In his June 5 local opinion essay, “Mobile Voting in DC is the Next Step in a Long March,” Martin Luther King III urged all DC voters to expand the availability of mobile voting to combat low voter turnout. , especially in historically underrepresented communities.
Voting restrictions disproportionately affect already disadvantaged communities. The Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues has long advocated responsible use of technology to facilitate voting for all voters and increase ballot access. But the electronic return of ballots creates serious and currently insoluble security vulnerabilities.
In an April 2020 letter to governors and state election officials signed by nearly 80 leading computer and cyber security experts, we outlined the risks of mobile voting. These systems are vulnerable to the same type of hacking tool that closed schools in Baltimore County and caused massive fuel shortages on the East Coast. The rise in cryptocurrency theft suggests that even blockchain-based mobile voting is fraught with security risks. In 2020, the Department of Homeland Security, the US Election Assistance Commission, the FBI and the National Institute of Standards and Technology jointly concluded that electronic ballot withdrawal is a “high risk” and that it is “difficult to ensure ballot integrity and maintain voter confidentiality”. It is, if not impossible, at this time.”
While we support exploring solutions to address low voter turnout, particularly among under-served communities, current evidence underscores whether voting by phone, tablet or computer is safe or secure in election results to the public. is not secure enough to ensure the trust and confidence of
Michael D. Fernandez, Washington
The author is founding director of the Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.