Nothing new about online voting
Almost four years ago I explained why and how, at least for actual political elections, online voting is a totally idiotic idea. But it’s nice, and useful for the common good, to publicly remind it, with recent words and news from security professionals.
Who could have imagined that, in 2021, “Internet Voting is Still Inherently Insecure”? Everybody, of course. Here’s why, this time with the words of that post.
“Let’s examine the science”
- If a voter sends a ballot electronically to an election office that prints and counts it, that’s certainly not a “paper ballot” in the sense that a voter can check what’s printed on it
- Smartphones cannot be trusted: “serious new exploitable vulnerabilities are continually discovered” for both Android and iOS
- Blockchain is useless: “the vote can be hacked before it even gets into the blockchain”
- We have no system of unforgeable digital credentials that we can give to every voter to authenticate their voting transaction.
[But] “We still do online banking and shopping!!!!”
Sure, but it just does NOT matter for voting, for tons of reasons including:
- banks “can suspend a credit card at any instant if they suspect fraud”. Election officials cannot. Assuming they can detect frauds
- every individual transaction is traceable and auditable (and both frauds and errors e.g. people wiring money they do not have, or to the wrong account, are immediately, immensely more visible than vote hacking)
What about disabled voters?
“Organizations representing voters with disabilities want voters with visual impairments or motor disabilities to be able to vote independently and conveniently from home.”
“We need better technology for such voters, and it’s worth investing in it… But we must not let wishful thinking lead us into hackable internet voting.”
Wishing that internet voting could be made secure is not a justification for implementing it.
- Voting by internet is too insecure, too hackable, to use in U.S. elections. Every scientific study comes to the same conclusion
- Paper ballots are our only practical choice
As a final note from me, please note that none of these arguments is new. I have been saying the same things, and more, for years now, and so have many others. It’s amazing that this dumb illusion still gets any credit.