Electronic Voting a Clear and Present Danger

( Amy Groves) – It has  become blatantly obvious that Nevada’s voting laws are eroding, probably suffering the biggest insult to the integrity of our voting process last year. Arguably and regrettably Nevada’s voting laws are amongst the weakest in the nation.

Okay, let’s assume for the purposes of this communication that many times legislators across the aisle have good intention. That’s not a huge concession to make. We all want to believe we take the high road in our actions and decisions.  Realistically, voter fraud and  electronic / cyber security are a bipartisan issues. Democrats distrusted the system when Donald Trump was elected just as Republicans distrusted the results when Joe Biden was elected.

I do not believe roadblocks should be set up to make it difficult for individuals, or groups of individuals to exercise their  right to vote. I do, however believe common sense policies and procedures should drive the process.  See if you agree with me that there are redundances and  a significant naivety regarding  electronic  voting security that create tremendous opportunities for voter fraud.

Now, let’s take a look at the components of Assembly Bill 121.

AB 121, a Democrat sponsored and supported bill, states that a registered voter unable to vote in person or return a mail ballot in a timely manner due to illness or disability resulting in the voter being confined to a hospital, sanatorium, dwelling or nursing home, or a voter being suddenly hospitalized, becoming seriously ill or being called away from home, may request to use approved electronic transmission to vote.

AB 121 requires the Nevada Secretary of State to allow the Effective Absentee System for Elections to be used to allow an elector with a disability to register to vote, and to allow a registered voter with a disability to apply for and cast an absentee ballot.

What many times fails to be analyzed or considered  when bills are passed in the Legislature is the actual implementation and  practical application of the law.   A hit or miss evaluation process  and unintended consequences result in  derailment of  the best laid plans of mice and men-regardless of your political persuasion.

In review of other legislative action last year, Assembly Bill 121 is  an example of redundancy  and  is unnecessary  Assembly Bill 321, states all active, registered voters in Nevada will receive a mail-in ballot. This includes those in nursing homes and sanatoriums, if they’re listed as a voter’s permanent address. In addition, there is already a process for hospitalized voters to request emergency ballots from election officials.

Bottomline: It is very easy to vote in Nevada. Registered voters receive a mail in ballot directly to their mailbox. By adding electronic voting, the door swings open  for everyone , rightly or wrongly to opt for electronic voting by claiming the generic description of disabled.  Don’t say it won’t happen – people exaggerate maladies all the time just for the convenience of a handicapped park pass!

Kevin Dietrich suggested a sound solution for people who have unforeseen medical circumstances  that impact their ability to vote. He states, ”For the extremely small number of voters who suddenly take ill, must be hospitalized or are called away from home prior to an election, it would be more reasonable to allow a trained election worker to deliver paper ballots.”

I agree. Problem solved.

Another method to vote is Nevada’s  Early Voting! Polls are opened 14 – 17 days before the election to allow ample time to vote. Many states do not have this luxury. To my way of thinking the Early Voting Program is another tool in the old toolbox that grants  flexible accessibility making the need for electronic voting absolutely unnecessary. The exception of course, of troops stationed outside of the United States.

Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act provides for members of the Armed Forces to vote electronically. Extreme situations required elevated solutions. Let’s be genuine – someone stationed out of country is in a significantly different situation that someone who is already in Nevada, receiving a ballot in the mail, who already has the existing options of mailing their ballot, taking advantage of early voting, or voting at the poll on Election Day.

There is SO MUCH information available to support either side of this argument. As we all know it depends on where you get your news and do you research.

I have resisted the urge to tell a story or provide antidotal information, however, this is pertinent to this conversation because I did not research it – I lived it.

Four times in the last six to nine months I have experienced hacks, ransomware demands, and even compromised financial records in my business. I paid professionals to set up all my systems. I have firewalls and malware. I have required double authentications. Our passwords are changed regularly. I randomly inspect where my staff are going online – and still we fell victim.

Although I think I’m all that and a bag of chips(just kidding, calm down) the information I have in my business in no way parallels  or correlates to what is at stake with the sanctity of our vote. Although my livelihood and reputation are in my system – our secret ballot is far more valuable than anything I have. Let’s protect it.

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“We should treat personal electronic data with the same care and respect as weapons-grade plutonium – it is dangerous, long-lasting and once it has leaked there’s no getting it back.” – Cory Doctorow

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