Re: OVC - I "really" need your help with "public disclosure" legislative suggestion

From: Richard C. Johnson <dick_at_iwwco_dot_com>
Date: Mon Nov 27 2006 - 08:37:53 CST

  The funding part is really rather important, given that the open disclosure of voting application code generally means that an ITA will read the code and charge for its services (much more $$$ than for merely observing the behavior of the compiled code). It would be substantially better for the law to provide (1) funding for examination of the opened source and (2) mandatory publication of the resulting report(s). Otherwise, if the ITA works for the proprietary vendor, the test results are usually considered proprietary. (Who pays the piper calls the tune...)
  In addition, opening source to the public means that the community can have a role in assessing the voting software and in correcting errors. This is a valuable supplement to state funding for Open Test, but it is not a substitute because of the occasional use of voting software (unlike operating systems and databases, which are used all the time and cast up bugs to be fixed).
  Item #14:
  The source code in voting applications shall be subject to systematic examination and evaluation at the expense and for the benefit of the public. This process shall be funded by appropriate legislation and shall be part of the evaluation this State may do of all voting systems presented for approval of use within this State. Resulting data and reports are to be published no later than 1 month following completion of the examination and in all cases at least 1 month prior to the use of such code in an election.
  Best wishes for your efforts!
  -- Dick

Kathy Dopp <> wrote:
  OVC members like Alan and Arthur,

I "really" need your help on the "public disclosure" item because I
just realized that it may need funding and could be a "can of worms"
if not done right and I do not know enough about it myself.

Please help me reword my item #9. I need a short readable version AND
a slightly longer detailed version:

Our current short version:

"Mandate publicly disclosed software for all voting systems."

Our current long version:

"Publicly disclose all software including boot-loader, drivers,
operating systems, voting programs, configuration, etc. as long as the
rights needed under Copyright law (17 USC 106) by evaluators are


If this is enacted, what is involved in implementing it? Are funds
needed for it? If so, please add another item to my list, which would
be its item #14 for funding.

You folks really need to word this one, not me. I have not given it
enough thought to fully understand the public disclosure issue at all.

Thank you. I've only got until Tuesday evening to get this finished
for this round. I was planning on submitting both Alan and Arthur's
names and contact info as the experts for this "public disclosure"
item. Would that be OK with you?

Kathy Dopp
National Election Data Archive
"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body
and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day," wrote
Thomas Jefferson in 1816
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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:13 2006

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