Colloquium: Understanding the Electronic Voting Controversy

Colloquium by Wolter Pieters, 15.30 – 17.00, Cubicus B209, University of Twente

In many countries, the use of electronic voting machines in elections has become controversial. It is no longer taken for granted that these computers do what they are supposed to do. Both in the United States and in the Netherlands, devices without a so-called “paper trail” have been decertified. Meanwhile, the rapidly modernising country of Estonia allows its citizens to cast their votes through the Internet, apparently without triggering disaster. What is going on here? It turns out that understanding the electronic voting controversies is related to answering very old questions: what is nature, what is technology, what is trust? Wouter Pieter’s PhD thesis “La Volonte Machinale; Understanding the Electronic Voting Controversy” explores the relation between the electronic voting controversies and such philosophical questions. This leads to a new look on the scientific discipline of information security, and its efforts to secure both personal and public data in the information age.