‼️The full California State Senate unfortunately passed SB1480 on Wednesday evening, May 25. The bill now moves to the Assembly. It’s essential that we contact Assembly members! Our representatives do not understand the significance of this bill. See below for more info.‼️ [end of update]
Now is the time to speak out to stop internet voting in California!
Internet voting is extremely dangerous! Votes could be changed while they’re being sent, and voters’ identities cannot be verified. Yet internet voting could become a reality in California. We must stop SB1480 from passing the state legislature and being signed into law.
The bill has already passed Senate committee and is in consideration by the full Senate.
The Senate is expected to vote on it this week (May 23-27, 2022). [UPDATE: This bill passed the Senate on 5/26/2022.]
UPDATE: The bill now moves to the Assembly. It will still be known as SB1480.
Step 1: Call your
Senator and Assembly Member
Say this or something similar: “I’m a constituent from [name your city.] I’m very concerned about SB1480, which has passed the Senate and is headed for the Assembly. Election security experts agree that internet voting cannot be made safe. While I support people with disabilities having accessible ways to vote, this bill is not the answer. It would put California’s elections at risk. Please oppose this bill. Thank you for your time.”
These Assembly members are on the Elections Committee. If one of them is your representative, be sure to mention that you’re calling them both because they’re your Assembly Member and because they’re on the elections committee: Isaac Bryan (chair), Kelly Seyarto (vice chair), Steve Bennett, Evan Low, Chad Mayes, Kevin Mullin, Blanca Rubio.
Step 2: Call Secretary of State Shirley Weber
Secretary of State Shirley Weber’s office: (916) 657-2166 (or email)
Say this or something similar: “I’m a California voter. We must stop internet voting! It cannot be made safe. Please oppose SB1480 and help stop it from passing in the Assembly.
and its companion bill in the Assembly.”
Here’s another version: “I urge the California legislature not to authorize the certification, adoption, testing, or development of any form of Internet voting. We must preserve the security of voting in California, and voters’ confidence in the election process.”
Step 3: Encourage everyone who cares about elections to speak out now!
Share the link to this page on social media and by email.
Why We Must Stop Internet Voting
Among national security experts and computer scientists, there is no debate: online voting cannot be adequately secured for governmental elections. Any electronic transmission of a voted ballot is online voting!
The security tools currently available such as end-to-end verifiability, encryption, cloud-based services, and distributed ledger technology (blockchain), are unable to secure online voting systems.
Internet voting of any kind is a national security threat. That’s why it’s illegal to connect any part of California’s voting systems to the Internet.
Many studies have reviewed specific internet voting systems. All have found that, despite their claims of innovation and security, these systems have fundamental vulnerabilities.
In addition to other vulnerabilities, electronic signature images cannot safely authenticate voters. It would be easy for large numbers of ballots with false signatures to be submitted and accepted as valid votes.
There are no standards for certification for electronic voted ballot return systems. This is not by accident. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was directed by Congress to develop standards for remote electronic ballot return over a decade ago. After many years of research, NIST concluded it could not establish standards for secure electronic ballot return because secure online ballot return is not feasible. NIST’s conclusion has been since reaffirmed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) and NASEM.
A recent report published in the Journal of Cybersecurity warns, “While current election systems are far from perfect, Internet- and blockchain-based voting would greatly increase the risk of undetectable, nation-scale election failures.”
SB1480 Is Dangerous
SB 1480 would permit the Secretary of State to certify a “remote accessible vote by mail system” that allows the voter to return a completed ballot electronically. It would require county elections officials to permit a voter with a qualifying disability to use this system. Electronic vote by mail is internet voting, which is by its nature insecure.
If SB 1480 were to be enacted, the Secretary of State could certify an electronic vote by mail system that includes the electronic ballot return technology. Though the bill is intended to address access for voters with disabilities, putting elections on the internet opens them up to manipulation from anywhere in the world, especially well funded governments and businesses. This would profoundly undermine any and all election security safeguards California has adopted. The damage this could do to California, and the nation’s elections cannot be overstated – elections in California would be untrustworthy and unverifiable.
The information above is adapted from a letter sent by a coalition of election protection groups detailing the dangers of this bill. The letter includes citations for the information above. Read the coalition letter signed by the groups below.