FROM:   Kim Alexander, CVF President
DATE:   January 18, 2000
RE:   Internet Voting Task Force Report

Hi Folks,

Today, California Secretary of State Bill Jones released the Internet Voting Task Force's report. As some of you may recall, the task force was first convened in March, 1999 to study the feasibility of Internet voting in California. It was my pleasure and honor to serve on the task force, along with many talented and dedicated technology and election experts. Our report outlines four stages of Internet voting:

Stage One: Internet Voting from Voter's Traditional Polling Place
Stage Two: Internet Voting from any Internet-Connected Polling Place
Stage Three: Remote Internet Voting from County-Controlled Computers or Kiosks
Stage Four: Remote Internet Voting from Home or Office Computers

The task force report describes the technology and policy issues associated with these four stages of Internet voting. An important factor in our work was who controls the voting machine, and therefore whether it could be susceptible to various kinds of attack. The task force concluded that county-owned Internet voting machines, at polling places or at remote sites, such as post offices or libraries, could be made secure. However, offering voters the ability to vote via the Internet from home or from work could open the voting process up to fraud, as it would be very difficult to secure third-party machines against trojan horses or software that could remotely alter a voter's ballot.

These and many other issues are outlined in the task force's report, available online from the Secretary of State's web site at:

The California Internet Voting Task Force report is the first major feasibility study of Internet voting yet undertaken by a government agency. This report will help shape further discussion about the prospects of Internet voting, and serve as a guide for other jurisdictions contemplating Internet voting. This is surely a debate that will be ongoing for many years, and the California Voter Foundation is committed to continue studying this important issue and being part of the discussion.

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This page was first published on January 18, 2000 | Last updated on January 19, 2000
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