“Biometric systems can be used to match voters’ faces against their official identity documents, thereby confirming their identities from the comfort of their own homes.”
Online voting can address the health and fraud concerns looming over this year’s US presidential election, argues Onfido CEO Husayn Kassai in a new article for BetaNews.
Kassai notes that even as the COVID-19 pandemic has fostered fears about voting in-person this autumn, government officials in various parts of the country have restricted the use of mail-in ballots on the rationale that they pose a greater risk of fraud. Online voting offers a solution, but Kassai acknowledges that there are also concerns about security and identity fraud with respect to this approach.
Fortunately, today’s advanced technologies can address those issues, too. Biometric systems can be used to match voters’ faces against their official identity documents, thereby confirming their identities from the comfort of their own homes. Meanwhile, blockchain technology can provide election authorities with the assurance that electronic ballots are not being intercepted or tampered with.
Mobile technology also has an important role to play, Kassai argues. Smartphones can allow voters to confirm their identities by snapping photos of their official identity documents and a selfie.
There are political hurdles, of course. Kassai acknowledges that “there is no impetus for the current administration to make even mail-in voting more accessible, let alone e-voting,” but he is optimistic, asserting, “if we come together as a country, we can energize the debate over e-voting and ensure it gets the proper attention it deserves.”
It’s certainly an option that various political authorities have been looking into. And if it does prove popular, Onfido’s selfie-based authentication technology could have an important role to play this November.
July 23, 2020 – by Alex Perala