Fw: IRV software to open source

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Thu Nov 06 2003 - 13:10:38 CST

I got this email this morning. My impression is that this is a curiosity
that probably has little if anything of interest. I just spoke with Steve
Willett of Voting Solutions, LLC.

They have some tabulation software written in Java (no front end at all).
Steve says it's been used for local elections in Cambridge Mass -- nowhere
else in public elections. They are planning to throw it out to the public
in case anyone finds it useful.

Steve says they have a "lite" version of the software available for try-out
on their website. Go to "Products" at

http://www.votingsolutions.com

This might be of interest to Arnie Urken and Chris Schaefer who are working
on the tabulation demo. Maybe there is some idea there that would be
usable.

Note that their "plans to release ChoicePlus Pro™ ." It doesn't even sound
they're too sure about that.

This is probably mostly noise but it does hint that some people are starting
to think about open software for public elections.

Alan D.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Gram-Reefer" <bill@votingsolutions.com>
To: <adechert@earthlink.net>
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2003 4:36 PM
Subject: IRV software to open source

Voting Solutions to release voting software under open license

Oakland, CA---November 3, 2003--- Voting Solutions, LLC, in association
with The Center for Voting and Democracy (CVD), announced its plans to
release ChoicePlus Pro™ under an open source license and development
agreement.

ChoicePlus Pro is used to process ballot data for alternative forms of
elections, such as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) and Choice Voting, also
known as Single Transferable Voting (STV). Current users of the software
include: the City of Cambridge, MA, for its City Council and School
Committee elections; the Pacifica Foundation, for the board elections of
its public radio stations; the Fonterra Dairy Cooperative of New
Zealand,
the country's largest dairy producing enterprise, for its governing
board;
and a number of other corporations and organizations for their
leadership
elections.

ChoicePlus Pro has been distributed as proprietary commercial software
by
Voting Solutions. However, due to increasing alarm concerning the
accuracy, security, and transparency of a wide variety of proprietary
commercial software and election systems used for public elections,
Voting
Solutions believes that the lack of a well developed, tested,
open-source
package for processing elections is hindering the adoption of much
needed
election reforms.

“The accuracy of our elections as well as a number of meaningful
electoral
reforms, including instant runoff voting and full representation, can be
greatly enhanced with the use of computers and electronic processing of
ballots,” explained Rob Richie, executive director of the Center for
Voting
and Democracy (www.FairVote.org), a national nonpartisan, non-profit
organization promoting fair elections where every vote counts and all
voters are represented. “With our partnership on this open source
project,
we intend to make publicly available software to count ranked ballot
elections and to establish a new standard for transparency and
integrity in
election software.”

“We believe that a project like this will succeed if it is supported by
a
large group of dedicated programmers,” noted Jim Lindsay, chief
architect
of ChoicePlus Pro (aka PR Master) and CTO of Voting Solutions. “An
open-source programming project such as this can bring together
programmers
from around the world who support election reform and have the
experience
to release this software under open license and document and support the
product for maximum public benefit.”

Interested parties can learn more about this project by visiting
www.FairVote.org/ChoicePlus or by contacting:

Caleb Kleppner, Center for Voting and Democracy
415-824-2735, calebk@fairvote.org

Steve Willett, Voting Solutions, LLC
510-654-7818, steve@votingsolutions.com

Editor/Media Contact: Bill Gram-Reefer WORLDVIEW PR
925-676-4733, reefer@worldviewpr.com
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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:01 2003

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