The Election is the Fraud- Guest Post by Alan’s Blogometer

Aug 7, 2006 by

I’ve voted three times in the UNOP planner poll. I did so to see that I could. It was easy for me. I don’t have to do anything special to create email addresses. My email server lets me make up fake address to catch spam. All I do is type them out. I have a dozen accounts anyway.

Please, don’t accuse me of election fraud. There is nothing legal about an online poll. This is not an election. There is no voter roll. There is no definition of who has franchise. They’ve changed the rules as they went along, in response to the many complaints. It’s the election that is the fraud.

All you need in order to vote to choose your planner on the the UNOP web site is a valid email address. This means that anyone with an email address can vote in this process. They do not have to be a resident of New Orleans.

How will we be able to verify that a given email address belongs to a particular neighborhood and district, let alone to New Orleans? (Answer, you can’t.) How will we be able to independently verify the results? (Answer, it’s too late.)

For some people it’s easy to create as many email addresses as they would like. They can vote as many times as they would like.

Yet for many citizens of New Orleans, obtaining an email address, or getting access to a computer is now a major challenge.

The UNOP has managed to develop a polling system that is trivially easy to fool, while at the same time extremely exclusive and difficult to use.

Any reasonable technology professional would be honest about how unscientific online polls are. They should only be used for entertainment purposes. (This process could hardly be considered entertaining.)

If all of our efforts in this democratic process are to be captured in what amounts to a web site’s guest book, I have no problem with that. But please, stop calling this a “democratic process”. Let’s let this be the final insult to democracy.

Our planners will be appointed. What’s wrong with that?

See: Outsourcing Democracy for further discussion, and How You Can Rig the UNOP Election.

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