Online Voting: Hartford Courant hacked?

We note a small correction box in today’s Hartford Courant:


  The results of a Buzz question on Senate Candidate Linda McMahon that ran on last week and in print Sunday were exaggerated due to apparent online tampering. Controls have been put into place to prevent improper manipulation of Buzz results.

Checking the Sunday edition we see that in answer to the question, “Can Linda McMahon win a Senate seat in 2012?” The poll said Yes 6%, No 94%.  And in the four polls the total votes for the other three were 456, 1,759, and 2,588, while in the McMahon poll there were 14,348 votes.

Was the “online tampering” done by outside hackers? Or was it an insider? Does the Courant have the expertise to determine the cause in this instance and actually create effective controls to prevent future online voting attacks? If so, the editors should be advising the likes of the Department of Defense, banks, and Google.

Hopefully Connecticut’s registrars will not be forced by the legislature to provide online voting. According to Secretary of the State Merrill, one-third of registrars do not even have web access. On October 27th the state will have the opportunity to hear from experts on the risks of online voting and the other options for serving military and overseas voters.


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