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Scientific community/Science policy

In his June 5 Local Opinions essay, “Mobile voting in D.C. is the next step in a long march,” Martin Luther King III urged expanding the availability of mobile voting to all D.C. voters to combat low voter turnout, particularly in historically underrepresented communities.

Voting restrictions disproportionately affect already underserved communities. The Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues has long supported responsible uses of technology to facilitate voting and increase access to the ballot box for all voters. But the electronic return of ballots creates serious and currently unsolvable security vulnerabilities.

In an April 2020 letter to governors and state election officials, signed by about 80 prominent computer and cybersecurity experts, we outlined the risks of mobile voting. These systems are vulnerable to the same kinds of hacking tools that closed down schools in Baltimore County and caused massive fuel shortages along the Eastern Seaboard. The rise in cryptocurrency thefts shows that even blockchain-based mobile voting is rife with security risks. In 2020, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the FBI and the National Institute of Standards and Technology jointly concluded that electronic ballot return is a “high risk” and that “ensuring ballot integrity and maintaining voter privacy is difficult, if not impossible, at this time.”

Though we support seeking solutions to address low voter turnout, especially among underserved communities, current evidence underscores that voting by phone, tablet or computer is not safe or secure enough to ensure public confidence and trust in election results.

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Read on the Washington Post website here

AAAS and The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS), based in Trieste, Italy, are seeking candidates for the AAAS-TWAS Course on Science Diplomacy to be held online from 25 July to 3 August 2022. The workshop will be held virtually. For the second consecutive year, applications to attend the course are being invited from ‘participant pairs.’

The submissions period ended on April 20. 

Rashawn Ray, Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution, has been awarded the 2022 Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The AAAS EPI Center gratefully acknowledges support from generous donors and partners.

For 46 years, the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Forum has been the premier space to address challenges at the intersection of science and policy and their implications for society.

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