We do our banking, our shopping and manage our relationships online. But our democracy remains decidedly analogue: in 2017, the simple act of casting a vote requires citizens to trudge down to a polling booth, queue up, and tick a box on a voting slip. … The most clear threat to online voting is the prospect of a cyber attack. If malicious actors were able to hack into the voting system, they might be able to manipulate the result. The threat of this has grown in recent years. Russian hackers are said to have interfered in last year’s US election by stealing information from US Democrats. Being able to target the voting system itself would be a much bigger prize. Hackers might not even have to gain access to the voting system. Launching a distributed denial of service (DDos) attack, in which a system is flooded with internet traffic to the extent that legitimate attempts to access it cannot get through, could hamper the online voting process.
Cyber attacks might not even have to be successful to undermine online voting: even the suggestion that the system could be targeted could damage trust in the result of an online election. After all, we might not know if something did go wrong.
… Voting on paper almost guarantees anonymity – there is no record of who completed each slip. This might not be the case online. In theory, every vote would have a digital trail linking it back to the voter themselves.
While techniques to anonymise digital voting would be applied, most systems have flaws: hacktivists could have a strong interest in exposing how public figures and business leaders have voted. Snoopers might not have to hack into the online voting system to see how votes were cast: secret cameras, or surreptitiously installed screenloggers could do the same job.
Full Article: Why we still can’t vote online.