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Risks Overshadow Benefits with Online Voting, Experts Warn

By Government Technology

May 18, 2020

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With a handful of U.S. states launching online voting pilots amid fears that the COVID-19 pandemic could dampen voter turnout in the 2020 election, many experts warn that such technology carries more pitfalls than benefits.

Stanford University's David Dill said it is impossible to ensure that devices and applications are free of vote-gaming malware, while hackers from foreign governments could theoretically infiltrate such systems to alter or rig votes.

Meanwhile, a joint statement by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Echelons Above Corps, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency discouraged wholesale adoption of online voting.

Former ACM president Barbara Simons said, "Given the threat of the virus, vote-by-mail seems like the safest way for voters to cast their ballots in November."

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