A federally funded online absentee voting system scheduled to debut in less than two weeks has security vulnerabilities that could jeopardize voter privacy and allow votes to be altered, according to a report prepared by four prominent researchers invited to analyze the system. All experts in cyber-security, they say the risks associated with Internet voting cannot be eliminated and urge that the system be shut down.
The reports authors are computer scientists David Wagner, Avi Rubin and David Jefferson from the University of California, Berkeley, The Johns Hopkins University and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, respectively, and Barbara Simons, a computer scientist and leading technology policy consultant. They are members of the Security Peer Review Group, an advisory group formed by the Federal Voting Assistance Program to evaluate the system.
Administrators of this program, part of the U.S. Department of Defense, were charged with finding an easier way for U.S. military personnel and overseas civilians to vote in their home districts. Currently, these voters must rely on absentee paper ballots. But obtaining and returning paper ballot from a distant location can be a frustrating process that sometimes depends on slow or unreliable foreign postal services.
Sarah Yang | UC Berkeley
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