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The National Academies Report "The Future of Voting"

6 September 2018

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has just released a new report on The Future of Voting. The recommendations in that report are clear, unambiguous, far-reaching, and (in my opinion) absolutely correct. I won't try to summarize it—if you can't read the whole thing, at least read the executive summary—but a few of the recommendations are worth highlighting:

Implicit in all of this: voting is a systems problem. The registration systems, the pollbooks, the actual ballot-casting and tallying, the workers, the vendors, and more are all part of the system. This means that all of these areas need to be addressed. I'm glad the committee recognized this.

Also: though it isn't a major part of the report, the committee did briefly address those who suggest that the blockchain should be employed to secure elections. Again, they were unambiguous:

While the notion of using a blockchain as an immutable ballot box may seem promising, blockchain technology does little to solve the fundamental security issues of elections, and indeed, blockchains introduce additional security vulnerabilities.

If you're at all concerned about voting, read this report. My congratulations to the committee on a wonderful job.