In what is expected to be one of the biggest online votes conducted so far in the U.S., Utah residents will have the option of casting ballots in the Republican presidential contest using computers, tablets and smartphones next week. In-person caucuses and absentee voting also will remain options for GOP voters in the March 22 contest. Democrats aren’t offering an online option. It is the largest experiment with online presidential voting since 2004, when Michigan allowed Democrats to vote in a party caucus via the Internet. Estonia has had online voting in national elections since 2005, while Norway, France, Canada and Australia have experimented with it. … Although trials, pilots and experiments in online voting have been conducted over the past 20 years, it has been slow to be adopted—in part over security concerns about election integrity. “It’s the internet. It was not built for security when it was built. It was built for open communications,” said Pamela Smith, president of the nonpartisan nonprofit Verified Voting, which advocates for secure, verifiable elections and voting standards.
Ms. Smith said encryption and other Internet security measures weren’t always enough to ensure the security of something as important as an election. She also raised concerns about the lack of a paper trail with online voting—pointing to the fact that many digital voting machines used in polling places still keep a paper record for recounts or other election disputes.
… Skeptics say it is unlikely to be adopted broadly, given the increasing awareness of cybersecurity and online vulnerabilities. “The average citizen is starting to realize how insecure the Internet is,” said Avi Rubin, a computer security expert at Johns Hopkins University who has studied electronic voting systems.
Full Article: Utah Republicans Open Caucuses to Online Voters – WSJ.