Responding to a question about when there might be online voting in Idaho, Phil McGrane, chief deputy to the Ada County clerk, didn’t waste words: “Not in my lifetime.” In 2010, Washington, D.C., experimented with an electronic voting system, inviting hackers to interfere with a mock school board election. Within hours, a University of Michigan professor and two graduate students had broken into the system, elected Futurama character Bender to the D.C. school board, replaced the “Thank you for voting” message with “Owned,” and programmed it to play the University of Michigan fight song, “Hail to the Victors.” The changes went unnoticed for 48 hours. “Unless you want Bender as president—and some of you might want that right now—we won’t be voting online,” McGrane told a contingent from the League of Women Voters Sept. 13 at the Ada County Courthouse.
For McGrane, it was a chance to demystify voting and elections at a time of high interest in the issue; for the league, it was a chance to turn down the heat in one of the most partisan times in living memory.
“This is something we can do nonpartisan, and it’s something we can do right now,” said Crystal Callahan, a member of LWV. “And it’s a hot-button issu