MOVE.BG online lecture: “What is e-voting, and is it safe?”

Dr. Robert Cremer, teacher, researcher, author of dozens of articles related to technology and management of e-government, held for the first time an online lecture on Bulgaria on Monday.

От МOVE.BG, публикувана на 8 февруари 2014

 Robert-KrimmerDr. Robert Cremer, teacher, researcher, author of dozens of articles related to technology and management of e-government, held for the first time an online lecture on Bulgaria on Monday. Cremer has held the position of Principle Adviser on New Voting Technologies for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Poland, where they are responsible for the preparation, editing and publishing the methodology for compliance on the new technology in e-voting.

Dr. Cremer has won numerous awards, including Highest Potential, a Scientific Award awarded by the BMW Group, Best International Student Management and others.

He is a member of the Citizens of Vienna Club, and the Austrian and German computer information technology communities. He has written academic papers on the themes: ‘Evolution of e-voting’ and ‘Why do we use technology to vote and how does it affect you?’ Cremer is a contributor to the International Journal of e-Government and is the author of dozens of educational articles including ‘Promoting e-democracy,’ ‘Two Sides of Internet voting - pros and cons,’ and ‘The coming of electronic democracy.’ Cremer is also taking an active part in the e-Government seminar at the 16th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems in Amsterdam.

All of your questions related to the technology and the security of electronic voting can be asked during the online lecture on our site.

In recent weeks, MOVE.BG organized a series of debates and discussions on topics related to the majority and the proportional electoral system and the Bulgarian voters. The series on the theme continued with the first online lecture by Dr. Robert Cremer, an expert on electronic voting, which was live stream broadcasted on Monday, February 10th at 19:00.

How secure is electronic voting and what is it? How long did it take for Estonia to go from the idea of e-government to optimizing the process? What are the main principles of e-voting? Is it possible for the vote to be manipulated via the Internet and who votes when they click on the e-ballot? The lecture by Dr. Cremer answers these questions and more, and can be found here:

Summary of the Lecture by Dr. Cremer:

Electronic voting requires trust in the system, but with the online vote there is no way to see the whole process so trust is difficult says Dr. Cremer. He defines the process as: the use of electronic digits on the introduced symbols and to collect the voices of the voters through communications technology. E-voting is based on the unique identification of the voice while maintaining the privacy of the vote, he added. Cremer pointed to the differences between electronic voting in Russia and Venezuela, and gave the U.S. as a good example of combining several types of voting that gives the public accessibility and convenience.

Through the course of the lecture there were clear reasons why electronic voting is preferable - it gives a larger part of society an opportunity to express their vote, creates convenience for people with disabilities, is more accessible and faster for the average person because we live in the Internet world, and according to Cremer we should not underestimate the fact that being e-savvy has a positive impact on a country’s image. There are two types of electronic voting: By stationary voting machine and through the Internet. He explained that the online vote is more complicated because it is necessary to separate the identification of individuals by their vote. Seven key principles became clear on e-voting: the secrecy of the vote, the equal integration of polling results, universality of transparency in the conduct of voting, accountability and public confidence. Dr. Cremer is clear that this kind of vote does not build trust, but requires it. It follows that the process of the integration of the electronic voting process is ‘step by step’ and time consuming.

On the question tied to the ability to manipulate the vote, Cremer was clear that voting by hard copy ballot is much easier to influence an individual vote, but it is difficult en masse. On the other hand voting online makes it much more difficult to manipulate an individual vote, but if manipulation occurs it can lead to the manipulation of a large number of votes.

Dr. Cremer said that his idea of working with electronic voting occurred spontaneously in 1999 while studying at the University of Vienna. At this time was developing and people were increasingly buying books online, prompting experts to think that electronic voting would be easy, although this was subsequently proved far from the case.

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