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Opponents Of E-Voting In Washington State Call Proposed Bill 'Dangerous'

Jeanie Lindsay
Northwest News Network
Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman expressed concerns about House Bill 1342, which would allow voters to submit ballots by fax or email without mailing in a hard copy.

Washington state voters overseas can email their ballots to a county auditor. A bill in the legislature would expand that privilege to the rest of the state. But at a hearing Friday, lawmakers heard strong opposition to the proposed legislation.

Josh Benaloh, a cryptology expert, believes there is a future for voting online. But he called this bill dangerous.

“Things do go bad on the internet. And the real issue is about the ability to review and correct problems,” Benaloh said. “If my vote is altered on the way to an election office, I will likely never know about it.”

Others who testified against the bill include Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Julie Anderson from the Association of Auditors.

Anderson said security risks aren’t the only issue. Bad or incomplete images of ballots create challenges for the receivers.

Other bills the committee heard received more support. Those included registering voters before they turn 18, and changing voter registration deadlines to avoid delays due to federal holidays.