We should be skeptical of the results of the 2008 HRM municipal election. With no direct paper trail to back up the more than 29,000 votes that were cast online, there is no way we can know for sure that they weren't tampered with either deliberately or accidentally. Just a few lines of erroneous or malicious code in the computer software used to conduct the election could modify these records while leaving virtually no trace. There is a very broad consensus among the computer security community of which I am a part that most types of electronic or internet voting open up rampant opportunities for error and fraud. Why take the risk when we have a voting system which has proven itself time and again? Why did we introduce e-voting just as governments at all levels in the United States are lining up to dump it? With the exception of Tim Bousquet's excellent article in the September 19th issue of The Coast, there was virtually no critical media coverage on this issue. It speaks very poorly of our region that we let this untrustworthy technology be foisted upon us without asking more questions.
By William Lachance