CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 16, 2002
UI professor to testify before Federal Election Commission April 17
W. Jones, associate professor of computer science in the University of Iowa
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will testify at a public hearing before
the Federal Election Commission in Washington D.C. on Wednesday April 17.
The subject of the hearing is the Commission's proposed Voting System Standards
(VSS), which were released for public comment on Dec. 13 and, if adopted,
would replace the standards adopted in 1990.
Jones, who chairs the Iowa Board of Examiners for Voting Machines and Electronic
Voting Systems, testified in January 2001 at the U.S. Civil Rights Commission
hearings in Tallahassee, Fla. on voting machine technology and whether the
rights of voters were violated during the 2000 election. Jones, who also gave
a May 2001 presentation before the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee,
is a strong proponent of revisions to the 1990 standard.
However, he cautions that the unquestioned use of technology in voting systems
has the potential to create more problems than it would solve. "Internet-based
and touch-screen voting systems may sound very appealing, but while they solve
one set of problems, they create new problems that we must anticipate,"
he says. "If we insist on strict auditability of all voting technology,
we cannot allow unaudited proprietary components, for example, Microsoft Windows,
to be used in voting systems. If we allow such components, how can we protect
the integrity of the election from even a single dishonest programmer?"
The draft Voting System Standards that are the subject of the hearing are
on the web at: http://www.fec.gov/pages/vss/vss.html.