“It doesn’t matter who votes, it matters who counts the votes.” – Joseph Stalin
Simple fact. If a system leaves room for fraud and exploitation, it will be capitalized on. It will be exploited. If you want to have a real democracy, you must have a real voting system. And if you want to have a real voting system, it must be fraud proof.
How do you implement a fraud-proof voting system? It’s surprisingly simple. The only difficult part is forcing your government to employ it. Why wouldn’t your government want a fraud-proof voting system? Why doesn’t it have one already? Well, that’s a very good question, Bobby. Now you’re using your noggin.
Qualities Of A Fraud Proof Voting System
- Transparency in voter counts. The counts, how many people have voted, must be public and verifiable by anyone. (Not a computer, not a trusted committee, able to be verified by anyone)
- Transparency in vote results. Everyone should be able to see all of the results of the individual votes. Again, not a computer or trusted committee. Everyone needs to be able to count and tally up the results themselves. The identity of each voter does not need to be revealed. It should be anonymous.
- Verifiability of your own vote. You must be able to verify that your own vote was correctly recorded.
That’s it. If a voting system has these three qualities, the election is audit-able by everyone and effectively, fraud-proof. But what would a voting system with these three qualities look like? Here’s an example system below.
Fraud Proof Voting System
- Transparency of voter counts. Votes must be made in public. Unfortunately for this to be most sound, private mailed in votes couldn’t work because they don’t allow for transparency in counts. Allow private individuals like you or me to stand and count all voters entering voting facilities. Individual counters can report their results together, publicly, and make the number of voters, transparent, audit-able, public knowledge.
- Transparency in vote results. When each person goes in to vote, they should be given a randomly generated ID number. This number corresponds with their vote result (they should save this number). When the voting process is over, all votes should be posted publicly (on the internet) with their corresponding ID number, sort of like when a teacher posts grades on the wall with just the student ID number and not the name. This way, everyone can count the votes themselves and tally up the results. Everyone can come to the same consensus on results. Transparent results, public, audit-able.
- Verifiability of your own vote. Since results are posted publicly with corresponding ID number, you can easily verify that your vote was recorded correctly. Everyone can do so. It can be clear the number of people who claim their vote was recorded incorrectly (it would inevitably be small) and depending on the quantity of “incorrectly recorded votes”, those voters may be given a chance to re-vote, and the results re-posted if it was close enough to change the overall results. Vote results are verifiable, public, audit-able.
That’s it. A a voting system that is hypothetically fraud-proof.
Why would this be fraud proof?
The results of the votes could not be artificially changed by someone. People would see that their vote was recorded not as they intended to vote. Fake votes could not be artificially added to counts, because the counts are publicly verifiable by anyone who stood to count voters.
Accurate # of votes + accurately recorded votes = valid election
Of course, this particular example is hypothetically fraud proof because it could still be possible to commit fraud by voting multiple times. This is where we’d have to have a little faith in the voting management to not intentionally allow people to go through the voting line twice and vote multiple times. But surely, fraudulent voting in this manner could not be done on a large scale. Since voting is conducted publicly, it gives high probability for fraudulent voters, voting multiple times in this way to be discovered.
The difference between democracy and tyranny is in democracy, the people get to vote on issues in government. But what system do you have, when you have a democracy with a flawed voting system?