The government has rejected calls to provide online voting access to disabled voters, claiming it increases the risk of electoral fraud. E-voting could make elections more accessible for disabled voters, campaigners have argued, and requests to trial online voting were submitted to a recent government report. “There may be potential benefits for some groups in using e-voting but there are significant concerns about the security of online voting,” said the government in response to those submissions. The “increased risk of electoral fraud” alongside “providing unproven systems to people who are already vulnerable […] would not be helpful,” the government explained. It was argued that online voting would help people with sight loss, where audio support and other forms of assistive technology such as screen-readers are available via their computers.
In countries such as Australia and Estonia, voters with disabilities can cast their ballots from home where their support mechanisms are already in place, but this will not be trialled in the UK.
… Despite the potential for increasing access to elections, there are fears that electronic voting systems could allow hackers to influence the ballots.
Russian hackers are accused of targeting election-related systems in 21 US states during the 2016 presidential election.
In Germany, cybersecurity researchers warned in the days before their parliamentary elections that security flaws in counting machines’ software were “trivial” to exploit and manipulate the result.