Online Voting Too Risky – Cullen
Prince George, B.C. – It doesn’t appear Canadians will be casting their votes online anytime soon.
Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen, who’s also vice chair of the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform, says the committee learned it’s too risky a venture to contemplate while touring the country the past few months.
“The committee has heard from experts in IT (information technology) that have told us it’s really hard to maintain security and not have hackers or people jamming the system,” he says.
“And as you can see in the US right now there’s a lot of fear of outside countries or just people wanting to mess with your voting system.”
He said that fear most certainly will dampen enthusiasm for voting online perhaps with just a few exceptions.
“Maybe in special cases, folks that have real mobility problems, Canadian military serving overseas, that kind of thing. But it would have to be pretty special circumstances.”
Cullen says adopting a system open to hackers could lead to electoral disaster.
“You can imagine on election night if the computers were to go down. Or, that if somebody hacked the system, experts tell us you often won’t figure out the hack until two years later,” he says.
“Well, you had a government in place that was falsely put there and two years have gong by? Some scenario that are just nightmares if you care about free and fair elections.”
Cullen adds with Yahoo losing half a billion email addresses last year – technology to combat hackers just isn’t there yet.
“And when it comes to our democracy it has to be sacred – the vote must be sacred and experts can’t seem to guarantee it yet and they don’t feel that’s coming anytime soon.”