In an effort to keep foreign hackers out of the upcoming midterm elections, some states have deployed a method known as “geo-targeting,” which blocks web users from foreign countries on voter-registration sites. One major problem? U.S. citizens who live overseas still want to vote. NPR reports that the defense efforts have already made the voter registration process more difficult for citizens abroad. Additionally, cybersecurity experts have found the method to be virtually ineffective. “Any concerted attacker would use a [virtual private network], they’re really cheap. If anything, this is just marketing,” said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist for the Center For Democracy & Technology. NPR found at least nine states prohibiting access from international IP addresses on their online registration sites. The Federal Voting Assistance Program estimates there are 3 million citizens living outside the U.S. who are eligible to vote. While there are other ways that citizens can vote while abroad, the online process is the simplest.
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