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Usability and security in future voting systems


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  • 1. Challenges of balancingusability and securityin future voting systemsDana Chisnell@danachis@ChadButterfly
  • 2. How are thevotes counted?
  • 3. How are thevotes counted?
  • 4. If it’s not usable, it’snot secure.
  • 5. NowCurrent designdemands muchof voters
  • 6. Cataloged 147 election websitesConducted 41 remote moderatedusability tests
  • 7. Voters areballot-centricthey’re focused on that act,not conscious of the overall process
  • 8. What’s on the ballot?
  • 9. ? ? ?
  • 10. ? ??
  • 11. ! ?
  • 12. If voters don’t know whatis on the ballot they are more likely to go to third-party sources they are less likely to show up at the right polling place they’re likely to undervote down-ballot they are less likely to turn out
  • 13. Website design problems arewell understoodsites are hard to find find other sourcesnavigation reflects don’t know where to godepartment don’t know how to get tolabels are jargon contentdates and deadlines don’t know when to actare vague get distracted or lost in thegraphics are gratuitous site, lose trustsites are not accessible disenfranchisement
  • 14. San Francisco and Oakland,December 2011EVN, March 2012
  • 15. Portland, Maine 2011
  • 16. Alameda Co. demo ballot
  • 17. Minneapolis 2011
  • 18. New York state demo
  • 19. Voter slate
  • 20. How is my vote counted?
  • 21. Ballot design problems arewell understoodsplit contests across columns overvotingthere are responses on both overvotingsides of namesarrows rather than bubbles marking incorrectlyformatting is inconsistent or undervotingtoo consistentinstructions are complicated all kinds of crazy thingsor lackingvoters don’t know how to lost votescorrect their ballots
  • 22. How RCV works
  • 23. n=52 Joe
  • 24. Mental models People make inferences about how things work based on available information and context
  • 25. Mental models This is what we teach people
  • 26. Mental modelsSometimes it really is this simple -but not in the US
  • 27. Mental modelsSometimes it really is this simple -but not in the US
  • 28. Much more like signing for a mortgage
  • 29. This is the ballotwe testNIST medium complexity ballot
  • 30. Mental models Point system Weighted Reversed
  • 31. Point / weight system
  • 32. Intent is loaded Preparing to vote Knowing what to expect Interacting with the ballot
  • 33. What’s on the ballot? What are my options for voting? absentee early voting Election Daywhat’s the where do I vote? where do I vote?deadline to apply?what do I have todo to get one?when is it due?
  • 34. what’s the where do I vote? where do I vote?deadline to apply?what do I have todo to get one?when is it due? who is in office now? do I need ID to vote? what’s the deadline for registering?
  • 35. 1. Voters develop faulty mental models
  • 36. 2. Voters don’t understand the consequences of their actions
  • 37. 3. Voters vote counter to their intentions
  • 38. Portland, Maine 2011
  • 39. straight party voting + regular contests + RCV + multi-candidate+ retention contests + measures6 different models
  • 40. We’re pretty sure there’s a problem
  • 41. FutureCombinations addcomplexity.Complexity compromisessecurity.
  • 42. Votersbear a cognitive burdenthat design can relieve.
  • 43. Poor design and instructionson ballots makeunderstanding, marking, and castingdifficult, time-consuming, andcomplicated
  • 44. Poor design and instructionson ballots makecounting, verifying, and auditsdifficult, time-consuming, andcomplicated
  • 45. Raises questions about what is beingsecured.
  • 46. complex ballots = lost votes
  • 47. complex ballots + vote-by-mail = lost votes
  • 48. complex ballots+ multi-language = lost votes
  • 49. RCV + VBM+ multi-language = 1000s of lost votes
  • 50. Lack of trust in electionsLack of trust in officialsRecallsScrambling county boards
  • 51. Security may add to thecognitive burdenwithout thoughtful design.
  • 52. Security = Counted as cast
  • 53. Security = Cast as intended + counted as cast
  • 54. This moment
  • 55. Voter ed is not the answer.
  • 56. If it’s not usable, it’s not valid.
  • 57. If it’s not usable, it’s not countable.
  • 58. If it’s not usable, it’s not verifiable.
  • 59. If it’s not usable, it’s not auditable.
  • 60. If it’s not usable, it’s not secure.
  • 61. Thank youRick Bond Jared SpoolCyd Harrell David CaryEthan Newby Rebecca SherrillCallie Wheeler Frank CastroChelsey Glasson Sandy OlsonSara Cambridge Nancy FrishbergLaura Paajanen Yelena NakhimovskyBeth Lingard Whitney QuesenberyBeth Pickard
  • 62. And...Andrea Moed Doug HankeKristen Johansen Karen McGraneBoaz Gurdin Krysta ChaunceyAshley Pearlman Karen BachmannDonald A. Cox Rosa MoranKamaria Campbell Josie ScottPaul Schreiber Rachel GoddardJenn Downs Samantha LeVanJacqui Adams Kate AurigemmaMichelle Milla Erin LimanJosh Keyes Alessandra BrophyJosh Bright Andrea Fineman
  • 63. New tools.
  • 64. Field Guides seriesResearch Research Usability and Civic Researchcommissioned by commissioned by Life Project commissioned byEAC NIST NIST
  • 65. Coming soonDesigning Writing voter Guiding voters Poll workerelection education through the security bestdepartment materials polling place practiceswebsites Research partially Research partially From research Research to be funded by funded by funded by EAC funded by the MacArthur MacArthur and work by National Science Foundation Foundation Design for Foundation Democracy
  • 66. ComingsoonAnywhereballotfunded by ITIF(EAC AVTI)
  • 67. Field Guides To EnsuringVoter /fieldguides
  • 68. If it’s not usable,it’s not secure.
  • 69. Thank you.
  • 70. Dana