Re: NY Supports Open Source

From: Edward Cherlin <echerlin_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Thu Feb 28 2008 - 05:46:15 CST

On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 1:53 PM, Doug Kellner
<> wrote:
> This afternoon the New York State Board of Elections unanimously adopted a
> resolution that would provide for waiver of fees for certification testing
> of open source software.
> I offer special thanks to those of you who assisted in drafting the
> resolution.

Excellent. Now can we talk to them about an Open Source election test
suite and free testing for all?

We have had some complaints that few people could examine election
source code in detail, and fewer could understand the security issues
involved. So, to some extent, the public would still have to trust
experts. (Although not just experts from voting machine companies.
Disinterested experts could join in the discussion and report their
findings without impediment from Trade Secret law.)

I think, however, that many more people could understand a data-driven
test procedure that any interested organization could run for itself,
with selectable verbosity levels so that they can see in as much or as
little detail as they like what is going on. The fact that the testing
program takes data from a file, feeds it to the program under test,
and reports the results is much easier to verify in a code inspection
on the testing software than on the voting software itself.

Even though we all know that testing cannot prove the absence of
defects, this would make it much clearer to the public what the
intent of our software is.

> Douglas A. Kellner
> Co-Chair
> New York State Board of Elections
> Tel. (212) 889-2121
> Fax (212) 684-6224

Also, can we interest any states in saving a lot of money by funding
an Open Source voting software development project?

Edward Cherlin
End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay
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Received on Fri Feb 29 23:17:08 2008

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