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Wednesday, March 16 2016
11:00pm - 1:00am

GBC/ACM presents Auditability and Verification of Elections with Prof. Ronald L. Rivest, MIT

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Democracy requires that elections have credible results -- otherwise the winner lacks a political mandate and the supporters of losing candidates react with anything from protests to revolution.Yet (U.S.) elections have become larger and increasingly complex, and politics seems more polarized. Software-based voting systems inspire little trust. Voting systems purchased with funds allocated after the 2000 U.S. presidential election fiasco are rapidly becoming obsolete.

How can good definitions, statistics, and cryptography help?

We present the notion of software independence, describe several methods for effective auditing of paper ballots, and give an overview of "end-to-end'' cryptographic voting systems that allow voters to confirm that their votes were counted exactly as intended, without violating voter privacy or enabling vote-selling. We close with a (pessimistic) assessment of the prospects for "voting over the internet".

Professor Rivest is an Institute Professor at MIT, a member of its Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, a member of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), a member of that lab's Theory of Computation Group and a leader of its Cryptography and Information Security Group.

This is a joint meeting of GBC/ACM and the IEEE Computer and Social Implications of Technology Societies.

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