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18 Oct 2020  (501 Views) 
Political systems

How to replace postal voting in America
Due to safe distancing during the covid-19 pandemic, most states in America allow advance voting by mail.

This has caused a big problem with the US postal service. It also introduces the possibility of voting fraud. It is easy for the mail in votes to be tampered.  For example, duplicate of the voting slips could be printed and used by fraudsters.

It may be possible to scan the voting slip ID to ensure that the same ID is not used several times. 

Most probably, the votes will have to be scanned into the computer system. Can the system be hacked and the results altered?

Is there a better way to handle the voting by mail?

Here is my suggestion. 

There is already the process for the voter to register to vote. This registration has to pass through a verification process. After verification, the voter can be assigned an unique voter ID. The registration should include the unique mobile phone number of the voter.

The majority of voters can provide a mobile phone number. Those who are very poor might not have a mobile phone. They can be dealt separately.

I would assume that 90% of voters can provide the number. 

When it is time to vote, I would send a link with the unique voter ID to the mobile phone of the voter. The voter can click on the link to cast the vote online. 

The vote will be sent to three separate database servers under the control of three independent parties. The individual votes from the three separate databases will be compared. Only when they results match can the vote be treated as valid.

This is to prevent fraudulent alteration of the votes after it has been submitted. It would be impossible for the hacker to access three separate database and make the same alteration to the votes.

It might be possible for one database to be hacked and the votes altered. The other two database will show the same results that are different from the hacked database. The actual result can be taken from the databases that showed the consistent results.

The extent of the hacking and fraudulent alternation can be measured. It is likely to be negligible.

The voters who are not able to vote electronically can be handled by in-person voting. 

When the majority of the votes can be handled electronically, the voting process can be handled more efficiently and the results can be trusted better.

Do you agree with my approach?

Tan Kin Lian

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