Informatics Seminar Series
Fall Quarter 2021

Friday, October 22, 2021

“Detecting Ballot Manipulations With a Transparent Voting Machine”

Juan E. Gilbert
Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and Chair, Computer and Information Science and Engineering Department
University of Florida

Touch-screen ballot-marking devices (BMDs) produce paper ballots that are counted by optical-scan voting machines and can be recounted by hand. If the BMD is hacked or misprogrammed so that it prints a different candidate selection than the voter indicated on the touchscreen, the voter is supposed to notice this. Recent studies suggested that only a small fraction of voters read their paper ballot carefully enough to catch errors. Furthermore, after the 2020 Presidential Election allegations of ballot manipulations have spread via social media questioning the integrity of our elections. In the talk, I will present a new design for ballot marking devices, the transparent voting machine. User studies on the prototype show a dramatically higher rate for voter detection of errors using the transparent voting machine interface.

Dr. Juan E. Gilbert is the Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and Chair of the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department at the University of Florida where he leads the Human Experience Research Lab. He is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), a Fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Dr. Gilbert is the inventor of Prime III, an open source, secure and accessible voting technology that has been used in numerous organization elections and recently in statewide elections in New Hampshire and Butler County, Ohio. Prime III is the only open-source voting system to be used in state, local and federal elections in the U.S.A. Dr. Gilbert was a member of the National Academies Committee on the Future of Voting: Accessible, Reliable, Verifiable Technology that produced the report titled, "Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy".

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