The USPS tested election voting from your phone on the hush, and it didn't go well

The USPS tested election voting from your phone on the hush, and it didn't go well
In a sign how challenging the oft-cited election voting from your phones would be, the USPS tried to do it and failed. Wait, what? That's right, in the runup to the 2020 Presidential Elections, the USPS decided to test mobile voting based on the blockchain system that national security agencies advised is not particularly suited for the task, reports the Washington Post

It's still been used at several places and more than 70 elections nationwide so far, mainly for overseas military, but not at the scale that the USPS envisioned. The USPS ultimately abandoned the mobile voting tests in 2019, said Postal Service spokesman David Partenheimer, as security researchers who tried to attack the mock system it built, found numerous vulnerabilities that can leave it prone to hacking. 

Mr. Partenheimer also said that the patents that the Postal Service has filed around the blockchain voting method are "exploratory," and no retail model of the mobile ballot system is being employed any time soon. Some security agency officials and researchers were alarmed they knew nothing of the effort. 

Former senior adviser to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Matt Masterson said he was not aware of the Postal Service's trials and would have preferred an open discussion: "If you’re doing anything in the election space, transparency should be priority number one. There should be no guessing game around this." 

Susan Greenhalgh, an election security adviser for the Free Speech for People nonprofit which is against mobile voting, was even blunter: "It’s scandalous for a government entity to conduct research into the security of blockchain online voting, which shows how insecure it is, but then hide the results and deprive the public and officials of these findings for over two years." 

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Well, it seems that the cherished app-based voting from your phone is a pipe dream for now, and there are only a handful of places that have tried it. Estonia comes to mind, but the country is very small, plus everyone there has a national ID card with a chip that can identify them as if voting in person, and even then security researchers have said that the transmitted information could be potentially hijacked.

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