Re: Possible OVC "sub project"?

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Wed Apr 27 2005 - 15:06:13 CDT

The EVM2003 project was strictly a demonstration system. It was done
by a limited number of interested volunteers. Linux and Apache are
used daily by millions of people worldwide, so there is more
sustained interest in those projects. People encounter voting
systems on the order of twice a year, so the pool of people with
sustained interest is much smaller.

Having a paid professional staff experienced in software development
to lead the project is a good thing. That has not happened in the
past in this project, and the project has suffered as a result. The
project leaders need to devote a considerable amount of time to this
effort, and need to be paid by someone for that time. The project
leaders of Apache and Linux usually had enlightened employers who saw
a direct benefit to their organizations from supporting that
development. Such benefit is unlikely to accrue to the employers of
developers and project leaders of voting software, except possibly
from existing (or wannabee) voting system vendors.

It is critical that software development adhere to a schedule and
that the certification process be monitored and facilitated. That
does not work with a strictly volunteer on-the-side effort.

We are not in control of the certification process. While we can
create our own acceptance and quality assurance tests, we cannot
create the tests for certification. For better or worse, the
Independent Testing Authorities and the individual states do federal
and state certification, respectively. There is cost involved in
submission for certification.

I am all for the energy and enthusiasm brought on by the perceived
failures of existing electronic voting systems. But even with that
energy and enthusiasm, practically no software has been developed for
the OVC in the last year. We need paid leadership to bring a system
together over the next year.

Best regards,

At 9:20 AM -0700 4/27/05, JamBoi wrote:
>Its pretty outdated. It seems that OVC has struggled to maintain
>interest. After 11-2 I don't think we'll have any trouble getting
>developers to help out. I think we just need to organize it and they
>will come.
>"Live humbly, laugh often and love unconditionally" (anon)

At 12:30 AM -0700 4/27/05, JamBoi wrote:
>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

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 23:17:17 2005

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