The Times and Internet Voting they are not a changing

In late 2010 the New York Times ran an article States Move to Allow Overseas and Military Voters to Cast Ballots by Internet <read> which touted risky Internet voting. I was well refuted by Representative Rush Holt in a letter to the Times. <read>

Here we go again a very small article by Matt Bai Double-Click the Vote <read>

It’s amazing to think that I just renewed my car registration and paid my taxes online, but in November I’ll still have to wait in line to vote. The best argument against Internet voting is that it stacks the system against old and poor people who can’t afford or use computers, but the same could be said about cars. For decades, volunteers have showed up at retirement homes with rented vans. Isn’t it time they came with laptops?

What is amazing is actually that the paper of record prints such things that defy science and all the evidence <CTVoterCount Internet Voting Index>

Tech.pinions refutes Bai’s arguments, yet I suspect will reach much fewer than the flawed Bai piece: Internet Voting Is Years Away, And Maybe Always Will Be <read>

They do a great job of explaining the challenge of anonymity:

…If only it were so simple.

Voting, alas, has unique characteristics that make internet implementations all but impossible given current technology. The big problem is that we make two demands of it that cannot be met simultaneously. We want voting to be very, very secure. And we want it to be very, very anonymous.

Internet security is difficult under the best of conditions. But voting has the additional complication that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to remedy a breach. Most of the time, all that is at stake is money, and we know how to fix that. Identity theft is more complex but still there are remedies. A stolen vote is gone forever.

Anonymity complicated the problem immensely. The usual way to secure an internet transaction to to make certain that both the server and the person at the other end and who or what they claim to be. To cast a ballot at a poling place or vote an absentee ballot, you have to produce identification or, at a minimum, a signature that matches one on file. It’s not perfect. but it’s generally better than we can do on the internet. Then you are given a ballot or a card that activates an electronic voting machine, but there is no link between the ballot and your identity, guaranteeing anonymity. This is really, really hard to simulate online. The more that is done to assure your identity, the harder it is to separate that identity from the vote that is cast…

We will see more trials in this year’s voting. But widespread internet voting is still waiting for a day that may never come.



Bonus: Alex Haldeman <video>


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