The ubiquity of online life comes with devastating vulnerabilities. Even one of the world’s richest men, Jeff Bezos, is reportedly not safe from hackers of electronic devices.
Despite this well-established risk, Washington elections officials are moving in disjointed directions about internet security. In Olympia, Secretary of State Kim Wyman wants to bar emailed ballot returns because of potential fraud and network tampering via attachment. In King County, Elections Director Julie Wise is aiding a local public agency’s experiment with online voting.
The King County move is a badly flawed approach to broadening elections access. Washington’s elections must — without exception — be kept safe from online tampering. The best way to do this is to keep elections computers entirely off the internet.