National: Experts: Internet voting isn’t ready for COVID-19 crisis | Brett Winterford/CyberScoop

Internet technologies are set to play a critical role in the 2020 presidential election, but precisely which voting alternatives will be pursued – and whether they can adequately be secured – is now a $400 million question. COVID-19 doesn’t – at this point – present an excuse to postpone the general election in November. Chris Krebs, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency told a recent Axios forum that 42 U.S. states have mechanisms in place that allow for alternatives to in-person voting, and the other eight have break-glass provisions for doing the same when emergencies require it. A global pandemic would most certainly meet that threshold. The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill (CARES Act) signed into law last week included $400 million of grants the Election Assistance Commission can give to states to help them “prevent, prepare for and respond to Coronavirus.” Earlier versions of the bill stipulated that the grants were conditional on states spending it on election security, but these provisions were later stripped out. States retain the autonomy to make the preparations they each deem necessary, as officials face the daunting task of upholding the most essential function of democracy in the midst of a health pandemic that constrains the movement and assembly of people in public spaces.