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Distinguished Lectures in Computer Science: The E-voting Battle

Monday, December 10, 2012 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus Davis Auditorium Schapiro CEPSR

The E-voting Battle

David Dill, Stanford

After the 2000 Florida election fiasco, Americans were clamoring for improved voting technology. By 2002, millions of dollars were available from the Federal government and some state governments to help local jurisdictions upgrade. But the planned "upgrades" to paperless electronic voting machines would have resulted in a system where we had no idea whether our leaders were selected by voters or by errors or malicious software in voting machines. This led to an ongoing policy battle over voting technology from 2003. Computer scientists and other technologists played an important and unusual role in this debate. I will describe the problem, the history since 2003, and where we stand after the recent Presidential election.

David Dill has been on the faculty in the Computer Science Department at Stanford since 1987. He worked for many years in formal verification of hardware, software, and protocols, but his major research interest now is computational biology. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and ACM. Prof. Dill has been working on policy issues in voting technology since 2003. He is the author of the "Resolution on Electronic Voting", which calls for a voter-verifiable audit trail on all voting equipment, and which has been endorsed by thousands of people, including many of the top computer scientists in the U.S. He has served on the California Secretary of State's Ad Hoc Task Force on Touch-Screen voting. He has testified on electronic voting before the U.S. Senate and the Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker III. He is the founder of the Verified Voting Foundation and VerifiedVoting.org and is on the boards of those organizations. In 2004, he received the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Pioneer Award" for "spearheading and nurturing the popular movement for integrity and transparency in modern elections."

Host: Prof. Gail Kaiser