December 22nd, 2004


Voting Problems Strike Mozilla Firefox 1.0/US Presidential Elections Poll

The latest MozillaZine poll has been plagued by voting problems, according to vote officials. The poll, which asked readers of the popular online journal to state whether the success of Mozilla Firefox 1.0 or the outcome of the US Presidential Election is more important to them, was originally very close, with just a few percentage points between the two choices. However, a few weeks ago, the second option, 'My preferred candidate winning the US Presidential Election', seemed to lose several thousand votes. "We're not sure what happened," explained MozillaZine administrator Alex Bishop, "the votes appear to have just vanished." As voters were not given paper receipts, Bishop admitted that there is no way to perform a manual recount.

Critics have long contended that the electronic voting system used was inadequately tested. Others have noted potential conflicts of interest. "It's well known that MozillaZine has strong links with the developers of Mozilla Firefox," said one expert, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "In fact, some of the administrators have made financial donations to the Firefox marketing campaign. Then all of a sudden, there's this mysterious error that swings the vote massively in favour of the Firefox option. Shouldn't we be suspicious?" MozillaZine officials acknowledged the links with Firefox but claimed this did not affect the fairness of the vote. "We just don't know what happened," said Bishop.

For our next poll, we're going to move on to browser usage statistics, another famously imprecise area. The Mozilla Foundation has said that it wants a ten percent usage share for Firefox by the end of 2005. We want to know if you think this figure will be achieved. Place your vote and then check the results to see if others think the ten percent target will be reached.
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