Online banking, ecommerce, e-filing taxes. Moving print documents and in-person services online–even those full of sensitive information–has been an inexorable trend for decades. And voting has moved in that direction too, in 32 U.S. states and several countries, starting in those simpler times of the 1990s and early 2000s. That was a giant security blunder, according to a new report from tech and election experts that urges a return to good old paper ballots. “This is a position consistently that computer scientists have been saying for a decade, and computer scientists are the ones who you think would be the most favorable to the idea [of online voting] because, we invent the things.” So says Jeremy Epstein, vice chair of the U.S. Technology Policy Council at the ACM, billed as the largest association of computing experts.
He co-authored the report, which has the dry but ominous title, “Email and Internet Voting: The Overlooked Threat to Election Security,” together with experts from Common Cause Education Fund, the National Election Defense Coalition, and the R Street Institute.
It counted about 100,000 online ballots cast in 2016, based on reports from county election offices. But the real number could be much higher: Sixteen states with online voting, including Massachusetts and New Jersey, didn’t send in any reports. “It appears that, in some cases, it could be that there are enough votes being cast online that they could flip elections if they were manipulated,” says Epstein.
Full Article: Online voting is a security nightmare, say experts.