back to article US election: New Jersey email voting plan 'best of bad bunch'

Security watchers have given a lukewarm backing to plans by New Jersey authorities to allow email voting for residents of the state left displaced by Superstorm Sandy. New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno issued a directive on Saturday permitting voters to download absentee ballots before returning them by either email …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, but they vote once every two years. Get off the couch, waddle your way to the polling place and do your civic duty you lazy so and so's.

    Google "People of Walmart" for pics of average Americans in action.

    1. Comments are attributed to your handle

      Every four years, but nice try.

      1. Eddy Ito

        "Every four years, but nice try."

        Whoops, swing and a miss. Congress is two years, Senate is six years and the President is four years. Let's also not forget that state and local elections can be every year in some locations and I've lived in places where it was about every six months for very local town matters and that frankly gets a bit annoying.

        1. Comments are attributed to your handle

          "Whoops, swing and a miss."

          Fine, you can be pedantic about it. But if no one can agree on the number to begin with, then the original post that I initially responded to is incorrect as well.

          1. Eddy Ito

            Re: "Whoops, swing and a miss."

            Nothing pedantic about it, just saying it like it is. You're the one who made the call on the carpet and was being pedantic. You can try blaming it on a lack of specificity regarding federal elections but in the fifty states there are roughly 468 (technically it's 468 1/3) federal officials elected every two years and it gets bumped all the way up to 470 every four years. Also, you can guarantee an election every two years in every State but there might not be one every year inasmuch as each State, county, parish, city, district, town, village or unincorporated location gets to set their own internal election schedules. Sure, you can technically guarantee an election every four years as well given it's a multiple of two but then that doesn't make it any more correct than saying there is an election every 20 years.

          2. Tom 13

            Re: Fine, you can be pedantic about it.

            It is as pedantic a point as a 'Merkin calling the Queen "Mrs. Prime Minister".

          3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: "Whoops, swing and a miss."

            if no one can agree on the number to begin with

            I think you'll find that many of us can, in fact, agree on the number. You were wrong. Stop wriggling.

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Congress is two years, Senate is six years

          While we're being pedantic, the Senate is part of Congress. It's the House of Representatives that has two-year terms.

          (I was also going to note that local elections of various sorts often mean that people have the opportunity to vote in many years when there's no Federal election, but I see you mentioned that in a followup. There have been years when I've voted in two separate elections - though for economic reasons they've now changed the rules to try to have no more than one election a year, around these parts. And, of course, there are sometimes special elections, for example due to recall petitions.)

    2. JDB

      read the story, or at least pay attention to the news

      The problem isn't that they're lazy, it's that a ton of NJ infrastructure has been trashed by hurricane Sandy. People have been displaced and relocated, and some areas are just starting to get power back. Pay attention.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Typo - I think you meant "wade" to the polling place - and use the electronic voting machine that is under water

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let them do it once

    and you'll never be allowed to vote again.

  3. The Axe
    Thumb Up


    Well done for putting up a correction in a prominent manner Reg. Unlike many other media organisations.

  4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    More discussion in RISKS

    This issue, and others relating to the election, were discussed at more length in RISKS. But I hardly need to mention that, since everyone smart enough to read the Register also reads RISKS, right?

    Of course, as it happened, it looks like most results of the election are not going to be subject to challenges. But the issues raised about email voting, DRE voting, unverified software on Ohio machines, etc, all remain pertinent. Even under a hand-counted secret-physical-ballot system we can have only partial confidence in the integrity of the election, of course; and while there are protocols for secure vote verification (such as Rivest's ThreeBallot), they're too complicated for the electorate. (We're talking, in some cases, about people who have trouble selecting the candidate they want from two choices on a mark-sense paper ballot.)

    But physical ballots at least permits a manual recount - and they permit multiple recounts, and public recounts, and other protocols that significantly prune the attack tree and increase the work factor for attackers. Electronic voting greatly increases the probability of both accidental and malicious failures.

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