A couple of weeks ago, my cousin wrote up a blog post about “Fraud-Free Electronic Voting” where he described a system that would let people vote online in such a way that would “prevent the issues we currently see with accusations of voter fraud and inaccurate counting”. He flattered me by asking for my opinion so I thought I would deign to give mine.
(But I should point out that my opinion here is worth about as much as the paper it is printed on. So you, dear reader, can determine its value by printing it on pricey paper on not.)
The statement “prevent the issues we currently see with accusations of voter fraud and inaccurate counting” is not practical. There were a number of audits and recounts in various states during this past election. The audits and recounts did not find any instances of widespread (defined as affecting 1000s of ballots) fraud.
As long as there are winners and losers, especially sore losers, there will always be people questioning the results of elections. — LittleAncestor
There were individual instances of misrepresentation, double-voting, and other forms of voter fraud, but nothing that could be called widespread.
Which leave us with the claims of fraud that people insisted had happened despite these audits and recounts. They are claims being made in bad faith or in response to claims by bad actors. There isn’t anything you can do that will keep a bad actor from claiming fraud in the face of the evidence.
If you have someone who has managed to gather a bunch of hangers-on who has a deep-seated need to avoid any hint of loss, then, when that person loses, they will cast about for anything to blame for their loss.
No system, no matter how rationally constructed, is going to get around that problem.
Humans are driven, not by facts or rational argument, but by emotion.
As long as we inform our emotion with rational thought and are humble enough to admit we can be wrong, this is how things should be.
Of course, many of us are not humble and do not inform our emotion with rational thought. And some of us are narcissists who have managed to exploit the emotional drive of those around us.
Photo source: NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ernesto Hernandez Fonte/Public Affairs Specialist, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons