December 5, 2020

Rebecca Mercuri on the Florida Voting Fiasco

Rebecca Mercuri writes, in the RISKS Forum:

Well, Florida’s done it again.

Tuesday’s Florida primary election marked its first large-scale roll-out of tens of thousands of brand-new voting machines that were promised to resolve the problems of the 2000 Presidential election. Instead, from the very moment the polls were supposed to open, problems emerged throughout the state, especially in counties that had spent millions of dollars to purchase touchscreen electronic balloting devices.

Mercuri goes on to discuss the problems in detail. She is perhaps the leading independent expert on voting technology, and is well worth reading if you’re interested in that topic.

Voting poses a particularly difficult information security problem, because so much is at stake, and because the requirements are so difficult. (For example, the secret ballot is a particularly troublesome requirement.) My sense is that we are still far from having an all-electronic system that deserves our trust.

[Link credit: Dan Gillmor]