Hexbyte Tech News Wired Smartphone Voting Is Happening, But No One Knows If It’s Safe

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Some West Virginia military members will be able to vote via app in this November’s elections.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired

Some West Virginia military members will be able to vote via app in this November’s elections.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

When news hit this week that West Virginian military members serving abroad will become the first people to vote by phone in a major US election this November, security experts were dismayed. For years, they have warned that all forms of online voting are particularly vulnerable to attacks, and with signs that the midterm elections are already being targeted, they worry this is exactly the wrong time to roll out a new method. Experts who spoke to WIRED doubt that Voatz, the Boston-based startup whose app will run the West Virginia mobile voting, has figured out how to secure online voting when no one else has. At the very least, they are concerned about the lack of transparency.

“From what is available publicly about this app, it’s no different from sending voting materials over the internet,” says Marian Schneider, president of the nonpartisan advocacy group Verified Voting. “So that means that all the built-in vulnerability of doing the voting transactions over the internet is present.”

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