Feeback about talk on electronic voting at Rutgers

From: Arnold Urken <aurken_at_stevens_dot_edu>
Date: Wed May 19 2004 - 15:18:46 CDT

Here is some feedback about the talk on electronic voting given at
Rutgers last week. The talk was part of a tutorial on voting theory and
computing.
 
Ted Selker could not attend. Jonathan Goler, Ted's chief technical
analyst, filled in. I had a chance to talk informally with Jonathan
before his presentation. The following points were interesting:
 
1. Selker and Goler disagree about electronic voting. Selker is
optimistic, Goler takes a position like Rebecca Mercuri's.
2. Goler reports that election officials are afraid of paper
verification and audit trails. Apparently, an election official from LA
is a vocal critic.
3. I asked about auditing issues (e.g., sequencing and protection
of voter anonymity) on the audio verification system that Selker and
Goler are pushing. Goler said that there was a technique for randomizing
data entry on the audio backup to protect voters. Don't recall the name.
4. Goler presumes that all voters will put on a headset to
participate in the verification process. I asked about sanitation
issues. Goler said that poll workers would have to clean the head sets.
Perhaps there is a market for headset covers here!
5. All of the citations were to MIT/Caltech studies; nothing on
Brady's study.
6. MIT is doing experiments this summer on audio verification with
human subjects. I recall that Doug said that there may be some cognitive
advantages of audio feedback over paper, but when I asked Goler about
how much the average voter would recognize from simply hearing a
playback about a complex ballot, he agreed that it was potentially a
serious issue.
 
The slides should be at
http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/Workshops/SocialChoice/slides/slides.html
 
in the next few days-along with mine on the history of voting theory and
voting and security.

Arnie
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:54 2004

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