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Can You Vote For the Next President on Your Smartphone? Not Just Yet.

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A man exercising his right to vote.

The Election Assistance Commission approved a measure to update the guidelines against which manufacturers test electronic voting machines to make sure they are secure and accessible.

Credit: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission last week approved a measure to update the security and accessibility guidelines for voting machines, potentially bringing the U.S. one step closer to voting with mobile devices.

"The guidelines we have now are so old that the iPhone hadn't even come out when they were written," says Commission chairwoman Christy McCormick.

The new guidelines will enable voting machine manufacturers to test their machines against modern security and disability standards to get them certified for use in the 2016 presidential election.

However, it is unlikely Internet voting will be widespread in the U.S. by the 2016 election. Previous experiments in Internet-based voting in the District of Columbia, around the U.S., and abroad have yielded mixed results as security concerns still loom large over such methods. For example, following the 2014 elections, Joseph Kiniry and a fellow researcher published a paper demonstrating a method of hacking the PDF-based online voting system used in Alaska.

Because of these security concerns, many experts advocate for systems that in some way utilize a paper ballot, even if they are collected and counted by machines.

Meanwhile, online and mobile technologies increasingly are being used for voter registration and directing voters to the proper polling place.

From The Washington Post
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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