West Virginia to test mobile phone voting in midterm elections

By Shawn Knight · 8 replies
Aug 7, 2018
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  1. West Virginia is poised to be the first state in the country to allow citizens to cast federal election ballots using a smartphone app.

    According to a recent report from CNN, West Virginians serving overseas will be able to use mobile software from Boston-based company Voatz to cast their ballot in November’s midterm election. The blockchain-based app requires users to register by taking a photo of their government-issued ID and a selfie-style video of their face. The app then verifies that the face in the photo and video are one in the same. Biometrics are also used for verification, Voatz notes.

    The digital voting process will serve as an alternative to traditional mailed absentee ballots.

    West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner said there is nobody that deserves the right to vote any more than the men and women that are putting their lives on the line for us.

    Warner’s office said four audits of the technology surfaced no problems but not everyone is convinced of its security.

    Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, told the publication via e-mail that mobile voting is a horrific idea. Hall described it as Internet voting on people’s horribly secured devices, over horrible networks to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.

    When asked if mobile voting was a good idea, Marian K. Schneider, president of the election integrity watchdog group Verified Voting, said, “The short answer is no.” Like Hall, Schneider expressed concern that changes to a ballot could occur during transit.

    What are your thoughts on the matter? Are we ready for mobile voting or are there still too many security vulnerabilities and variables that can’t be reliably controlled?

    Image via iStockphoto

    Permalink to story.

  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 5,159   +4,236

    "What are your thoughts on the matter? Are we ready for mobile voting or are there still too many security vulnerabilities and variables that can’t be reliably controlled?"

    Voting should never be allowed from remote mobile devices.
  3. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,154   +1,181

    Agreed. Any kind of electronic voting is questionable, especially in an ever connected and hacked world, but mobile device voting just screams trouble. There is no way to secure these devices, spoofing a mobile device is dead simple, and we know there is no privacy involved with any mobile phone.

    All votes, IMO, should be paper ballots. Those are the hardest to screw with.

    But then again, I'm sure the "muh russia" conspiracy will be spread to these devices within hours of the election results. Perhaps mobile voting is being pushed to keep the conspiracy theory alive.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,450   +574

    What could possibly go wrong?
  5. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,481   +522

    If you want to vote get off your sorry butt and go to the poll. There are few exceptions, not many
    davislane1 likes this.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,112   +2,602

    I can see this being put through it's paces on a PC with very restrictive features and NO wireless services but as easily as it is to hack into so many wireless devices I would certainly be afraid of wide spread fraud ....... personally, I still am in favor of the old pencil & paper systems ....... and NO hanging chads!
    learninmypc likes this.
  7. Godel

    Godel TS Booster Posts: 109   +47

  8. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Maniac Posts: 321   +120

    How about no. Paper only under armored guards.
  9. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,226   +527

    Well, armored would be alright but I think I would prefer armed as well. :)
    Danny101 likes this.

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