Election Software

Presented by Vanessa Teague
Friday 11:35 a.m.–12:20 p.m.
Target audience: Community


Australian elections rely increasingly on software to compute outcomes and even to record and transfer votes. Like any other software, election software can be buggy, insecure, mistakenly configured, or running on a platform not controlled by those who think they control it.

So how do Australian voters and scrutineers get evidence of the accuracy of our election results? What's the role of open source software? Should we be voting over the Internet?

Victoria has an open-source end-to-end verifiable pollsite e-voting system. NSW has a closed-source not-verifiable Internet voting system. Other states and territories have a variety of approaches. Don't even ask for the Senate counting code.

Where are our elections headed? And how can people who understand computers try to help?

Presented by

Vanessa Teague

Vanessa Teague is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computing and Information Systems at at The University of Melbourne. She did her Bachelor's Degree at The University of Melbourne and her Ph.D. in cryptography and game theory at Stanford University.

Her main research interest is in electronic voting, with a focus on cryptographic schemes for end-to-end verifiable elections and a special interest in complex voting schemes such as STV. She was a major contributor to the Victorian Electoral Commission's end-to-end verifiable electronic voting project, the first of its kind to run at a state level anywhere in the world, joint work with Chris Culnane, Peter Ryan and Steve Schneider. She recently discovered, with Alex Halderman, serious security vulnerabilities in the NSW iVote Internet voting system. Also more recently, with Andrew Conway and others, a bug in the NSW vote counting software.

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