Potential threats to new statewide voter registration systems

I submitted another short paper on voting system threats to the NIST “Threats to Voting Systems” workshop organizers yesterday, on “Potential Threats to Statewide Voter Registration Systems.” As many of the threat reports that were submitted for the NIST workshop were focused primarily on ballot casting and tabulation, I thought that it was important to point out that both the new HAVA-compliant statewide voter registration lists might introduce potential new threats to voter registration systems that had not necessarily been discussed. This follows the short paper that I sent to the NIST organizers earlier this week on threats to precinct voting.

In my discussion of potential threats to statewide voter registration lists, I discuss four general potential threats:

  1. Authenticity of the registration file.
  2. Secrecy of the registration file.
  3. Integrity of the registration file.
  4. Potential voter registration system failures.

By way of a conclusion, I point out that there are no standards for the new HAVA-compliant statewide voter registration systems, and thus there is no system in place for testing and certification to these standards. Of course, standards, testing and certification won’t necessarily mitigate or eliminate all threats, but they could certainly help if devised and implemented correctly.