US official calls Cook's idea to vote on iPhone 'preposterous'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 7
Just a few days after Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Americans should be able to vote on an iPhone, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose called the idea "preposterous."

Credit: WTOL
Credit: WTOL


Following the passage of a controversial voting law in Georgia, Tim Cook weighed in by saying technology could be the answer to making voting easier. In an interview with The New York Times, he suggested that smartphones could be a solution to voting rights issues.

But LaRose, Ohio's chief election officer, said he "aggressively" opposes that idea. "Not on my watch. Not in Ohio," he told FOX Business.

"I think this is a classic example of one of these, kind of, elites, thinking they have a simple solution to a complex problem," the Ohio state secretary said.

As far as why, LaRose laid out a few reasons. He said that a certain degree of technological competence is required. Although he admitted that the technology could exist in the near future, it would be "more complicated than people realize."

For example, LaRose said that voting officials would need to be able to verify whether a voter "who they say they are" via multi-factor authentication. Additionally, the system would need to prove that the voter was actually the one holding the device. A paper trail for auditing purposes is also a necessity, LaRose contends.

"And then you have to sever the identity from the individual so that the individual can cast a secret ballot and not have the way they vote tracked by some government official, which is something we all very strongly believe in ... that is all very difficult to do," LaRose said.

He said the most important aspect of an election is "public confidence," meaning that "every vote is counted fairly and free of fraud and shenanigans." LaRose added that maintaining public confidence is much harder than technology competence.

LaRose went on to say that he shared concerns that social media platforms and technology companies limit or censor content from conservatives.

"It is evident that there is a bias by a lot of these tech companies toward the left, and the whole cancel culture idea of censoring people whose opinions we disagree with is a really corrosive and dangerous thing," LaRose said. "Why would you want to allow those same individuals to have any control over the actual process of elections?"

The Ohio Secretary of State added that technology could do "a lot of good things," and that's he's a fan of embracing it. However, he stopped short of saying that voting on a smartphone or internet-connected device was a good idea.

"The idea we would let people use iPhones or any other mobile device to do something as crucial as casting a ballot is just preposterous," he said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 713member
    Oh but we can VOTE on PCs, with NO fingerprint NO facial!  Now THAT'S "preposterous"!
    ronnMactintKTRPetrolDavepulseimagesRayz2016maximarawilliamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 65
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,829member
    Would it require Face ID or Touch ID?

    that would be OK.

    And then you have to sever the identity from the individual so that the individual can cast a secret ballot and not have the way they vote tracked by some government official, which is something we all very strongly believe in ... that is all very difficult to do," LaRose said.

    that would be an issue.
    edited April 7 cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 65
    zklauszzklausz Posts: 20member
    How did you pay your taxes this year.   Which has more sensitive info.  Taxes vs vote. 


    JinTechStrangeDaysronnMactintKTRPetrolDavemaclin3maximarawilliamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 65
    Problem is iPhone technology, votes could be hacked in the cloud server.
    cornchipwilliamlondonGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 5 of 65
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 727member
    zklausz said:
    How did you pay your taxes this year.   Which has more sensitive info.  Taxes vs vote. 


    He probably does it via smoke signals.
    jeffzachariasKTRzimmermann
  • Reply 6 of 65
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,094administrator
    Problem is iPhone technology, votes could be hacked in the cloud server.
    Problem is, DMV or IRS technology, personal information could be hacked in the cloud server.

    But yet, here we are.

    I'm not saying that there's a good iPhone-based solution today. But to dismiss it because of "hacked in the cloud server" is preposterous, considering how much of our lives are on a "cloud server" right now.
    edited April 7 StrangeDaysWgkruegerlarryjwjeffzachariasroundaboutnowronnmaclin3JWSCsuperklotonwilliamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 65
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,829member
    No, the vote is more important than how much you earned or what deductions you got.

