For values of "terrified little boy" ...
... that includes "lying sack of shit".
How anyone can defend the idiot in chief and maintain a straight face at this point is beyond me.
Faced with an obvious falsehood pushed on its platform by a politician seeking re-election, Facebook has finally taken action... in the most grudging, useless way imaginable. On Tuesday, Donald Trump, for it was him, again, posted the message, “Mail-In Voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT …
Step 1) tell your supporters that the virus is a hoax, it is just the flu, etc. so they discount it
Step 2) block any expansion of mail-in voting so people have to show up at the polls to vote
Step 3) the little old ladies who man polling stations will refuse to work them, leading to fewer voting stations and much longer lines
Step 4) his supporters don't fear getting sick and stand shoulder to shoulder for hours without a mask to vote
Step 5) those who listen to the doctors will not be nearly as willing to stand in those lines
Step 6) he wins a second term and doesn't care that some of his supporters ended up dead from their choice to vote for him
There is no need to wonder, it's been obvious for a very long time.
You are missing a few other elements but the ones you did include are correct.
If there is one actual skill that this man possesses it is in finding and manipulating gullible, not particularly intelligent people to serve his personal interests.
He certainly hasn't the slightest concern for anyone's interests but his own.
Is that you're assuming that President Trump actually has the inclination or capacity to make plans.
In 2016 he did very well connecting with voters who didn't like or trust Hillary Clinton. Since being elected he's left the Paris climate agreement, the WHO, cancelled a nuclear proliferation treaty or two and shouted from the side-lines.
Where he's failed is on everything that needs planning: health care, North Korea, his response to Covid. Trump does not have the discipline or intellectual staying power to do anything long-term. Does he have the ability to gerrymander this election? No.
Does he have the ability to gerrymander this election? No
He doesn't need to, and hence he doesn't need to be capable of doing so.
Mitch McConnell and his cronies were busy keeping the Democratic rabble away from the voting booths for years already before Trump managed to get his orange ass into the White House.
Is that Mitch McConnel has that kind of power.
Elections are the responsibility of the state in the US. In some states (Wisconsin, Georgia, etc) there is significant voter suppression of minority voters, but in most states that's not the case.
There is also the problem that you can only suppress so much. Biden is tied with Trump for support amongst white men and beating him amongst every other group. Republicans can target black and Hispanic voters but their court suppression tactics don't work if you're not winning white voters. The is still time for trump to reverse this if he's disciplined and has a plan but, as I said above, he's neither of those things...
"Their influence doesn't stop at the federal level."
Correct. Honestly, the smartest thing that the Republicans did in 2010 was to divert a lot of their resources to winning state races. The decennial census tells the states how many residents they have, which translates into how many congressional districts they have. It's then up to the states (within certain broad requirements) to draw up the districts however they want. In states where a bipartisan - or, ideally, NONpartisan - committee has that responsibility, districts are generally distributed so that they match the overall voting characteristics. In states where districts are drawn by, say, a committee hand-picked by the head of a legislative house, where it can be packed with members of the dominant party, the districts can be warped and stretched so that it becomes virtually impossible for all but the most heavily-concentrated opposition areas to elect anyone but the party in power's candidates. (Software that can identify voting patterns down to individual precincts and draw districts that best meet whatever criteria one chooses have made this process MUCH more efficient in recent years.)
Add to that the fact that, once a party gets that sort of a hammerlock on the electoral process, they are in a better position to ALSO limit the number of polling places and otherwise disenfranchise voters in the areas that they can't outright gerrymander out of existence, and it gets even uglier
Every state has a relatively low key position in its administration called the Secretary of State. This job isn't like the Federal one of the same name that manages foreign relations, it just deals with administrative trivia. Including the conduct of elections. This post was for many years regarded as a non-partisan backwater, an important job but outside the melee of partisan politics. Its now one of the most important jobs because this one dictates who gets to vote, how the get to vote, when they get to vote and how those votes are counted.
Where he's failed is on everything that needs planning
Like: running casinos, running golf courses, running business generally, running a 'university'. IN fact, running anything that involves brainwork, hard work and decency.
I don't know if it's true but surely if he just banked the money left to him or given to him (sometimes illegally) he would have more money now than he currently does (even at his own inflated self-worth).
