Legitimacy and Democracy in the Face of Electronic Voting

You are cordially invited to the next Information Society Project speaker series event, scheduled for this Friday, February 18, at 12:10 p.m. in Room 129 of Yale Law School. This week we will be joined by Christina Spiesel and Michael Fischer, who will discuss "Legitimacy and Democracy in the Face of Electronic Voting." In a representative democracy as we have in the United States, voters choose those who will act on their behalf through the ballot, so elections crucially undergird the perception of legitimacy of those who govern. Election integrity is only as good as the human and technological systems upon which it is based. Christina Spiesel and Michael Fischer, brought together by Eddan Katz when he was at the ISP, pursued the question of what voting technology should be purchased by the State of Connecticut in order to conform to the Help America Vote Act. This presentation will briefly outline the history of the ensuing battle and attempt to illustrate the complex interplay between the political, legal, societal, and technological environments in which elections take place. It will conclude with a preview of upcoming issues.

Christina Spiesel is a Fellow of the ISP, a Senior Research Scholar at YLS, and teaches visual persuasion to law students as an Adj. Professor at QUSL and NYLS. She has published many articles and is co-author, with Neal Feigenson, of Law on Display, The Digitial Transformation of Legal Persuasion and Judgment. She is a founding member of TrueVoteCT.org, a public-service organization established in 2005 concerned with voting technology and election integrity in Connecticut. She is an active participant in the Technology and Ethics Working Group of the Institute for Social and Policy Studies and of the Science, Technology, and Utopian Visions Working Group of the Whitney Humanities Center.

Michael Fischer is Professor of Computer Science at Yale. He has published and taught widely in theoretical computer science with an emphasis on distributed computing, privacy, and security, from which his interests in cryptography and voting derive. His Ph.D. student, Josh Benaloh, devised the first cryptographic voter-verifiable secret-ballot election scheme in the mid1980's, several years before the birth of the internet as we know it today. Professor Fischer is a founding member and president of TrueVoteCT.org, a public-service organization established in 2005 concerned with voting technology and election integrity in Connecticut. He was appointed by Governor Jodi Rell in 2005 to the short-lived State of Connecticut Voting Technology Standards Board and was elected vice-chair by the board members. He is an active participant in the Science, Technology, and Utopian Visions Working Group of the Whitney Humanities Center.

Tags: