May 30, 2012 - 7:00pm to 9:30pm PDT
San Francisco

“The way we run our voting system in this country is really a scandal,” author Barbara Simons told EFF recently. “And it’s a scandal that no one talks about.” Lots of people will be talking about it at EFF’s upcoming Geek Reading, though, and you’re invited to join in the discussion.

An expert on electronic voting, Simons co-authored Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?  She’ll discuss the recently published book at EFF’s next Geek Reading on May 30, 2012 at Parisoma Innovation Loft.

Broken Ballots traces the history of voting machines, with particular focus on the policy, politics and technology that have driven controversy around voting machines in the years since Florida’s 2000 election debacle.

Along with co-author Douglas W. Jones, a computer science professor at the University of Iowa, Simons documents serious security flaws plaguing many of the new voting systems on the market. The machines, together with archaic election laws in many states, make it difficult or even impossible to conduct recounts or post-election ballot audits.  Despite long-term awareness of these issues, especially among the techie community, there’s little to suggest these problems are being adequately addressed as the 2012 election looms.

Simons was appointed to the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. She was a member of a workshop convened by President Clinton that produced a report on Internet Voting in 2001. She also co-authored the report that led to the cancellation of Department of Defense’s Internet voting project (SERVE) because of security concerns. A former President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Simons co-chaired the ACM study of statewide databases of registered voters, and co-authored the League of Women Voters report on election auditing. A recipient of the EFF Pioneer Award for her leadership in technology-policy issues, Simons was also the first woman to receive the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from the College of Engineering at U.C. Berkeley. She is retired from IBM Research.

EFF Geek Readings bring Internet users, bloggers, free speech advocates, and other interested folks together to hear from prominent writers and thinkers, meet like-minded community members, and exchange ideas.


This is an all-ages event, but we're hosting beer and wine for guests over 21.


When: May 30, 2012 between 7-9:30 PM Location: Parisoma Innovation Loft Phone: 415-436-9333 Email: Admission for nonmembers: $20 Admission for members (With Card): $15