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Why Voting Online Is Not the Way to Hold an Election in a Pandemic


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A representation of online voting.

Three is renewed interest in voting online thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but experts warn it would be too vulnerable to breaches and cyberattacks.

Credit: MageeNews.com

The COVID-19 pandemic's disruption to elections worldwide has rekindled interest in voting online, but experts warn it would be too vulnerable to breaches and cyberattacks.

A paper by the nonprofit International Foundation for Electoral Systems warns against launching online voting during a pandemic.

Rigging elections by falsifying millions of paper ballots would be a massive undertaking, but any malefactor who finds a bug in an electronic voting system can theoretically exploit it at a large scale.

A lack of unified auditing measures compounds the problem, as any suspicion of interference by an outside power can cast doubt on the entire electoral process.

Estonians trust their online voting system partly because state-issued electronic identification and smartcards ensure authentication, but Jeremy Epstein of ACM’s U.S. Technology Policy Committee said, "Because of the pathological fear of government intrusion, this would never fly in the U.S."

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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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