Q&A: E-voting activist more optimistic about voting systems
Most states have switched to paper records, Rubin notes
Computerworld - For more than a decade, Aviel "Avi" Rubin, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and an e-voting activist, has been a vocal critic of e-voting systems across the nation. In 2006, Rubin wrote the book, Brave New Ballot: The Battle to Safeguard Democracy in the Age of Electronic Voting, which heavily criticized e-voting machines for security and reliability shortcomings. Rubin talked with Computerworld about the recent presidential primary election cycle and his thoughts on e-voting going into the November elections. The following is an edited version of that interview.
Now that we've finished our presidential primaries, how do you think e-voting went this election season? E-voting is really dangerous and unpopular with security people, not because of how the election is likely to go in what's perceived, but with the problems that might happen that are not perceived.
The kinds of problems that we worry about are exactly the kind that don't necessarily have a noticeable manifestation. I do think one of the risks of fully electronic voting is that a small mistake can be magnified in scale all over the place because the touch-screen e-voting machines are all the same, they're all electronic, they all require power, and they all use computer code and a particular set of circumstances that could cause something bad to happen everywhere. I don't usually think it's likely to happen, and in this case, it doesn't appear to have happened. But the concerns of security and auditability are not necessarily things that would leave any incriminating evidence of a potential problem.
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