Re: Nevada Voters Forum

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Fri Dec 05 2003 - 15:49:14 CST


> Lastly, I told the group about the OpenVotingConsortium. I told
> them that there was a goal to great an open source software
> solution and that it could reduce the cost of the machines to
> around $1000 or less.
Great! I was waiting to hear about this part.

> The audience and panel were very excited about this news. There
> were several rounds of applause and then many, many people
> came and spoke to me after the fact. That evening I set an
> appointment to meet with the Secretary of State and his staff.
> I will post details on that meeting later.
This is good news. I think we already know that the idea will be
well-received. The problem is getting people to hear about it. You made
some great progress in this regard just making a personal appearance and
speaking about it.

> Overall, I have to say it was a very good meeting and underscores
> the need for this group to exist. ........

> There may be some ways that OVC could help the process in
> the shorter term by coming up with ways that existing vendors
> could improve their systems. .....
I have to say I disagree with this part. This is, in essence, what the
Caltech/MIT project has become. Ironically, the OVC is carrying the banner
for what the Caltech/MIT project originally stood for. They are working
with vendors and jurisdictions to improve things. The OVC is growing a new
crop of vendors. These goals/objectives are pretty much mutually exclusive.

> For instance.
> Advocate a voter verified paper trail
David Dill is carrying that banner rather well. We can support what they
are doing, but we don't want to get sidetracked from our mission -- which is
to develop and deliver an open voting system.

I don't want to get too involved with it because the issue is much more
complex than it appears -- it's a veritable black hole.

You can't just hang a printer off a DRE. In fact, if you do that, it's not
clear you still have a DRE. If you say (like a lot of VerifiedVoting
advocates claim) that the paper reigns supreme, then you didn't really cast
your vote when you hit "CAST BALLOT." Or did you? If there is a
descrepancy between the electronic record and the paper records, you don't
just have a situation where we say, "okay now we say we go by what's on the
paper [I hesitate to say "ballots" because with the DREs it's not clear what
they are... "Receipts?"]. If there is a descrepancy, you have a gross
system failure -- it's not clear if either the paper or the electronic
record would be reliable.

> Advocate paper trail verification to check it against the electronic
We are doing that.

> Advocate open or shared source.
We are doing that.

> Advocate code signing so that voting machines cannot run uncertified code.
We have a Security Assessment group that will be look at this issue as well
as many other security issues.

Alan D.
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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:05 2003

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