Partially as a result of hanging chads, almost $4 billion dollars was allocated by Congress in 2002 to "modernize" our elections. The rush to spend money before there were any meaningful federal standards or testing resulted in the purchase of a large number of poorly designed and insecure voting systems. Most of these old systems still in use are way past their use-by date, with ancient software that may no longer be maintained and physical components in need of replacements that may no longer be manufactured. Election officials trying to cope with failing voting systems and inadequate funding may consider what they hope are cheaper alternatives, such as Internet voting.

This talk by Barbara Simons, an expert on electronic voting, will present a very brief overview of how we got to where we are today and what needs to be done (both technical and legal) to move to an evidence based voting system. She will also discuss some of the false claims made about Internet voting, as well as why Internet voting is a major security threat to our democracy.

About the Speaker

Barbara Simons published Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count, a book on voting technology co-authored with Doug Jones. She has served on the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission since her appointment in 2008, and she co-authored the report that led to the cancellation of the Department of Defense’s Internet voting project (SERVE) in 2004 because of security concerns. Simons is a former President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and a fellow of ACM and the AAAS. She is the only woman to have received the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from the College of Engineering at U.C. Berkeley, where she earned her Ph.D. in computer science. Simons is retired from IBM Research and is Board Chair of Verified Voting.

Barbara Simons, Board Chair of Verified Voting

Lecture Video