Voting Online and Computer Security

In his piece entitled “Why We Still Can’t Vote Online, and Why That May be a Good Thing”, Marketplace’s David Brancaccio responds to an article (“Why Can’t We Vote Online?” from the Verge) concerning the questions regarding and possibility of election voting being conducted online. The Verge’s article presents a thorough overview of the issue, taking into consideration the desires of American voters, political leaders, and the logistical hurdles that would have to be overcome for online voting to be a possibility.

Each article addresses some of the major hurdles in the concept of online voting. First, there seems to be an apparent “lack of enthusiasm when it comes to getting a working online voting system up and running” (Brancaccio). Though Dave Mason, “a former commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, said that ‘it’s just a matter of time until people demand that we vote on the internet’” (Sottek), that time is apparently not today; according to The Verge, there is very little in the way of citizen demand for online voting systems. Secondly, “any system for online voting would need governmental approval from jurisdictions across the country” (Brancaccio), which in itself presents a significant logistical issue.

However, the largest issue facing the implementation of online voting is that of security. Building a hack-proof system that would remain secure even on potentially compromised personal computers is a gargantuan task. Because of the importance of voting and the “stakes of [an]…election”, voting will most likely remain a pen-and-paper affair for now (Brancaccio).