The Turnbull government’s new Cyber Ambassador, Tobias Feakin, has warned of the risks of e-voting after allegations Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton’s emails may have influenced the US election outcome. The comments may further slow moves towards a change, after Labor turned on the idea in its submissions to a joint parliamentary inquiry into the federal election, saying the online census outage was cause to proceed with caution. In the days after the Australian federal election, both Malcolm Turnbull and Labor leader Bill Shorten called for the introduction of electronic voting, saying in 2016 it should not take more than eight days to find out a result. … E-voting expert University of Melbourne’s Vanessa Teague has previously said instead of at-home e-voting via personal devices, which could be unsafe, she would instead advocate a change to e-voting via computers at polling places.
The risk of e-voting from personal devices was on show in the 2015 NSW election when Dr Teague helped uncover a vulnerability that exposed 66,000 e-votes to the risk of hacking – in a poll when one seat was decided by 3000 votes.
“We really don’t have sound evidence that the security problem couldn’t have affected that final outcome,” she said.