Thursday, January 22, 2009

Problems seen in e-voting overseas - Tech and gadgets- msnbc.com

This article discusses all the problems with voting by phone and internet.  It always baffles me how articles like this fail talk about phantom security concerns with transmitting votes electronically, but fail to see the overwhelming insecurity of the current “mail it in”.

Problems seen in e-voting overseas - Tech and gadgets- msnbc.com

  • Telephone: Voting by telephone presents a number of security challenges, the study concluded. Since a voter couldn't sign the ballot, officials would have to find another way to authenticate the vote, such as using a PIN, or personal identification number, although that could be stolen.

I find it interesting how they compare entering a PIN and signing a ballot both as a means of ‘authenticating’ the vote.  I wonder how long it would take me to sign someone else’s name on a ballot versus how long it would take me to find out what their PIN was…you know, the one that can be stolen.

  • Internet: Voting on a Web page means "a great deal of trust must be placed in the software on the election server to accurately record votes, as there would be no opportunity for voters to directly verify that their ballots have been recorded correctly," the report said. Like e-mail voting systems, a Web-based system also would rely on computer systems outside the control of election officials. "Attacks on these systems, such as voters' computers, could significantly threaten the integrity of elections or the ability of voters to cast ballots," the report added.

Yet somehow the mail systems in other countries are ‘inside’ the control of election officials.

I know this is not the first article like this, and won’t be the last…good grief.

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