Re: Privacy is about 50% of the OVC mission

From: JamBoi <jamboi_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Wed Apr 27 2005 - 01:09:05 CDT

Its really extremely simple, but if I expanded it into a fuller
statement I'd say:
A Secret Ballot honestly counted

(and with the results actually inacted, but that goes beyond this

= democracy.

But for maximum impact I'm happy to go with my original:

A Secret Ballot = Democracy

The Secret Ballot is an aspect that political scientists (such as
myself) uphold to be vitally important.
"During the 1890s, in an effort to encourage men to vote freely, many
states adopted the secret ballot, which made it impossible for party
bosses to intimidate voters by monitoring voting habits. The secret
ballot also made it possible for voters to split their tickets, or to
select candidates from different parties on the same ballot."

The precise way you get the "honestly counted" aspect is an
"implementation detail" as we call it in the software industry. Your
suggestion for a specific solution of "honestly counted" is extremely
laudable and likely one of the few practical ways to achieve it.
That's why I had very similar language in my PROPOSAL FOR MINIMAL
E-VOTING STANDARDS. However when you're trying to make an argument and
have maximum impact, its helpful to trim the words to a minimum. Yes,
its kinda icky that everything gets reduced to a slogan, but that is
life. The way to make impactful statements that effectively reverberate
in the political arena is to keep them brief.


--- Teresa Hommel <> wrote:
> Secret ballot = less vote selling and voter coercion.
> Appropriate multipartisan non-technical citizen observation of every
> aspect of election procedure including vote-recording and
> vote-counting
> = democracy.
> JamBoi wrote:
> >Secret Ballot is vital to real democracy. Its simple: Secret Ballot
> =
> >Democracy
> >
> >JamBoi
> >
> >--- David Mertz <> wrote:
> >
> >
> >>"Edmund R. Kennedy" <> wrote:
> >>|It took many years for me to realize that the only way to deal
> with
> >>|this is to try and live my life in a blameless way and to be
> >>comfortable
> >>|with who I am, warts and all.
> >>
> >>I wonder if Ed would be equally happy to give up his right to a
> >>secret
> >>ballot on the same grounds that he has "nothing to hide?" We could
> >>just
> >>have every voter sign a witnessed affidavit that s/he intended to
> >>vote
> >>for such-and-such candidates to authenticate voters.
> >>
> >>A whole lot of what OVC is about is *protecting privacy*
> >>(specifically,
> >>vote anonymity)... it sure seems strange for an OVC'er to start
> >>arguing
> >>we ought to give up the illusion of privacy, and just do things we
> >>don't
> >>mind people knowing about.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >JamBoi
> >
> >"Live humbly, laugh often and love unconditionally" (anon)
> >
> >
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Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:16 2005

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