Re: "Open Voting Systems" from Irwin Mann in 1993

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sat Aug 05 2006 - 15:00:51 CDT

Thanks for posting that, Joe. This paper has been cited quite a few times
as one of the best descriptions of "open voting systems" that we've seen.

John Adams cited that in his O'Reilly article Apr 2004 (he flew out here
from Georgia to see our Apr 1 demo).

It's also cited on our web site at

FYI and FWIW, I came up with the name "Open Voting Consortium" independently
around June 2003 in some conversations with Jay Teifertiller of

I read this paper later in 2003 and thought, "yeah, that's pretty much what
I meant by 'open voting'." I believe I first cited this paper in Dec of
2003 in this forum:

There is almost perfect agreement with what we mean by open voting. This
part may be ideal, and achievable -- in the long run. It's a bit

       - every element of every component, both hardware
        and software, is in the public domain,

Although a BSD-style license (which the OVC board has adopted as our
preferred license) is practically public domain, it's not quite. If it's
really public domain then there would be no license at all.

The other problem here is that we generally accept there will be some COTS
components to the voting system that would be proprietary. It's going to be
pretty hard to get away from that.

Someday, maybe....

Alan D.

Joe Hall wrote,

> CFP'93 - Open Voting Systems
> by Irwin Mann
> New York University
> 3/93
> The advent of computer technology will inevitably affect all the
> systems that we use for voting and for recording tallies in public
> elections.

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Received on Thu Aug 31 23:17:04 2006

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