New Jersey’s plan to allow people to vote by email and fax as a result of Hurricane Sandy is ripe for fraud, according to elections experts.
But Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, said over the weekend that voters could return mail-in ballots by email or fax, because of the unusual circumstances presented by the disaster.
Still, the Washington Post
reports that such methods are easily corrupted and states have avoided them because of security concerns.
“How do you know that person is really who they claim to be? If a server receives e-mail, how do you verify the authenticity of that voter? It’s a big challenge, particularly in an ad hoc situation like this,” Ron Rivest, a professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the Post.
New Jersey already accepts electronic voting from military service members and citizens currently living in foreign countries and a spokesman for Guadagno said there are rules in place to counter fraud such as checking signatures.
“We are doing this only because this has been an extraordinary event,” Guadagno spokesman Ernest Landante told the Post. “I’ve lived in New Jersey my whole life and have never seen anything like it . . . It would be awful if a voter who wanted to vote in a national as well as local election couldn’t get access to a ballot.”
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