Dr David Galindo, an expert in the encryption technologies we rely on to keep our personal information safe online, has called on politicians to embrace the benefits of electronic voting and keep the risks in perspective.
Dr Galindo, who is a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham’s School of Computer Science and a member of the University’s University's Centre for Cyber Security and Privacy, believes political considerations play an important role in politicians’ resistance to adopt e-voting. Speaking to Computing.co.uk, Galindo said: “Once they've been elected by the current system they have zero interest and zero motivation to allow new voting channel that will make it easier for people who currently are not voting because of the inconvenience.”
Fear of new technology is also a major obstacle to change, according to Galindo: “There's an element of fear about new technology, and security experts who are meant to have a say on this are very conservative”.
Galindo, who played a leading role in developing the Scytl online voting system used by Switzerland, encourages politicians and citizens to keep the risks of online voting in perspective: "No form of voting is 100 per cent secure. You always have trade-offs."
Galindo encourages politicians to learn from the experiences of countries such as Switzerland, Estonia and and Australia that have introduced online voting. He also emphasises the importance of ensuring any online voting software is open to scrutiny, including access to the source code. Adopting such an approach, Galindo believes, should make online voting more transparent and trustworthy than the current voting system and make it easier for excluded citizens to make their voices heard.