This was a direct response to the fact that studies show that having positions at the top or bottom of the ballot led to a disproportionate amount of support from what is termed “the donkey vote” in Australia. Basically, the donkey vote is those votes cast by citizens who have no interest in the election but do not want to be fined for not having voted.
For my final topic I was going to have a discussion on online voting. I would be happy to answer questions on that topic.
In essence, I raise a lot of questions with respect to online voting. I would point you to the recent report published by Dr. Keith Archer, the Chief Electoral Officer of British Columbia. He offered some excellent insights on the risks that are there, but at the same time he offered some positive comments on how there might be a way forward, and I'm in agreement with those comments. I do have some concerns about authentication, and particularly with vote secrecy as it relates to online voting and auditability.
I'll leave you with this. I often point to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and if you focus on the principles laid out there, especially when it comes to online voting, there isn't a principle of convenience. It focuses on the secrecy of the ballot, and I think that is something we have to focus on initially. This isn't to say that there's not going to be an online system available going forward.
I'm excited about the future. I think there are innovations and processes that we can pursue, but I am very concerned about the secrecy of the ballot.
With that, I'll conclude.