> Michael Specter, Neha Narula, Ronald L. Rivest and Sunoo Park
Going from Bad to Worse: From Internet Voting to Blockchain Voting
6 nov. 2020 - Voters are understandably concerned about election security. News reports of possible election in-terference by foreign powers, of unauthorized voting, of voter disenfranchisement, and of technologicalfailures call into question the integrity of elections worldwide.This article examines the suggestions that “voting over the Internet” or “voting on the blockchain”would increase election security, and finds such claims to be wanting and misleading. While currentelection systems are far from perfect, Internet- and blockchain-based voting would greatly increase therisk of undetectable, nation-scale election failures.Online voting may seem appealing: voting from a computer or smartphone may seem convenient andaccessible. However, studies have been inconclusive, showing that online voting may have little to noeffect on turnout in practice, and it may even increase disenfranchisement. More importantly: given thecurrent state of computer security, any turnout increase derived from with Internet- or blockchain-basedvoting would come at the cost of losing meaningful assurance that votes have been counted as they werecast, and not undetectably altered or discarded. This state of affairs will continue as long as standardtactics such as malware, zero days, and denial-of-service attacks continue to be effective.This article analyzes and systematizes prior research on the security risks of online and electronicvoting, and show that not only do these risks persist in blockchain-based voting systems, but blockchainsmay introduceadditionalproblems for voting systems. Finally, we suggest questions for critically assessingsecurity risks of new voting system proposals.
blockchain · electronic-voting · not-read · voting