    I do think the Us needs to clean its act up with voting systems, as it is quite vulnerable to accusations of impropriety. Because it is vulnerable.  Identifying that the voter is entitled to the franchise is important, and people should provide that when they vote.  
    And as for arguments about people not having ID for one reason or another, you can have a process where people wanting to vote can get special voter ID. Like almost every other western country has already.
    buttesilvercornchip
  • Reply 8 of 65
    Wow, like there isn’t enough hackings. Also i would never trust a big tech with my PI. Just saying.
  • Reply 9 of 65
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,111member
    You can buy a gun online. Why not vote too.  
    StrangeDaysronnmaclin3
  • Reply 10 of 65
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,094administrator
    Wow, like there isn’t enough hackings. Also i would never trust a big tech with my PI. Just saying.
    I don't even fully know how to respond to this.

    Whatever ISP you use already has it, which means that Google or Facebook either already have it, or can get it easily. If you read AppleInsider, odds are, Apple has it already. Or, if you're a veteran, it's been leaked six times by the feds in the last 20 years. Nearly every state DMV has had a data breach of some sort.
    edited April 7 CloudTalkinStrangeDaysbadmonkWgkruegerthtroundaboutnowronnmaclin3baconstangget serious
  • Reply 11 of 65
    muaddibmuaddib Posts: 75member
    Of course Google would want people to be able to use android to vote with their phones.
  • Reply 12 of 65
    Voting without a paper trail is a very bad idea. Watch the movie Kill Chain if you want to understand why.
    bonobobcornchipJaphey
  • Reply 13 of 65
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,894member
    Well, the progressives are already okay with the idea of not having to prove your identity at the polling place. I mean they want to boycott Georgia for requiring it. And then there’s the absentee ballot, the mailed/emailed ballot, all of which can be falsified pretty easily. So I should be able to show up at a polling place, tell them who I am without proof of identity, and vote, right? So whats the problem with iPhone voting?
    anonconformistjeffzachariasPetrolDavemrstep
  • Reply 14 of 65
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,070member
    Government has zero problem with citizens paying their taxes on their phones or the internet. If it’s secure enough for the IRS, I don’t really see the difference. 

    I work on federal systems and we process all sorts of citizen services and have web front ends for many of them, like the TSP and its retirement benefits programs for federal workers. 
    edited April 7 jeffzachariasronnPetrolDavemaclin3baconstangget serious
  • Reply 15 of 65
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,070member

    entropys said:
    No, the vote is more important than how much you earned or what deductions you got.

    I do think the Us needs to clean its act up with voting systems, as it is quite vulnerable to accusations of impropriety. Because it is vulnerable.  Identifying that the voter is entitled to the franchise is important, and people should provide that when they vote.  

    And as for arguments about people not having ID for one reason or another, you can have a process where people wanting to vote can get special voter ID. Like almost every other western country has already.
    We already do that. Reminder: per the previous administration’s own cyber security czar, 2020 was the most secure election in US history. DOJ confirmed the same. There was no meaningful voter fraud. 

    As for voter ID, you clearly don’t understand the issues. I live in the poor south and there are many, many American citizens without drivers licenses. Nor state IDs. Getting them requires vehicles and flexible work schedules. Not everyone can afford to spend 4+ hours at the DMV on a weekday, yet it’s still their god given right to vote. And we have systems that enable this - voter rolls, paper bills, witnesses, signed statements, etc. 
    edited April 7 thtgenovelleroundaboutnowronnbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 65
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,070member

    Voting without a paper trail is a very bad idea. Watch the movie Kill Chain if you want to understand why.
    The gold standard of modern voting machines produce a printed paper ballot, which you walk over and put into the box. The electronic part just makes it easier to use and get an immediate ballot count report.
    edited April 7 baconstang
  • Reply 17 of 65
    lkrupp said:
    Well, the progressives are already okay with the idea of not having to prove your identity at the polling place. I mean they want to boycott Georgia for requiring it. And then there’s the absentee ballot, the mailed/emailed ballot, all of which can be falsified pretty easily. So I should be able to show up at a polling place, tell them who I am without proof of identity, and vote, right? So whats the problem with iPhone voting?
    Not sure where you get your political news but your assessment of what's going on in GA is entirely wrong.  Georgia's being excoriated for all of the voter suppressive mechanisms in the new laws, not proof of identity. You are simply repeating the deflective talking points GA lawmakers are pushing.  Suffice it to say, what's going on in GA doesn't help your point in any way, shape, or form.  

