Why aren’t we voting online yet?
Joe Biden managed to win the US Presidential Election, beating Donald Trump in what seemed to be a tight race. It took a very long time to count the votes because an impressive number of ballots were cast by mail. People were forced to stay up all night and watch CNN so as not to miss important news. It’s a good thing that the election result is in and we have a clear winner. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, not to mention the controversies surrounding the mail-in ballots, it’s only normal to want to know why electronic voting hasn’t been introduced.
We can’t vote online for now, which comes as a real surprise considering that everything is online these days. We shop online, watch movies on Netflix, and even visit art museums from all over the world. So, how come it’s not possible to vote online? Voting over the Internet poses a great many challenges, of which mention can be made of security threats.
Secure online voting isn’t yet feasible
Over the past couple of years, the US presidential elections have been a target for cyberattacks by foreign intelligence. Back in 2016, it was believed that Russia interfered with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, boosting the candidacy of Donald Trump, although there’s no strong evidence in this sense. Some say that the 2020 election is hacked, Iran and Russia apparently having something to do with it. Only time will tell whether this was true or not. What’s important to understand is that online data isn’t safe from hackers. There’s no guarantee that there’s no malware tampering with the results and manipulating the vote.
The idea of an online election is indeed attractive, but it can’t be put into practice. Let’s assume that people use static residential proxies to protect their online activity. While a proxy server can protect the computer from all sorts of threats, including malware, it’s quite possible to become the victim of a proxy hack. A static residential proxy, coupled with a VPN, can protect you from the average malicious actor, but it can’t stop the big players. Not all hackers are created equal, just so you know. Regrettably, online voting isn’t a viable technology. There’s hope that the situation will change and online voting will be introduced soon enough.
Paper is state-of-the-art voting technology
Since cybersecurity remains a non-negligible issue, we have no choice but to continue to rely on paper ballots. Surprising as it may seem, paper is an incredible piece of technology that is undeletable and, most importantly, unchangeable. If the votes are tampered with in any way, there will always be proof. At one point, America will safely make the transition from paper to paperless. We’re talking about fully-electronic systems that display text in various languages and help those visually-impaired. For the time being, we’re glad to have paper ballots.
If we’ll have a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, we’ll be able to introduce online voting too. It doesn’t hurt to keep our hopes up, anyway.