Emory Report
September 22, 2008
Volume 61, Number 5



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September 22, 2008

Expert details risks of electronic voting
Will your vote in the presidential election be properly counted? “There are people who want to trust the [electronic voting] machines. As a computer scientist, I don’t,” said Barbara Simons, a computer voting expert and adviser to the federal Election Assistance Commission.

Simons told the Department of Math and Computer Sciences that the voting software programs are buggy, insecure and lack transparency. She said that it should be required by law to conduct manual recounts of randomly selected precincts following electronic voting.

“There is no way you could do this in Georgia,” Simons added, explaining that the voting machines used in the state only store the votes in their internal memories. “So you just have to trust the machines to get it right.”
— Carol Clark

Zimbabwe on the brink
“We couldn’t have picked a better day,” said African Studies’ Pamela Scully at the Sept. 16 lecture by Zimbabwean journalist Geoffrey Nyarota. The day before, President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai signed a power-sharing agreement following a fractious election and years of economic and political suffering by the Zimbabwean people.

Nyarota took his audience back to Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980 “so you will understand why these events are taking place in 2008.”

He hopes “this is finally the beginning of a new era” but admits he was “a bit dismayed” by Mugabe’s belligerent attitude as he signed the deal. “He missed a golden opportunity to set the tone for the future,” Nyarota said. — Leslie King

Big shot Warhol on view at Carlos
Among the antiquities synonymous with the Carlos Museum hang 32 1970s and ’80s Polaroid portraits. Actors, athletes and socialites are among the subjects of the exhibition “Big Shots: Andy Warhol’s Polaroid Portraits,” now on view through Dec. 14.

The portraits offer a rare look at the relationship between Warhol and his celebrity subjects. “The sixties are gone. The moment of pop art is somewhat gone, but what lives on is Warhol the celebrity,” said Joe Madura, Andrew W. Mellon Intern for the exhibition, at a recent Food for Thought lecture. “Warhol’s status as a celebrity is affecting the work.”

The curators selected the images on view from 151 photographs recently donated by the Andy Warhol Foundation. — Christi Gray