And why won't he publish his tax returns like previous presidents have? I can only think of two reasons - either they will show that he really doesn't have as much money as he says he does or they will reveal clear indications of criminal or illegal activities (like using campaign funds to silence people for example). Either of which would be deeply embarrasing or lead to criminal charges.
Personally, I've always assumed that he will not release his tax returns because they would show (once shell companies and obfuscating banking records were worked through) that Trump owes hundreds of millions to Russian oligarchs.
Trump, like nearly all real estate developers, borrowed funding to execute projects... until 2006. That year the Trump Organization paid $12.6 million in cash for a Scottish estate. The cash purchases continued right up until his run for President in 2016.
Eric Trump claimed that the Trump Org had so much income it could accommodate these purchases, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. But is that so? In 2008, the Trump Organization defaulted on a $649 million loan from Deutschebank. If the organization's cash flow was so strong, why risk default?
Possible answer: because those cash purchases were not from Trump Org's finances, but from loans from Russia, laundered through Cayman Island LLCs and Israeli banks (or through any of a long list of locales friendly to shady banking). The money appeared as "cash" only because its origin was hidden.
Of course, in the Russian kleptocracy, Putin enjoys top spot. If Putin were to say "Заставь его вернуть деньги" -- "Make him pay back the money" -- then the Russian bankers would call in the loan, and a certain amount of sh*t would hit the American political fan.
Which explains not only why Trump will not release his tax returns, but also why he treats Putin and Russia with such deference.
You're assuming that I was thinking Trump came up with the idea himself. Of course not, he's far too much of a mental midget to have any plan behind his actions.
But he has people around him that are at least as sociopathic as he is, who are unfortunately also quite clever such as Steven Miller, to come up with these sorts of evil plans.
Aside from the number of infections - which is rising in most states, his handling of Covid has been terrible.
Teaching - schools and uni's have been closed since mid-March. Of course he's now pushing the re-opening of schools and in-classroom teaching. His official line is Covid is just like the flu.
Going into September - October with schools still closed and the number of infections increasing monotonically, how does that look at the ballot box?
I feel very little (read: zero) sympathy for his supporters. He was a known pathological liar in 2016, and they still voted for him. They will still vote for him in November. A bit late to have an epiphany now and start complaining about being misled.
I don't care if his supporters end up infecting each other with Covid because they refuse to wear a mask and don't observe social distancing rules. Follow his model. He is your Leader. Go visit Texas, or Florida. Two of the first states to declare "Covid is over!" back in May. Now they're running out of ICU beds in hospitals. Don't wear a mask, and pretend it's just the flu. Go to Covid parties to get infected on purpose, wearing a MAGA hat. In their world, it's patriotic and a celebration of freedom.
You missed the most important item of all:
No form of identity is required to get a Postal vote in the USA.
You may hate Trump but what he says is correct, until a right to vote can be proven the dead, illegals, multiple voters etc can all get to vote.
This is not false news it is false and corrupt democracy.
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"No form of identity is required to get a Postal vote in the USA."
Incorrect. One has to be a registered voter to get an absentee ballot. So what SelfDriver is inadvertently actually saying (probably out of intentional ignorance on the subject (and it's allowed to vote‽‽‽ THAT should be a crime ...)) is that all ballots should be considered suspect, not just the postal ones. P'raps the idiot-in-chief should look into that instead ...
Besides, if voting by mail is all that bad, why does Trump himself vote by mail? You're not saying your hero is a hypocrite, are you?
The winner of the election becomes President for the next term at noon on January 20th, regardless of who may or may not be having a tantrum over the results. He can't actually use his presidential powers until he recites the the presidential Oath of Office, but he is the president at high noon, regardless.
I rather suspect that the Secret Service (who provide physical security for the Whitehouse Complex) will have no difficulty removing squatters and any other vermin, should it become necessary.
Unfortunately they are so emotionally invested in the illusion he represents that they are extremely fact-resistant and prone to impressively deeply-nested levels of rationalizations. So those numbers of "core" followers are not dropping as fast as you might think.
The so-called "independents" that voted for him, however, are declining noticeably lately.
