Cybersecurity Expert Jim Feldkamp Discusses Concerns Over Potential Mobile Voting
With world events pushing the public towards mobile voting, Jim Feldkamp helps readers understand some of the widespread concerns over such a system.
Jim Feldkamp is a cybersecurity expert who has worked to deter and prevent security breaches for the government for years. Recently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to make mobile voting, where voters can cast ballots in elections on their smart devices, an alternative to voting at typical locations during a potential pandemic.
“Voting remotely has always been a topic of concern for those attempting to avoid voter fraud and other illegal activities since it features less official oversight,” says Jim Feldkamp. “In the past, voters have been able to fill out and send in absentee ballots under certain circumstances, but now some states are planning to offer voters the chance to cast votes directly from their mobile devices.”
Some cybersecurity experts have raised concerns over mobile voting since the sort of systems required are unproven and tend to be vulnerable to hacking. Jim Feldkamp says that some states will begin offering voters with disabilities the chance to cast ballots remotely using their phones during the next primary elections. This allows those who may not feel safe at traditional polling locations due to their health or who are unable to leave their homes during the allotted time to cast their vote.
“In addition, the mobile voting option is likely to extend to state residents who are overseas as well as voters in the military who may not be able to access polling booths,” says Jim Feldkamp. “West Virginia was the first to attempt statewide mobile voting, which they supplied to military and overseas voters in 2018. Today, there are many states showing interest in the system, with a handful intending to implement it in the upcoming primary.”
Mobile voting will help society by not asking large groups of people to crowd into polling sites, an important concern during present stay-at-home orders. Some disabilities make it impossible for voters to vote by mail without receiving assistance, but mobile voting will improve this by using guided prompts and offering virtual assistance.
However, many professionals have raised concerns over the safety of voting applications, stating that they contain too many vulnerabilities to be a viable solution. Even many proponents of mobile voting applications believe tighter security protections should be enacted before allowing the general population to use it. Some say it will be several years before we can conduct enough testing and verification on mobile voting for it to be a mainstream voting option.
“While there are plenty of kinks that need to be worked out and new security efforts that should be put in place, the benefits of mobile voting include increased voter turnout across the board, which is a tremendous factor to consider,” says Jim Feldkamp.