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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 16, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Internet voting

Security and reliability at stake

The Legislature is considering a bill to authorize the secretary of state to implement Internet voting for military and overseas voters. The bill provides no effective oversight over the Secretary of State’s Office, nor does it require input from technical experts.

Implementing Internet voting is not just a policy issue, it is also a very complex, technical issue.

Numerous studies by leading computer scientists have warned of the difficulties of creating a secure Internet-voting system. Evaluating the security, privacy, accuracy and reliability of a voting system as potentially dangerous as Internet voting should not be left to the discretion of one person, particularly a nontechnical person.

Before the bill goes to the floor of either chamber, it should be amended to require a panel of computer-security experts from Washington universities, appointed by the Legislature (not the secretary of state), to evaluate and approve any Internet-voting system before it may be implemented.

We owe it to our military and overseas voters to protect the integrity and privacy of their votes.

— Ellen Theisen, Port Ludlow

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