Sour Grapes
Of course we're Fair and Balanced!


A day as an election judge

Every blog in the world seems to be pointing today to this article by Avi Rubin, well-known critic of e-voting from Johns Hopkins University. So will I, but maybe I can focus on something a little different:

I became the target of much criticism from Maryland and Georgia election officials who were deeply committed to these machines, and of course, of the vendor. The biggest criticism that I received was that I am an academic scientist and that academics do not "know siccum" about elections, as Doug Lewis from the Election Center put very eloquently.

While I dispute many of the claims that computer scientists working on e-voting security analysis are deficient in their knowledge of elections, I realized that there was only one way to stifle this criticism... I volunteered to become an election judge in Baltimore County....

I started realizing that some of the attacks described in our initial paper were actually quite unrealistic, at least in a precinct with judges who worked as hard as ours did and who were as vigilant. At the same time, I found that I had underestimated some of the threats before. I think that being an election judge was the best thing I could have possibly done to learn about the real security of elections.

There really is something about living in the practical real world that can't be gotten in academia.

Blog home
Blog archives