When it comes to elections, the vast majority of the world still votes on paper. Yet given the universal connectivity of services where almost every task can be completed online or electronically, this illustrates a curious anomaly. Why are those technologies that have revolutionized our daily lives not being used to bring the electoral process into the twenty-first century?

Online voting and  e-voting could become a larger part of the political process in the United States and in other participatory democracies with the right security to back it up, according to Online Voting: Rewards and Risks, a new Atlantic Council study by Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security Nonresident Senior Fellow Peter Haynes conducted in collaboration with McAfee, part of Intel Secutity.

pdfRead the Report (PDF)

Online and e-voting are not currently widely implemeted because of technical barriers that have been hard to overcome, and it still has relatively low public acceptance. Unlike financial hacks, lost votes cannot be regained, and electronic intrusions could alter previously cast votes to change the results of an election. But with the right, carefully chosen security considerations, online and e-voting could become more widespread. The report found that many of the technologies that handle online financial transactions could be applied to make e-voting and online voting a reality.

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