Last updated on: 10/31/2008 | Author: ProCon.org

Stephen H. Unger, PhD Biography

Title:
Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Columbia University
Position:
Con to the question "Do Electronic Voting Machines Improve the Voting Process?"
Reasoning:

“E-voting is vulnerable to all the corruption techniques associated with traditional elections based on strictly manual operations. In addition, there is an open-ended collection of e-cheating methods that can be implemented on a large scale by relatively few people, despite well monitored election-day operations. Even under ideal conditions, it would be extremely difficult to detect many of the conceivable e-cheating methods. The testing and certification procedures prevalent today in every state are grossly inadequate and are frequently violated. Hence there is little assurance that elections held under these conditions are generating results corresponding to the actual votes cast. The ostensible motivation for using e-voting stems largely from the dramatic 2000-election problems that were associated with punched card voting systems. A better approach is to have teams of poll workers and poll watchers manually count ballots manually marked by voters. This simple, time-tested method, used in most industrialized countries outside the US, seems to work very well.”

“E-Voting: Big Risks for Small Gains,” Ends and Means blog, Feb. 5, 2007

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor (Emeritus), Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, 1961 – present
  • Founder and Former President, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT)
  • Technical Staff, Bell Telephone Laboratories
  • Blogger, Ends and Means blog, 2007 – present
Education:
  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • BS, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn
Other:
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Do Electronic Voting Machines Improve the Voting Process?
  2. Is It Possible to Have a Meaningful Recount from an Electronic Voting Machine?