Ask No Questions and Be Told No Lies: Security of Computer-Based Voting Systems, Users' Trust and Perceptions

EICAR 2004 Conference CD-Rom, U.E. Gattiker, ed., Copenhagen: EICAR E.V.

18 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2009 Last revised: 4 Jul 2014

Anne-Marie Oostveen

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Peter van den Besselaar

Rathenau Institute - Science System Assessment Department; VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Social Sciences

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

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.

Keywords: e-voting, security, verifiability, trust

Suggested Citation

Oostveen, Anne-Marie and van den Besselaar, Peter, Ask No Questions and Be Told No Lies: Security of Computer-Based Voting Systems, Users' Trust and Perceptions (2004). EICAR 2004 Conference CD-Rom, U.E. Gattiker, ed., Copenhagen: EICAR E.V. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1432529 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1432529

Anne-Marie Oostveen (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.social-informatics.net

Peter Van den Besselaar

Rathenau Institute - Science System Assessment Department ( email )

Anna van Saxenlaan
Den Haag
Netherlands

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Social Sciences ( email )

De Boelelaan 1081
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

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