This year, we’re going to choose a new president. We’ll debate with disgruntled friends on Facebook, monitor every debate on Twitter and use Google to find polling places. And then, those of us who are willing to make the trek will drive, walk, carpool or take trains to small outposts in order to vote. It’s 2016. Why don’t we have an app on our smartphones that allows us to vote remotely and instantly? … What’s holding back online voting? In short, security risks. If we’ve learned anything from the past few years of cybersecurity scandals — like the Office of Personnel Management hack, the Sony Pictures Entertainment fiascoor the Ashley Madison breach — it’s that no digital system can be proven to be totally safe. There’s a common refrain that digital voting experts are tired of hearing: “If I can bank online, why can’t I vote online?” If the internet is safe enough to store our money, shop, file our taxes and perform other sensitive tasks, why can’t it be used to vote? The truth is, we don’t bank or shop safely online. Major retailers and banking systems deal with hacking, fraudulent charges and identity theft every day. Companies like Amazon are used to a small percentage of transactions being fraudulent. And when fraud occurs in a financial transaction, those problems can be fixed after the fact.
“If I have a problem on my bank statement, I call my bank and they give me my money back, because my name is attached to an account and my identity is associated with the transaction,” Pamela Smith, president of anti-online-voting lobbying group Verified Voting, told Mic. “When you vote, that vote isn’t associated with your identity. So if you’re at a polling place, they don’t connect how you voted with your sign-in. They know you showed up, but not how you voted.”
… “As soon as large numbers of people are allowed to vote online, all of the sudden the attack surface is much greater,” David Jefferson, a computer scientist and digital voting researcher, told Mic. “If I thought we could allow it for a very small number of people who really needed it, I could live with that, but that’s not what people are advocating.”
… Online voting “also opens the door to massive vote buying and selling,” Jefferson told Mic. “If you’re voting from a private computer with malware that can verify your votes, a voter can allow someone to see how they voted, and then allow $50 in bitcoin for voting how someone else wants.”