The risk is tiny if the use of mail in ballots is limited, like it has been in the past. If it becomes widespread and common the risk increases exponentially. Because how hard is it to steal ballots from mailboxes in a certain (predominantly democrat or republican) area, if only one in 100 or less mailboxes contains one, versus stealing them from the mailboxes in an area when EVERY SINGLE MAILBOX will contain those ballots at the same time? In the US system, preventing people from voting for one candidate helps the other. Spoil enough democrat (or GOP) ballots and the other party wins. You don't NEED to get valid votes for your own guy, you just need to make sure your guy gets more votes.
It's not just about people filling in ballots that do belong to them, ballots "accidentally" getting lost in the mail system (before voting or after voting before counting) just long enough for them to arrive after the cut-off date will effectively "spoil" them.
Read this: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/17/nyregion/election-absentee-ballots-primary.html
Then tell me how the chaos the mail-in voting is causing in just New York is NOT conducive to fraud or "influencing" of voting results. Imagine this happening for the full presidential election throughout the US!
Voting fraud is rare and doesn't happen, yet there's cases like this: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-philadelphia-judge-elections-convicted-conspiring-violate-civil-rights-and-bribery
Voting fraud is rare and doesn't happen, yet theres over a 1000 proven cases: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/docs/pacei-voterfraudcases.pdf
A lot of them involving absentee (mail in) ballots.
How much fraud is acceptable? It's easy to understand that mail-in voting is easier to manipulate, spoiling ballots by not delivering them or not counting them, declaring them spoiled when their not, declaring them valid when they should be spoiled, etc. So if mail in voting is easier to corrupt, why should you want it?
The fact the DEMOCRATS are pushing for it so hard should give you pause. Because it's NOT proven (and shame on you el-reg for pushing this) that it benefits the democrats. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/25/us/vote-by-mail-coronavirus.html
Even if all cases of fraud get detected imagine this scenario:
The votes are in, and after a tumultuous 3 months a winner finally emerges from the counts. However a fraud case emerges in 2 states, putting a few hundred thousand votes into doubt. The margins were slim, the opponent (whoever that is) questions the results and demands a recount, with all the fraudulent votes removed. Recounting happens, another month later more another fraud case is detected, this time spoiling another few thousand ballots. More lost time, more uncertainty. Meanwhile the protests over the result turn to riots (like certain other ongoing "protests" in the US). Doubt is cast over million of other votes. Some say they are valid, some say they aren't. Riots break out, sides are choses. Either side claims the other side was the most fraudulent. At some point one side (doesn't matter if it's the winner or the loser, doesn't matter if it's the incumbent or the challenger) claims they MUST be the legitimate winner. And the other side disagrees.
What then? What happens? Does a supreme court ruling calm things down? Unlikely at that point. You're looking at civil war at that point!
Mail in voting will cause absolute chaos and will make voting in the US even more of a shitshow than it already is. I'm not sure however if NOT having mail in voting would make it LESS of a shitshow either..
uhuh, we'll talk again after the elections, and see who was right. I honestly hope the US manages to get it's shit together, but I doubt it.
I know the truth is somewhere in the middle, but there's a reason most of the world tries to limit mai-in voting to a minimum.
The only person pushing the narrative of mail vote fraud in the US is Donald J. Trump. Without an iota of evidence.
He even established a Commission in 2017 to study his pervasive voter fraud in the US claim. And come up with a report that would please him. Packed it with supporters. They disbanded after about a year and a half without ever producing a report of any kind. Chris Kobach was the chairman of that commission.
Why are you pushing the same narrative? If you have proof of mail voter fraud in the US, please provide it here. Once you provide that proof it won't be a narrative any longer, it will be fact.
If you don't have proof - which is what I suspect is the case - you're just pushing an extreme-right narrative with no basis in fact. Why are you pushing it?
Law and order, pervasive voter fraud, national security, xenophobia, nationalism, exaggerated patriotism, these are all defining narratives pushed by demagogues aspiring to establish a right-wing authoritarian regime. Some of them succeeded. Why are you falling for it?
Uhhhmmm, so anyone that doesn't push the same narrative as the mainstream media is by definition far right? Have you bothered reading the links I provided? Sure limited amount of cases, usually small scale, but it proves the basis to be able to do it is there and that mail in voting is susceptible to it.
As to your other list:
Law and Order (sure, in a controlled and well defined way, but that's just a political right wing thing, not extreme right).
