On Oct. 12, CLTC was honored to welcome David Dill, Donald E. Knuth Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Computer Science and, by courtesy, Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, for a lunch seminar entitled, “Voting Computer in the Age of Cyber War.”
In his talk, Dill discussed an array of challenges related to achieving cybersecurity in modern election systems, including how computerized vote-counting equipment is vulnerable to attack by people who want to affect the outcome of an election. This possibility has been made more concrete by the election of 2016, where there were widespread cyber-attacks against voter registration systems and intrusion into servers at local election offices. He also explored how potential solutions like improved audits and coordination among voting entities could support a more secure voting infrastructure.
“I want to make the case that voting machine security is a question of national security,” Dill says. “Suppose you want to take over a country. You can build a country and mount an invasion and deal with the expense and difficulty and various risks of doing that, or if it’s a democratic country, you could just elect your own leadership team and save yourself a lot of trouble. That’s the stark choice we have to think about . . . . We ought to start thinking about defending our voting system in the same way we think about defending the rest of the country.”
Prof. Dill has been working actively on policy issues in voting technology since 2003. He is the author of the “Resolution on Electronic Voting,” which calls for a voter-verifiable audit trail on all voting equipment, and which has been endorsed by thousands of people, including many of the top computer scientists in the United States. He has testified on electronic voting before the U.S. Senate and the Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker III. He is the founder of the Verified Voting Foundation and VerifiedVoting.org and is on the board of those organizations. In 2004, he received the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Pioneer Award” for “spearheading and nurturing the popular movement for integrity and transparency in modern elections.”
David L. Dill is the Donald E. Knuth Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Computer Science and, by courtesy, Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He has been on the faculty at Stanford since 1987. He has an S.B. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979), and an M.S and Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University (1982 and 1987). Prof. Dill has research interests in a variety of areas, including computational systems biology and the theory and application of formal verification techniques to system designs, including hardware, protocols, and software. He has also done research in asynchronous circuit verification and synthesis, and in verification methods for hard real-time systems. From July 1995 to September 1996, he was Chief Scientist at 0-In Design Automation, and, since 2016, he has been Chief Scientist at Locuspoint Networks, LLC.
You can view the video of the presentation below, as captured via livestream.