Web polls and surveys
Do you want to consult a panel of web users for a survey or a poll ? Entr'ouvert provides a free survey (with a large variety of possible fields) and poll solution that enables the designing of questionnaires in the easiest way possible. You will find all of the details of this solution on the project's site.
Can you believe an online poll ?
About online polls, it is sensible and even essential to ask the question of the opportunity for a radical change when it comes to the basic principle in every democracy. The main grievances against online polls are related to institutional polls (those regulated by the Electoral Code).
We are strongly against using online polls (or, even worst, using voting machines) for institutional elections. Given the importance of the issues, formidable means could be implemented to fraud. A computer fraud, although less simple to implement than a fraud through ballot stuffing (for example), can have a much larger scale.
Pros and cons
For non-institutional elections, from our viewpoint, online poll has both pros and cons when compared to traditional poll: it is impossible to definitely and in any circumstance settle the question of the superiority of the one over the other. More important is to be especially cautious as to its implementation to give it as much transparency as possibly can.
Many of its pros are known: cost efficient, lower abstention rate, easier and more secure vote counting. But online poll also allows variation in the vote count modes, enrichment of the meaning of a consultation (using for example the Condorcet method, vote by consent or by highest average).
About the complains, the most important and funded one relates to the process opacity. Who guarantees us that the software used is “honest”? The only acceptable, if not sufficient, answer is to publish the whole system source code in one hand, and to publish the complete results in encrypted electronic form, in the other hand, to allow each citizen (and him alone) to check that his own vote has been endorsed.
Another source of worries, safety. Using redundant architectures and complex but well-known encryption systems makes it less probable to have the system under attack than to face a ballot stuffing in most cases!
Nevertheless, online poll, like postal poll, will never offer the same level of confidentiality than a booth. In France, where we are especially attached to that republican rite, this is a sizable obstacle. This obstacle already fades away in other countries, yielding to the possibilities offered by online poll, especially when it comes to electoral participation.