Monday, October 25, 2010

33 States ok online voting, but it's not ready reports that there are 33 states allowing some form of online voting. But there are serious questions about the security of the systems.

There should be some concern just because the system is only as secure as the system the voter is on. But in one test by a team from the University of Michigan had complete control of one of the systems in 36 hours. Worse, they discovered other hackers, some from hostile foreign powers, trying to break in, too.

At this time there really isn't any way to guarantee the security of online voting. There is no standard to test against, no agreed development strategies, no real checks an balances. This election might be safe enough, but what about the Presidential election in 2012? What if in a close election a foreign power can take control of 5% of the votes? Or in a really close election, .5% of the vote?

Online voting is coming, and it will be a good thing. But implementing it must be done in a proper and careful manner. Accepting online ballots without proper development and testing opens our political system to manipulation by people who would benefit by affecting the outcome of elections. Sometimes it wouldn't even be necessary to determine the outcome. Sometimes controlling how close a vote is will change policy.

Making sure online voting is secure should be of the highest priority. Contact your state and federal representatives and tell them not to adopt any online voting system until it has been fully tested and certified secure.