Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Potential panel: Voting technology: the rest of the story

"Voting technology" is one of the suggested topics for CFP, and there's a long tradition of discussing this. In 2004, for example, there were three voting panels on voting at CFP including a mock election where Avi Rubin stole it from Lorrie Faith Cranor, or maybe the other way around. 2008's another election year, and there's at least one excellent proposal in the works. One of the things I've noticed, though, is that the most discussions of technology at CFP have focused on voting machines and internet voting -- critical, but only part of the story. So it might be good to think about a complementary session, something along the lines of ...

The 2008 US presidential campaigns illustrate many other issues related to election technology: ballot design issues ("Double Bubble Trouble" in California and Washington State), grassroots activists using blogs and social networks to call attention to issues in LA County and the potential Florida vote-by-mail election, innovative use of video and YouTube with the New Hampshire chain of custody and Prairie View A&M Waller County march. It also featured technology like flash polls on the internet, million-person-plus groups on Facebook, and prediction markets like Intrade and the Iowa Electronic Market that are at the very least "voting-like".

What implications do these technologies have for voting in the 2008 elections and beyond?

Thoughts? Suggested speakers? Other topics?

PS: the Facebook thread on this also has some interesting discussion.


Frank said...

I'm in favor of this topic. Michael Carrier has written a great article on the topic. We could also invite activists.

James said...

As requested by Jon, I was putting myself out there to add to this panel. I discovered a vulnerability which allowed me to use public records to show how some Ohioans voted in 2006. See article here. So I could talk about the findings, what lead me to them, and the results.

jon said...

Thanks for posting, James. This kind of technology issue -- a post-election security vulnerability that compromises the secrecy of elections -- is exactly the kind of topic I was thinking of for this panel.

And Frank, good suggestion on Michael Carrier.

A few other names and suggestions from the Facebook group: Rebecca Mercuri as a possible keynoter, Matt Blaze, the general area of "deliberative democracy", and an update on HAVA's* effectiveness for voters with special needs.

* HAVA = the "Help America Vote Act"

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