Study: Internet voting has some merit

Study: Internet voting has some merit

By Tony Lee Orr

GCN Staff

MARCH 26—An Internet voting system based at polling sites could be fielded within the next several election cycles, according to the results of a study sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

The study, conducted by the University of Maryland and the Freedom Forum, and
published by the Internet Policy Institute, noted that security and fraud concerns remain unresolved but said the technology for the systems could be rolled out soon.

If successful, a poll-site voting system could be easily expanded to kiosk voting sites in populations with heavy traffic, the study noted. Both poll-site Internet voting locations and the kiosk sites would remain under the control of election officials, the study said.

But remote Internet voting—in which people vote from home or other unofficial locations—could pose significant risks to the integrity of the voting process and should not be fielded until a myriad of technical and social issues can be addressed, the study found.

'Online registration without the appropriate security infrastructure would be at high risk for automated fraud,' the study said. 'The voter registration process is already one of the weakest links in our electoral process.'

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