Cem Kaner on e-voting auditability

Responding to an earlier letter to the editor in the NY Times, Cem Kaner (professor of software engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology, IEEE e-voting working group member, and USACM member) has written a letter focusing on e-voting auditability and the standards-making process:

I serve on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers P1583 working group that is drafting the electronic voting equipment standard. The managing director of the I.E.E.E. Standards Association says (letter, Dec. 31) that “the draft standard includes criteria for a voter-verified paper trail performance.”

In fact, proposals for verifiable voting records have been rejected out of hand in this committee. As a public relations gesture, the standard includes an addendum that defines, but very specifically does not require, verifiable voting.

Current electronic voting machines cannot be proved trustworthy because they are unauditable. When totals on these machines differ from exit poll projections, we have no empirical way to determine which numbers are correct [...]

ACM issued a statement in 2004 calling for, among other things, improved reliability, security, and verifiability of public elections.

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