Skip to comments.PARC Forum 11/13: The Battle for Accountability in Election Systems
Posted on 11/06/2003 10:44:41 AM PST by null and void
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The Battle for Accountability in Election Systems
David L. Dill
Computer Science Department
Touch-screen voting machines store records of cast votes in internal memory, where the voter cannot check them. Because of our system of secret ballots, once the voter leaves the polls there is no way anyone can determine whether the vote captured was what the voter intended. Why should voters trust these machines?
Last December, I drafted a "Resolution on Electronic Voting" stating that every voting system should have a "voter verifiable audit trail," which is a permanent record of the vote that can be checked for accuracy by the voter, and which is saved for a recount if it is required. After many rewrites, I posted the page in January with endorsements from many prominent computer scientists. At that point, I became embroiled in a surprisingly fierce (and time consuming) battle that continues today. (See www.verifiedvoting.org for the resolution and much more information on electronic voting.)
We still don't have an answer for why we should trust electronic voting machines, but a lot of evidence has emerged for why we should NOT. In this talk, I will discuss the basic technical issues with electronic voting and describe some of the major events of the last 10 months.
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