    Ignoring political rhetoric, imo, the primary problem with iPhone (or any phone) voting is expressed in the article above: preserving the secrecy of the ballot.  It's one of the core tenets of our voting system. To be fair, it's surrounded by so much FUD it may have been hard to pick out. 
    zklausz said:
    How did you pay your taxes this year.   Which has more sensitive info.  Taxes vs vote. 



    Wait, you're asking what's more sensitive info?  Tax info which we voluntarily give to the government every single year or our specific voting record which could be used by the party in power and the party trying to get in power, in horrific ways to manipulate the populace.  That would be a national nightmare.   Gonna go out on a limb and say it's how we vote that carries a higher level of sensitivity.  What we make per year is easy for anyone to find out, and of no consequence really.
    edited April 7 Wgkruegerbonobobthtroundaboutnowbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingamelijahgDetnator
  • Reply 18 of 65
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 459member
    You can buy a gun online. Why not vote too.  
    Have you ever actually  tried buying one?  Then it ships to a FFL who runs your background check through the FBI system before you get to take possession, but sure, you're free to pay and have it shipped without ID, lose your deposit & maybe get arrested if you lie on the paperwork*.  *(Unless you're in the US illegally - Biden rescinded the EO that had illegals trying to acquire guns be turned over to ICE.)

    Now for something unimportant like voting, registering ineligible individuals at DMVs is good enough, mail-in ballots without even signature validation are good enough, seems like phoning it in should also be good enough.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 19 of 65
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 861member
    “Beware of the left & cancel culture...” statement alone says so much about him. Maybe we could use stone tablets and hammer and chisels to vote. I suspect that is about as technologically advanced as Ohio gets these days. 
    edited April 7 ronnbaconstangSoundJudgment
  • Reply 20 of 65
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,011member
    A small part of my job was writing and updating a "digital certificate policy" for my government, which includes a section on identity-proofing, and the document was approximately 100 pages in length. Voting with a personal device (which I believe would have to use digital certificates, and therefore require certificate policies) is theoretically possible but opens up multiple cans of legal, procedural, and financial worms. And neither the article nor the comments have addressed the biggest problems. I don't think most people are even aware of what the issues even are.

    I won't make a list of the problems, which would take tens of pages, but I'll tell you this. If it was easy, why doesn't Apple already do it? E.g., when I buy an iPhone, Apple has NO IDEA who I am (even if I buy it in an Apple store, [rather than Walmart] they didn't even require a credit card until recently, and even then, some credit cards are corporate and not personal.) I don't have to show them any ID to prove my identity. I could be an illegal alien. I could be a foreign diplomat. I could be a shared corporate phone. So exactly how does Apple propose that the government know who the person at the other end is, if Apple doesn't even know themselves? Is Apple going to rely on the identities provided by the telephone company which provides the wireless services? Wouldn't that be an important part of the process since Apple iPhones can be privately sold without informing Apple? And this is just 5% of the problem.

    Most countries probably have their federal certificate policies online. Just google your country's own certificate policy and read it. I suspect that in the US only the federal government (no state government) has a certificate policy, and since voting is largely a state responsibility, each state would have to write one before any of this could work. I don't think the federal government has the constitutional authority to set up the certificate policy required for voting in the individual states. But the feds may have authority over voting in D.C., (also Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.) so that would be a good place to experiment, since it's such a geographically small zone, which is important when part of the policy involves visually verifying IDs to approve the device's certificate. If you can't get it going in a small jurisdiction first, then you certainly can't get it going nationwide.

    The US probably won't be the first country to achieve voting on personal devices. It might be one of the last to get there due to constitutional issues. It's more likely that some dictatorship which already holds everyone's personal information can achieve this first. I can certainly see a country like China, which recently introduced digital currency, attempting this in the near future, since they are heavily invested into tracking their people already. Of course they don't have elections in dictatorships, but I can see China wanting to prove their technological superiority (and at the same time improve on their ability to track citizens.) My bet would be on Singapore getting there first. They have an interest in these sorts of technologies, and they have a good mix of high tech, small geography, and a very dominant single political party to make this happen fast, if they want to.
    roundaboutnowgatorguy
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