Pervasive voter fraud, I never claimed PERVASIVE now did I? I claimed that it's there! And how much voter fraud is acceptable? 0.1%, 1%, 10%? I claim we should aim for as little as possible and mail in voting doesn't mesh well with that. Changing to mail in voting at the last minute without years to prepare for it's deployment on a massive scale is just asking for trouble. Even if it's not downright fraud and honest mistakes, it's problematic.
National security, again, just right wing, not just extreme right wing. Certainly not just fascist
Xenophobia, not even involved
nationalism, I'm not even FROM the US, and nothing wrong with a limited amount of nationalism. Again, right wing thing, not just fascist
exaggerated patriotism, again, I'm not from the US. Certainly doesn't follow from my posting here.
And lastly. ALL those things need to apply, only the voting fraud problem is under discussion, and nothing I've said points to my thinking it's pervasive or rigged.
So again, please point me to any statement that shows I'm a demagogue or fascist. Just because I happen to agree to some degree with Trump doesn't mean I agree with everything he says or does. Just because I agree to some degree with ANYTHING doesn't mean I'm fully aligned with that group. Just because I think mail in voting is a bad idea if applied on a large scale and that there is evidence the system is open to abuse in the US doesn't mean I'm a fascist!
> I'm not from the US.
Are you an expert on US politics?
If Yes, I'm genuinely interested in learning how you reached your conclusion regarding voter fraud in the US. There's gotta be some URL's somewhere that you can share. US voter fraud sounds like a pretty interesting topic of research for a political scientist.
If No, WTF are you talking about?
Does my background matter in this? I've provided links to support most of my claims. Have you bothered looking at the links I provided already?
Are YOU an expert in US politics? If No, WTF are YOU talking about? (And no, just being from the US doesn't make you an expert in US politics.)
> Does my background matter in this?
Yes, it does. Are you speaking as a subject matter expert, or are you just opining.
> I've provided links to support most of my claims.
You provided a link to a political analysis document written by The Heritage Foundation claiming 1071 - one thousand and seventy-one - fraudulent votes out of slightly more than 130 million votes cast in 2016. Your point is?
The other links you provided aren't political analysis documents. They are opinion articles.
Being from the US certainly gives me significantly more insight into US politics than you would ever get as a pure spectator from far away.
I don't opine on UK voter fraud. I don't live there, I don't vote there. And I'm not a subject matter expert on UK politics or the UK voting system. I don't really know how the UK political system works in real life, save for some generalities I learned in school and at uni. And some personal observations I made - purely as a spectator - while I lived there. And what I read in the media. None of these make me an expert. So, as a distant observer of UK politics, I refrain from pretending that I am an Internet UK politics expert.
"how much voter fraud is acceptable?"
None. But that's misdirection, and you know it.
The real questions are: How much will make a difference in any major election, and is that much likely, given the current operating methodology behind vote by mail?
The answers are lots more than has happened, and no. The fraud is far too easily detected, and the potential fraudsters know it (a few two-bit crooks notwithstanding ... and they always get caught anyway).
"The answers are lots more than has happened, and no"
Again, read this article https://www.npr.org/2020/07/13/889751095/signed-sealed-undelivered-thousands-of-mail-in-ballots-rejected-for-tardiness?t=1595405926137&t=1595410783748
Or this: https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/07/13/mail-in-votes-uncounted-californias-primary/
Or this: https://www.typeinvestigations.org/investigation/2020/06/18/as-states-struggle-with-vote-by-mail-many-thousands-if-not-millions-of-ballots-could-go-uncounted-in-november/
Now scale all those individual state election results up to national level. It USED to be about 1% of ballots were rejected. In the recent elections, in some districts it goes as high as 9 or even 14%. The last few US elections have all been rather close races. Lets say that with no fraud involved but the chaos ensuing from doing mail in votes on such an unprecedented scale, 2% of the votes get rejected. In 2016 that would have made the race too close to call in terms of popular vote and it could have swung the vote in terms of outcome in several states. So is it a good idea? ANY fraud gets added on top of this.
Is mail-in voting really a good idea? Especially considering the short notice with which politicians want to roll it out on such a large scale?
Pervasive voter fraud, I never claimed PERVASIVE now did I?
The votes are in, and after a tumultuous 3 months a winner finally emerges from the counts. However a fraud case emerges in 2 states, putting a few hundred thousand votes into doubt.
Username checks out.
a few hundred thousand votes, over a few hundred million... Not exactly pervasive now is it.
