RE: [OVC-demo-team] DRAFT -- PRESS RELEASE

From: Arnold Urken <aurken_at_stevens_dot_edu>
Date: Fri Mar 19 2004 - 13:11:37 CST

Alan, my suggestions in red along with [comments].

 

GRANITE BAY, CALIFORNIA -- THE OPEN VOTING CONSORTIUM WILL SHOW OFF
DEMONSTRATE A DEMONSTRATION VERSION of its free voting election software
on the 1st of April at the

Santa Clara County government office building 10:00 AM at 70 W. Hedding
St.,

San Jose. The Open Voting Consortium intends to make free voting
software

available for use in public elections to begin a process founders hope
will transform

bring about a transformation of the voting system from a fraud-prone,

blackbox, proprietary, expensive, unreliable system to a technically
sound,

accurate, secure, inexpensive, and open voting system.

 

An international team of volunteer scientists and engineers developed
the

demonstration system. Jan Karrman of Sweden, a senior research engineer
at

Uppsala University, said that the international role of the US “makes it
important outside the U.S. as well that fair

elections are being held there." John-Paul Gignac of Canada wrote the

software for the on-screen ballot. Anand Pillai of Bangalore India,
Eron

Lloyd of Pennsylvania, and David Mertz of Massachusetts have been the
other

main software code contributors. Fred McLain, a noted computer security

expert from Bothel [sorry look too close to brothel for PR] Washington,
has served as the lead developer over the

past two months. "I'm proud of what this team has accomplished," said

McLain. Laird Popkin of New York worked on the online version of the
ballot

printing system.

 

"Voters should not be fooled into thinking their vote is secure with

paperless electronic voting machines. We need a system like the Open
Voting

Consortium is developing that produces a paper ballot that voters can
see,

touch, and verify before placing in the ballot box," according to Dr.
Arthur

Keller, a computer science professor at UC Santa Cruz and Vice President
of

the Open Voting Consortium. Professor Douglas W. Jones, a University of

Iowa computer scientist and often-quoted expert of voting technology,
agrees

: "It's too easy to play tricks with a purely electronic record. We
need a

physical token to represent the vote so that it can be checked by
ordinary

human beings. We also want a system where all aspects of the system are

open to public inspection so we can be sure everything is above board."
Dr.

Jones is also the Chief Technology Officer of the Open Voting Consortium
and

Vice President.

 

"We are not in favor of having a public process run by private companies

that want to keep everything a secret," says Alan Dechert, President of
the

Open Voting Consortium. "It was wise to commit serious funding to
modernize

the voting system. But it would be foolish to spend all the money on

immature technology that will be obsolete in a few years. We advocate

spending a small percentage of this money on a comprehensive scientific

research and development project that will give us the best possible
voting

system." The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) earmarked nearly four

billion dollars for voting modernization. Upwards of $1.5 billion has
been

appropriated for this fiscal year. "We are working with universities in

several states to get this project launched. Iowa State University and
the

University of California are leading the way, with strong teams
developing

in Illinois and Nevada, so far."

 

The Open Voting Consortium is a Nonprofit California Corporation
dedicated

to the development, maintenance, and delivery of open voting systems for
use

in public elections.

 

http://www.openvotingconsortium.org

Phone contact:

 

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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:06 2004

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