E-voting: How secure is it?

More than half of all US states will allow some kind of internet voting this year. But security experts say it's a mistake

By , CSO |  Government, e-voting

Both security experts also point to electronic voting machines as security risks, too. Electronic machines that allow votes to be cast at precincts without paper became popular after the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, and the now famous "hanging chad" controversy. But even these machines, used in a closed-precinct environment, still make Jefferson uncomfortable because of the possibility of vote tampering.

"The paperless, electronic-voting machines, machines in which there is no paper trail, and no way of auditing those machines, are a major security risk. But there are many election officials, even entire states, that insist they can conduct elections strictly with electronic-voting machines and that there are no security risks with it."

The lack of auditing inherent in many types of these kinds of machines causes controversy regularly. In fact, a conservative watchdog group in Nevada is currently embroiled in an argument with voting machine technicians in one county that are represented by the union SEIU. The group, Americans for Limited Government, wants state officials to intervene and ensure SEIU workers who operate the machines don't skew the results in favor of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the union-endorsed candidate. Issues like this crop up every election season, noted Jefferson. Still, it's internet voting, and it's possible widespread adoption, that keeps him up at night.

"Internet voting is really this year's voting problem and I have to say it's about a thousand-times worse than the security risk of straight electronic voting machines in precincts," he said.

Originally published on CSO |  Click here to read the original story.
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