Dick Johnson to lead OVC team on report for GAO

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri May 13 2005 - 11:58:18 CDT

Dick Johnson has accepted my invitation to lead a team to produce a report
for the GAO. Jonathan Stanton of George Washington University (CS Prof) has
agreed to help. Jonathan's proximity to GAO offices should help facilitate
communication with them.

Dick Johnson is a University of Wisconsin PhD and did post doc work at
Harvard and Princeton. He taught Statistics and Demography and the
University of Washington. He took an interest in OVC when he heard about
our APR 1 2004 demo. He had a lot of the same ideas and helped stir up some
interest in OVC while he was software architect at Oracle. He has
relevant experience in eVoting, Finance, Logistics, Medical, and
Public Sector Security and Information Systems.

I think the GAO report is a good opportunity for OVC to get our ideas out
there a little more. Please help Dick as best you can. The query from the
GAO is copied at the end of this message for your reference.

I described the challenge to Dick thusly:

*********
Dick,

I'd like you to head the effort for Open Voting Consortium to provide the
GAO with a report about improving security and reliability of electronic
voting systems, in response to the query we received from them a couple of
weeks ago.

Basically, I'd like the report to talk about such things as public
auditability and chain-of-custody issues from the perspective of open
voting. In other words, I want to approach these topics with the OVC
concept as a frame-of-reference or backdrop.

You would crack the whip on the OVC-discuss list to get whatever information
out of them that you need. You'd use some existing papers for ideas and
verbiage. Jonathan Stanton of GWU could serve as a liaison to GAO. I would
like to have Jonathan go meet in person with Jessica (and/or staff) to get
the particulars on time-frame and what they are looking for, trying to
accomplish, etc. I have Cc'd Jonathan on this email. His phone number is
202-994-9741. http://www.seas.gwu.edu/~jstanton/

Jessica's contact info is here:

Jessica Waselkow, IT Analyst, at waselkowj@gao.gov 303-572-7408

The attached paper from Ron Crane et al has some good work to draw upon.
Other OVC generated papers by Keller, Mertz, et al can also be used.

http://www-db.stanford.edu/pub/keller/keller-papers.html#Voting

http://gnosis.cx/voting/

If this seems like something you are willing and able to do, let's get
started asap. Some first steps might include phone calls with Jonathan and
Jessica Waselkow. We could then start an outline of a paper and Jonathan
could visit the GAO to get more details. Then you'd engage OVC people like
Keller, Mertz, Joe Hall, and Arnie Urken (Stevens Tech Poli Sci Prof that
briefly established an ITA and is considering re-establishing one now).
Arnie's contact info:

aurken@stevens.edu

hm 201-420-9427
cell 201-618-6037
office 201-216-5394

Additional OVC resources for this paper would include Karl Auerbach and Amy
Pearl -- both with substantial industrial experience.
http://www.cavebear.com/
http://www.amypearl.com/

I'm sure we can find several more people to help as needed. Doug Jones and
David Jefferson are not likely to be major contributors to the effort but
could be called upon for reviews and comments.

Yours, Alan Dechert

********* APR 22 message from GAO
To: Open Voting Consortium

From: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Re: Request for Information and Documentation --
          Audits and Reports of Election Issues and Voting Systems

GAO requests your assistance in identifying and obtaining audits and
reports from state audit and elections oversight organizations related
to our review of the security and reliability of electronic voting
systems, as well as information on initiatives to improve the security
and reliability of electronic voting systems (audit code 310478). This
review will examine a wide range of sources to identify concerns and
improvement efforts related to the security and reliability of
electronic voting systems.

If your organization has issued a report that addresses these topics,
or is in the process of developing such a study or report, we are
interested in receiving a copy to determine its relevance to our work.
 If you are aware of another organization that has performed a
government-authorized audit or study in these areas, we would greatly
appreciate receiving whatever report information and contacts you can
provide. Examples of relevant reports can be found at:
http://www.raba.com/press/TA_Report_AccuVote.pdf and
http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/taskforce.htm.
Additionally, we are interested in receiving information on initiatives
your organization is working on to improve the security and reliability
of electronic voting systems.

Please reply to Jessica Waselkow, IT Analyst, at waselkowj@gao.gov or
303-572-7408 if you have information we could consider. If those
reports are publicly available on the Web, please consider including
their URL address or link in your response.

We greatly appreciate your assistance.

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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:35 2005

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