Re: Possible OVC "sub project"?

From: JamBoi <jamboi_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Wed Apr 27 2005 - 02:30:19 CDT

My recommendation on all OVC projects undertaken is to us the Open
Source development models pioneered by the likes of Linux and Apache.
By using SourceForge or similar facilities we can have an open project
that is not done by one particular group (ie. UCSC) exclusively, but
rather has a small tek project leaders group that oversees all
check-ins. No cruddy code is accepted by the project leaders, but the
number of contributors can actually be quite numerous.

Also once the Standards, Requirements and Specs documentation is done,
its quite possible and possibly quite advantageous to allow competing
groups to implement each in their own way. If these documents are
written properly and become Open Standards, then quite legitimately any
company or group can write applications that address the Open Standard.
 We can create conformance tests that all these implementers must pass
in order to be certified! That is the way industry works Open
Standards these days.


--- Arthur Keller <> wrote:

> 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,
> Arthur
> 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.
> >
> >HTH
> >
> >Thanks, Ed Kennedy
> >
> >--
> >
> >Thanks, Edmund R. Kennedy
> >
> >Always work for the common good.
> >
> >10777 Bendigo Cove
> >San Diego, CA 92126-2510
> >USA
> >
> >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
> >>later.
> >>
> >>Jim March
> >>_______________________________________________
> >>OVC discuss mailing lists
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> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >OVC discuss mailing lists
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> --
> Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4507
> tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
> _______________________________________________
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Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:16 2005

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