Re: Anonymous Voting Referendum

> > days, with multiple recounts and margins of 2 or 3 votes. It is also a
> > very difficult system to verify, and I wouldn't reccommend it to anyone.

Elaborating on the 'verification' problem:  in single-transferrable-vote
systems, you need to publish the complete preference slates of each voter
in order to be able to perform a recount and/or "verify the vote".  This
is, in fact, what I am told is done in Ireland: the complete vote
preferences of every voter are published (without explicit information
identifying the voter, of course.)

However, the large number of possible preference orderings allows a voter
to 'mark' their ballot by use of a particular pattern, which a third-party
can then verify by consulting the official record.  This enables voters to
sell their votes to third-parties (technically, it allows vote buyers to
confirm the quality of their purchase), despite the "secrecy" of the vote.

With an 11-member board, 11 preferences for N candidates can be combined
in N!/(N-11)! ways.  For the last election, with 13 candidates, this is
13!/2! = 3,113,510,400 (over 3 billion) possible ballot
preference combinations.  Given that there were only 191 registered
voters, your chances of being able to fool your vote-buyer by picking a
combination that someone *else* will end up voting are quite low.

In contrast, the "11 unranked votes" method actually used for the last
election allows for (2^13)-13-1 = 8,178 possible ballots.  We'll ignore
the diversity requirements for the moment.  This meant that, if the
election had been anonymous, you would only have had (roughly) a 2% chance
of being able to fool a vote-buyer (although obviously your chances of
succeeding increased greatly if you stipulated that you would cast all 11

This means that the current system, even if it were anonymous, offers very
little protection against vote buying or coercion.  Preferential voting
systems would offer even less.  This may not (or may!) actually be a
threat which is considered significant.

[it should be noted that the flip side of this argument is that a
preferential voting system makes it very likely that you can verify *your*
vote, even if it is anonymized, because you can distribute your
low-preference selections to make it extremely unlikely that anyone else
would vote exactly the same way as you.]

jihad Kojarena LA United Nations General ODEARL radar milita HTPLUME
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