Symbolic Systems Forum - Todd Davies, Symbolic Systems Program

Todd Davies, Symbolic Systems Program

TITLE: Web Access to Voting Records: Motivations and Issues


I will describe the thinking behind Who Voted?, a new website where voter histories that are legally available to the public can be uploaded and viewed by anyone with an Internet connection. The Who Voted site complements advocacy aimed at ensuring auditable paper ballots, addressing the aspect of secret ballot election integrity that relies on verification of the list of those who voted. It also aims to promote voting, by making the list of those who voted (but not who they voted for) easier to see. The road to producing this site was long, and provoked criticism from some privacy advocates, which in turn affected the design of the site and what information it makes available. I will review the reasoning behind the site, and describe the issues it raises as well as how it addresses them. One issue is that voter histories for some but not all states can be posted legally on the Internet, but even those states where the information is public generally do not post it on the Web. I will discuss why this is so, and describe the case for Web access to voting records. (Joint work with Jeffrey Gerard, Gordon Lyon, and Reid Chandler)

Date and Time:
 Thursday, October 30, 2008.  4:15 PM.
Approximate duration of 1.25 hour(s).
380-380C  [Map]
General Public
Symbolic Systems Program
Last Modified:
October 23, 2008