Security experts still widely agree that online voting can’t be adequately secured or transparently audited. Yet the siren song of ‘easier voting’ appears irresistible.
Voting Smartphone- Seattle and other Washington state residents will soon be allowed to vote in an upcoming election via smartphone—even if security experts continue to say that’s an idiotic idea.
The King County Conservation District (KCD), a public land management agency governing 30 cities including Seattle, will soon be electing a new board supervisor position. The election itself is relatively obscure; but it’s a landmark event given it’s the first time Americans will be allowed to vote via smartphone in a public election at any real scale.
The project, announced Wednesday by the KCD, lets an estimated 1.2 million Washington state residents vote for the new board supervisor via smartphone, mail in ballot, dropbox, or in person. The agency says it’s working with voting tech firm Democracy Live and advocacy organization Tusk Philanthropies to eliminate barriers to voting.
Starting today, voters can visit the Democracy Live portal, submit their vote, then have it tallied by February 11. While the technology has been used before for absentee voters and voters with disabilities, it’s the first time it’s being widely deployed to the broader public.
“The more people vote, the more government reflects the will of the people,” Tusk CEO Bradley Tusk said in a prepared statement. “1.2 million people can now vote securely on their phones. It’s the biggest innovation in democracy in years.”
The problem: security and infosec professionals, far and wide, continue to warn that online voting isn’t ready for prime time, can’t be adequately secured, and often results in a lack of a meaningful paper trail, making transparency an uphill climb. As your vote stumbles around the internet, experts say it’s currently all but impossible to guarantee information security.