The detailed report examines specious or false claims made by Democracy Live and Voatz, two of the most prominent Internet voting system vendors in the United States.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 18, 2021) – Free Speech For People has released a new report exposing how online voting system vendors have used false claims to promote their products, and in some cases, to sway some election officials to dismiss the scientific evidence of system insecurities of online voting. The report warns that legislation to expand online voting is being adopted based on false promises from Democracy Live and Voatz.

“From public statements, news reports, press releases and marketing materials it becomes evident that the vendors of these online voting systems have been pitching their systems to state and local officials with potentially false, misleading and/or deceptive marketing claims. These spurious claims have served to counter the scientific conclusion that online voting is dangerously insecure and unsuitable for public elections,” the report states.

The report goes on: “Moreover, these specious assertions of security have led state and local government officials to believe, incorrectly, that online voting can be secured, and for these officials to press for the adoption and expansion of online voting.”

“There is zero regulation or oversight of the online voting system vendors, and they have exploited this fact to push their products with false and specious claims,” says Susan Greenhalgh, Senior Advisor on Election Security at Free Speech For People. “Even worse, with no check on these vendors and their deceptive marketing, state officials are misled to believe online voting can be done safely and reliably, promoting laws to allow this insecure practice.”

Free Speech For People is calling for the false claims made by both vendors to be fully investigated by relevant authorities including: the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, State Attorneys General and relevant Congressional Committees. The report insists that the vendors’ self-interested, untrue marketing strategies promote election policies and legislation that put state and local elections at risk.

In 2020 and 2021, Free Speech For People wrote to the state attorneys general of seven states (Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and West Virginia), and the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General, calling for investigations of Voatz and Democracy Live, the nation’s two most prominent online voting system vendors, for deceptive and misleading marketing that may violate state laws against consumer deception or fraudulent misrepresentation, and federal laws against misuse of a federal agency’s logo. This new report details similar deceptive marketing strategies by the companies, despite the overwhelming evidence that currently exists about the dangers of online voting. 

Greenhalgh presented the paper to the 2021 State Testing and Certification of Voting Systems National Conference. Read the new report.