Elections B.C. will kick the idea around for a bit longer and is open to hearing more, but it looks as if Internet voting isn’t going anywhere. Security isn’t foolproof, as it needs to be. Cost savings are debatable, and it would likely actually wind up costing more. And most critically, there is no conclusive proof it would help increase the turnout rate in elections. That was one of the background motivations for considering the idea in the first place. The participation rate has been declining for a generation now. It ticked upward a couple of points in last May’s election, compared to the 2009 vote. But it is still scarcely more than half, which is abysmal. The idea that Internet voting could fix that is founded on a faulty premise. Experts have been trying to figure out the slumping turnout rate for years. Various authorities have delved deeply into it by all means possible, including polling non-voters on the reasons they opted out.
… The security concerns are also formidable. Washington, D.C., set up Internet voting in a 2010 election, then invited a university to test the system in a mock election. Students completely compromised the security, added fraudulent ballots, changed the results of previously cast votes and observed people voting without being detected. It was so bad the real Internet vote was cancelled.
Federal New Democratic Party members got a small taste of that kind of problem in the party’s leadership election in 2012. Hackers disrupted the process to the point where the time allowed for people to vote had to be extended.
B.C. looks poised at this point to join the camp of jurisdictions that have checked out the trendy concept of Internet voting and not liked the ramifications.