A Scientist’s Quest for an Accessible, Unhackable Voting Machine

Florida University computer science professor Juan Gilbert said he has built a non-hackable definitive voting machine that would allay concerns about hacking into the electronic voting system, research website Undark reported in October. 2022.

The Undark report said that companies that build voting machines – an industry with annual revenues of $300 million – are not helping officials in the field because they are secretive about how their machines work and refuse to talk to researchers or the press. Under these circumstances, Gilbert’s work is commendable for building a system that works using open-source software.

America is witnessing controversy over electronic voting systems, as its advocates view them as reliable technologies for voting, helping people with disabilities to vote, and reducing invalid ballots.

While critics have called for a boycott of these “hackable” systems, as well as to deny hackers control over voting for a particular person or party.

How does the voting system work?

Gilbert has been working on a transparent voting machine for nearly two decades, and it consists of a transparent box that also serves as a touchscreen interface for voters.

Inside the transparent box, there is a printer connected to the Prime III device software that prints the voter’s choice on a piece of paper that is immediately scanned and then written down. The transparent case ensures that if a USB device is plugged into the system with the intent to hack, it will be immediately detected by voters.

To ensure that none of the information has been corrupted by an unknown piece of malware, the information is stored on a Blu-Ray disc in read-only format, and the voting machine is restarted each time a vote is taken so that no one can update it. vote.

The giant transparent touch screen ensures that voters are aware of the manipulations as they can see the printer immediately after casting their vote.

A system that no one wants to hack

Earlier in the summer, Gilbert wrote to event officials that he was willing to give dozens of experts unrestricted access to his devices so they could be tested by the best minds in the field of information security.

Because Prime 3 uses open-source software, Gilbert’s voting machine is supposed to be easier to hack, as other electronic voting machine manufacturers don’t share their source code on the pretext of security breaches.

However, no experts have come forward to test the system this year, according to an Undark report. The device is likely to appear again at the DEF CON hacker conference next year.

However, Gilbert’s voting machine may not see the light of day on election days, as it will have to be approved by regulatory agencies first, and the University of Florida computer science professor will have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop it.

The prototype of the device was made by a French company, but for widespread adoption, Gilbert needs to find buyers interested in the device. Since the electoral process is just an event that takes place a few times counting on the fingers, the system is not considered a priority for the judicial authorities.

Thomas Waner

A writer interested in artificial intelligence fields with good experience in programming. He is currently working for us as a writer, manager, and reviewer, with a strong CV.
from India. You can contact him via e-mail: [email protected]


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