Voting on a smartphone: the American dilemma for the upcoming elections

Voting on a smartphone: the American dilemma for the upcoming elections

February 18, 2020 Off By admin

The goal is to enable certain individuals such as military personnel deployed outside the U.S. territories and people with disabilities in West Virginia to be able to participate on their own and directly by voting in upcoming elections.

However, the idea of allowing smartphone voting does not seem to please everyone. And for good reason the issue of computer security is not entirely an issue that could be said to be resolved. Even if this has already happened, in 2018 when the elections or military managed to vote via an application called Voatz (application based on blockchain technology), the fact remains that the fact of renewing it again poses a problem for many people, including computer security experts.

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Although the same voting application has been tested in several states including Oregon, Utah, Colorado and even Washington, several computer security researchers including some from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have urged U.S. authorities to simply "abandon the app for now." Indeed, they claim to have discovered several vulnerabilities that could be exploited in the upcoming elections. Not only will these vulnerabilities be a diversion. But it will also be possible through them to determine which voters will have voted for which candidate.

For its part, the publisher of the electronic voting app retorted by claiming that the study conducted by its researchers was "full of flaws." For him, they didn't based on the latest version of the Voatz app. Opposition today has something to revive the debate. To continue to support its application and the online voting, the publishing company the application seeks to highlight the idea that the system on which works is not nothing but the blockchain, which is deemed to be inviolable. furthermore Company spokesman said: "We are using the latest technologies, facial and biometric recognition to verify identity voters, cryptography to produce a ballot, and the blockch[…]ain for rigorous post-election audits to ensure the respect for the choice of voters without the need to reveal their identity."

To counter the society's claims, Matt Blaze, professor Georgetown University, which specializes in cryptography, states: "The blockchain solves a problem that does not exist, that of securing votes already cast (…) But it does not solve the problem of how whether these candidates were chosen. ».

In addition, e-voting is a key problem apart from the integrity of the voters' choice. That of their anonymity. The sacrosanct principle of voting lies in the fact that one cannot identify the citizen who decides to vote for a particular candidate. However, if the technology blockchain that it is able to guarantee the effective choice of citizens, which is not at all obvious, the fact remains that it would be difficult for any computer system to guarantee anonymity of voters. See impossible even. For Andrew Appel: "The vote on the internet cannot be secured by any known technology."

Therefore, the arguments in favour of electronic voting seems to take precedence over those tending to make it accept. As if to show how electronic voting is not a need at the moment to see for President of the NGO Verified Voting Foundation (VVF), Barbara Simons openly declares: "It's a myth. There is almost no evidence showing that online voting improves voter turnout."

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