Re: [OVC-discuss] version 2 of bill language draft

From: Jim March <1_dot_jim_dot_march_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Mon Jan 19 2009 - 16:40:25 CST

Yeah, this is better.

One have the phrase "open source definition"...shouldn't
you cite a definition somewhere, maybe something published by the Free
Software Foundation or whoever does the BSD licenses or something?
Complete with link?

OR, possibly "open source" is defined somewhere else in state law, if
so cite that?

I'm justing saying, you've got the term "definition" hanging out there
without being defined. You could also just explicitly label some of
the text here a "definition"...


On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 3:08 PM, Alan Dechert <> wrote:
> I took the recommendations of Jim Tobias and Jim March, and I added a bit
> here and there, and edited a bit here and there.
> **************
> 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 flawed.
> 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 based on open source software.
> 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 pulication,
> (iii) derived works must be allowed, usable in elections, subject
> to certification
> (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 is required by anyone distributing
> or altering the source work
> (viii)license must not be specific to a product,
> (ix) license must not restrict other software, and in elections
> it must be consistent with certification rules
> (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 and in an
> election, subject to certification rules supported by the
> California Secretary of State;
> (ii) freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to
> your needs, and in elections, subject to certification;
> (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. The secretary may reject applications for
> systems that seem overly complex, or seem inconsistent with the
> intent of existing state and federal requirements, or otherwise seem
> to the secretary to be unworthy of consideration.
> (f) The Secretary of State need not 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 accessible to, usable by,
> and acceptable to voters with disabilities without requiring
> personal assistance or special workarounds;
> (iii) The system must accommodate multiple languages;
> (iv) The system must provide a method for verifying that software and
> hardware used for the voter interface and vote tabulation processes
> used in an election are versions that have been certified.
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Received on Thu Jan 7 00:09:45 2010

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