6.S897/17.S952 Elections and Voting Technology


Graduate H-level
Also offered under 17.S952
Units: 3-0-9
Prerequisites: None
Instructors: Professor Ronald Rivest (rivest@mit.edu) and
Professor Charles Stewart (cstewart@mit.edu)
Schedule: TR2:30-4, room 34-301
Elections are the keystone of democracies, but some elections are run better than others.  This class considers how elections are conducted  and what that means for the quality of democracy.  We focus on the  technology of elections, but also consider the legal and political  context in which elections are conducted.  We focus on the United States, but also consider how the experience of other democracies can help inform how the American case has evolved.  Topics include:
·         the right to vote in the U.S. and how it has evolved.
·         voting systems (rules for computing the winner) and paradoxes
·         voting and elections --- the context of technology use
·         history of technology use in voting
·         polling places and how they affect the voting experience
·         auditing of election outcomes
·         campaign money and redistricting --- the regulation of elections
·         measuring effects of election system changes
·         end-to-end verifiable voting
·         risks of internet voting