Legislature: Some say it assures ballot access to military overseas; others fear it’s too insecure.
Soldiers fighting for their country find it hard to participate in the elections that choose leaders back home, say those who support letting them vote by e-mail.
Authorization for overseas voters to send in their ballots by e-mail or fax is headed for its final steps in the Legislature, over the objections of those who worry about online voter fraud.
Secretary of State Sam Reed is pushing the change and says there is little security risk in having tens of thousands of voters all over the world send e-mails to Washington.
“Any system we use, paper balloting, punch card voting, there are ways of people perpetrating fraud,” said Reed. “So what you do is you set up all kinds of ways of checking it and monitoring it.”
In this case, that includes a signed affidavit that voters would have to scan into a computer and attach as a file to their e-mail.
The House unanimously passed a bill that won approval from a Senate committee last week and is moving toward the Senate floor. But not everyone likes it.
“I think it’s a terrible idea,” said Barbara Simons, a San Francisco computer scientist who is retired from IBM Research and has studied voting technology, “because we really don’t want to make it easy for people to rig our elections.”