As shelter-in-place orders are extended throughout the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic, controversy around online voting systems has surfaced. The dangers of internet voting were recently publicly announced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS.
On April 9, the AAAS Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues wrote an open letter to U.S. governors, secretaries of state and state election directors expressing great concern regarding the security of online voting systems.
While the letter stated that “internet voting is not a secure solution for voting in the United States, nor will it be in the foreseeable future,” experts note that blockchain could still play a prominent role in the advancement of online voting systems.
Is that true?
Stanford University cryptography Ph.D. student Ben Fisch told Cointelegraph that he agrees with the concerns expressed in the AAAS letter, which states that internet voting is insecure due to malware instructions, denial-of-service attacks and privacy violations. Yet, despite these vulnerabilities, Fisch explained that internet voting is an entirely appropriate application for blockchain technology:
“If designed appropriately, blockchains are supposed to be transparent and auditable databases, ensuring consistency among all viewers. This is entirely relevant to the problem of voter-verified ballots. However, I would also echo the concerns expressed in the AAAS letter, which was indeed endorsed by many experts in the field.”
Fisch further noted that the attacks associated with internet voting is vast, saying that “all current technological solutions are likely too immature to be used right now given the high stakes.”
However, it’s still important to recognize how emerging technologies such as blockchain can appropriately be applied to improve internet voting systems in the future. Chief of staff at Voatz, Hilary Braseth, told Cointelegraph that the five-year-old…