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Emily Outen
757-864-7022/272-9859 (mobile)

Professor to Discuss Controversy on Election Voting Technology

HAMPTON, Va. -- The U.S. presidential election in 2000 is often remembered for the problems with Florida voting machines. Bryan Pfaffenberger, University of Virginia associate professor of Science, Technology and Society, traces similar controversy back much further than that.

"There's an almost exact parallel between the debate we're having today concerning electronic voting machines and the equally divisive, but completely forgotten, debate that greeted first-generation voting machine technology in the 1920s," he said.

Pfaffenberger will speak on the voting technology controversy in a colloquium lecture called “Why the World's Information Technology Leader Can't Count Votes” on Tuesday, March 4, at 2 p.m. in the Pearl Young Theater at NASA Langley Research Center. That evening, Pfaffenberger will speak on the subject again for the general public at 7:30 p.m. at the Virginia Air & Space Center on Settlers Landing Road in Hampton.

Media who wish to interview Pfaffenberger at a news briefing at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday should contact Emily Outen at 864-7022 or at by noon for credentials and entry to NASA Langley.

Bryan Pfaffenberger works in science and technology studies -- an interdisciplinary field that examines the reciprocal interactions of science, technology and society. In 1990, Pfaffenberger won the Book of the Year award from the American Society for Information Science for his work on the history of the online bibliographic database industry called Democratizing Information. He also won the Albert Payson Usher Prize of the Society for the History of Technology for his work on the social history of irrigation technology in Sri Lanka. Currently, he is working on the history of voting machines in the United States.

For more information on NASA Langley’s Colloquium and Sigma Series lectures, visit:


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