The Vulnerability of American Elections

Elections of the head of state act as one of the main socio-political events in the life of any state. This is especially true for presidential republics. The election campaign for the election of the president is a central political event since the first person of the state is formally determined and legitimized during the campaign. The first feature of the US presidential election is that the winner is a candidate from one of the two main political parties. The presidential election was won only by candidates of the largest Republican and Democratic parties in the country. The chances of independent candidates or candidates representing other parties are minimal, and such candidates have not yet achieved significant success in the presidential election. However, there is an overwhelming issue of vulnerability of the American election system. American elections possess a number of problems, which need to be addressed in order to ensure accuracy and reliability, and the process must be secured from potential cyberattacks.

In the modern period, more attention is paid to voting procedures on a variety of issues, and above all – related to the solution of national problems, with the election of the legislative and executive authorities. Therefore, various types of electronic voting systems are actively developed. The term electronic voting was introduced in the 1960s in the United States, where special punched cards were used for voting, allowing the computer system to read information about the will of the voter using optical scanning (Hale et al., 2015). Unlike America, electronic voting in Europe began to be applied much later in the early 80s of the 20th century (Brewer & Maisle, 2019). In general, two main vectors of the development of such systems can be distinguished, which are essential in the case of cyberattacks. Firstly, technical support systems for the voting procedure, and secondly, remote voting systems. The term polling place e-voting is used to refer to systems in which a voter casts his vote within a polling station under the control of election commission members. The term remote e-voting is used when a voter votes outside the polling station from any location.

Additional problems in the case of such forms of voting are primarily associated with the American e-democracy system and its vulnerability. There are a vulnerability identification and authentication of voting participants, which should be strict and unambiguous. There is the difficulty of controlling the independence and goodwill of a citizen, and the lack of coercion and manipulation. It is important to ensure the reliability of messages with the result of the will. There is a need to guarantee the correct accounting of each vote, and only once. In addition, it is necessary to mention the need to safeguard the secrecy of the will of a citizen at any stage of data processing. Providing the ability to verify the processes of obtaining and counting votes, as well as the recount of votes, if necessary, additional control is also critical. Traditional vulnerabilities of communication channels through which information about the results of a person’s vote should be transmitted to a data center.

Different countries have long used various electronic voting systems. The most striking example is Estonia, which created the world’s first electronic voting system. Discussion of the possibilities of remote voting in Estonia began in 2001, and in 2002, the regulatory framework for e-voting was approved. The Estonian government began testing the infrastructure for Internet voting in local elections in 2005 (Toots et al., 2016). There is a legal basis for conducting electronic voting, which consists of several legislative acts.

In conclusion, the American election process is vulnerable, especially in the case of e-democracy format and electronic voting systems. There are a number of parameters and requirements that need to be put in place in order to ensure the overall reliability and accuracy of the vote counting. The most evident ones are manipulation inhibition and communication security. There are also various other countries that are using e-democracy in a more advanced manner, such as Estonia.


Brewer, M. D., & Maisle, L. S. (2019). Parties and elections in America: The electoral process. Rowman & Littlefield.

Hale, K., Montjoy, R., & Brown, M. (2015). Administering elections: How American elections work. Palgrave Macmillan.

Toots, M., Kalvet, T., & Krimmer, R. (2016). Success in eVoting – success in eDemocracy? The Estonian Paradox. International Conference on Electronic Participation, 9821, 55-66.

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DemoEssays. "The Vulnerability of American Elections." February 24, 2022.