Just as we’re wrapping up the verification for UCL‘s test election (powered by Helios) in preparation for their big election in a few days, we get word that the Scantegrity team is going to be used in a real US democratic election. That is fantastic news for the voting community. I hope we continue to see more deployments of open-audit voting, whether Scantegrity, Helios, or others.
The point that the press often gets wrong is that this isn’t about one system that will save us all. It’s a new generation, a new class of systems. Some of these systems will turn out to be sub-optimal. Helios is more appropriate in certain settings, Scantegrity in others, each has its strengths and weaknesses. If a serious error is detected in Helios, that doesn’t call into question Scantegrity, and vice-versa. The first cars were clunky, but it’s pretty clear that cars in general are superior to horse-drawn carriages.
So let’s continue to deploy more open-audit systems, to test what works and what doesn’t, and to generally move the field forward so that one day, whether we’re using invisible ink or a web browser, we’re electing our government officials with a true, democratic auditing process.