Ask No Questions and Be Told No Lies: Security of Computer-Based Voting Systems, Users' Trust and Perceptions
University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute
Peter van den Besselaar
Rathenau Institute - Science System Assessment Department; VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Social Sciences
EICAR 2004 Conference CD-Rom, U.E. Gattiker, ed., Copenhagen: EICAR E.V.
In this paper a pilot e-voting system is being studied in order to gain insight into the complexity of IT security issues. The current debate about whether or not electronic voting systems need to have a verifiable paper audit trail provides the context of the paper. Contrary to public perception, there is a long history of technical 'glitches' and irregularities involving voting machines. According to many researchers a voter-verified paper audit trail is the only way voters can have confidence that their vote has been recorded correctly each time, and that recounts and spot checks are possible. However, more and more well-known technologists acknowledge that security mechanisms are fundamental social mechanisms. In all of this the issue of trust is of great importance; people no longer have a blind faith in scientific objectivity and do no longer trust the 'experts'. In this paper we will examine the opinions of users involved in the testing of the TruE-Vote electronic voting system, in particular concerning issues like security, verifiability and trust. The results do indeed suggest that IT security is more than just a technological issue.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: e-voting, security, verifiability, trust
Date posted: July 14, 2009 ; Last revised: July 4, 2014