Verified Voting Blog: One Solution – Delivering Blank Ballots via Internet

As noted in Part One of this series, one of the goals of the MOVE Act is to improve access to election materials such as voter registration forms and blank ballots. Examining why (and ignoring voter registration for the moment), we see that there are two parts to the process of voting from an overseas location: 1) obtaining a blank absentee ballot, and 2) returning the voted ballot. The first problem, obtaining a blank ballot, should be refined a bit – part of the problem for overseas voters is obtaining a blank ballot with sufficient time for it to be returned within state designated absentee ballot deadlines. And one way to solve this part of the problem is to send blank ballots to military and overseas voters via the Internet. Read More

Verified Voting Blog: On India’s Electronic Voting Controversy

For Americans who care about verified elections, recent events in India are resonant.  Verified Voting applauds the advocates, ordinary citizens and technologists who are working for accountable voting in the world’s largest democracy.  We support calls for the government of India  to 1) engage constructively, rather than persecute, technologists who have conducted critical research on Indian voting systems; and 2) take immediate steps toward a verifiable voting process suited to India’s needs.

A bit of background for Americans who have not yet tuned in to the controversy:  India adopted a nationwide system of paperless direct-recording electronic voting machines in 2004.  Early on, some Indian computer security experts pointed to the inherent vulnerability of a purely electronic voting process, and a number of journalists and candidates for office raised concerns.  The machines in India are much simpler than those used in America, but are no less vulnerable to wholesale attacks originating from the voting system vendor, and are prone to a number of serious machine-by-machine “retail” attacks.

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Verified Voting Blog: Internet Voting – An Introduction

In a wired world, it was inevitable that the subject of Internet Voting become a hot topic sooner rather than later. But more than just a topic of discussion, this year eighteen states will allow overseas ballots to be returned via email in November’s elections. Yet according to security experts, voted ballots sent via Internet simply cannot be made secure, and make easy and inviting targets for attackers ranging from lone hackers to foreign governments seeking to undermine US elections.

The Pentagon rejected the idea of returning voted ballots via the internet as recently as 2004, when the SERVE (Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment) project was canceled. In a memo, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said “In view of the inability to ensure legitimacy of votes that would be cast in the SERVE internet voting project, thereby bringing into doubt the integrity of the election, I hereby direct you to take immediate steps to ensure that no voters use the system to register or vote via the internet.” Read More