Re: draft of text for new OVC-sponsored bill

From: Jim Tobias <tobias_at_inclusive_dot_com>
Date: Mon Jan 19 2009 - 14:48:42 CST

Thanks, Alan.

I recommend that (g)(ii) be changed to read as follows:

"The voting system must be designed to be accessible to, usable by, and
acceptable to voters with disabilities without requiring personal assistance
or special workarounds."

Here's why: The "accessible to, usable by" language mirrors federal
legislation on telecom accessibility; "acceptable to" addresses the stated
concerns from this community about the lack of adequate user testing, and
the "without personal assistance" addresses the need for these voters to
operate the voting system independently.

Alternately, we could commit to meeting or exceeding the VVSG Vol. 1,
Section 3, Usability and Accessibility Requirements.

Jim Tobias
Inclusive Technologies
+1.908.907.2387 v/sms
skype jimtobias

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Alan Dechert []
> Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2009 3:16 PM
> To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
> Subject: [OVC-discuss] draft of text for new OVC-sponsored bill
> Previous OVC-sponsored bills were all started on the Assembly
> side. I have recently spoken with some people on the Senate
> side and I plan to start the bill there soon. This has to be
> very simple. It's clear from the conversations I've had that
> the bill cannot cost any money or even look like it might
> cost money. Basically, we're going to need the Secretary of
> State to testify that she can do this and it won't cost
> anything (beyond existing budgeted dollars). A big part of
> the sales job will be to show this will save state and local
> government money.
> If you have any feedback to give, give it soon. I'll try to
> turn it in to our author late next week.
> **************
> 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 to study and adopt
> regulations governing the use of voting machines, voting
> devices, vote tabulating devices, and any software used for each.
> Existing law also requires voting systems to pass voluntary
> federal certification. However, federal certification has
> been found by the Secretary of State to be inadequate,
> expensive, and procedurally incorrect.
> Ultimately, higher certification costs are passed on to
> taxpayers. As a result, few if any new voting systems have
> been certified in recent years.
> Open source voting systems might be desirable, but since
> companies cannot recoup millions of dollars in certification
> costs with license fees, there are no open source systems
> available that have been federally certified.
> This bill would permit the Secretary of State to bypass the
> federal certification requirement in case the applicant
> presents a software system for certification that is open source.
> SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
> (a) The Secretary of State shall be permitted to waive the
> federal certification requirement for voting systems based on
> open source software.
> (b) The vendor shall submit an application for examination
> fee waiver including a sworn affidavit stating that the
> voting system software and documentation are offered under an
> open source license or free software license.
> (c) The open source license shall meet with the Open
> Source definition which requires,
> (i) free redistribution,
> (ii) source code,
> (iii) derived works,
> (iv) integrity of the author's source code,
> (v) no discrimination against persons or groups,
> (vi) no discrimination against fields of endeavor,
> (vii) distribution of license,
> (viii) license must not be specific to a product,
> (ix) license must not restrict other software,
> (x) license must be technology-neutral.
> (d) The free software license is a matter of liberty, not
> price, and shall meet the following requirements:
> (i) freedom to run the program, for any purpose;
> (ii) freedom to study how the program works, and adapt
> it to your needs;
> (iii) freedom to redistribute copies so you can help
> your neighbor;
> (iv) freedom to improve the program, and release your
> improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits; and
> (v) freedom to access the source code is a
> precondition for these freedoms.
> (e) The Secretary of State is not bound to certify any
> voting systems under this provision
> (f) The Secretary of State does not need to certify a
> specific make or model of hardware to be used with the open
> source software. Instead, the system certification will
> describe a class of hardware with which the software may be used.
> (g) In addition to the open source requirement, a system
> must meet the following additional requirements in order to
> be considered for this
> exemption:
> (i) The voting system must include a durable paper ballot
> that can be handled, stacked, and counted and re-counted by
> hand readily
> (ii) The voting system must be designed to be usable by
> voters with disabilities without requiring special workarounds.
> (iii) The system must accommodate multiple languages
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Received on Thu Jan 7 00:09:45 2010

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