Fraud will be massive if we let people register online to vote, the doomsayers warned in 2012 as California’s then-Secretary of State Debra Bowen put the finishing touches on software now used by all 58 of the state’s counties. Those skeptics were wrong. So far, there are no signs of massive fraud or even moderate fraud in use of that online registration system, available to anyone at the secretary of state’s website. This system is now widely accepted, and there are very few known cases of false registrations, signups by non-citizens or fake names being registered online. Now comes an initiative aiming for a spot on the November ballot that would take online voter registration much farther, authorizing actual voting via the Internet. Doomsayers have many of the same objections today as in 2012, and this time they may be correct. …Backers insist votes can be made secure and encrypted in ways that are almost impossible to hack. But the same was said of electronic voting machines. That was before Bowen conducted her “top to bottom” review of those gadgets and essentially ordered almost all of them scrapped or resold to other states and countries because of the ease with which votes cast on them could be “flipped.”
… Any such system would be tested first in local elections. But organized hackers would probably lay off online votes cast in local races that mean little to them, allowing election officials to trumpet the “safety” of what they’ve created. Of course, all the while they might well know how to hack that system, but lurk in the background until it’s time to flip the vote in an election that mattered to them — like one for president, U.S. senator or a key proposition.
Anyone who expects hackers working for political manipulators to go after every election would be a fool. A clever vote-flipping operation — like the one Diebold may have conducted 12 years ago in Ohio — would wait for a vitally important race that could be switched around with relatively few votes. That would allow the manipulators to remain inconspicuous and ready to act again whenever they like.
Which means only a fool would support any move to put voting online, where there’s no hope for a countable “paper trail” of the sort that Bowen began requiring about a decade ago.
Full Article: Online voting will be vulnerable to hackers: Thomas Elias.