Just submitted to Slashdot. Fingers crossed...

From: Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp) <"Popkin,>
Date: Mon Jun 28 2004 - 20:06:36 CDT

I just submitted the following to Slashdot. Let's see if it works:

"There have been two positive developments in the world of open source and
open standards for eVoting.

"First, the CA Legeslature has been working on <a
623_amended_asm.html">Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 242--Relative to
ballot tally software</a> that "would request the Secretary of State to
investigate and evaluate the use of open-source software in all electronic
voting machines in California". It gets to the heart of why open source
voting systems are appropriate: "Since no component or aspect of open-source
code is shielded from public viewing, and all members of the public have
complete access to the source code for evaluation purposes, there is
transparency and public oversight". Of course, they also mention vendor
independence, improved security, etc., but those are general issues true for
any application of open source software; the issue of transparency is
particularly powerful (IMO) for voting systems.

"David Mertz just published <a
XML Matters: Practical XML data design and anipulation for voting
systems</a> that covers how the <a
href="http://www.openvotingconsortium.org">Open Voting Consortium</a> is
using XML for the <a href="http://evm2003.sourceforge.net/">Electronic
Voting Machine</a> project. He points out that "In many contexts, XML is
something that you force on yourself because it seems like the way to go --
but in a few cases, the fit is absolutely perfect. In projects that
intersect with standards, I think XML has a particularly strong case in its
favor since so many interoperable parsers and binding libraries are
available (many of which I have written about in this column). And in
projects like EVM2003 where the self-documentation of data formats is
important (and while data volume is moderate), XML fits like a glove." And
since the XML specification is public, there can be multiple interoperable
implementations of all components of the voting system (ballot entry,
tabulation, etc.) with obvious benefits for trustworthiness and efficiency.

- LP

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Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:24 2004

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