ACCURATE PIs have built voting into their undergraduate and graduate courses. We have found that these efforts successfully engage students in the democratic process; in addition, the importance of election integrity makes voting an excellent tool to create excitement and engagement among students for learning difficult topics.
Below we have packaged a number of course modules, syllabi and other educational materials that you can use in your courses to engage your students in tinkering with the machinery of democracy.
We initially developed Hack-a-Vote, a simplified direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting system, to demonstrate how easy it might be to insert a Trojan horse into a voting system. This provides a superb platform as a course project to demonstrate that electronic voting software is not immune from security concerns. In this excercise, we use Hack-a-Vote in an associated course project, in which student teams implemented their own Trojan horses, then search the source code for their classmates’ malicious code. The Hack-a-Vote project reveals the potential damage individuals can cause with electronic voting systems, the feasibility of finding system weaknesses (deliberate or otherwise), and some solutions to mitigate the damage.