Last updated on: 2/28/2008 | Author:

Barbara Simons, PhD Biography

Computer Scientist and Former President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Con to the question "Do Electronic Voting Machines Improve the Voting Process?"

“Because paperless DREs [electronic voting machines] provide no audit trail, it’s imperative that they be extensively tested before, during, and after each election. DREs must also be securely stored between elections, as well as at polling sites before, during, and after each election…None of these steps can ensure that DRE software is free of malicious code and potentially damaging bugs. The best we can do is to attempt to reduce the risks associated with these machines.”

“Electronic Voting Machines: The Good, the Bad, and the Stupid,” ACM Queue, 2004

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Founder and Chair, ACM US Public Policy Committee (USACM), 1993-present
  • Board of Directors: Verified Voting Foundation, U.C. Berkeley Engineering Fund, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Coalition to Diversify Computing, and Public Knowledge
  • Former Senior Programmer and Senior Technology Advisor, IBM Global Services
  • Testified before U.S. Congress and California State Legislature on technology and election issues
  • Served on U.S. President’s Export Council’s Subcommittee on Encryption and President’s Council on the Year 2000 Conversion Information Technology-Sector
  • Member, National Workshop on Internet Voting convened by President Clinton and Security Peer Review Group of U.S. Department of Defense’s Internet voting project Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Project (SERVE)
  • Member, National Committee for Voting Integrity
  • Co-chair, ACM study of statewide databases of registered voters
  • Co-founder, Reentry Program for Women and Minorities, UC Berkeley Computer Science Department
  • Advisory Board: Oxford Internet Institute, Public Interest Registry’s .ORG Advisory Council
  • Fellow, Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • First woman to receive Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, UC Berkeley, 2005
  • Outstanding Contributor Award, ACM, 2002
  • President of the ACM, 1998-2000
  • Alumnus of the Year, UC Berkeley Computer Science Department, 2000
  • Pioneer Award, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 1998
  • Norbert Weiner Award, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), 1992
  • Distinguished Service Award – Computing Research Association
  • Top 100 Women in Computing, Open Computing
  • IBM Research Division Award
  • PhD, Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1981
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Is There an Effective Method in Place to Assure the Accuracy of Ballot Definition Files?
  2. Do Electronic Voting Machines Store Votes Securely?
  3. Do Electronic Voting Machines Prevent Residual Votes?