Special Seminar

  • Michael Shamos
  • Principal Systems Scientist, and Co-Director, Institute for eCommerce, SCS/CMU

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN FLORIDA? Bugs in Computerized Voting

ABSTRACT********The Presidential election has drawn a lot of attention to the methodsof computerized voting in Florida. The purpose of this talk is toexplain how computers are used in voting in the United States, why theprocess is not simple, why recounts, even in punched-card elections, can take weeks and why when a deck of ballots are counted the totalsare never the same twice in a row. We will discuss voting fraud,vote-buying, ballot stuffing, the difference between precinct count and central count systems and what happens to the ballots between the time they are cast and when they are finally counted. The overallobjective is to clarify exactly what computers do and do not do in the American voting process.BIO***Michael Shamos has been an examiner of computerized voting systems forPennsylvania and Texas since 1980 and has studied over 100 differentvoting products, including the ones just used in Florida. Hiswidely cited paper on voting system examination, written in 1993, is available at: http://www.cpsr.org/conferences/cfp93/shamos.html
For More Information, Please Contact: 
Catherine Copetas, copetas@cs.cmu.edu