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ATM Voting

An alternative to Postal Voting.
  (+11, -2)(+11, -2)
(+11, -2)
  [vote for,

Today many parts of the UK will go to the polls for local and European elections. For the first time though, many voters will not. They've already voted from home.

However, the UK's pilot scheme for postal voting seems to be somewhat in disarray, with no fewer than four police forces having announced that they're investigating allegations of fraud, corruption, and threats surrounding the postal system in some areas.

I propose ATM voting, which has several benefits. The first, and most obvious, is that anyone with a cashcard could vote at their convenience during - say - a fortnightly period running up to polling day.

ATM software could relatively easily be adjusted in order to accommodate voting. Alongside the usual "Withdraw Cash" and "Check Balance" buttons, there could be a "Vote in the European Elections" button.

Because the banking system already has very good, secure network for handling information, I guess it would be fairly easy to ensure that a) people could only vote once and b) all votes could be accounted for quickly. There would also be a much better audit trail to disprove fraud compared to sending an open voting slip through the Royal Mail.

One of the issues with the postal vote is that anyone can use your vote if they can get hold of your voting slip. With ATM voting, your vote is protected by your PIN.

Best of all, if somebody tries to frogmarch you to the local bank and force you to vote in a way that you don't wish to, you could always just enter your Panic PIN. Foolproof.

Fishrat, Jun 10 2004


       You mean postal voting is a new thing over there??? We've been doing it for years! (Australia)
simonj, Jun 10 2004

       There has been a lot of resistance to postal voting in the UK, mostly because the harbingers of doom predicted the kind of skulduggery which is now materialising.
Fishrat, Jun 10 2004

       *they* could pay us to vote at the same time <ducks>
po, Jun 10 2004

       I have heard of voting with your wallet before but this... +
sartep, Jun 10 2004

       Postal voting has existed in UK for many years, but this is the first time that it has been, in the four pilot areas, the only available means of voting. There are no polling stations open in those areas (covering approximately one third of the country) except in cases where the incompetence of either the authorities or the postal system have prevented papers from arriving on time, or where evidence of abuse has been overwhelming.
If I have two bank accounts, can I vote twice?
angel, Jun 10 2004

       No, because the banking system can verify your identity, so you'd be rumbled for voting twice.

       Oh, and [angel], you can put away that post office savings card with your maiden name on it too.... I know what you're upto.
Fishrat, Jun 10 2004

       maiden name? hah!
po, Jun 10 2004

       [Fishy] two great ideas on one day (+)(+)!
neilp, Jun 10 2004

       Fishrat that is a great idea i haven't and won't vote today 2 reasons:   

       1 i'm too cynical and think which ever party gains the seat the decisions will be the same,   

       2 i'm too far away from where i'm registered to vote to be able to get to a polling station   

       of course your idea won't combat that 1st problem but the 2nd could be combated provided the bank knew which constituency i was registered in.
engineer1, Jun 10 2004

       excellent [+]
etherman, Jun 10 2004

       hey check out the bread : fishbone ratio on <Fishrat> I'm very impressed.
etherman, Jun 10 2004

       // [angel], you can put away that post office savings card with your maiden name on it too.... I know what you're upto.//   

       Apparently not.
waugsqueke, Jun 10 2004

       Dark horse, that one.
Fishrat, Jun 10 2004

       It might make sense to have a separate 'voting card' to use in an ATM instead of your normal cash card - perhaps utilising that magnetic strip and chip (& encoded biometric data) that are going to be on all our new universal ID cards.
iivix, Jun 10 2004

       Here's a great insta-poll. As people are voting, include their balance info (blind) into the tallies.   

       Would be very interesting both from an average and total point of view.
theircompetitor, Jun 10 2004

       //[etherman] I think the word you're looking for is "jealous" //   

       nonsense, I personally take as much pleasure in a well positioned fishbone as I do from being bunned.
etherman, Jun 10 2004

       <scratches head> Is this idea recycled? I'm sure I've seen it before; nonetheless, I like it even reheated.
dpsyplc, Jun 10 2004

       //won't vote today //
Nor me. I see little point in electing odious politicans (if that's not tautological) to a legislature which has no legislative powers. Seems to be the very definition of a free lunch.
calum, Jun 10 2004

       I guess there would be something ironic about voting them onto a free lunch using your credit card to do it!   

       dpsyplc, as far as I know this is a new idea. I certainly haven't seen it anywhere else.
Fishrat, Jun 10 2004

       Calum taking a highly scientific straw poll of 2 i suspect some shock results for the BNP and UKIP
engineer1, Jun 10 2004

       Instead, how about voting booths that dispense a little cash after you punch in the right candidate [wink, nudge]?
Ander, Jan 17 2008

       This takes on new significance with the involvement of an ATM company in voting machines in the US. The voting machines aren't secure, but maybe the ATMs are.
Ford, Jan 17 2008

       ATM voting computers (and voting computers in general) are a bad idea, for several reasons. i will list a few of them.   

       1. people who program the ATM software are potential fraud-enablers. even with open source voting software, you can never say that the machine in front of you has exactly the machine code aequivalent of the source code you have seen.   

       2. in addition, relatively few people know how to program. this makes the voting process totally intransparent to the common citizen, even if (s)he has the source code.   

       3. with ATMs, you have a method of identification. not being able to spot who voted for whom is important in a democracy.   

       4. a re-count cannot yield different results. therefore, re-counts are useless. therefore, fraud cannot be easily detected by normal means. even if the statistic show un-normal results, there can be no hard proof for voting fraud.   

       5. the ATM system is a centralized networked system; no centralized network can be tamper-resistant enough for voting.   

       i hope you all consider this and fishbone this idea into oblivion.
erlehmann, Jan 17 2008


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