Why Can't Americans Vote Online?

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Sep 1, 2012

Getting people a unique authentication token-typesque whilst proving they're actually eligible to vote would be more of a hassle than just going to vote in person.


And (setting aside the more than valid security concerns) there are still many people whose internet access would simply not be up to the task under heavy use. And any sized power outages, wherever and for whatever reason..., would wreak havoc.

A hardcopy, paper trail is needed.


Aug 14, 2012
Use the Blockchain as the database (the technology behind Bitcoin), and issue new chip and pin driver licenses with hardware private key and public API to verify signed documents (votes in this case).


Jul 16, 2008
The fundamental flaw of online voting for critical elections in any proper democracy is by far not IT security at all, nor even technology-related. It's such a bad flaw that you shouldn't even get to the point where you start talking about the challenges in IT security. I'm saying this outright: this whole article is off-topic and *completely pointless*.

The main problem with online voting is that it can happen outside a voting booth. That right there violates the secrecy of the ballot. It means that people's privacy is no longer guaranteed by the state and they can therefore be put under pressure or influenced to vote a certain way. That invalidates the election for any self-respecting democracy.
For this reason, online voting is unacceptable and should remain so. Electronic voting within a state-operated voting booth however is admissible, and does raise questions about IT security.


Aug 29, 2006
We should have internet voting at this point. The "What if the systems are hacked!" are mooted if they issue everyone a very long identification number so that we can verify that only the person in question is voting for themselves.


2 considerations. Security and Secrecy.

One of the standard maxims of software development is "Never trust the client computer"
While I may mostly trust my personal system, I really, really do not trust yours.

People without a computer will be funneled to a local neighborhood bank of systems to vote "online". Would you trust those systems? I wouldn't. Not even a little bit.

"If you wish to keep your job, bring me your verified printout that shows you voted for Candidate X"
{Candidate X, of course, is my brother in law who is going to approve the new zoning law which will help me crush my competition)

An election, at whatever level, is far too big a target to allow even a hint of those things happening.

As a software professional who is dead set against the idea, I am not surprised in the least that many others are also dead set against it.


The current administration has proposed designating the 9,000+ local voting jurisdictions "critical infrastructure" and putting it under the control of Homeland Security to "protect" the integrity of the voting process. Sound like a good idea comrade?


All above are valid points and concerns.

I know of a senior citizen whose voter registration was changed just a few months ago after she went into a care facility. Condition: blind, alzheimer's, and in a wheel chair. Family had been doing home care for 10 years+ but after a couple of collapses things such as feeding, bathing, bathroom, etc. became impossible. Now she is completely unable to feed herself and has limited and varying degrees of cognizance.

The local board of elections re-registed her to vote as the care facilty was in a different voting juristriction than her home address. Family did not know about that at all until the new voter registration card was discovered in her room. Delivered via paper mail to the care facilities address and her room number. Got stuck in a drawer. Party affiliation was not changed - more a matter of chance than choice.

Apparently all legal within the local juristriction - both political parties participated in the registration visitation with a "a trained objective/election supervisor" whose function was to prevent any bias or otherwise keep the process balanced.

So now complete strangers can go into her room and solicit a vote. Family members cannot be there due privacy reasons.

Apparently she declined to vote in the primaries but the expectation is that Board of Elections staff/representatives will be asking her to vote again in the general election. Who knows what she may decide with respect to any choices presented to her. Hopefully there are further rules to prohibit solictiing or accepting any response from a person in her condition.

Hoping that there is some form of incompentency ruling to stop all that..... TBD.

Much to fix, I think, with respect to the current system.
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