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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/23/13

Can the Papal Election Be Hacked? Not Likely. They Use Publicly Hand-Counted Paper Ballots.

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Cross-posted from The Brad Blog


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With another papal election coming up, one might wonder how the papal elections, since 1059 or so, have managed to remain secure and unchallenged?

As security technologist Bruce Schneir details at CNN, the trick is what we have long referred to here as "Democracy's Gold Standard": publicly hand-counted paper ballots.

Here at The BRAD BLOG we've been calling for the same thing for U.S. elections for some time. Granted, it hasn't been 1,000 years; it's just beginning to feel like it. We were even recently immortalized for that effort.

Schneir's breakdown of the voting process at papal enclaves is absolutely fascinating, particularly as the process they've developed over centuries mirrors much of what the process would look like if our nation ditched its secret, oft-failed, easily-manipulated, unoverseeable vote-tallying computers and modeled our tabulation process on the open, public, and very rarely challenged process used by the citizens in some 40% of New Hampshire's towns. It's almost identical, in many ways, to the one used to select new popes.

As Schneir notes, when a new pope is elected, "Every step of the election process is observed by everyone."

"The ballot is entirely paper-based," he explains, "and all ballot counting is done by hand. Votes are secret, but everything else is open"

Talk about your "Holy See"?! It's hand-counted PAPAL ballots!...

To read the rest of this story, click here.

 

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