Spotlight on Electronic Voting Security

illustration of ballot box with lock on it
Lisa Hochgraf Photo
Senior Editor

2 minutes

It’s probably too late to fully secure the electronic ballots for the November general election. But your CU can certainly protect its next board, bylaws or merger vote.

Google “electronic voting security” and you’ll get a lot of hits. With a contentious Presidential election just around the corner, people want their votes to count, and concerns about outdated electronic voting machines and the physical security of polling places are real.

Fortunately for credit unions, leading technology available for running online votes about board members, bylaws changes and mergers is completely different from—and considerably more secure than—the general election voting systems now in the headlines.

In fact, the national voting systems and the CUES eVote: Elect and Educate system are “two completely different systems and they can’t be compared,” says Deepak Prakash, vice president of eBallot (formerly Votenet Solutions), which powers eVote.

“We do not share any systems or processes that general elections currently use.” CUES eVote’s security is both electronic and physical, he explains. “First, every voter has his or her own credential,” Prakash says. “Only voters with credentials can access the ballot. If they’re not part of the voter list, they can’t access it.

“Once you cast a vote,” he adds, “all communication between voter and eBallot happens on a secure network” that employs 256-bit encryption—which refers to the length of the key used to encrypt the data. The system also is secured by Norton by Symantec and TRUSTe Certified Privacy—and the data is stored in a geographically redundant way.

“In case of natural disaster or emergencies, you always have more than one copy of your database,” Prakash emphasizes. CUES eVote, powered by eBallot, “provides a platform for organizations to run elections with high integrity,” he concludes.

Lisa Hochgraf is senior editor at CUES.

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