C’est Vrai: Online Voting, a Bad Idea
posted by Danielle Citron
Paris held a four-day mayoral primary in which individuals could cast their votes online. But things not proceed as officials planned. Over the weekend, Metronews journalists exposed the first-ever online primary as insecure and inaccurate. Here is how the process worked (or failed to work). To register to vote, Parisians made a credit-card payment and gave the name and address of someone on the city’s electoral roll. According to the Independent, a journalist reportedly voted five times with the same credit card and even using the name Nicolas Sarkozy. Lest one breathe a sigh of relief that the U.S. would never do anything as foolish as Internet voting, at least 16 states or counties have applied for grants from the Department of Defense to experiment with online ballot-marking portals that are one step shy of counting votes. Of course, voting online system vendors think Internet voting is a fabulous idea. But computer scientists in the U.S. fairly uniformly agree that online voting is a bad idea. Let’s not follow France’s lead.