Low voter turn out in the recent New Zealand local government elections has reignited the debate about e-voting.
By chance, Coursera is currently offering a course titled ‘Securing Digital Democracy’ which aims to teach what every citizen should know about the security risks–and future potential — of electronic voting and Internet voting.
The course stared on the 7th of October so there may still be a chance to catch up on the course material. I have already signed up and will pass on any key learning’s as the course progresses.
Securing Digital Democracy – About the Course
Computer technology has transformed how we participate in democracy. The way we cast our votes, the way our votes are counted, and the way we choose who will lead are increasingly controlled by invisible computer software. Most U.S. states have adopted electronic voting, and countries around the world are starting to collect votes over the Internet. However, computerized voting raises startling security risks that are only beginning to be understood outside the research lab, from voting machine viruses that can silently change votes to the possibility that hackers in foreign countries could steal an election. This course will provide the technical background and public policy foundation that 21st century citizens need to understand the electronic voting debate. You’ll learn how electronic voting and Internet voting technologies work, why they’re being introduced, and what problems they aim to solve. You’ll also learn about the computer- and Internet-security risks these systems face and the serious vulnerabilities that recent research has demonstrated. We’ll cover widely used safeguards, checks, and balances — and why they are often inadequate. Finally, we’ll see how computer technology has the potential to improve election security, if it’s applied intelligently. Along the way, you’ll hear stories from the lab and from the trenches on a journey that leads from Mumbai jail cells to the halls of Washington, D.C. You’ll come away from this course understanding why you can be confident your own vote will count — or why you should reasonably be skeptical.