Arizona election officials demonstrated their Internet voting system at ACM's recent Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference in Washington, D.C. For the 2008 U.S. national election, all of Arizona's overseas military and civilian families were able to vote using a central Web site. Arizona allowed voters to request an early ballot online and receive it through regular mail, or obtain a PDF of the ballot via email. Voters had to print out the ballot, use a scanner to scan the completed and signed ballot back onto their PCs, and then upload the scanned ballot to a system that used SSL.
"It's run over a secured system using industry standard encryption," says state CIO Craig Stender. "We had many users from over 50 countries using the system in that election." County election officials logged on and retrieved the ballots through a backend system, and printed them out in the home counties, treating them like any other absentee ballot.
Internet voting is susceptible to malware writers, and at the conference computer scientist Avi Rubin warned that voters could be lured to a fake election Web site in phishing attacks. Former ACM president and e-voting expert Barbara Simons noted that "Democrats Abroad allowed people to vote in their 2008 primary using an unbelievably insecure system."
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