Bill language sent to Leg Counsel

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Jan 26 2007 - 12:32:58 CST

Here's what I put into Leg Counsel for our CA state bill (we expect Assembly
Member Kerkorian to carry this). We should have a bill number in a couple
of weeks.

I took out the forced disclosure of existing system. In other words, we
allow existing ones to be grandfathered for a period of time. I added some
language about disclosure of other elections information (see g 1-5). This
should be easier to pass; the case for holding in Appropriations is pretty
much eliminated.

We can amend before the first hearing, which probably won't be until April.

Rework of Goldberg's AB 2097

An act to add Section 19213.5 to the Elections Code, relating to
voting systems.
   Existing law prohibits the Secretary of State from approving any
voting system or part of a voting system, unless it fulfills
specified state law requirements and regulations. Existing law also
requires the Secretary of State to study and adopt regulations
governing the use of voting machines, voting devices, vote tabulating
devices, and any software used for each.
   This bill would prohibit the Secretary of State, as of June 30,
2008, from approving a voting system for use in an election until its
operation and specifications are publicly disclosed.
   The bill would also require a vendor applying for voting system
certification, as of June 30, 2008, to comply with specified
conditions and also require the Secretary of State to place specified
information on his or her Web site by that date. It would require
the secretary, no later than June 30, 2008, to establish a public
review process that allows any member of the public to review voting
system software based on the information required to be disclosed
pursuant to these provisions.
    Voting systems already certified by the State of California would need
to be recertified on or before January 1, 2012.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


  SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the
   (a) Current state law requires that the vote counting process be
publicly observable. However, with the advent of computerized vote
counting processes, the ability of the public to meaningfully observe
tabulation is limited because details of these systems are secret.
Public scrutiny is lacking. The people of California declare that
every voter has the right to know how their votes are counted. All details
of election administration must be made freely available to the public in a
regular and systematic way.

   (b) Vendors shall be required to disclose all technical details
when applying for state certification for a voting system. The
Secretary of State shall manage a process whereby citizens can obtain
technical information free of charge, including computer source
code, relevant to voting systems under review for certification as
well as systems that have obtained state certification.
  SEC. 2. Section 19213.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read:
   19213.5. (a) By June 30, 2008, the Secretary of State shall not
approve a voting system for use in any election until all details of
its operating system and specifications are publicly disclosed.
A voting system certified prior to June 30, 2008, shall comply with
the disclosure requirements of this section.
   (b) By June 30, 2008, an application for voting system
certification in this state shall be subject to both of the
   (1) The voter's right to inspect and test the voting system, to
retain test materials, test results, and to freely publish the same
   (2) A promise to refrain from exerting any copyright, trade
secret, or other rights that it may have to hinder any voter of the
state from exercising the rights under paragraph (1) of this
   (c) The Secretary of State shall require reasonable notice of
public testing and that the tests be performed in a manner that does
not burden the vendor with significant costs beyond those of making
the voting system available.
   (d) The materials to be made freely available to the voting public
include all of the following:
   (1) All voting system specific source code.
   (2) Detailed instructions for building the software, including
compiler used, compilation scripts, and checksums.
   (3) Voting specific hardware, complete specifications, drawings
and schematics.
   (4) General purpose COTS components described in detail, including
versions and dates of manufacture.
   (e) By June 30, 2008, the Secretary of State shall establish and
maintain a Web page on the Internet to provide all of the following:

  (1) Free download of materials pertaining to each voting system
certified or under consideration for certification.
   (2) A system for acquiring and processing input from the voting
   (3) A reporting system to inform the public on findings, problems
reported, problem resolution, and comments from the Secretary of
State, the public, and vendors.
   (4) Standards used by the Secretary of State for evaluating voting
systems, including test plans and specific test cases employed.
   (f) The Secretary of State, no later than June 30, 2008, shall
establish a public review process that allows any member of the
public to review voting system software based on the information
required to be disclosed pursuant to this section.
  (g) Citizens of California shall have access to other elections
       (1) All information necessary to validate elections must be produced
by the voting system and its accompanying elections procedures;
      (2) When information to validate the election is requested, it must be
provided before recount and contest periods have expired;
      (3) The information must be provided in a usable and cost-effective
      (4) There will be no restrictions imposed by proprietary claims, nor
shall access to information be exclusively placed outside of governmental
      (5) Validating information must include proof that hardware and
software certified for use is the same claimed to have been used.
(h) For purposes of this section, the following terms
have the following meanings:
   (1) "COTS" means a common off-the-shelf component that is
manufactured in large quantities and is widely available.
   (2) "General purpose COTS devices" means a COTS component intended
for use in a variety of nonvoting systems.
   (3) "Voting specific" means a hardware or software component
manufactured specifically for use in a voting system.
   (4) "Vendor" means any person, partnership, corporation, or other
entity that offers a voting system, whether for money or not, to the
state, to any county, or city of the state, or to any governmental
   (5) "Voting system" means any computerized machinery used in a
public election to present one or more contests to voters, to obtain
voter choices, to verify voter choices, to store voter choices, to
communicate voter choices, to tabulate voter choices, or to present
partial or full results of one or more contests.
   (6) "Source code" means computer instructions written by
   (8) "Open source" means publicly disclosed source code licensed
under a free software license.

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