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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Utah GOP allowing online voting, amid cybersecurity concerns

    Utah GOP allowing online voting, amid cybersecurity concerns

    By Christopher Snyder
    Published March 21, 2016 FoxNews.com

    NOW PLAYINGOnline voting available for first time ever in Utah caucuses
    Forget the crowded community centers and chaotic scenes so often associated with presidential caucuses – for thousands of Utah Republicans, caucusing on Tuesday could entail little more than getting on their tablet or computer, and voting online.

    In a bold -- but also risky -- move, Utah GOP officials are allowing Republicans to vote online in Tuesday’s contest. The idea is to boost participation in their presidential preference caucus, by making the process more convenient for voters. Utah residents can still come out to caucus sites and vote in person, but if they wish, they can do it all online.


    “The biggest reason is to get people out [to vote].

    Sometimes caucus states don’t have the best reputation for turnout,” said Bryan Smith, executive director of the Utah Republican Party. “We are trying to figure out ways to accommodate.”


    The experiment is one of the first major uses in the U.S. of online voting. And elections and cybersecurity officials will be watching closely.


    “Even the most sophisticated systems in the world are not breach-proof … If they say it’s secure, then they are challenging the hacker community. It’s just another source of identity theft,” Joseph Loomis, CEO of the cybersecurity firm CyberSponse, told FoxNews.com.


    “Hackers can use so many ways to hijack emails and text messages,” he explained.


    2016 Election Headquarters


    The latest headlines on the 2016 elections from the biggest name in politics.See Latest Coverage →



    Officials maintain that the new system will be secure.
    Smith says 40,000 people pre-registered to participate in the process online or in person on Election Day.

    “This time around, it’s pretty hard to pinpoint any kind of turnout … but we are expecting a very high turnout,” he said.


    For Republican voters who choose the online feature, they will be able to cast their ballot online throughout the day instead of showing up in person at a specific time and place. This can be done on a computer, tablet, or smartphone as long as the person has their personal identification number sent to them via email or text message after they register.


    “It has attracted some attention from young voters, the number of people who otherwise might not have bothered to go to the caucus are saying they can do this online,” said Matthew Burbank, a political science associate professor at the University of Utah.


    This year also marks a departure from past elections in that Utah is not holding primaries but caucuses. They are to be managed by the parties themselves, and not the state.


    “It was mostly an economic decision. It’s a lot cheaper to run a caucus than a primary,” Burbank explained.


    He added, the online vote “is an experiment worth trying” and said the reason only the state GOP is offering an online option is the “Democrats don’t have the resources to do this.”


    The Utah government itself was not involved in the decision to conduct caucuses online, a point stressed by Mark J. Thomas, chief deputy/director of elections in the Utah lieutenant governor's office.


    In a statement to FoxNews.com, Thomas said: “Our office hasn't been involved at all with the Utah Republican Party's as they launch and administer online voting, but like everyone else, we are watching the process from afar. As with other state and federal governmental entities, we have looked into the possibilities of online voting as a future generation voting method.”


    Smith said SmartMatic was contracted by the Utah GOP to set up the online vote process. The company helped the European nation Estonia allows its citizens to vote over the Internet during recent elections.


    Smith said their organization also has a strong vetting process: “They have to be a registered Republican; anybody who didn’t match, they got kicked back.”


    Moving ahead, Burbank believes there is “some possibility” state officials might follow the party’s lead with incorporating online voting into their elections.


    “I think it was relatively easily for the Republicans to say let’s try this out,” he said, “[though] given the general concerns over online voting, we are a little ways away from that.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016...l?intcmp=hpbt2

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  2. #2
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    Interesting! We'll see how it works out. Didn't Trump get the endorsement of Greg Huges in Utah, the Speaker of the House of Representatives? Yeah, I think he did. That's big, seems to me, bigger than a Choker Liar Mitt Romney for sure.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Soros Board Member Chairs Firm Running Online Voting for Tuesday’s Utah Caucuses

    BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

    by AARON KLEIN 20 Mar 2016 9,765

    Smartmatic Group, an electronic voting firm whose worldwide headquarters is located in the United Kingdom, will be running the online balloting process in the Utah Republican Open Caucuses on Tuesday.


    The chairman of Smartmatic’s board, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, currently serves on the board of George Soros’s Open Society Foundation and has close ties to the billionaire.

    The Wall Street Journal dubbed the Republican party’s online adventure on Tuesday as “one of the biggest online votes conducted so far in the U.S.” and the “largest experiment with online presidential voting since 2004, when Michigan allowed Democrats to vote in a party caucus via the Internet.”


