EAC: "Techies Praised for E-Vote Work"

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Fri Aug 20 2004 - 14:59:15 CDT

"Techies Praised for E-Vote Work"
  Wired News (08/20/04); Zetter, Kim

  Federal Election Assistance Commission Chairman DeForest Soaries
recently told members of the IEEE that the U.S.is indebted to
computer scientists for highlighting security problems with e-voting
systems and for helping develop new standards for building more
secure systems. Over 55 million American voters will vote in the
November presidential election on optical-scan machines with paper
ballots, while 50 million will use paperless e-voting machines; these
systems were certified under standards that critics contend are
outdated because they concentrate on hardware and software
functionality and resilience rather than on the prevention of
election fraud through hacking. Modern security-testing techniques
and human usability studies would probably be required in new
e-voting system standards that the IEEE is drafting, and that will
hopefully be ready for public debate by next summer. Scientists hope
Soaries' remarks indicate that a major rift between researchers and
election officials has started to close, a rift that opened after
reports on e-voting machines' insecurity spurred accusations from
election officials that scientists were seeking media attention and
impairing the public's confidence in the voting process. The newly
created Election Assistance Commission is tasked with administrating
voting system certification, and Soaries said that scientists are
critical to its operation, as commissioners lack technical expertise.
The commission must not only set up new e-voting machine standards,
but establish a process for upgrading the standards as technologies
advance. Soaries insisted that the commission is not politically
biased, although the IEEE voting standards committee has been
criticized for admitting voting-machine company employees into its
ranks. Stanford computer scientist and paper trail advocate David
Dill is glad that e-voting security is finally being considered, but
he argues that "the committee has not embraced input from people like
me as enthusiastically as they could have."
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,64644,00.html for full article

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:17 2004

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