Blockchain technology can safely be used to authenticate e-voting by shareholders at a company’s annual general meeting, Nasdaq said this week, following a pilot project in Estonia. … Voting security experts in the U.S. were skeptical about the pilot project’s wider applicability, especially with regard to national elections. “Blockchain solves a small part of the overall set of problems [with e-voting], but nowhere near all,” said Pamela Smith, president of election integrity advocacy group Verified Voting. “If you have a boat with many leaks, plugging one of them should not make you assume the others won’t swamp you,” she told CyberScoop via email.
… The report adds that, “Pilot test feedback showed that support for mobile devices and a custom mobile e-voting application would further enhance the user experience.”
But online identity authentication via mobile phone is much less secure that the e-tokens currently used, points out James Scott, a senior fellow at cybersecurity think tank the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology. The “movement to switch from ID cards, containing [a token,] and a PIN, to mobile authentication could greatly weaken” security, he told CyberScoop.
Verifying the identity of voters online is a key problem for any kind of internet-based election, Scott said. Alternatives like facial recognition via webcam, or social security numbers, have their own problems “These stores of e-voting authentication information invade users’ voting privacy and … the data itself could be stolen or manipulated by cyber-adversaries.”