    The Journal further reported:

    Utah residents will have the option of casting ballots in the Republican presidential contest using computers, tablets, and smartphones next week. …


    Online “polls” will be open between 7:00 a.m. and 11 p.m. on March 22. Voters will get a receipt that will verify that their vote was recorded correctly. The state party declined to release the number of online voter registrations that it has received. …


    “We expect all the jurisdictions across the U.S. to take notice and to look at this experience as something to study and, hopefully, follow,” said Antonio Mugica, founder and chief executive of Smartmatic Group, an election-equipment vendor that is running the Utah election.

    Mugica addressed security concerns about online voting, telling the Journal that Smartmatic has security protocols and backups of the election data should a recount be needed. He said he wasn’t aware of any security breaches.


    The Journal did not cite the biography of Malloch-Brown, chairman of Smartmatic’s board.

    That biography is posted openly on Smartmatic’s website, and shows close associations between Malloch-Brown and Soros, a major donor to the Democratic Party and hundreds of liberal and radical-left groups.


    The bio states:
    Mark Malloch-Brown is a former number two in the United Nations as well as having served in the British Cabinet and Foreign Office. He now sits in the House of Lords and is active both in business and in the non-profit world.

    He also remains deeply involved in international affairs.


    Mark served as Deputy Secretary-General and Chief of Staff of the UN under Kofi Annan.

    For six years before that he was Administrator of the UNDP, leading the UN’s development efforts around the world. He was later Minister of State in the Foreign Office, covering Africa and Asia, and was a member of Gordon Brown’s cabinet.


    Other positions have included vice-chairman of George Soros’s Investment Funds, as well as his Open Society Institute, a Vice-President at the World Bank and the lead international partner at Sawyer Miller, a political consulting firm. He also has served as Vice-Chairman of the World Economic Forum. He began his career as a journalist at The Economist.

    Besides formerly serving as vice-chairman of Soros’s Investment Funds and the billionaire’s Open Society Institute, Malloch-Brown is currently a global board member of Soros’s Open Society Foundation.


    As further documented in his Smartmatic Group bio, Malloch-Brown also serves on thesmall board of the International Crisis Group, a Soros-financed international crisis management organization. Soros himself sits on the ICG’s small board.


    Besides their worldwide headquarters in London, Smartmatic lists offices in 13 other countries.

    Their U.S. offices are located in Boca Raton, Florida.


    Tuesday’s Utah GOP Caucuses are considered an important test for online voting, which seems poised to expand in future elections. Last month, Microsoft’s vote-counting technology was utilized in the Iowa Caucus.


    Obama last week called for future online voting while speaking at the South by Southwest technology and music festival. He said the technology world should debate “how can we create safe, secure, smart systems for people to be able to vote much easier online.”


    In a press release, Smartmatic’s Mugica responded directly to Obama’s call for online voting, stating, “President Obama’s call was surprising in only one respect—that it caused a stir.”


    “In a world where we can buy a house, take a degree course, and access government services online, it does not make sense that elections don’t use tried and tested technology,” added Mugica.

    “I agree with the President. The future of democracy is digital.”


    In January 2014, Obama’s 10-person Presidential Commission on Election Administration released its recommendations for reforming the U.S. election process, including transitioning to voting via tablet computers and other technologies, as Breitbart reported.


    The commission recommended:
    Software-only products can be integrated with off-the-shelf commercial hardware components such as computers, laptops, tablets, scanners, printers, and even machine-readable code scanners and signature pad products.

    Tablet computers such as iPads are common components of these new technologies. They can be integrated into the check-in, voting, and verification processes in the polling place.

    The commission highlighted new technologies in which the voter can “pre-fill” sample ballots at home to be scanned later at the polling place.


    The panel dismissed concerns about hacking. The commission stated: “The fact that a tablet or off-the-shelf computer can be hacked or can break down does not mean such technology is inherently less secure than existing ballot marking methods if proper precautions are taken.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-governm...utah-caucuses/

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  5. #5
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Utah GOP to Test First-Ever Statewide Online Voting in US



    Doug Bernard
    March 21, 2016 7:10 AM

    WASHINGTON—This Tuesday, March 22, when Republicans in Utah caucus to nominate a candidate for U.S. President, many of them won’t actually be in Utah. In fact, some won’t even be in North America. That’s because for the first time ever in the United States, a state party will allow voting via the Internet.

