Category Archives: internet voting

“Emergency Motion to Stop Internet Voting in NJ”

Freedom to Tinker:

On May 4th, 2020 a press release from announced that New Jersey would allow online voting in a dozen school-board elections scheduled for May 12th. On May 11, the Rutgers International Human Rights Clinic filed an emergency motion to stop internet voting in New Jersey. During a conference on May 18 with Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson, the State notified the court that it had abandoned its plans to use internet voting for the upcoming July 7 primary election. 

The Clinic, led by Rutgers Law School professor Penny Venetis, argued that the Democracy Live online voting system (that New Jersey planned to use) violated a broad court order issued in March 2010 by Judge Linda Feinberg.  That order was issued in the Clinic’s case Gusciora v. Corzine, which challenged paperless voting machines as unconstitutional. 

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“Internet Voting Leaves Out a Cornerstone of Democracy: The Secret Ballot”

MIT Technology Review:

If the risk of hackers meddling with election results is not enough, here’s another reason voting shouldn’t happen on the Internet: the ballots can’t be kept secret.

That’s according to a new report from Verified Voting, a group that advocates for transparency and accuracy in elections.

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“More than 30 states offer online voting, but experts warn it isn’t secure”

Sari Horwitz for WaPo:

The popularity of voting online is growing and will be in place for the presidential election in more than 30 states, primarily for voters living overseas or serving in the military.

But security experts and some senior Obama administration officials fear there is not enough protection for any ballots transmitted over the Internet. They are warning states that any kind of online voting is not yet secure and most likely will not be for years to come.

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“Utah Republicans are holding a first-ever online presidential primary. And it’s not going so well.”


Unfortunately, Utah’s digital election night doesn’t seem to be going as smoothly as Utah Republicans had hoped.

While Utah Republicans headed to their caucus in person on Tuesday evening, anyone who had registered online by March 17 can log on to to vote between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. local time and cast their vote. But the Deseret News reports some voters got error messages when they tried to navigate beyond the first page.

“I must have tried eight or nine times without success,” Greg Ericksen told the newspaper.

Others say they got stuck on the candidate page and couldn’t cast their ballot. And still others say they got confused by links to the candidates’ bios, thinking a click meant they were voting for a certain candidate only to find they were suddenly on a different website.

As of Tuesday night, party officials said about 10,000 of the 40,000 Utahns who applied to vote online were rejected because their IDs couldn’t be verified. In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, GOP Party Chairman Evans seemed to suggest the error was on the user end: “Primarily it was people thinking they were approved to vote online [but were not],” Evans said. “The other category were people who received their PIN and it went to their spam folder or they just deleted it.”

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“New election rules protect overseas voters”

Colorado SOS Wayne Williams:

Earlier this month I adopted several amendments to the Secretary of State elections rules. In large part, these amendments are “cleanup” in nature; that is, they reword certain rules for grammar and clarity, they repeal some unnecessary or overly burdensome rules, and they reflect recent legislative changes in election law.

In addition to those more-technical amendments, I adopted a rule that clarifies the General Assembly’s mandate to permit electronic transmission of ballots to and from military and overseas citizens. Unfortunately, there are some who do not want members of the military, their family members, military contractors, missionaries, and other Coloradans abroad to have the same ability to vote that you and I have. Those of us in Colorado have the ability to study the issues and candidates and then turn in our ballots after reviewing what’s on them for several weeks. That way, we can make informed choices.

To permit these military and overseas voters the same rights, the General Assembly adopted a law in 2006 permitting electronic ballot transmission for this limited number of voters and then readopted it in 2011. Let me be clear: My rule puts some previously nonexistent guardrails on the legislature’s electronic transmission policy. The General Assembly adopted the law, not me. And I’m required to construe the law so that every eligible voter may vote — in fact, that’s a specific requirement of Colorado law.

Not surprisingly, a handful of elections activists used this most-recent rulemaking to rail against what they term “Internet voting.” But what does surprise me is seeing members of the General Assembly, past and present, make misinformed statements and greatly exaggerate the purpose and effect of the new rule. Despite the fact that my rule actually narrows the application of electronic transmission, the naysayers continue to falsely claim that I’m expanding Internet voting and that I’m ignoring the advice of experts in the field. I have two responses.

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“Consensus Reached on Recommendations Toward the Future of Internet Voting”

Press release:

Today’s release of The Future of Voting: End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting Specification and Feasibility Assessment Study by U.S. Vote Foundation establishes a new reference for the security, usability and transparency requirements essential to the U.S. in any consideration of Internet voting for public elections.

Developed by a team of the nation’s leading experts in election integrity, election administration, high-assurance systems engineering, and cryptography, the report starts from the premise that public elections in the U.S. are a matter of national security. The authors assert that Internet voting systems must be transparent and designed to run in a manner that embraces the constructs of end-to-end verifiability – a property missing from existing Internet voting systems.

An end-to-end verifiable (E2E-V) voting system allows voters to 1) check that the system recorded their votes correctly; 2) check that the system included their votes in the final tally; 3) count the recorded votes and double-check the announced outcome of the election.  An Internet voting system that is end-to-end verifiable is an E2E-VIV system. The new set of system specifications that could eventually lead to a model E2E-VIV system includes an ideal cryptographic foundation, security, audit, and usability considerations, as well as technical approaches to the system architecture.

As election technology evolves and more states evaluate Internet voting, caution on compromises to integrity and security is warranted, and according to the report, should be particularly avoided by the  premature deployment of Internet voting. The report aims to list the security challenges that exist with Internet voting and emphasizes that research should continue as the threat landscape continues to shift. Existing proprietary systems that meet only a subset of the requirements cannot be considered secure enough for use in the U.S.

Key recommendations in the report to make Internet voting more secure and transparent include:

  1. Any public elections conducted over the Internet must be end-to-end verifiable – The report asserts that the use of Internet voting systems without end-to-end verifiability is irresponsible, and E2E-V is the only publicly available technology that provides assurance an Internet voting system is secure and transparent.

  2. End-to-End Verifiable systems must be in-person and supervised first – It is critical to first enhance the security of in-person voting systems with E2E-V, and learn from its deployment, before assuming the more complex task of deploying E2E-VIV systems.

  3. End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting systems must be high assurance – E2E-VIV systems must be designed, constructed, verified, certified, operated and supported according to the most rigorous engineering requirements of mission- and safety-critical systems. A voting system vulnerable to privacy violations, programming errors, and security issues will undermine the trust of the electorate and validity of the results.

  4. End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting systems must be usable and accessible to all voters – E2E-VIV systems must ensure usability and accessibility for all voters including those with disabilities.

  5. Maintain aggressive election R&D efforts – Formidable challenges in usability, reliability and security remain for the development of E2E-VIV systems and will require continued investment in peer-reviewed research and development to overcome.

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