CMU Student Pugwash

  • Vulnerability of Elections

A key element of any functioning democracy is the ability to hold free and fair elections. Without those the word "democracy" simply becomes a fig leaf, the will of the people ignored or outright fabricated. With Election Day in the U.S. next Tuesday, November 6, the vulnerabilities of our electoral system are an extremely pressing concern.

One potential avenue of attack against an electoral system is technological, whether that means outright falsifying votes or, more subtly, altering the lists of registered voters. The 2016 Presidential election is still dogged by allegations of Russian interference along these lines. However, not every attack is so direct. A tactic used throughout history to disenfranchise sections of a population is to make voting as difficult as possible for them, or otherwise minimize the effectiveness of their votes. This has taken many forms, from property requirements to literacy tests to the infamous method of drawing voting districts known as gerrymandering. What are the most pressing security issues facing our elections, and how should we go about resolving them?

At the end of every meeting we take suggestions and vote on what to discuss next week.

Free pizza.

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