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Battle for Accountability in Election Systems - 9/22/04

Working Groups
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility's Pittsburgh Chapter
CMU Student Pugwash
SCS and others TBA present:

Dr. David Dill
The Battle for Accountability in Election Systems

September 22, 2004
4 p.m.

McConomy Auditorium
Carnegie Mellon Campus
Pittsburgh, PA


Democracy depends on the consent of the governed. It is necessary not only that elections be accurate, but that the voters KNOW that they are accurate. Otherwise, it becomes difficult for the losers to accept the results of an election. Elections must be transparent so that all voters can assure themselves that the results are accurate.

There has been a trend towards using paperless electronic voting machines in reaction to the problems with older election technology that were so vividly demonstrated in the 2000 presidential election. Unfortunately, electronic voting is an extremely opaque technology. Very little of the critical aspects of an election can actually be observed, because they are only happening inside the circuits of machines.

This talk will discuss the risks of electronic voting, the solutions, and some of the recent history of the debate.


David L. Dill is a Professor of Computer Science and, by courtesy, Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He has been on the faculty at Stanford since 1987. His primary research interests relate to the theory and application of formal verification techniques to system designs, including hardware, protocols, and software. From July 1995 to September 1996, he was Chief Scientist at 0-In Design Automation. He was named a Fellow of the IEEE in 2001 for his contributions to verification of circuits and systems. Prof. Dill is the author of the "Resolution on Electronic Voting", which has been endorsed by many computer technologist as well as political scientists, lawyers, and other individuals. He served on the California Secretary of State's Ad Hoc Committee on Touch Screen Voting, he is on the IEEE P1583 voting standards committee, and is a member of the DRE Citizen's Oversight Committee for Santa Clara County, California. He recently received the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Pioneer Award" in 2004 for his work on electronic voting.

Contact Sonya Allin,

> --
Susan Evoy * Managing Director
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
P.O. Box 717 * Palo Alto * CA * 94302 USA
Phone: (650) 322-3778 * (650) 322-4748 (fax)

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