Can the dangers of Internet voting be mitigated?

Phil Windley is a really smart guy, so when he speaks on a technical matter, I make it a point to listen. (Also, he runs the @utahpolitics Twitter bot that so many of us know and love.) He recently raised a number of good points about some dangers in embracing electronic voting, none of which are trivial matters. Unlike Phil, I don’t think these are insurmountable barriers. I’d like to propose some ways we can work with and around them. Secret ballots are required There are a lot of benefits…

The Dangers of Internet Voting

I am serving on Lt. Governor Cox’s iVote panel, which is looking at whether Internet voting might be used in Utah. I presented the following statement to the panel this morning (August 25): Current computer operating systems, Internet protocols, and standard computing practices are inherently insecure. Recent news stories about break-ins at Target,UPS, Community Health Systems, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission point out all too well both the weaknesses in the system and the power of hackers to take advantage of those weaknesses. Groups mounting attacks include both state and criminal actors. Yet in…

iVote, Electronic Voting, and Security: Controlling Access

One of the most important parts of securing any electronic data is making sure that only authorized parties have access to it. This can often be quite a challenge in larger organizations, especially if the user base grows. Assuming voter registration is about the same as it was in 2012, you have to figure out how to secure a system that handles 1.5M total users. Successfully authenticating that many users is quite a challenge, and almost any method used to do so has its pros and cons. Let’s take a…

iVote, Electronic Voting, and Security: An Introduction

I’m very honored and privileged to be part of the iVote Advisory Committee to Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox. This committee has a lot of smart people putting their minds towards considering all of the implications of expanding voting to be as convenient as pulling out a smartphone. I know several of the members personally, several by reputation, and several not at all, but from our first discussion, I feel confident that we’ll end up providing some very smart feedback that considers the full implications of turning personal connected devices into…