Security and Reliability Concerns Around Internet Voting Outweigh Benefits

Jalisa Giles leads the “Secure Our Vote” campaign at Public Citizen. Shutterstock The internet has revolutionized the way we live, work, and communicate. It has also sparked discussions about ways to leverage its power to make one of the most highly-prized rights guaranteed by our democracy — voting — more accessible.  When voting is made accessible, Americans’ participation in the civic process increases. While internet voting, also known as electronic ballot return, may seem like a convenient solution to ongoing accessibility issues, it raises significant reliability, security and privacy concerns that must be addressed before it can be safely implemented in any jurisdiction.  In the US, reputable federal entities that oversee cybersecurity and elections — including the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Election Assistance Commission (EAC), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — have made clear that internet voting cannot be conducted securely at this time, citing the risk of potential hacking, manipulation, and data breaches  The Dangers of Internet Voting 1. Security Vulnerabilities Internet voting systems are susceptible to hacking and cyberattacks.  Malicious actors could cut off the ability to vote online, manipulate results, compromise the integrity of an election, or steal sensitive voter information from thousands of voters — potentially without detection. A recent example occurred in Ecuador, where cyber attacks that appeared to be routed through multiple countries disrupted the online voting system, preventing many registered voters abroad…Security and Reliability Concerns Around Internet Voting Outweigh Benefits