The whole goal of an election is to satisfy the people who lost the election that they lost fair and square and that the candidate who is elected is legitimate.
Online voting is such a dangerous idea that computer scientists and security experts are nearly unanimous in opposition to it.
How easy would it be to hack a computerized system? Not very hard, as we can see from the frequent news stories about massive thefts of data from government and corporate web servers. And there are many other threats, including voters who are not experts in computer security and may be easily fooled, and potential for corrupt insiders at companies that produce the Internet voting software.
“At worst, attackers could change election outcomes without detection, and even if there was no attack, officials would have no way to prove that the results were accurate,” wrote the two researchers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Michael Specter and University of Michigan professor J. Alex Halderman.
“No available technology can adequately mitigate these risks, so we urge jurisdictions not to deploy OmniBallot’s online voting features,” they added.
One of OmniBallot’s biggest weaknesses, the researchers said, is that it provides an option for voters to submit ballots electronically without creating any secondary record of ballots that could be tallied to double-check elections results.
Before the election, the state electoral commission told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that “People’s vote is completely secret… It’s fully encrypted and safeguarded, it can’t be tampered with.” Yet it took researchers only a few days to identify fatal flaws in the online voting web application that could have easily been used to spy on and even modify every single vote cast online, and to do so in an undetectable manner.
NIST, the U.S. cybersecurity standards body tasked with examining the issue, concluded that online voting is impossible to secure.