Federal Agencies Warn States Of The Dangers Of Online Voting

(RightWingAmericans.com)- Some states are planning to offer online voting to people with disabilities for the General Election in November, but the federal government isn’t too keen on the practice.
Last, the government warned states that it believes online voting options are “high risk,” even if they are able to follow all of the recommend protocols in terms of security.
In an eight-page report sent to states last week, the federal government recommends vote-by-mail ballots as a secure way of voting for people who have trouble getting to the polls. The report was created by four federal agencies, which included the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security.
The report, a copy of which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal, read in part:
“We recommend paper ballot return as electronic ballot return technologies are high-risk even with controls in place.”
New Jersey, Delaware and West Virginia currently have plans to run a pilot program for upcoming elections that will allow people with disabilities as well as overseas voters and military personnel vote online. The program is provided by Democracy Live, a company based out of Seattle.
West Virginia is hoping to limit potential cases of fraud and hacking by limiting online voting only to those people who would be unable to get to those polls and unable to submit their ballot secretly in any other way. Mac Warner, the Secretary of the State in West Virginia, said online voting wouldn’t be an option for all people with disabilities in the state.
The pilot program would give voters the option of printing out a ballot from online and then mailing it in if they wanted to.
The report didn’t just single out this new pilot program as vulnerable, though. It also mentioned other forms of digital voting, including vote submissions by email and/or fax that are popular among military voters and overseas voters. While the Democracy Live platform may “support stronger security mechanisms than email,” according to the document, any system that is web-based is potentially vulnerable to a cyberattack.
As such, the agencies believe any form of Internet voting is risky. That being said, the guidance does not say that states outright should not implement the system, especially as states are required to offer an internet voting option of some sort to overseas voters.
The big concern among security agencies is that online voting has the potential to be hacked and manipulated on a grand scale. Other alternative forms of voting, such as mail-in ballots, are only really susceptible to potential fraud on a smaller, local level, for example.
The director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Election Reform Program, Larry Norden, tweeted last week after learning of the document:
“In case there was any doubt, [Internet] voting as a solution for the challenges to our election posed by [COVID-19] is a really bad idea.”
Just two years ago, the National Academies of Sciences came to a similar conclusion, saying:
“At present time, the Internet (or any network connected to the Internet) should not be used for the return of marked ballots.”