Soldiers to Choose Risking Democracy on Electronic Voting

In a letter to the NC State Board of Elections, the Federal Voting Assistance Program has recommended that individual soldiers be left to determine the viability of returning their votes by email.  Thanks to N.C. Voter for this story <read>

Until secure electronic transmission of voted ballots has been established, we recommend that States allow voters to return static copies of voted ballots through available electronic means. However, the decision to send a voted ballot by unsecure electronic means must rest with the individual voter based on the voter’s desire to cast his or her vote electronically or to ensure the secrecy of their ballot.

We see some problems with this.

  • Very few soldiers are in a position to assess the security of sending their votes over the internet.  Its unlikely many are computer scientists or security experts, unlikely that many are in a position to evaluate the network they use or would have an opportunity to consider the Technologists’ Statement On Internet Voting
  • Even the risky, questionable amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill only includes the possibility of pilot programs.
  • Finally, the purpose of the secret ballot is not primarily to protect the voter of the ballot, but to protect all voters, and to protect our Democracy.  Its not just my loss if my vote is lost or changed its everyone’s.

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