PKR leader raises concerns over reliability of party’s e-voting system

Voon Shiak Ni

KUCHING, Oct 15: A Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader is urging the party leadership to conduct ‘test runs’ on all the tablets to be used for e-voting for the remaining party polls as many members have observed some inconsistencies in the results polled by certain teams thus far.

In a statement today, PKR National Women vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni said, “In the circumstances, I wish to press the caution alarm and urge for test runs to be done on all the tablets to be used for the coming up polls over the next few weekends.

“If it is not feasible to do the test runs for all the tablets for e-voting, maybe it is wise to replace with paper ballots.”

Voon noted that polls in a few states had been completed, while Selangor completed the first of three rounds yesterday. The remaining two rounds would be held in the coming weekends.

On paper ballots, Voon, who is also a special officer of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, opined that this method would be more suited to Sarawak too as Internet connectivity could be a problem in certain parts of the state.

“E-voting security and reliability is a worldwide general concern and experts on the matter had reported serious flaws in the security system and also the issue of verifiability is at stake,” she pointed out.

Citing a Harvard cyberlaw study into e-voting trials in Switzerland, Voon said there were security issues in e-voting against vote manipulation, besides malware and other threats to the system.

“We call upon our top leaders who are in charge for the introduction of the e-voting for the party election to provide us or enlighten us on any system installed or programmed to enable voters to verify that the ballot cast indeed corresponds to the numbers being recorded and tabulated.

“The e-voting system has been not been properly validated as being secure as a system, and this is a worldwide concern. Reviews on the system conducted in other countries revealed flaws and vulnerabilities of the online voting system to the risk of tampering.

“We call on the top leadership to sit down and look into this disturbing issue and to do the necessary to ensure the party polls are clean and fair,” said Voon. — DayakDaily