From Publishers Weekly
Rubin, professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins, tells the fascinating story of how he set off a media storm in the summer of 2003 when he and two graduate students revealed that the Diebold electronic voting technology in use in 37 states was riddled with errors and problems. A self-described "computer-geek," Rubin was publicly accused of undermining democracy by officials he describes as desperate to save face after investing state money in the machines. He also became the object of an e-voting industry campaign to smear his work, especially after it was revealed that he had connections to a voting software company. Refreshingly, he describes this potential conflict of interest with considerable candor. Rubin's account of his mounting frustration as governmental and industrial spin doctors continued to champion electronic voting in the face of its manifold problems, and turned electronic voting into a partisan issue, is a sympathetic one. Despite the inability of his critics to understand it, his explanation of the technological issues at the heart of electronic voting is clear, and his argument that votes need to be verifiable in order for the democratic process to be meaningful is so reasonable that it sounds almost revolutionary. (Sept. 5)
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Rubin, a professor of computer science, found himself at center stage of the debate surrounding the safety and security of electronic voting when he and his grad students exposed serious failings in the code in electronic voting machines manufactured by Diebold. The company's source code had been hacked into and was posted on the Internet. Rubin's analysis of the code and the dangers of electronic voting were disclosed six months before his home state of Maryland was due to use the machines in the 2002 primary and general election, triggering scrutiny by Rubin's peers, politicians, and the media as well as a Diebold campaign to ruin his career. Rubin thoroughly analyzes the vulnerabilities of electronic voting and offers an absorbing account of how his involvement in the e--voting controversy affected his life and career, in what he describes as a scenario from a "bad Hollywood script." In this highly accessible book, Rubin offers readers a look at the weaknesses of electronic voting systems and the need for paper records. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved