Re: Possible OVC "sub project"?

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Wed Apr 27 2005 - 01:51:34 CDT

That's certainly been my interest for a while. Let's go at it. I'm
willing to lead an intensive (I don't like "crash") effort at UCSC to
build it.

Best regards,

At 7:59 PM -0700 4/26/05, Ed Kennedy wrote:
>Hello Jim:
>I think I heard that the board would like to focus on a tabulator
>this year. FYI: The 'mark sense' ballot design is not unique to
>Diebold and original patent (1930's?) expired according to a
>discussion I had when I was talking up a version of the EVM that I
>called the Mark-a-matic (It slices, it dices ;->). My personal
>request at this time is that we get the EVM demo put on a Linux live
>CD for us less technically savvy folks. In case you missed it, I
>like your idea.
>Is Diebold a publicly held corporation? I've been having a side
>discussion with a couple of folks about why hasn't Diebold's board
>of directors long ago told management to drop the voting equipment
>line. Considering the losses they must have had lately, there is no
>real good business case for them to stay in this product line. The
>discussion has been along the lines that the investors must be
>expecting some other sort of 'return' on their investment. One
>person told me that the major investors were wealthy Republicans.
>The elimination of 'risk' could be something that certain wealthy
>people would be willing to fund. Unfortunately, I don't have enough
>information or time to follow this us so I'd thought I'd throw it
>out for your consideration.
>Thanks, Ed Kennedy
>Thanks, Edmund R. Kennedy
>Always work for the common good.
>10777 Bendigo Cove
>San Diego, CA 92126-2510
>I blog now and then at: <>
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Jim March" <>
>To: "Open Voting Consortium discussion list"
><>; <>; "Lowell
>Finley" <>
>Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2005 7:23 PM
>Subject: [OVC-discuss] Possible OVC "sub project"?
>>Ed Kennedy wrote:
>>>Hello JamBoi and others:
>>>Doug Jones, the election scholar at the University of Iowa told
>>>me that you can't get anything certified unless it also includes a
>>>registration and tabulation system. If I misunderstood him,
>>>perhaps he'll let us all know. If we can't get the EVM (Electronic
>>>Voting Machine) certified without these other items then they are
>>>part of the minimal standards. I would love to focus like a laser
>>>on getting the EVM ready for certification as it's real hard to go
>>>around and talk to election officials and tell them that they
>>>shouldn't use a DRE when you haven't got an attractive alternative.
>>OK, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
>>Right. The situation is that yet MORE dirt on Diebold is turning
>>up. I'll have it all on paper soon but the upshot is that ethical
>>and legal violations Shelley's office caught them at back in April
>>2004 have not only not been fixed, they've been breeding.
>>BBV is going to call for statewide de-cert of Diebold on May 19th.
>>It's going to be *brutal* in that hearing, WW3 level.
>>We need to be able to propose an alternative for the existing
>>Diebold client counties. A *FAST* alternative that can be working
>>by June '06.
>>Here's what I'm proposing: OVC (and the UC system funded with HAVA
>>R&D cash) crash-course develops a new tabulator, one that has a
>>bank of 2 to 6 honkin' big autofeed scanners that can read Diebold
>>paper ballots. For this "first stage", we let the voters vote on
>>paper and use Diebold small precinct optical scanners to do the
>>HAVA-required under/over vote scan at the precinct - but *ignore*
>>the "electronic ballot box" from those Diebold terminals and scan
>>the paper at elections HQ.
>>This means a single Linux PC per county hooked up to two or more
>>big gnarly scanners, and custom tabulator/scanner integrated
>>open-source scanners.
>>Before you get uptight about costs, remember that the GEMS software
>>alone is $44k. A couple of $10k scanners, a $5k PC, another $5k
>>for misc. and we're still in under the costs of the Diebold
>>software alone.
>>It should be possible to read the contents of a GEMS database file
>>(MS-Access, a well understood file format) to get the required
>>ballot layout data and import that into the Linux/SQL box. Under
>>this model, the Diebold GEMS and precinct scanners would be used to
>>develop the ballot layout, while the OVC box would do ALL the
>>tabulation functions.
>>Now here's the cool part: the Linux-based tabulator you build would
>>also serve as the core tabulator for the next phase: an all-OVC
>>setup. Remember, you'll still need to do optical scan for absentee
>>ballots so the R&D you spend on this "stage one, prop up a crippled
>>Diebold critter" stage will be almost completely reusable for the
>>"total OVC package" down the road.
>>I would submit that this "stage one propup" project would be less
>>intensive than the complete solution...and would allow BBV to
>>propose an alternate trustworthy tabulation process in time for the
>>'06 primaries (so long as co-development via the UC system was
>>funded via Bruce's HAVA R&D funds).
>>If Doug is right and registration needs to be in there too, fine,
>>add it to the stage one Linux-based tabulator. As with the
>>tabulator, the work done will be applicable to the total solution
>>Jim March
>>OVC discuss mailing lists
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Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
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Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:16 2005

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