Announcement Draft v.002

From: Alan Dechert <adechert_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Wed Aug 06 2003 - 13:32:21 CDT

I included David's suggestion and touched up a few other things. More?

********
Silicon Valley Computer Scientists Team Up to Demonstrate Free Voting
Machine

Scientists and engineers from the Silicon Valley have started a project
aimed at developing a PC based voting machine they claim will be easier to
use, more tamper-resistant, and cheaper than commercially available voting
machines.

Computerized voting offers many advantages over traditional systems,
including,

- The ability to easily handle multiple languages,
- Meeting the needs of voters with disabilities,
- Eliminates problems such as overvoting and other voter intent issues.

PCs that are four to five years old exist in great abundance and have more
than enough power to make great voting machines. More than 25 million such
PCs are retired annually in the United States alone. Less than 10 percent
of these discarded PCs would be needed for all the voting booths in the U.S.

The concept has already been demonstrated in Australia where, in 2001, the
Australian Capital Territory government commissioned the development of open
source software to run on trailing-edge PCs set up in polling places as
voting machines.

The project, known as EVM, includes participants from around the United
States as well as a few developers from overseas. EVM will differ from the
Australian system in several ways. Most importantly, the machine will
include a printer from which a completed paper ballot will be produced. It
will work with either a touch screen or a regular monitor and mouse.

The project developer, Alan Dechert, got EVM going with help from Stanford
computer scientist David Dill, who referred several people to him. Arthur
Keller, a UC Santa Cruz computer science professor, recruited a former
student of his, Adrianne Yu Wang of San Jose, to be the Project Lead. Along
with Ed Cherlin of Cupertino and Jack Walther of Santa Cruz, they chose to
use the "Python" computer language for development of the demonstration
system. Douglas W. Jones, a University of Iowa computer science professor
and world-renowned expert on voting technology, is taking a very active role
as advisor and mentor.

Dr. David Mertz of Massachusetts, a well-known writer on computer
programming issues, has also taken a very active role. Other key people
include QA Lead Matt Shomphe of Los Angeles, and Lead Developer Anand Pillai
of Bangalore, India. Van Lindberg (Utah), Skip Montanaro (Illinois), Dennis
Paull (California), and Matteo Giacomazzi (Italy) are all contributing their
expertise to the project.

The EVM project is using the services offered at SourceForge.net, the
world's largest Open Source software development web site, to store source
code and documentation, track issues, and manage the project. The direct
URL for the project is at,

http://sourceforge.net/projects/evm2003

EVM project proponents hope that this successful demonstration project will
lead to a very large well-funded academic study that will capitalize on
other efforts to bring about a modern, reliable, affordable, and fully
auditable voting system. While designed to be certified in the United
States first, it will be built from the ground up as an international voting
machine.

More background information can be found here:

http://home.earthlink.net/~adechert

The target for completion of the demonstration project is mid-October. If
successful and fully funded, certified ready-to-use software could be
available in about a year.

Contact:
Alan Dechert
916-791-0456
4700 Allegretto Way
Granite Bay, CA 95746

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Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:01 2003

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