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Online voting

  1. Oct 30, 2008 #1
    I just spent about an hour and a half waiting in line to early vote. Do you think online voting in U.S. elections is feasible? Or do you think the security risks are too great?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2008 #2
    I think it'd be too great...the risk that is.
  4. Oct 30, 2008 #3
    What risks?
  5. Oct 30, 2008 #4
    Risks like someone hacking into the voting server and submitting millions of votes for their preferred candidate.
  6. Oct 30, 2008 #5

    these kinds

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  7. Oct 30, 2008 #6
  8. Oct 30, 2008 #7
    It is possible to detect that data has been modified through statistical calculations and quantum mechanics applications.

    Hackers can also break into online shopping sites/banks and get millions of dollars. But, that doesn't mean we don't do online shopping. We are continuously trying to improve the system.

    It's possible to come up with a secure system similar to what banks use (something like assigning unique IDs to each citizen) ...
  9. Oct 30, 2008 #8
    The challenge would be to deter hackers funded by a foreign government, or better yet to deter cyber attacks by foreign governments directly.
  10. Oct 30, 2008 #9
    On the other hand, voting is a bit more sacred then online shopping or banking. There is no constitutional right to secure online shopping for example.
  11. Oct 30, 2008 #10
    So a server gets hacked and tampered with, or maybe just gliches or crashes for other reasons, what do you think happens to all of the votes that were stored on that server? They're now useless. If there is any reason to believe that votes have been tampered with they will be discarded.

    There's also a question of cost and who will create and run the system. I'm sure you've heard of the great electronic voting fiasco?
  12. Oct 30, 2008 #11
    Solution: Frequent periodic backups. Even a HS student knows the importance of back ups.

    I know it's hard but it isn't impossible. And, there are really high insentives to hack into bank/online shopping sites.

    I think it would be better to know what internet security engineers think about the current systems. IMO, it's secure enough for voting purposes.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  13. Oct 31, 2008 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    There has to be a paper trail that the voter can see. End of story. Right now, many States are in violation of election laws because computer results that don't produce a verifiable count, amount to a secret count, which is illegal. As for access, Nevada may have the right idea. They use many voting machines in many locations, such as malls, and other public areas. I have seen a number of reports about this and the voters seem to love it. Also, here in Oregon, we just mail it in, and that works extremely well.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  14. Oct 31, 2008 #13
    I'm sure it could be done. But how much money and workwould it require and will the government hire someone competent to complete the task? Those are the big questions and if the people don't trust it it wont fly. I have computer geek friends who still wont shop online, I'd hate to think of the number of computer illeterates who would refuse to use such a system.
  15. Oct 31, 2008 #14
    Voting online is a relatively secure and well-tested technology at this point and it's used regularly for allowing shareholders to vote for corporate board members and other company issues. But I agree with everyone's objections, I don't think we'll see its use for public elections in the United States in the near future. Maybe somewhere like Australia where everyone is required to vote and there are already lots of automated systems involved like reminder calls.
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