Re: NY Times: Editorial Observer: What's Wrong WithMy Voting Machine?

From: Richard C. Johnson <dick_at_iwwco_dot_com>
Date: Mon Dec 04 2006 - 17:03:58 CST

Charlie,

There is no question that they are "overlooking" Open Source. In fact, they are overlooking it. The problem is that New York requires forking over a minimum of $280,000 (plus an unspecified additional amount) to support the NY evaluation process. This leaves only the fat cats (such as the noted "five") available for consideration. Open Voting Solutions, Inc. (OVS) is a contender disqualified from the test by not having a spare half million dollars, rather than having "vaporware."

Rather than OVS offering just vaporware, within 2 weeks of solving the "pay for play" problem, OVS will ship an industrial strength Open Source (100% of software) on off the shelf hardware in a precinct scanner system for test.

The requirement of NYC that we (and other bidders) be in full compliance with state requirements ($$$ paid up) rather than inability to handle the full face NY ballot is the reason only the five were considered by NYC. We handle the ballot just fine, we use open international standards for handling election data (OASIS approved EML), and it is absolutely untrue that NY is unable to "find" an Open Source alternative. Only the big bucks required to get approved in NY state (federal cert is NOT an issue here) keeps it from happening.

-- Dick

charlie strauss <cems@earthlink.net> wrote: The editorial was flawed in other ways too. They conflate es&s paper ballots with es&s touch screens in the sarasota debacle.

However in regard to them overlooking open source, you have to realize he was talking about demo systems and there are none that could meet NY state laws at this time. NY state law requires FULL face ballots. While there's no reason OVC could not produce a full face system in principle, at this time there is no such system to demonstrate in NY.

While NY has wisely delayed their decisions, they are under pressure to show the Justice department that they have a decision pathway that will lead to replacement of their lever machines. Thus if they can't include any system which is vaproware in their considerations. One could possibly get them to pass a law requiring open source. In that case they could rightly claim to Justice that they cannot locate nay machines that meet their requirements.

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Received on Sun Dec 31 23:17:05 2006

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