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EL@M Events

Electronic Voting: The 2004 Election and Beyond
September 23, 2004, 1:00 - 4:45 p.m.
2.75 CLE hours approved

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Power Point Presentations


Saxbe Auditorium
Moritz College of Law
55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210


Four years after the 2000 election debacle, a fierce debate still rages over the machinery used to cast and count votes. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 ("HAVA") promised major changes in the infrastructure of American democracy, including funding for the replacement of outdated voting equipment.

Spurred by both legislation and litigation, states from Florida to Maryland to California have taken steps to replace the infamous "hanging chad" punch card machine with more modern – and supposedly more reliable – voting systems. Voters affected by the continuing deployment of older technology have brought lawsuits to challenge its use – including an unsuccessful attempt to postpone the California recall. In addition, citizens with disabilities have brought suit in three states, challenging the accessibility of paper-based systems and seeking its replacement with more accessible electronic voting technology.

At the same time, the replacement of punch cards with electronic "touchscreen" voting machines has generated enormous anxiety in some quarters, fueling legal challenges to paperless electronic voting. The belief that the present generation of electronic voting technology is insecure has caused some to demand that a "voter verified paper audit trail" be required by law. This would require that all electronic voting machines generate a contemporaneous paper record (or "CPR") of the electronically cast ballot, something that has until now been attempted by a few jurisdictions on a very limited basis.

This conference will examine the legal and policy issues surrounding the ongoing transformation in voting technology. It brings together lawyers, law professors, computer scientists, political scientists, and advocates. The conference will provide a multidisciplinary and multidimensional perspective on the challenges that Ohio and the rest of the nation face, as we move from paper-based systems like the infamous punch card to electronic voting.

The conference will start by providing evidence about the practical issues that frame the legal debate surrounding voting technology and outline the critical facts that should guide the law's response to the problems and opportunities posed by electronic voting. The first panel will feature discussion of the empirical research on voting machines. It will also include computer scientists who will discuss both the risks and advantages of electronic voting. Finally, it will include discussion of the vulnerabilities of electronic voting, and proposals that have been made for enhancing its security.

The second panel will focus on the voting rights dimension of the controversy over electronic voting. This includes the claim made by some advocates that paperless electronic voting threatens to deny the right to vote, by preventing reliable audits of election results. On the other side, the panel will also include supporters of electronic voting who believe that electronic voting reduces the number of residual votes, and has the potential to enhance equal voting for people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and voters with disabilities. It will also assess the possible legislative, judicial and administrative responses to the risks posed by electronic voting.

The conference will include analysis of recent litigation that has been filed, both by opponents of paperless electronic voting and by citizens with disabilities seeking to require its implementation. Panelists will also analyze and critique Ohio H.B. 262, which will require that electronic voting machines generate a "voter verified paper audit trail" effective 2006.

Time Schedule

1:00 - 1:15 Arrival and greeting - Professor Ned Foley & Professor Peter Shane
1:15 - 1:30 Analysis of legal and policy debate over voting technology - Professor Daniel Tokaji
1:30 - 2:30 Panel One – Electronic Voting: Promise or Peril?
Prof. David Dill - Stanford University
Prof. Michael Shamos - Carnegie-Mellon
Tova Wang, Esq. - Century Foundation
Deborah Goldberg, Esq. - Brennan Center for Law & Justice
Moderated by Prof. Peter Swire, Moritz College of Law
2:30 - 3:00 Question and Answer
3:00 - 3:15 Break
3:15 - 4:15

Panel Two – Voting Technology in the Courts
Prof. Henry Brady - U.C. Berkeley
Prof. Martha Mahoney - University of Miami

Matt Zimmerman- Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Prof. Daniel Tokaji - Ohio State University
Moderated by Prof. Peter Shane, Moritz College of Law

4:15 - 4:45 Question and Answer and Wrap-Up


Henry Brady Henry Brady
Prof. of Political Science
University of California at Berkeley
David Dill David L. Dill
Prof. of Computer Science
Stanford University
Deborah Goldberg Deborah Goldberg
Director, Democracy Program Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Martha R. Mahoney Martha R. Mahoney
Prof. of Law
University of Miami
Michael Shamos Michael Shamos
Distinguished Career Prof. of Computer Science
Peter Shane Peter Shane
Joseph S. Platt/Porter Wright Morris & Arthur Prof. of Law
Director, Center of Law, Policy, and Social Science
Moritz College of Law
Daniel Tokaji Daniel Tokaji
Assistant Prof.
Moritz College of Law
Tova Wang Tova Wang
Senior Program Officer and Democracy Fellow Program
The Century Foundation



Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University