Readers React: How voting by smartphone can be more secure that paper balloting

Early voters wait to cast their ballots at a polling station in North Hollywood on Nov. 6, 2016.
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / For The Times)

To the editor: Online voting, whether by mobile phone or personal computer, can be made highly secure — way more secure, in fact, than any other voting system now in use, including paper ballots. I made that argument in public when I campaigned for California secretary of state in 2014, and I continue to do so in advocacy.

Voatz, whose system was recently used in West Virginia, is but one of the U.S. firms I have been engaged with that have successfully deployed similar secure mobile online voting systems in U.S. elections. Moreover, secure online voting systems have been used successfully by many other countries throughout the world.

“Blockchain” technology is the ultimate tool for securing any transaction database, including ones that handle votes. The proof is in the crypto-pudding, as no major cryptocurrency has yet been hacked — and that is where the real money is. Yet our own insecure elections and voter data systems have indeed been hacked.

This new generation of secure online voting systems with blockchains stands to be our best bet to defeat further Russian hacking.


Jeff Drobman, Chatsworth


To the editor: Where are the minds of these “tech pioneers” advocating voting by phone?

As a poll worker for many years, I have seen turnout run fairly low, and not because voting is too difficult. In fact, many people just don’t care or know much about the issues.


Voting is easy. Get an absentee ballot if you don’t think you can make it to the polls. If you can go in person, simply surrender your absentee ballot and vote at the polls.

As Alex de Tocqueville observed, democracy requires an educated populace. Handing a school board ballot to 16-year-olds or registering people automatically at the DMV does not a good democracy make. Citizens need to take responsibility and learn about the issues.

Marcia Jacobs, Culver City


To the editor: Voting by phone? Where did this idea come from, St. Petersburg?

I have received numerous calls in the past few weeks from scammers offering to “help repair my Microsoft account” or alerting me that my Social Security number has expired. According to my caller ID, these calls came from my own phone. Will they be casting my vote for me?

If people are too lazy to go to a local precinct or simply vote by mail, then maybe we should respect their wishes and assume they are too lazy to know what they are voting about.

Kevin Wilby, La Crescenta


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