An Association in the U.S. Says Online Voting is Not Secure Even With Blockchain
Despite the current pandemic, voters defied the cold weather to vote in the Wisconsin democratic primary. Hence, the people of America may be finding a better way to vote without leaving their homes. However, the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) has noted that for now, there may not be a safe way to do it with smartphones.
On April 9, the AAAS wrote an open letter to Governors, Secretaries of State and State Election Directors, urging them to disallow internet voting in elections because it is not a secure solution in the U.S. and it will not be in the foreseeable future.
The association cited a 2018 study regarding election security, pointing out that e-voting, especially with blockchain, might bring about privacy violations, ballot manipulation, as well as uncounted votes.
The AAAS noted that the use of blockchain architecture will raise concerns over the content stored in it, the decryption method for public access, and the way votes will be transferred to durable paper record. There is no scientific or technical proof suggesting that any internet voting system is capable of addressing these issues, said the AAAS.
When it comes to voting using paper ballots (by mail or in person) the process is burdensome and slow, and the issues concerning the interfering in elections could be fewer.
In the U.S., there has been discussion concerning how the 2020 presidential election in November will hold if the current lockdown measures will still be necessary. If e-voting and voting by mail is allowed, more people would turn out and will possibly reduce the chances of Republicans keeping the White House.
There have been concerns over entrusting important votes to electronic systems in the United States before now. In recent times, West Virginia decided to not use blockchain-based platform Voatz for residents with disabilities and citizens living abroad in casting their votes.
According to AAAS in the letter, Voatz’s servers are “surreptitiously violating user privacy, altering the user’s vote, and controlling the outcome of the election.”