    Members of the Utah Republican party who either can’t make it to a caucus site, or simply choose to participate via the Internet, will be able to cast their ballot by registering online at the party’s website. Once registered, online voters will have all day – from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. MDT – to select which candidate they want to be this year’s Republican presidential nominee.

    "I think it's going to be great," Utah Republican Chairman James Evans recently told the Deseret News during a demonstration of how the online voting will work. “There's not a reason for anyone not to participate." (Utah’s Democratic state party is not allowing online voting this cycle.)

    The idea of voting for national office may strike some Americans as new and untested, but in fact a large number of jurisdictions around the world have already moved parts of their electoral process onto the Internet.

    The firm selected to coordinate this first-of-its-kind vote in the U.S. is Smartmatic, an international operation based in Britain with experience in online voting. Since its founding in 2001, Smartmatic says its technology has been employed at national level elections in Uganda, Estonia, the Philippines, Brazil and Belgium, among others.

    “If you think about the criticality of the democratic process, I don’t think there’s another transaction as a citizen I take that has that level of significance and importance as voting in an election,” says Mike Summers, a program manager at Smartmatic and key developer of the technology.

    “Who thinks the notion of requiring people to go to a particular location at a particular time on a particular day and use a pencil and a piece of paper which is then counted by hand is a good idea? It just seems at odds with how we lead our lives today,” Summers told VOA.


    FILE - A laptop computer featuring Windows 10.

    How it works


    The process in Utah will work like this: Internet voters first register online with some personal information. Once confirmed as party members, they’ll receive a unique cryptographic key they will enter when voting on the party website. At the site, voters will be able to learn about the candidates and even change their ballot before submitting their vote; once a vote is submitted, however, it is permanent and unchangeable.

    Summers, who will be on-hand in Utah to monitor the election, said voters need to trust that any system they use is safe and secure – be it pencil and paper, punch cards or an online website. “It’s secure, private, and no vote can be changed or deleted, and no bogus votes can be introduced into the ballot box,” he said.

    To accomplish that in Utah, Summers says Smartmatic’s technology will employ cryptographic blockchains – the first time anywhere that technology will be used in an online vote. Blockchain technology is a type of distributed digital ledger first used by Bitcoin to create permanent, secure and cryptographically protected records of various transactions, such as purchases or votes cast.

    The move online may make unique sense for Utah. An overwhelming majority of residents there are members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, also known as Mormons; many of whom spend several years abroad doing missionary work.

    Traditionally in U.S. elections, voters who are abroad, such as missionaries or U.S. military service personnel, have relied on ballots sent back and forth through the mail. But Summers says postal voting is notoriously unreliable.

    “There’s no security around postal voting,” said Smartmatic’s Mike Summers. “In many instances, only 20% of those postal ballots make it back on time. I see Internet voting as the perfect replacement.”

    http://www.voanews.com/content/utah-...-/3244447.html

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Senior Member artclam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDoe2 View Post

    The commission recommended:
    Software-only products can be integrated with off-the-shelf commercial hardware components such as computers, laptops, tablets, scanners, printers, and even machine-readable code scanners and signature pad products.

    Tablet computers such as iPads are common components of these new technologies. They can be integrated into the check-in, voting, and verification processes in the polling place.
    Since when are eight lawyers and two administrators qualified to evaluate computer technology? Here is what the world's leading expert on computer voting systems has to say. http://www.notablesoftware.com/evote.html

  8. #8
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Utah is holding caucuses in person and, for Republicans, online; online voting doesn't end until 11 pm local time.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Utah caucus

    Last updated Mar 23, 2016 at 8:28 AM PT


    REPUBLICAN
    DEMOCRATIC

    Mar 22
    40 delegates


    85% reporting Delegates Votes
    Cruz (won) 40 69.2%
    118,904
    Kasich 0 16.9%
    29,015
    Trump 0 14.0%
    23,984
    Dropped out: Rubio





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  10. #10
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    UPDATE: 10:42 p.m. EDT — Utah’s new online voting system created a frenzy Tuesday with voters experiencing long lines and the Democratic Party's website crashing from high traffic. Utah's director of elections, Mark Thomas, said about 10,000 people tried to register to vote Tuesday.

    The Deseret News reports some voters got error messages when they tried to use the online voting site. Only the Republican Party offered the online option. Democrats must still show up to vote. There was a March 15 deadline to cast a ballot online.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/tuesday-caucu...-samoa-2340555
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