Like rocket-packs and hover boards, the ability for a Canadian to vote in a federal election via the Internet continues to be a sci-fi dream. “With elections it’s unlike any other system in a cyber security system because everyone’s a potential adversary — the voters, the voting vendors, election officials, third parties. So you have to imagine how to protect against all those possibilities,” explains Aleksander Essex, an Assistant Professor of Software Engineering at the University of Western Ontario. “Internet voting has been used at the national level in other countries, but none as big as Canada,” says Nicole Goodman, Research Director, Centre for e-Democracy and Assistant Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs. She has a list of factors that she says are stopping us from implementing it at the Federal level “from concerns about security and the process of authentication, to the reluctance of government to embrace digital technology to policy and scalability.”
… Diane Benson, spokesperson for Elections Canada, says that a pilot project for Internet voting at the federal level was talked about in 2008, but is not being pursued at this time.
“We continue to study internet voting along with other innovative ways to vote but believe there are challenges related to the integrity, verifiability and the secrecy of internet voting,” she said. “Take every single cyber-security problem that you can think of an internet voting inherits them all,” agrees Essex.
“A classic question I get all the time is — I can bank online, why can’t I vote online? And it comes down to the fact that they are fundamentally different problems. If you’re willing to give up the secret ballot then you can vote online with a fair degree … the problem is that when you want to have something that is absolutely counted correctly on the one hand and absolutely preserving the privacy of voter on the other hand and then have them both at the same time, you get into a massive open technical problem that the entire research community hasn’t solved in a robust way.”
Full Article: Will Canadians ever be able to vote online? | rabble.ca.