At the urging of county election officials in Austin, Texas, a group of Rice University engineers and social scientists has pulled together a team of U.S. experts to head off a little-known yet looming crisis facing elections officials nationwide. According to a January report from the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, U.S. elections officials are facing an “impending crisis” as they look to replace the aging voting systems they purchased after Florida’s flawed 2000 election. The commission concluded that elections officials “do not have the money to purchase new machines, and legal and market constraints prevent the development of machines they would want even if they had the funds.” But a STAR (Secure, Transparent, Auditable and Reliable) voting system is on the horizon.
At the behest of Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, Rice University experts in computer security, functional design and ergonomics are working with collaborators to design an unhackable voting system that will be cheaper than existing e-voting machines and just as easy for voters to use.
… E-voting and computer security expert Dan Wallach, professor of computer science, has documented flaws in e-voting systems for more than a decade. He said working on STAR has been a real eye-opener for team members on both sides of the security-usability divide. “Security people have always said, ‘We need to be involved early in the design, because it’s a lot easier to fix a security problem before you’ve built the thing,'” Wallach said. “It turns out that usability people have been saying the same thing all along.”
Full Article: Rice team sets sights on better voting machine.