(Claims of) Pervasive voter fraud, in that comment, as related to Fascism, is about rigging elections so that the vast majority of votes are false and the outcome of the election is rigged, or claims to that effect. I have made no such claims. I'm also not saying in that hypothetical case those "few hundred thousand" votes are ACTUALLY fraudulent, but that doubt is cast on them. Investigation would be required, it might turn out all of them are valid. But in that situation you don't know. It causes delays that the current US social structure might not handle very well.
Worth remembering that (as pointed out in TFA), in the US, the entire election can hinge on a single state.
For example, in 2000, Bush won Florida (and thus the presidency) by 537 votes*, which is in the realm of being a plausible amount of votes to tamper with, across an entire state.
To put it simply, vote tampering in US elections doesn't have to be pervasive to get results. A well targeted campaign could theoretically skew things with less than a thousand altered votes. Assuming of course that the 'real' votes are close enough to allow that.
*(After recounts and all sorts of legal back and forth)
"If you don't have proof - which is what I suspect is the case - you're just pushing an extreme-right narrative with no basis in fact. Why are you pushing it?"
The Donald has proof... someone trying to claim a Florida vote while living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC
"Without an iota of evidence."
others also exist - this was one of the top results in a google search for "mail vote fraud evidence US", that wasn't a "snopes" or biased "fact check" site...
What's wrong with Snopes, bob?
If you know of any factual errors in their analysis, please share them with us. I'm sure we'll all be absolutely riveted.
Note: Actual errors only, please. "They disagree with my opinion" isn't an error.
Please note that every single one of the voter fraud examples that bob has so helpfully pointed out to us were caught before they could do any damage to the integrity of an election.
Shirley you should be applauding the process, not denigrating a portion of it, bob.
The future is not written, and the public is fickle. We shall indeed see.
One thing I can guarantee, though, is that spouting massive quantities of speculation here on ElReg will have absolutely no bearing on the outcome of the election. Not a single one of us is going to change the vote of any of the rest of us. May as well save everybody some bandwidth & simply point out the illogic as it occurs .... strictly for amusement value, mind.
Beer and popcorn's on me for the duration ... it's going to be a long four months, we may as well enjoy ourselves.
"For the benefit of us folks in the UK could you please explain what a hanging chad is and why it matters."
This applies only to the 2000 election. Chads are small round pieces of paper that are meant to be punched out of a paper ballot. The voter selects the choice, the corresponding hole is punched, the chad falls away, and the ballot with its hole can be counted automatically. The problem occurred because some machines failed to completely punch through the paper, meaning that the selected hole was not fully opened. The chad remained partially attached to the ballot, hanging there. This caused problems because the counting machines sometimes failed to count those ballots correctly.
Worth noting that in the UK, the norm is for a letterbox to be in the front door of a house, so as soon as the postie pops the letter in, it's inside your house and pretty difficult to steal. It's rare for a letter box to b accessible to anyone except the owner.
As far as I know, in the US it's more common to have an easily opened box by the kerb. (Which seems ridiculously insecure to me, but whatever).
A very informative ( and correct) posting. The more ballots that are mailed the more fraud that will occur. Generally speaking, if anyone wants a mail-in ballot all they have to do is request one with the reason that they are physically unable to vote in person, or that they will be out of town (not able to go to the appropriate polling place) on election day. By requiring the potential voter to request a mail-in ballot this allows the Election office to verify the requesters valid registration.
They are. The results of elections have been very carefully analysed and there have been a number of studies that conclude the risk is fucking tiny.
So you agree with Trump that an increase in mail in votes will lead to '...the MOST CORRUPT election in our nations history...'
This is the issue I have with all these 'truth checkers' - they seldom seem to be actually checking what was said and instead going off an OMG interpretation
Vote fraud exists. The only people who don't think it's a risk are Democrats who hope to benefit from the system. I would also point out that with elections being state affairs and often decided by a small percentage of voters, fraud should be on the minds of all. There is also the issue of ballot "helping" meaning that votes may not be secret. Both of these are good reasons not to allow massive vote by mail.
We don't need another Bush v Gore case this election. As whoever wins will be considered illegitimate by about half the population.
