They may be political rivals but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten can agree on one issue: electronic voting. “I’ve been an advocate for electronic voting for a long time. This is something we must look at,” Mr Turnbull said. Mr Shorten agreed, saying: “It’s long overdue to look at electronic voting in this county”. … But introducing e-voting would not as easy as it sounds. Dr Vanessa Teague from Melbourne University said there were two main ways to conduct electronic voting: over the internet via a voter’s device at home, or via a computer at the polling station. She said neither system was foolproof and both were vulnerable to security and software problems. “[These could] affect the election results in a way that we wouldn’t necessarily know,” Dr Teague said.
Dr Teague and Professor Alex Halderman from the University of Michigan examined the internet-based iVote e-voting system used in the 2015 NSW state election and said they found a security flaw that would allow a third-party hacker to intercept and change votes.
“The capacity for a small number of people to manipulate a large number of votes without detection is much higher over the internet,” Dr Teague said.
The ABC contacted the NSW Electoral Commission for comment, but it had not responded by the time of publication. However, the chairman of the New South Wales Parliament’s Joint Committee on Electoral Matters, Jai Rowell, said NSW was a world leader when it came to electronic voting. He said the committee was currently holding an inquiry into the state’s 2015 election as required by law after every election and security and privacy were among the issues being examined. “Security issues around iVote are one area the inquiry will look at,” Mr Rowell said.