Gremlins in the Electronic Voting Machine: For a Right to Vote Analogously

Voting machines offer convenience. They economise infrastructure and potentially increase voter turnout. Yet, we are trading in information security, a bad deal for democracy indeed. I propose a right a vote analogously, using pen and paper. The machines may suffer technical failure, changing data. Implanting malware or hacking the network can compromise the vote tally. The ODNI concluded that Russia tried to influence the 2016 US election without tampering with the results; still, some experts claim a tendency of defeat for Clinton in counties which used electronic voting machines. Also, they breach the voting principle of publicity. An election must be public to ensure ex post verifiability without special technical knowledge, as the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled in 2009. Electronic voting machines jeopardise democracy. Voters do not need to trust the technical integrity of an electronic system. They do need a right to vote analogously.