calendar of events. You may also wish to learn more about federal electoral reform or check out resources to help you host your own community dialogue.”

Federal electoral reform community dialogue tour




September 17th @WR_Greens hosts a Community Dialogue on Electoral Reform
Join us for a community dialogue about proportional representation and electoral reform!

Canada’s Voting System is ChangingCarl Zehr Square ~ Kitchener City Hall

3:00pm – 4:30pm ~ Saturday September 17th, 2016

Carl Zehr Square, in front of Kitchener City Hall
200 King St W, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada map

RSVP on the Facebook Event:
Community Dialogue: Proportional Representation




September 21, 2016
Waterloo Region Library
& Fair Vote Waterloo presentElmira Library

Understanding Electoral Reform
6:30 – 8:00 pm ~ WEDNESDAY September 21st, 2016

Elmira Library
65 Arthur St S, Elmira, ON N3B 2M6, Canada  map




September 28th, 2016
Waterloo Region Library
& Fair Vote Waterloo presentlibrary card catalogue

Understanding Electoral Reform
6:30 – 8:00 pm ~ Wednesday September 28th, 2016

New Hamburg Library
145 Huron St, New Hamburg, ON N3A 1S3, Canada map




September 29th, 2016
Waterloo Region Library
& Fair Vote Waterloo presentlibrary shelves

Understanding Electoral Reform
6:30pm – 8:00 pm ~ Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Ayr Library
137 Stanley St, Ayr, ON N0B 1E0, Canada map

 


Image Credits

All images © copyright Laurel L. Russwurm are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license

@WR_Greens hosts a Community Dialogue on Electoral Reform

Canada’s Voting System is Changing

Join us for a community dialogue about proportional representation and electoral reform

Saturday September 17th 2016 3:00pm – 4:30pm
In front of Kitchener City Hall

RSVP on the Facebook Event:
Community Dialogue: Proportional RepresentationScreen Shot 2016-09-07 at 09.42.13.png

More details: wrgreens.ca/PR4PR

Dialogue results will be sent directly to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform

Hosted by the Waterloo Region Greens

Contact Julia Gogoleva, the WR Greens organizer at julia.gogoleva@gmail.com.

Canada’s Voting System is Changing -- Join us for a community dialogue about proportional representation and electoral reform -- Saturdary September 17th 2016 3:00pm – 4:30pm -- In front of Kitchener City Hall -- wrgreens.ca/PR4PR -- Dialogue results will be sent directly to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform -- Hosted by the Waterloo Region Greens
Poster

Download the poster: PDF format (867 kBytes) or Image File (.png, 221 kBytes, 1275 × 1651)

ERRE: The All Party Electoral Reform Committee

The Special Committee on Electoral Reform has been meeting this week.

COMMITTEE CHAIR

Francis Scarpaleggia ~ Liberal
M.P./député Lac-Saint-Louis Chair Liberal Caucus/président caucus libéral
@ScarpaleggiaLSL

MEMBERS

John Aldag ~ Liberal
Member of Parliament for Cloverdale – Langley City
@jwaldag

Matt DeCourcey ~ Liberal
Member of Parliament for Fredericton / Député de Fredericton
@MattDeCourcey

Ruby Sahota ~ Liberal
MP – Brampton North
@MPRubySahota

Sherry Romanado ~ Liberal
Députée féderale pour Longueuil-Charles-Lemoyne / Member of Parliament for Longueuil-Charles-LeMoyne
@SherryRomanado

VICE CHAIR
Scott Reid ~ Conservative
MP for Lanark – Frontenac – Kingston
@ScottReidCPC

Gérard Deltell ~ Conservative
Député de Louis-Saint-Laurent à la Chambre des communes
@gerarddeltell

Hon. Jason Kenney ~ Conservative
Member of Parliament for Calgary Midnapore
@jkenney

VICE CHAIR

Nathan Cullen ~ NDP critic for Democratic Reform and Environment & Climate Change
Member of Parliament for Skeena-Bulkley Valley
@nathancullen

Alexandre Boulerice ~ NDP
Député de Rosemont La Petite-Patrie
@alexboulerice

For the ERRE Committee Meetings I’ve seen,
Daniel Blaikie has been sitting in for Alexandre Boulerice
but I’m not sure if this is temporary or permanent.

Daniel Blaikie ~ NDP
Member of Parliament for Elmwood — Transcona
@Daniel_Blaikie

Elizabeth May ~ Leader of Green Party,
Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands
@ElizabethMay

Luc Thériault ~ Bloc Québécois
Député de Montcalm et leader parlementaire du Bloc Québécois
@LucTerjo1


The Committee will present its findings to the MINISTER of Democratic Institutions 
Maryam Monsef ~ Liberal
Member of Parliament for Peterborough—Kawartha
@MaryamMonsef


ERRE Special Committee on Electoral Reform meetings in Ottawa that had been broadcast live by CPAC (on local cable station, Parlvu and still available to watch on CPAC) and some #ERRE #Q questions posed on Twitter by WRGreens by @SamNabi and @laurelrusswurm.  If you use twitter, use the #ERRE #Q hashtag for anything you want the committee to consider.

The Committee will also be travelling throughout Canada to meet with Canadians during the consultation period.  All MPs are encouraged to hold Town Hall meetings with citizens in their respective ridings.  I’ve heard the ERRE Committee will be making a Consultation stop once in Waterloo Region in the third week in August, but as yet nothing official. But should be 5 Electoral Reform Town Halls scheduled in the WRGreens Electoral Districts:

Everyone should contact their local MPs constituency office for details of these events.  Because the time line is so tight, it is important these be scheduled very soon.

We have begun planning a #WRAwesome #PR4PR event to help raise awareness and answer questions about Proportional Representation for people in Waterloo Region.

Mo, David, Sam, Julia, Richard, Bob (and Laurel behind the camera)
Mo, David, Sam, Julia, Richard, Bob (with Laurel behind the camera)

If your MP is not making any move to hold a town hall, or if you are concerned that your MP may not support Proportional Representation, please visit our Push for Proportional Representation Action page (offline).  If you are outside Waterloo Region, please feel free to use our ideas.

[For more info check out PR 4 Canada Resources]