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Voting, Voting Risk and Vote Counting      (Back to Search Results)

Grant Number: 435575

  • Description: Standard Grant
  • Associated Project:
  • Award Date:
  • Award Period: 2004-09-01 to 2005-08-31
  • Amount: $ 9999.00

Primary Investigator:
L. Jean Camp

Jean L. Camp


Government Domain:

Primary Institution:
Harvard University

Project Home Page:

Latest Project Highlight:

This grant will support a symposium on the risks of voting and vote-counting in the United States. Technologists, election officials, political scientists and other experts will attend and will develop consensus on best practices and open questions based on a comprehensive review of voting and voting technology. Elections, and enfranchisement of citizens, are a fundamental part of democracy, yet the nature of how elections are to be fairly conducted differs widely between (and even within) countries. New voting technologies appear to offer ease of access with the removal of barriers to voting for those who can not read a printed ballot, or who are physically disabled, home-bound or at remote locations. Other benefits may include near-immediate results, ability to perform more complex balloting schemes (such as instant runoff voting), and immunity from certain types of election fraud. Such promises have on occasion proven not to match actual performance, and the risks of undetectable election fraud and equipment failure may result in disillusionment of voters and disenfranchisement of citizens. This topic combines issues involving design for development as well as design for democracy. The results of the symposium will include a set of organizational and technical recommendations to ensure the reliability of the systems implemented in each domain, considering the cost and need for reliability in different environments. The discourse will provide perspective on the interaction between democratic systems and adoption of voting equipment. Specific immediate design questions will address how the systems can be most effectively constructed and deployed. The symposium will provide: i) concrete recommendations for evaluation of secure and reliable voting technology, and ii) theoretical contributions to the understanding of the interaction of technology adoption and governance. The results of this examination will be disseminated in multiple channels.