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NV and IA Democrats Seek to Use Phone-In Voting for Their 2020 Caucuses

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With Democratic politicians fearing the lack of voter participation in their 2020 caucuses, the idea of “phone-in” voting is on their agenda.

Democrats in Nevada and Iowa want voters to elect them in their homes, possibly aiming to make the voters’ lives as easy as possible. They claim that this “tele-caucus system” would gather more people and benefit those who work evening shifts, and people with disabilities.

As the Reno Gazetter Journal reported in July:

The changes are expected to boost voter participation across the board, presenting a new opportunity for the Democratic Party's 2020 candidates to drive up support in the crucial early voting states.

"This is a no-excuse option" for participation, said Shelby Wiltz, the Nevada Democrats' caucus director.

How could this ever go wrong?

Joseph Lorenzo Hall, an election security expert with the Center for Democracy and Technology, has an answer for that. He believes that switching to phone-in voting is more risky than just voting with paper ballots.

According to Axios, Hall is concerned with how there’s “no encryption on phone calls, so a malicious phone company employee, for example, could change votes or link callers to ballots. Likewise, a sophisticated, rarely seen technique known as SS7 hacking, which requires high-level access to a mobile phone company’s systems, can manipulate mobile calls.”

He also stated: “While the call center collecting votes might be secure, and while it's possible to verify users with confidence, there’s room in the telephone network for a hacker to intercede.”

 

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