Re: Aussie do it better:

From: Alan Dechert <adechert_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Mon Nov 03 2003 - 12:36:28 CST

My original idea for this demo was to start with the Aussie system -- clone
it and get it working here just as they have it. Then add a printer and
also modify to make the units standalone (they have them networked).

The Aussies basically said "have at it" but weren't exactly willing to make
it easy for us to do that. The code they have published is not quite
complete. We decided it wasn't worth the effort and that we might as well
start from scratch. They are adamantly opposed to touchscreens and mice;
they think the keypad they use is the only way to go.

At the panel discussion on the 26th, Warren Slocum (chief of elections for
San Mateo County CA) asked me about the Aussie system. Actually, Warren
learned of the Aussie system from me: I had discussed it with him back in
March of this year. I found out about it from David Dill after one of the
developers contacted David to tell him about it. In response to Warren's
question, I discussed the similarities and differences between our approach
and theirs. Namely, they are using trailing edge commodity PCs and open
source (GPL) software, which makes for a very economical system. The main
differences are that they don't use (and are opposed to using) printers and
the PCs are networked. Their voting machines are DRE: our machines will NOT
be DRE -- the authentic vote is on paper. I am opposed to the network: I
think we can build a system that is more robust, trustworthy, and easier to
set up by keeping the voting machines standalone. Also, the standalone
concept has been heavily sold by DRE makers in the U.S. so this would be an
obstacle for us (if we tried to network the PCs at the polling places).
Also, I think we have to offer the touchscreen since many are sold on that.
We can also offer mice since they are much cheaper-- most people know how to
use them -- AND there should be no software changes needed to run either
touchscreen or mouse. We should also be able to offer the keypad.

This article may lead up to an article about EVM2003 and the Open Voting
Consortium. We will invite Kim Zetter to attend the demo. I don't know if
she'll write anything before we have the demo done -- doubtful. This
applies to quite a few other writers that are interested in the electronic
voting issue.

Alan D.
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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:01 2003

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