By David L. Dill and Barbara Simons
February 02, 2008
As most of us now understand, paperless electronic voting is a really
bad idea. But there is a still worse idea: voting over the Internet.
Voters may worry about whether voting machines were hacked by
programmers or poll-workers who have machines stored in their homes
prior to an election. But with internet voting, we must also worry
about whether the system has been hacked by a teenager in Eastern
Europe, organized crime, or even an unfriendly government. We must
worry about network failure, "denial of service"attacks that shut down
selected machines on the internet, counterfeit Internet websites, and
spyware and/or viruses on the computers used to cast votes. And we must
worry about whether the people running the system are engaging in
Like whack-a-mole, internet voting proposals have reappeared in
different guises in the U.S. for much of the past decade. When an
extremely ambitious Department of Defense proposal for internet voting
in the 2004 presidential election was reviewed by computer security
experts, it was terminated because of security concerns documented by those experts - the same concerns that should cause all citizens to view any proposal for internet voting with extreme skepticism.
Nonetheless, on Super Tuesday the Democratic Party is going to deploy
internet voting. Democrats living outside the country will be treated
as a 51st state, called Democrats Abroad, and will elect delegates to
the convention. This approach adroitly side-steps almost all regulation
on election technology, which typically are matters of state, not
Federal, law. Internet voting won't even be subjected to the
notoriously inadequate certification process that applies to almost
every other voting system in the U.S. The organizers apparently
maintain their confidence in the security of internet voting by not
consulting anyone who might, as happened in 2004, warn them of risks.
(We know most, if not all, of the independent experts in internet
voting in the U.S., and none of them has been asked to examine this
By Warren Stewart and Ellen Theisen
April 21, 2005
This sample legislation for vvpb and machine-auditing was prepared for Vote Trust USA
by Warren Stewart and Ellen Theisen of VotersUnite.Org
. Please feel free to use any of the language that you find helpful.
Requires a voter-verifiable paper record of every vote, to be preserved
in accordance with laws governing the preservation of ballots; defines
the paper record as the true and correct record and the official record
for recounts and audits.