Why Internet Based Voting is "Unfixably Broken"
Security experts David Jefferson, a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and J. Alex Halderman, a professor at the University of Michigan, laid out a detailed explanation of why parts of Internet voting are broken and unfix-able. Speaking at the RSA Security Conference on Thursday, the two experts outlined specific problems with Internet voting.
Four areas of security concern are highlighted; local voting jurisdictions, vendors, the individual equipment voters use, and vulnerabilities in the network itself can all be exploited to manipulate election results.
Halderman acknowledges that voting in person, especially by electronic means, is far from foolproof, but he joins Jefferson in saying that online voting is categorically worse, and suggests that everyone who takes an interest in security or the mechanics of democratic elections raise the issues of privacy and security. His conclusion and advice for election officials in the U.S.: Voting online is a bad idea, and it simply can't be fixed in the foreseeable future. All the security problems of e-voting machines at polling stations apply directly to internet voting, too, which means that anyone on Earth can attack an online election.
In 2010 Halderman proved his point by electing Bender, the drunken cartoon robot to the Washington DC school board by hacking their voting system with a group of graduate students. image from: michelle-nicole.xomba.com