Amid Pandemic and Upheaval, New Cyber Dangers to the Presidential Election

The experimenting is again, however as soon as once more it isn’t going nicely. New Jersey is a working example.

In April, with the virus sweeping the state, officers moved rapidly to develop mail-in voting. However in addition they determined to discover on-line voting by hiring Democracy Stay, whose OmniBallot system was recognized by Michigan and M.I.T. researchers as susceptible to undetected hacking.

New Jersey officers made the net voting accessible to county clerks for municipal and college board elections final month, however didn’t publicize it broadly for worry of inviting hassle.

“We didn’t need to put out an evidence for potential unhealthy guys to determine that this was one thing they needed to take advantage of,” mentioned Alicia D’Alessandro, spokeswoman for New Jersey’s secretary of state.

The outcome: Only one voter used the net system. The associated fee to the state: $89,000, and nonetheless no actual take a look at of whether or not it really works or not.

New Jersey is not going to repeat the experiment for its July main, and has not but determined what it would do in November, officers mentioned. A lawsuit is trying to dam additional on-line voting within the state, claiming it’s vulnerable to hackers.

Delaware, additionally citing the pandemic, lately introduced it will make on-line voting accessible to voters who had been sick or in quarantine. And West Virginia mentioned it will enable on-line voting by some residents with disabilities, navy personnel and abroad residents, because it has since 2018. And in emergency instances, Colorado will enable some voters to submit ballots electronically, it introduced final week.

Like New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia and Colorado have contracted with Democracy Stay.

Mr. Halderman of Michigan and Michael A. Specter, a researcher at M.I.T., decided that Democracy Stay’s on-line voting and ballot-marking techniques could not withstand concerted hacking attempts, and in addition offered privateness considerations.

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