Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ proposal to make it easier for members of the military to vote has been hailed by legislators of both parties and even given the honorific designation as Senate Bill 1 for this year’s legislative session. But the proposal drew opposition Wednesday from groups that say a key provision allowing electronic voting from overseas makes votes vulnerable to fraud. “We agree with almost all of the recommendations,” Richard Beliles, chairman of Common Cause of Kentucky, said in a letter he delivered to Grimes’ office Wednesday. “However, we strongly recommend against allowing ballots to be cast online via email, efax, or through Internet portals.” The letter, also endorsed by an official of a California-based public interest group called Verified Voting Foundation, argues, “Online voting presents a direct threat to the integrity of elections in Kentucky because it is not sufficiently secure against fraud or malfunction. Cyber security experts with the Department of Homeland Security have publicly warned against Internet voting.”
Lynn Sowards Zellen, spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office, noted later Wednesday that the bill has not been filed. And Zellen said Grimes and leading lawmakers will ensure the bill will protect the integrity of the voting process. … “According to the Federal Voting Assistance Program, 24 states permit, at least under some circumstances, uniformed service and/or overseas voters to return voted ballots via email or the Internet,” the proposal states. “… Through the use of electronic signature systems and other security controls, we can both ensure military voters’ right to vote and maintain the integrity of elections.”
Beliles disagrees. He contends that the most robust security tools are inadequate to protect ballots cast online from intentional and accidental corruption. “Banks, which have very large budgets to build the most complex cyber defenses, annually lose billions a year to fraud and security breaches,” Beliles said in the letter to Grimes. “But banks budget these losses as a cost of doing business. We cannot make the same calculus with votes.”
Full Article: Military voting proposal raises fraud concerns in Kentucky | The Courier-Journal | courier-journal.com.