Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is ACCURATE?
ACCURATE is a multi-institution voting research center funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under their CyberTrust program. The goals of the center are:
- to research ways in which technology can be used to improve voting systems and the voting process.
- to develop the science that will help inform the election community and the public about the tradeoffs among various voting technologies and procedures.
- to serve as a resource to the elections community, politicians, vendors and the public about issues related to public policy, technology, and law with respect to voting.
- to publish and disseminate our research so that future systems can benefit from the center’s work.
2. How will the $7.5 million be spent?
NSF requires that proposers budget all of the funds in advance. The money has all been allocated already. The money will go primarily to fund graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. It will also fund summer salary for faculty (at their normal salary rate), workshops, travel, equipment, and human subject tests. The center does not have any funds allocated to hire new staff members.
3. Who are the funded researchers in the center?
The funded principal investigators (PIs) are Prof. Avi Rubin of Johns Hopkins University (Director), Drs. Drew Dean and Peter Neumann of SRI, International, Prof. Doug Jones of the University of Iowa, Profs. Dan Wallach (Associate Director) and Michael Byrne of Rice University, Profs. Deirdre Mulligan and David Wagner of the University of California at Berkeley, and Profs. Dan Boneh and David Dill at Stanford University. (See our people page for more information on the PIs, staff, and advisors of ACCURATE.)
4. When will ACCURATE produce its first voting machine?
The ACCURATE center performs original scientific research. We have no plans to produce a voting machine, but rather, we will develop technologies that could be used to make future voting systems more reliable, secure, usable, accessible, trustworthy and transparent. It is up to others to utilize our technological advances in real systems.
5. I have produced a revolutionary new e-voting machine. Can ACCURATE test my machine and/or endorse it?
While we hope to test and assess the various properties of the most widely used voting machines, we have neither the resources nor the charter to evaluate new proposals for voting machines. If you want to sell a voting machine, you must still go to an authorized testing authority. Of course, we would love to learn about the revolutionary techniques in your machine, and your machine may be able to benefit from techniques that we develop.
6. How can I contribute to or get involved with ACCURATE?
ACCURATE is neither a political organization nor an activist movement. A wide variety of such organizations exist and would be happy to have your help.
ACCURATE will host a variety of workshops, some invitation-only, others open to the public. Of course, anybody is welcome to attend our public workshops, and we intend to provide transcripts, videos, and other materials from those workshops on this web site for those who cannot attend.