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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 17, 2005

Jones To Serve As Election Observer In Kazakhstan

Douglas Jones, associate professor of computer science in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been invited by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to serve as an election observer in Kazakhstan.

He is scheduled to arrive in the southeastern city of Almaty on Nov. 18 and travel some 600 miles northwest to Astana, Kazakhstan's capital, before returning to Iowa on Nov. 26. At slightly less than four times the size of Texas, the land-locked country of about 15 million in population -- roughly one-half Muslim and one-half Russian Orthodox -- borders China on the east, Russia to the north and west, and several former Soviet republics to the south.

Jones said that the OSCE asked him to assist in their evaluation of Kazakhstan's presidential elections by serving as one of three technical experts to assess Kazakhstan's locally developed electronic voting system.

Jones, the former chair of the Iowa Board of Examiners for Voting Machines and Electronic Voting Systems on which he served for a decade, is widely known for his work on electronic voting security.

In August, he was awarded a five-year, $800,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to investigate the use of electronic voting systems in U.S. elections. The grant is part of a $7.5 million NSF project called ACCURATE (A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable, and Transparent Elections) that includes researchers from the UI, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, SRI International, Rice University and Johns Hopkins University. The center, under the leadership of Aviel Rubin of Johns Hopkins University, will coordinate the work of 10 of the nation's leading experts in electronic voting, computer security, public policy issues relating to the use of computers and human-computer interaction.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu