What's The Future Of Voting In The U.S.?

Like a convention for the "smartest kids in the room," election officials, security experts, technology vendors and advocates discussed technologies for voting and voter registration. Upshot? Convenience is important, security is non-negotiable and—for voting—the Internet is not your friend.

February 26, 2013 (originally published on Storify)

The National Institute of Standards in Technology (much better known as NIST) hosted a Future of Voting Symposium. Diversity of thought (read: controversy), whip-sharp challenge and humor were in the house (as always when election folks get together).

A discussion about online services for voters highlighted stark differences in what's available from place to place in the U.S.

The comments about online voter services reminded us: even the best county web site won't do its voters much good unless they have reliable access to the Internet. The need for universal Internet access starts long before kids are eligible to vote, and affects every area of life.

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It was fascinating to see voting machine and services vendor Hart InterCivic pique the group's interest. During the 2012 presidential campaign, investors in Hart InterCivic appeared uncomfortably close to candidate Mitt Romney (their equipment was deployed in pivotal jurisdictions including areas of Ohio). At the time, we heard directly from credible, progressive election protection advocates that this confluence was extremely unlikely to affect the election, and that Ohio's secretary of state was responsive, transparent and effective in addressing concerns. Today, election integrity experts greeted Hart's presentation with a mixture of hope and skepticism.

The Everyone Counts (E1C) election system didn't fare so well, and we did some background reading to find out why.

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Recently the Huffington Post published an article about Hawaii's recent Internet and phone-based elections (" America's Newest State Hold...

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Which reminded us of the students who hacked (legally, invited to try) into a Washington, D.C. pilot test of Internet voting. It didn't take long, and all they needed was pizza and a PC. This video is as scary as it is entertaining: the students set up their University of Michigan fight song to play when voters finished marking their ballots in a kiosk. Although election officials had been watching for digital intrusions, they didn't discover they'd been hacked until voters commented on the music.

Prof. J. Alex Halderman Tells Us Why Internet-Based Voting Is a Bad Idea (Video)

On March 2, 2012, Timothy wrote about University of Michigan Professor J. Alex Halderman and his contention that there is no way to have ...

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—written by Keneta Anderson for Quixote Foundation