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[liberationtech] Web cams in polling stations/helpful?

Griffin Boyce griffinboyce at gmail.com
Mon Feb 13 04:58:27 PST 2012


Hi Luke,

  It might be a question of angle, and whether voters' privacy can be
protected in that environment.  Pointing it at, say, the entrance to
private voting booths would be better than having a webcam pointed in
voters' faces, in terms of minimizing vote influence.

Griffin Boyce


On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 6:10 AM, Luke Allnutt <AllnuttL at rferl.org> wrote:

>
> Dear All,
>
> I'm looking into the question of whether having web cams in polling
> stations is a positive for transparency and fair elections. The story is
> related to Russia's plans to install web cameras in polling stations across
> Russia for the March presidential election.
>
> *
> http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2012/02/06/russia-launches-election-monitoring-website/
> *<http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2012/02/06/russia-launches-election-monitoring-website/>
>
> Obviously, Russia is a special case. Even if the web cams did provide
> transparency, there are enough other factors that put the fairness of the
> election into question: e.g. skewed media, workers being asked to vote en
> masse etc. In my opinion, this endeavor ties into the Kremlin's use of
> technology to present a facade of progress and transparency, without giving
> up much in terms of real democratization.
>
> But I'm more interested in whether, across the world, this is something
> that the election monitoring community thinks is a good thing and whether
> it aids transparency?
>
> In some societies, surely, the presence of a web cam in a polling station
> would be unwelcome: people might feel they are being watched by their
> government/friends/employers and that would influence their voting.
>
> If anyone has any thoughts on this matter, on list or off list, I would
> love to pick your brains for the story.  Any help would be much
> appreciated, as ever.
>
> Best Wishes,
>
> Luke
> RFE/RL
> @lukeallnutt
>
>
>
>
>
>
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