Ballot Secrecy!

I am continually surprised at how poor press coverage of voting issues can be, especially when it comes to absentee/vote-by-mail/vote-by-internet stories. Here’s a story on TechWeb about “secure vote-by-mail for the military”. Not one mention of ballot secrecy and issues of voter coercion! And the kicker:

PostX is encouraging the government to allow soldiers to e-mail votes as well.

Even assuming the votes are encrypted in transport (and I’m sure they are with PostX’s software), PostX still gets the votes in plaintext and passes them on to election officials. So we’re back to a chain of custody problem, where PostX has complete control over the chain.

The scary part is when folks inevitably start saying “hey, it’s good enough for the military, it’s good enough for all of us!” The biggest threat to our election system is vote-by-mail.