The ballot is closely tied to the elector which helps a lot in keeping fraud down. The ballot itself is not easily identifiable but the envelope that its sent in is. It has to bear the signature of the voter and this is matched to the signature in the electoral register. This matching is automatic and is done for every ballot and if anything it errs on the side of caution -- you get a lot of vote by mail ballots discarded because of problems matching the voter to the registration.
I've never voted by mail in the UK but I've done so in the US**; I also have worked a number of elections as a poll worker so I get to see the system up close and personal.
(**I was born in the UK and moved to the US as an adult. I haven't voted in the UK for 30+ years so the system might have changed.)
What is a piece of political bias doing on this website? You're better than this.
"with the Democratic Party and the Democratic presidential candidates, Joe Biden, being the main beneficiaries"
"It shouldn’t really matter but the answer is because the Republican Party, of which Trump is currently a member, has undertaken a concerted, focused and long-running campaign to make it harder for groups that overwhelmingly vote for the rival Democratic Party to take part in America's elections. Most of the most successful efforts revolve around people physically turning up at polling stations – and either not having the required identification or paperwork, or having to wait in line for hours on end. "
Look at the amount of gerrymandering going on and other efforts put forward and you'll find that these campaigns of voting manipulation are not just limited to the GOP, the democrats are just as guilty. They're just usually more sneaky about it and the media are usually talking about it less. Gee, I wonder why?
"While here, it may be worth quickly looking at why the actual President of the United States would post a knowingly false statement about mail-in ballots."
Really? KNOWINGLY false? So this is all bullshit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/docs/pacei-voterfraudcases.pdf or https://www.heritage.org/voterfraud ? There's absolutely no way anyone could influence mail in voting?
65.000 ballots not received on time or downright lost in the mail. All accidental? Who knows! Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. Should the US be taking that risk?
IMHO, Stay out of politics El-Reg! You don't need to pick sides and your choses focus doesn't involve politics. Just don't do it. And if you do it, try not to have such a massive case of Orange Man BAD syndrome. A little more nuance would help.
"Facebook has finally taken action... in the most grudging, useless way imaginable."
Good. Doing this much is too much but they were forced into it. Who gets to decide what is fact or fiction? And since Trumps comments are often assumed to be fiction why do they need flagging?
To see why this is an issue just look to pretty much any information put out on the web even if its limited to just politicians (who are not known for lying /sarc) and pretty much everything has to then be tagged and labelled lie. Except it wont. Because whoever is in charge will want to abuse the situation to label others liers but not themselves.
What it really needs is a huge 'rubber stamp' overlay which plainly and clearly stamps "LIAR!" over offending posts.
But social media companies are too afraid of Trump and his Trumpette followers to do it.
They are such spineless sacks of shit that they won't even stand up and call out lies and liars.
It's not fear of Trump. It's a fear of being seen as anti-freedom of speech by the 'orribly ignorant and fickle GreatUnwashed, causing their eyeballs to bail out of your so-called "service", taking advertising dollars with them.
It's OK to be seen as spineless by intelligent people when you're rolling in the bucks and your major shareholders aren't calling for the Board to be removed ...
I shall probably get massively downvoted for this, BUT:
The way to clear out most of falsehoods, hate-speech and vilification from social media would be reject all posts that are NOT signed with the poster's verified real name. This is how democratically protected free speech should handled on all media.
And please note that whistle-blowing is quite different: its the one place where a genuine complaint should not have its author publicly identified. A truly democratic society would have suitably safeguarded channels for use by whistle-blowers.
Until the above happens I, for one, will not not use so-called social media.
ISTM that it would be pretty simple to design an online voting system that allows people to vote from home (or anywhere with Internet access) that is sufficiently secure to guarantee there is negligible fraud. In fact if designed properly it could detect and/or prevent fraud more effectively than either voting in person or postal voting. This would have huge advantages in that the result could be available immediately that voting closes - although in my opinion publishing real-time scores as voting is taking place would not be a good idea - it would likely result in people who have yet to vote being influenced by the current tally (perhaps jumping on the "winning" bandwagon, or voting for the "underdog").
The advantages of online voting are that no disruption would be caused, and the cost would be far less than organising thousands of polling stations. The convenience of being able to cast an instant vote from almost any location should result in a higher turnout.
The main disadvantage to the government is that when people realise howquick & easy it is to take a national vote, they may demand that the many policies that the government makes unilaterally every month should instead be put to the people in referendums.
