States Experiment with Internet Voting

It’s voting time in the U.S. and once again states are considering whether the benefits of Internet voting outweigh the risks. Computer Scientists across the country warn that Internet voting systems are vulnerable to attacks. The point was hammered home last week when University of Michigan students were able to easily compromise the voting system being tested by the District of Columbia. Still some states claim that their systems are impenetrable. Arizona and West Virginia will allow military and overseas voters to use the Internet to vote in this election. More than 20 other states let overseas voters cast their ballot through e-mail, which is equally vulnerable. Internet voting is being viewed by some as a solution to the challenges faced by the nation’s 4 to 5 million military personnel stationed overseas. In the last election only two-thirds of overseas voters were able to return their ballots on time. Congress has asked the Pentagon and the states to conduct pilot projects to test the security of Internet voting systems.

“How America votes is just as important as who they vote for,” says Gregory Miller, co-executive director of the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation. “Nobody knows how to conduct an election that is immune to attacks” says David Jefferson, a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who chairs “We can’t have our election systems exposed to cyberattacks,” he added.

Security Debate Rages Over Internet Voting [NewsFactor]