State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
We can put a man on the moon, create a computer chip the size of a human white blood cell capable of storing the Declaration of Independence, and develop a device that propels a blade of water to penetrate steel that our troops use to disable improvised explosive devices.
Yet...we cannot vote online?
Seems like a logical question. Internet users make purchases, banking transactions, pay bills, and send various communications across the globe. However, when it comes to elections, hitting the send button has yet to be perfected. Given a recent experiment in the nation’s capital, the notion of online voting should probably be sent back to the drawing board.
The plan was called Digital Vote by Mail, a never-before attempted technology. Overseas voters could receive, print and mail their ballot. A voter could opt to also digitally mark and return a ballot.
Between September 24, 2010 and September 30, 2010, Digital Vote by Mail was given a practice run with testers logging in as fictitious voters, requesting and submitting absentee ballots.
Something went wrong two days into the weeklong testing period.
Computer scientists at the
“Hail! to the victors valiant
Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes
Hail! Hail! to
The leaders and best!’
Instead of test ballots, election officials got the
Quite a funny gag, except University of Michigan professor J. Alex Halderman testified in Washington D.C. about the hacking, he produced, according to Stateline.org, “937 pages of names, addresses and PIN numbers of test voters who had signed up to try out the system. Had it been a real election, Halderman said, he could have changed the votes on ballots or revealed voters’ supposedly secret choices on the Internet. Additionally, Halderman’s crew wasn’t the only one rooting around in the D.C. system. They noticed other attacks occurring, originating in
Online voting supporters are unwavering, pointing to
Stateline.org submits a most salient argument about this ongoing debate:
“Nobody doubts that states can safely use the Internet to reduce the time it takes to send ballots out. The question is whether voters can return those ballots online without the risk of hackers tampering with the results.”
July 23, 2009, I testified before a Government Accountability Board (GAB) public hearing at
“The Government Accountability Board, in its own report during March of this year admits there are drawbacks. The Board cited a Caltech/MIT report that raised worries about absentee and mail-in voting including the potential for voters being coerced because privacy could be compromised, for example, by family or staff at a nursing home. There are also concerns about mail security and voter fraud. The possibility of uncounted, unmarked, or spoiled absentee ballots was also mentioned in the report.
Expanding early voting has the potential of catching on and becoming popular. However, if such a system were to be implemented, every precaution must be taken to prevent fraud. As for me, one of the best changes we could and should make to our election process is to require a photo ID to vote.”
Ultimately, the GAB recommended against early voting and instead advocated improvements in
The same caution about early voting needs to be exercised about online voting.