Voting machine source code must be made open

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Thu Jan 05 2006 - 13:12:11 CST

http://wistechnology.com/article.php?id=2585
Wisconsin Technology Network

Voting machine source code must be made open
By WTN News * 01/04/06
Madison, Wis. - Among the 15 bills governor Jim Doyle signed into law
on Wednesday will require the software of touch-screen voting
machines used in elections have its source code opened up to public
viewing.

Municipalities that use electronic voting machines are responsible
for providing to the public, on request, the code used.

Any voting machines to be used in the state already had to pass State
Elections Board tests. Electronic voting machines, in particular,
already were required to maintain their results tallies even if the
power goes out, and to produce paper ballots that could be used in
case of a recount. The new law also requires the paper ballots to be
presented to voters for verification before being stored.

But of this bill's provisions, perhaps the more influential in a
wider sense is the requirement that municipalities provide source
code, and the more general condition that "the coding for the
software that is used to operate the system on election day and to
tally the votes cast is publicly accessible and may be used to
independently verify the accuracy and reliability of the operating
and tallying procedures to be employed at any election."

The bill passed the Assembly 91-4 and the Senate 29-2.

A federal Governmet Accountability Office report released in
September 2005 said that specific makes of electronic voting machines
nationwide have been found to store both vote tallies and audit logs
in an unencrypted form that could be altered without detection and
that some vendors installed uncertified versions of voting software
in some machines.

These reports came from individual election officials, and there was
not a definite consensus, the report said, but there were enough
cases of lost votes in real elections that the GAO recommended
stricter policies and rules for election machines.

* Link: Assembly Bill 627 ( http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2005/data/AB-627.pdf )

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Received on Mon Jan 8 20:24:37 2007

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