People bank online and do their taxes online. But not many vote online. On Monday, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen‘s venture-capital fund said it was betting that online voting will win over skeptics worried about security and gradually become the norm for elections world-wide. Vulcan Capital’s growth equity fund, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said it will invest $40 million in Scytl, a digital voting services company based in Barcelona with customers in more than 30 countries, including Canada, Mexico and Australia. Scytl, founded in 2001, sells a range of services aimed at modernizing elections, from training poll workers and registering voters to hosting elections online and counting votes. Scytl has previously received investments from Balderton Capital, Nauta Capital and Spinnaker SCR.
… The two major technological methods currently used in voting in most developed democracies are touch-screen devices and paper ballots systems. The latter allows a physical recount if necessary.
Critics say the security involved in online voting still isn’t good enough to ensure the integrity of democratic elections. “The stakes may be so high that the incentive to tamper with the system would overwhelm any currently available designs that preserve integrity,” said Alexander Shvartsman, professor of computer science at the University of Connecticut.