Outline for Proposal California Secretary of State

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Sat May 07 2005 - 05:59:52 CDT

Proposal to develop, obtain certification for, and deploy an Open
Source Central Vote Tabulation System including Optical Scan Ballot

Duration 18 months starting July 15, 2005


12/2005 System developed
1/2006 Internal testing by counties considering adoption
4/2006 Federal and state certification
5/2006 Installation and training completed
6/2006 Primary election
9/2006 Primary election assessment completed; documentation,
procedures, and training updated
10/2006 General election training completed
11/2006 General election
1/2007 Project assessment completed

System architecture

1. Central tabulation system.
a. IEEE P1622-compliant election data repository supporting the
storage of each ballot record, various summary totals, other election
data (ballot definitions, precinct info, contests, etc.), and full
audit log and security system.
b. Election data management interface (for ballot definitions,
precinct info, contests, etc.) to election data repository.
c. Official election reporting system interface.
d. Data exporter to web-based unofficial election reporting system
(through DVD/CD burner of summary totals).
Note that this system, although networked together, is not connected
to any external network.

2. Web-based unofficial election reporting system.
a. Data importer (through DVD/CD reader from output of 1d).
b. Summary election data repository.
c. Web-based reporting system, including drill down by contest, by
precinct, and by in-precinct vote/absentee/provisional totals (for
absentees and for provisionals, drill down feature by precinct is
limited to when all of these (respectively) have been counted, to
protect privacy), as precincts report.
d. Ability to determine whether an provisional ballot was counted.
e. Layered security, including active firewalls.
f. Maintains an audit log of use.

3. Optical scan ballot reader system.
a. Bulk, sheet-fed scanning devices producing a "picture" of the
ballot, and printing an identifier code on ballot.
b. Mark identifier that calibrates scan and determines which of the
optical scan mark positions have been completed. Passes information
on marks and identifier code to Ballot Interpreter. Does not retain
ballot "picture."
c. Ballot Interpreter. Has local copy of ballot definitions or
interfaces with repository of Central tabulation system to interpret
the marks on the ballot as reported by the Mark identifier. Creates
an Electronic Ballot Record of scanned ballot in IEEE P1622-compliant
d. Stores Electronic Ballot Record. When a batch is completed,
transfers Electronic Ballot Record to Central tabulation system.
e. Maintains an audit log of use.


1. The optical scan ballot reader system could be adapted to
precinct-based optical scan ballot reader.

2. The optical scan ballot reader system could be adapted to read OVC
paper summary ballots in addition to barcode ballots.

3. For optical scan ballots, disabled access to be provided by AutoMark system.

4. Support initially for Diebold-style optical scan paper ballots
format. Eventually support other vendors' optical scan ballot

Project Structure

1. Software development led by UCSC.

2. Volunteers participate by online reviews of documents and code.
Selected volunteers may write specs, documents, or code under
agreement with UCSC.

3. Open Voting Consortium to manage certification process with
assistance from UCSC.

4. Open Voting Consortium to recruit member companies to commercially
distribute system, deploy it, and support it.

5. UCSC to write reference documentation, train OVC and OVC member
companies, and provide support to OVC member companies.

Feedback wanted.

Best regards,

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:24 2005

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