Unresolved technological problems means Internet voting should not yet be deployed to U.S. elections, a Homeland Security Department cybersecurity official told a conference of election officials and watchdogs. “It’s definitely premature to deploy Internet voting in real elections,” said Bruce McConnell, a senior cybersecurity counselor, speaking before the Election Verification Network conference in Santa Fe, N.M. on March 29. “The security infrastructure around Internet voting is both immature and under-resourced,” McConnell told the audience, citing National Institute of Standards and Technology internal reports that summarize technical research on particular subjects. NISTIR 7770 (.pdf), which addresses security considerations of remote electronic voting, states that “achieving a very strict notion of ballot secrecy remains a challenging issue in remote electronic voting systems,’” McConnell noted.
As the 2012 presidential election revs up, 33 states now permit some form of Internet ballot casting. However, a senior cybersecurity adviser at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned today that online voting programs make the country’s election process vulnerable to cyberattacks. “It is premature to deploy Internet voting in real elections at this time,” DHS cybersecurity adviser Bruce McConnell said at a meeting of the Election Verification Network, which is a group that works to ensure every vote is counted. He explained that all voting systems are susceptible to attacks and bringing in Internet voting invites added risk. Right now, 33 states allow completed ballots to be sent via the Web, typically through e-mail and efax. The main voting contingent that uses this cyber-feature are people in the military and those living overseas.