While needing to take time to absorb the full 68 page report, the Open Rights observation team’s findings of crashes, display errors and poor security aren’t encouraging. Perhaps the problem is that “E-voting is a ‘black box system’, where the mechanisms for recording and tabulating the vote are hidden from the voter. This makes public scrutiny impossible, and leaves statutory elections open to error and fraud.”
As a rule of thumb, open standards win out over closed systems: a ‘black box’ might look like the thing to invest in, but time & again an open, transparent approach wins out. While I’m no fan of the Government Gateway, it does work: millions submit tax returns and pay VAT through its login. It handles significant peaks in activity around tax deadlines.
And the eGU’s mission is:
“The e-Government Unit (eGU) is the largest unit in the Cabinet Office. We are responsible for
- formulating information technology (IT) strategy and policy
- developing common IT components for use across government
- promoting best practice across government
- delivering citizen-centred online services”
Which begs the question, if it’s good enough to handle money, why would we need a different user identification system for voting?