The federal elections have mercifully come to an end, but the prolonged vote count has re-energised calls for online electronic voting. The clamour for a speedy outcome is understandable given the 21st century demand for instant gratification, but there are unintended consequences that bear careful consideration. Not only do we run the risk of introducing a whole new set of problems but also potentially undermine the very fabric of our unique democratic system. Entrepreneurs are quick to make claims that their online voting systems are safe and secure, but are unable to provide iron clad guarantees. The potential reward for the successful supplier of an online electronic voting system would be $50 million to $100m annually so there can be no doubt that pressure will mount on the Australian Electoral Commission and equivalent state bodies. … Writing in The Conversation, Vanessa Teague and Chris Culnane from the University of Melbourne and Rajeev Gore from the Australian National University identified three reasons why we shouldn’t move to an online voting system: it might not be secure, the software might have bugs and, most important, if something goes wrong we might never know.
In 2015, Teague and computer security researcher Alex Halderman found a serious security vulnerability in the NSW iVote system that was being used for the state election. Up to 66,000 votes had been cast by the time the security flaw was found and fixed.
Teague, Culnane and Gore claim that secure electronic voting is possible if it’s done in a polling place and cite an “end-to-end verifiable” election system that was developed with the Victorian Electoral Commission. After voters have cast their vote using a computer at the polling booth the voter is provided with evidence that their vote has been recorded as they intended.
Full Article: Electronic voting may be faster but carries security risks.