Friday, December 29, 2017

OpaVote Security Practices

Some OpaVote customers are nervous about the security of online elections. To reduce risk, OpaVote follows many security best practices, and in this post we explain some of them to reassure you that it is safe to run your elections with OpaVote.

This is a followup post to a previous one where we showed that OpaVote has far better practices than other online election providers as determined by independent third parties.

Hackers have five possibilities in trying to undermine your election:
  1. Breaking into Google servers (OpaVote runs on Google)
  2. Accessing secret codes of voters
  3. Obtaining an election manager's password
  4. Obtaining an OpaVote administrator password
  5. Exploiting possible vulnerabilities in the OpaVote website.
We'll address each of these below.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ranked-Choice Voting with a Supermajority Requirement

Some elections require a supermajority to cause an action to happen. A supermajority means more than a majority, and the most common supermajority requirements are 2/3 or 3/4 of the voters.

In this post we explain how you can implement a supermajority requirement for your online elections with OpaVote.

Why a Supermajority?

Most elections require a majority to enact a change because it allows you to make progress and move forward with a decision. If supermajorities were always required, then you could be stuck with the status quo and be unable to move forward.

Supermajorities are usually required for decisions of a more serious nature, such as removing a person from an office. For some decisions, it makes sense to stick with the status quo or not make a decision unless there is a supermajority who agree.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

OpaVote has the most Secure Elections

For important elections, you need to make sure that your online election provider has high security. With the recent news about the hacking of U.S. politicians and elections, you can't be too paranoid.

We recently decided to do a security review, and we'd like to share our results with you.  In addition, we also did a security review for a few of our competitors.

There are websites that perform automatic checks of other websites to make sure they are using recommended security practices.  Below, we created a table that shows the results from two of these websites for OpaVote and some of our competitors.

In the table below, "A" is the highest score and "F" is the lowest score. Use the links in the table to verify the results yourself.

Test OpaVote Election Runner Election Buddy Simply Voting Elections Online
Security Headers A+ F C F D
Mozilla B+ F D F C

For the Mozilla test, we are working on improving our B+ to an A, but it is a demanding test. Even Gmail gets a "B" for that one.

What is crazy is that Simply Voting and Elections Online are 10 times more expensive than OpaVote, yet have bad security practices.

If you need high security for your election, then OpaVote is clearly your best choice.