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It seems like the argument here reduces to "personally verifiable votes should never exist".

> In traditional families women will effectively lose their vote.

People can lie. That's the only recourse they have today right? Would producing a "plausible deniability token" to show to adversaries suffice here to provide usable cover?

> Vote buying becomes possible.

This is already possible. Though you are right that it is not strictly verifiable today. But I would argue that we lack data on how many people would take money to vote X in todays system, and then vote Y instead and lie about it. If this set is tiny, then this problem doesn't grow much does it?

> fellow party or church members start to check the votes

This should simply be illegal. Bright line. Your vote is private and no-one or organization shall be allowed to force you to disclose it.


It seems again like the arguments here are sort of baby/bath water. There are outlier problems preventing this from being perfect. Yes. But the benefit of a truly verifiable election would inoculate us against mass election hacking. Which increasingly seems like a genuine threat we need to deal with. Are the outlier problems not worth the price of preserving democracy?

> There are outlier problems preventing this from being perfect

These are not outlier problems. I have been election official in Finland and it's not rare to see husband trying to make his wife to show the ballot. Smartphones are already creating problems that are hard to quantify.

The real solution comes from doing basic things right. Electoral observation can be improved. Paper ballots standard where ballots can be quickly counted using electronica counters from multiple suppliers (different parties can bring their own) can make voting both secure and safe.

Outlier probably wasn't the right phrasing on my part for this specific issue of spousal voting pressure. Thanks for calling that out. You were right to.

The way I think about this though is that we should view these concerns as needing tailored (sometimes orthogonal) solutions. There is an analog here to testimony in court. Defendants have the right to know the evidence against them. Including the identity of witnesses and the nature of their evidence and statements. This often puts witnesses at risk for retribution. It's a huge problem. But do we do away with requiring this kind of evidence disclosure? Not having it makes it easy for evidence to be fabricated without consequence. And for defendants to not know who or what is being used against them in court. This would potentially have even more dire repercussions. So currently, we find other ways to help ensure the safety of witnesses and accept this major issue.

In the same way we might find other solutions to the issue of Spousal pressure. Opt-in voting receipt print outs. Support programs for domestic abuse, etc...

This is for sure a problem. And maybe even a major one (like witness safety). But overall, the alternative of having insecure and unverifiable elections is increasingly seeming like the more important issue to address. Most complex systems are about balancing tradeoffs. And it should be unsurprising, that a stable election system is too.

I don't think, here in the UK at least, that vote fraud in counting stations and total reporting is considered a big issue.

Whereas we know that there are (patriarchal) religious groups that apply huge pressure

Paper voting is pretty effective at preventing mass election hacking.

Software can never prevent mass election hacking, as hardware can always deliberetly miss-implement your algorithm.

I'm also curious what is supposed to happen if you go check, and your vote doesn't match. Sure, the government investigates, but, a, why would you trust the government, and b, why would they trust that you weren't simply paid to cast doubt on the election?

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