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Internet Voting Arrives . . . But Is It Secret and Safe?

FOX Chattanooga Nov 1 2010
On Tuesday, for the first time, voters in 33 states will be able to vote using some aspect of the Internet. But no matter the outcome, experts say no one will be certain those votes haven’t been tampered with.

“We are still a decade away from being sure that Internet voting is secure and not subject to manipulation,” said Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, president of the Overseas Vote Foundation, which helps servicemen and Americans living abroad to vote in elections using the Internet.

She said she supports delivering ballots via the Web to overseas voters, but she adds that no voting system has proven safe enough to collect ballots that way.

Her position got a major boost earlier this month when Washington, D.C., conducted a pilot project to test its new electronic voting system for the collection of overseas and military absentee ballots. The system was opened to the public to test how secure and usable it was.

Within 36 hours, a team of University of Michigan computer students and teachers had taken it over. They changed votes, "elected" a Star wars robot chairman of the City Council, and installed the school’s fight song, “Hail to the Victors,” which would play 15 seconds after someone voted.

“Without the hacking of the District of Columbia system we would never have known how vulnerable Internet voting systems are,” said John Bonifaz, legal director of Voter Action.

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