As Canadians focus on cases of possible election fraud with the unfolding “robocalls” scandal, some people have suggested that Internet voting might be one way of stopping unscrupulous political activists from sending voters to non-existent polling stations. In fact, Internet voting is likely to increase, rather than decrease, electoral fraud. Since online voting requires passwords, there would be nothing to stop eligible voters from giving or selling their passwords to others. A few charismatic members of a community organization, or of a partisan political association, or of a family might then be able to control the votes of numerous citizens.
For those of us who haven’t been keeping up with the latest campaign debates, or who are uncertain about our political judgment, or about our language or time-management skills, there will be the inevitable temptation to give our passwords to people we trust. For people unscrupulous enough to want to send voters to non-existent polling booths, or to hire busloads of non-citizens to register as last-minute voters, the temptation to vote on behalf of scores or even hundreds of Internet users would be overwhelming. Not only would some computers inevitably be hacked, phishing expeditions to steal passwords would become common.
Short of sending scrutineers to each person’s home or office to watch that person vote, this problem remains insurmountable. Without an effective check on voters’ identities, Canadians would have even less confidence in the reliability of voters’ lists than they do today. Internet voting should thus never be used for something as important as a national, provincial or municipal election.
Full Article: There’s no democratic quick fix.