I am amazed that you was able to access The Register much less post a comment. You seemed to have NO knowledge of Hackers, Virus programs or even a rudimentary knowledge of the internet. On the list of insecure methods of voting, internet voting must surely be number one.
Why do you believe that? Our online banks and companies such as PayPal manage to avoid massive money manipulation despite the fact that far more hackers are interested in stealing money than in manipulating an election.
Amazon and their ilk have similarly managed to design an online system that has not been hacked so as to allow hackers to make a significant number of fraudulent purchases.
Small time crims steal wallets. Those with vision steal banks. But the true wise guys steal elections.
There are orders of magnitude more at stake in an election than in any particular hack of a website, including a bank. The resources concentrated on such an attack are going to be correspondingly financed, staffed, and executed.
Oh for goodness' sake. If we can manage to have various Internet banking and e-commerce systems that have an acceptably low rate of fraud, it is surely possible to manage a sufficiently secure way to cast a vote?
I can think of several ways to accomplish such a thing off the top of my head.
modifying TCP packets via a "man in the middle" type of attack is trivial (you can study how netfilter does this sort of thing for FTP proxy support as an excellent example of Linux and how it handles these kinds of things, actual packet data editing on-the-fly within a netfilter module). This kind of threat includes SSL if the attack is sophisticated enough, and when it comes to getting certain *kinds* of politicians elected, you can expect botnets to get involved as well. Poisoning DNS "just for that day" when most people cast their votes is another option. And don't forget DDoS attacks and countless other things that could completely mess up an online process.
Somewhat recently I had a voter registration info mailing for someone I'd never met before show up in my mailbox with my address. I sent it back to the registrar of voters with an angry comment about having never met this person, and I double-checked at the polling place to make sure that this person's name was NOT on the list under my address (the volunteers at the polling place were more than happy to assist). Individual people CAN help to stop voter fraud, and this is ONE example of why the existing system makes it better.
Because the Internet was never designed to be secure, has therefore never been secure, and in fact can not be made secure.
So the idea of transferring money via online banking is a non-starter. Or online stockmarket trading. As is the idea of buying goods online.
You appear to believe that the Internet is FAR to insecure to do any of those things.
Sure, we have cases of identity theft, but not enough to be significant to the overall integrity of the system. And identity theft with paper ballots is much easier than it is online - all I need to do is walk into a polling booth and give the name of someone on the electoral register who I know will not be voting. They don't even ask for a password. I can go from polling station to polling station doing so as many times during the day as I can manage.
"So the idea of transferring money via online banking is a non-starter. Or online stockmarket trading. As is the idea of buying goods online."
Yes. I have never done any of the above, and I do not intend to start now. This kind of activity is going to bite a lot of people in the ass/arse. There is far too much money involved, the systems are not secure, and the crooks will eventually take advantage of it. Human nature, innit.
Never forget the immortal words of Willy Sutton, who, when asked why he robbed banks, replied "Because that's where the money is!"
If you don't get the reference, pull your head out & read a bit about the history of Western Civilization and the fitful and uncertain development of government that is, in some meaningful fashion, tied to consent of the governed.
What is being called for in this article is the full-on abrogation of the right to compete in the market of ideas by those _currently_ unacceptable to the author.
Don't assume you won't be next.
I know that when Trump spouts off about drinking bleach as a cure for Covid that enough of the population is going to take him seriously for the manufacturers to issue urgent warnings but in real life only the True Believers think he has anything relevant to say. Zuckerberg's too late to that particular party. What we really need to be careful of is this sort of thing:-
If you read this carefully you'll discover that anyone from certain countries -- Russia, China or Venezuela were the ones cited -- may be trolling you at all times even if its just innocent material about art and music since that's just 'building up censorship'. What this is really angling for is wholesale censorship based on all material not conforming to the approved format and content being listed as 'troll' and so hidden or deleted.
You should always bear in mind that whether or not a corporate entity like Facebook suddenly sees the light about something may be more related to the relative value of the advertising traffic or useful information it yields than any pangs of conscience. Trump's been spending freely on advertising for 2020 but there are signs that people are questioning the efficacy of online advertising compared to more traditional approaches. I know that I've been pegged as a Trumper because of the machine's demographics so I get bombarded with advertising soliciting my support and money but as far as I'm concerned its money down the drain. ("Keep it up!")