Internet Voting is Too Risky for Public Elections

We have criticized the DNC for accepting and promoting Internet voting for expat delegates to the convention. This set a completely wrong precedent. It does not take much to imagine the intimidation possible with an internet voting machine set up in a military base, union hall, nursing home, or church.

By Verified Voting Foundation
April 03, 2008

The Verified Voting Foundation issued a warning today that the Internet is not safe for casting ballots in important public elections. Many computer scientists and others are concerned because Internet voting was used in the Democratic Party’s Presidential primary for overseas voters in February, and because several state and national legislators recently have expressed an interest in Internet voting as an option for military service personnel overseas.

“Internet voting is vulnerable to all the risks of paperless computerized voting machines; it allows no meaningful recounts or audits,” said Barbara Simons, a computer scientist and expert on Internet voting. “If ballots are cast on the Internet, attacks on the election can be made by anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world, including individual hackers, political parties, international criminal organizations, hostile foreign governments, or even terrorists.”

“The Internet could be used to make voting easier, by, for example, allowing military and overseas voters a convenient way to obtain an absentee ballot, but votes delivered over the Internet cannot be trusted,” said David Dill, professor of computer science at Stanford University and founder of the Verified Voting Foundation. “Multiple studies by computer scientists have shown that making Internet voting safe is an incredibly hard problem, not solved yet, and possibly unsolvable. At this point, any claims of ‘secure Internet voting’ should be regarded with extreme skepticism.”

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