Posted Sep 14, 2010 21:53 UTC (Tue) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167)
In reply to: Citizen Linus by firstname.lastname@example.org
Parent article: Citizen Linus
To give you another example of a different system.
In Britain every residence gets sent paperwork about once a year, and in any case before a major election. The envelope has an address but no name, and insists you open it and not redirect it under any circumstances. Inside is a list of people who are currently registered at that address. If the list is fine you can fill out a web form, call a phone number, or send back the form with just a signature.
Otherwise you correct the list, removing anyone who is no longer living there and adding new people, then post it back. If an election is held the latest register is used, everybody who can vote is sent a card telling them about the election, and fractions of the list are sent to every district. You don't need the card to vote, you just tell the officials your name and address, they give you a ballot and write the number of the ballot next to your name on their list.
Lying on the form, or at the election itself, is possible, and clearly sometimes happens, but with turnout so low it's difficult to justify any system which would reduce participation further, e.g. requiring ID to vote (although this is done in Northern Ireland where vote fraud had become endemic).