Feeds

Brits voice fraud fears over high-tech voting

MORI poll reveals love of ballot box

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The vast majority of Brits think new, high-tech voting methods, such as voting by email or through a dedicated website, will make it easier to commit electoral fraud, according to research.

A MORI poll, commissioned by fraud specialists, Detica, also found that almost forty percent of the voting population in the UK is already concerned about election fraud. David Porter, head of security and risk at Detica, describes electoral fraud as "identity theft, pure and simple. Someone has taken over your voting account, if you like," he said.

Although many potential voters had not noticed that no proof of ID is required to vote at polling stations, nearly sixty per cent think identity cards are the solution to electoral fraud. Detica itself is slightly more circumspect, and stops short of calling for the introduction of compulsory ID cards.

Porter suggests that some kind of check on identity should be made when people turn up to vote at polling stations, but says that postal ballots are the most vulnerable target for would-be fraudsters, as recent events in Birmingham have demonstrated.

"The authentication regime for postal votes is very weak," he notes.

Three Labour councillors have appeared in a special Election Court, accused of vote rigging. The court heard that the men were caught handling unsealed postal ballots during the local elections in June last year. The Electoral Commission yesterday introduced a new code of conduct for those involved in handling postal votes in a bid to "minimise the risk or perception of fraud".

Detica's research, which was conducted before the Election Court convened, found that over half the population thought postal votes would make it easier to commit electoral fraud. These fears are even more widespread for other voting channels, with 74 and 66 per cent respectively expressing concern about voting by SMS and email.

Porter also warned against putting all faith in technology to solve this problem: "My advice to your readers would be to get down to the polling station and vote. I wouldn't pin your hopes on biometrics just yet," he said.

On the flip side, younger people did say that new voting channels would make them more likely to vote: with 51 per cent saying a dedicated website would encourage them out of their voter apathy. Touch screen voting booths were the exception here, with some respondents reporting that they would be less likely to vote if the government introduced these.

"People are more aware of fraud thanks to the publicity around phishing scams and so on," said Porter "If the government wants to introduce new voting channels, it needs to learn the security lessons of the big retailers and the banks." ®

Related stories

Politics needs a technology injection
MPs heading for electoral online disaster
Ireland faces 50m e-voting write-off
E-gov to cost Europe 4bn+
Florida e-vote conspiracy theories grow

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.