E-voting activists praise Ohio plan to fix e-voting system
But they fear quick 'cures' might worsen problems before '08 presidential vote
Computerworld - While lauding Ohio officials for a new report that calls for major security and election integrity-related changes in the state's e-voting systems, several e-voting activists today urged state officials to go slow when making wholesale changes ahead of next year's presidential primary and general election.
Their concern, they say, is that moving too quickly without adequate analysis could lead to a new set of problems without solving any of the current ones.
In a telephone briefing with reporters today, representatives of three e-voting watchdog groups praised the e-voting security report released Friday by Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. But they said they fear that that many of the recommendations in the 86-page document can't be implemented fully before the 2008 elections.
"We're hoping that the secretary's recommendations will be the beginning of a conversation ... to make Ohio's elections more secure and not the end of that conversation," said Lawrence Norden, counsel in the Brennan Center for Justice Program at the New York University School of Law. "We're concerned about some of the recommendations, particularly because they would be implemented in a short time before two critical elections."
One of Brunner's recommendations is that the state begin counting vote totals in a centralized location rather than counting votes in individual voting precincts. The idea, according to the report, is that using a centralized location would reduce the number of ways hackers might be able to infiltrate election systems.
The problem with centralized vote counting, however, is that an e-voting software or hardware glitch could cause systemwide problems that could potentially lead to large-scale vote losses, Norden said. "I'm concerned this would make voting less secure in Ohio," he said.
Norden is also unconvinced that Ohio is ready to move ahead with another recommendation and allow voters to submit their ballots by mail on a broader scale. "There are issues with the security of counting all ballots in one place without an audit," he said. In addition, "Ohio and post offices don't have enough experience delivering ballots by mail" and ensuring the system will be secure and accurate, he said. "It seems unnecessarily risky to me. I don't think it should be implemented until they can figure out how to reduce these problems."
Another idea, to use consolidated regional "voting centers" in areas with fewer than five voting precincts, is also problematic, he said. "It's worth looking at, but not to do it quickly now," Norden said. "It could disenfranchise voters in poor neighborhoods who don't have access to transportation to get to voting centers" farther from their homes.
- Comprehensive Advanced Threat Defense The hot topic in the information security industry these days is "Advanced Threat Defense" (ATD). This paper describes a comprehensive, network-based approach to...
- Advanced Threat Defense: A Comprehensive Approach In this interview, Peter George, president, General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions, explains why we need more than anti-malware, and what constitutes a comprehensive...
- Market Overview: Digital Customer Experience Delivery Platforms Forrester states that businesses today struggle to understand and use the tools necessary to create and manage unified, multichannel digital customer experiences across...
- The Growing Demand for Rich Media This white paper discusses how IBM Customer Experience Suite Rich Media Edition can automate rich media workflows, from collaborating with creative agencies and...
- Data Protection and Disaster Recovery with iSCSI and VMware Get this on demand webcast now
- It's not too late...Get Your Mobile Questions Answered Live! How can IT provide seamless and secure mobile communications and collaboration for all? Join this live Webcast as IDG asks an expert panel... All Privacy White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!