Avante's clarification

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Jul 20 2007 - 15:34:03 CDT

I found this item interesting (see attached). Avante has issued this
"clarification" in response to criticism from election integrity people. It
appears Avante is trying (moreso than other vendors) to address transparency
issues. I appreciate that. However ...

They quote something I wrote on this forum back in February
(http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/February.2007/0036.html ).
The quote is a bit out of context. They are are mixing up some wording from
Holt with what is already in state election code... especially New York.

For one thing, I was talking about language in HR 811 before it was
modified. As for New York, it appears that a workable interpretation of the
statute with respect to what code has to be escrowed would allow COTS
components, such as the Kodak scanner, to be accepted without escrowing
firmware, processor microcode, etc. The do seem to want the operating
system code, and that's easy enough to manage with Linux-based systems.

So, for example, we don't think that Open Voting Solutions, nor any other
vendor wanting to provide systems fully open to public scrutiny, should have
any problem with the legal code on the books right now. The old Holt
language is irrelevant because it was deleted.

Also, in this Avante document, they extoll the virtues of the DRE with paper
trail. Since I am quoted in the paper, I want to make clear I think the DRE
is a bad architecture with or without the paper trail. I am a champion of
the Electronic Ballot Printer (EBP) architecture for systems with a
computerized accessible voter interface. With the EBP, we can expect a
durable paper ballot that can be easily tallied (by hand or machine) and
handled, as opposed to the flimsy paper tape strip of the DREs with paper

Alan D.

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Received on Tue Jul 31 23:17:05 2007

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