Re: Minimal voting system design

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Sun Nov 11 2007 - 20:05:50 CST

This all sounds vaguely simmilar to the design concepts of the ancient shouptronics.

1) no general purpose programming
2) Gridded electromechanical position of buttons
3) direct mapping of inputs to outputs.

-----Original Message-----
>From: Fred McLain <mclain@zipcon.net>
>Sent: Nov 11, 2007 6:36 PM
>To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
>Subject: [OVC-discuss] Minimal voting system design
>
>In light of some of the discussion on this list today, I have been
>thinking about the base software system needs for touch screen
>voting. As mentioned earlier, no real operating system is require for
>software that simply counts votes. This reduces the complexity of the
>open source software to be reviewed and allows for complete inspection
>and testing coverage. A base issue is how to interact with devices
>used to display and tabulate the votes. This is a simple proposal.
>
>1. Use an LED grid for touch screen locations.
>
>This has the advantage of a zero drift system eliminating the
>calibration problems inherent to capacitive and resistive touch
>screens. It is also nearly immune to tampering. Back in the 90s I
>and a small group of engineers developed exactly this sort of system
>for a kiosk based business card vending machine. Although our
>printing system did not perform well, the LED grid approach to touch
>location worked flawlessly. Furthermore, no "mouse driver" was
>required and reduced software complexity dramatically.
>
>2. Use a serial ASCII printing system
>
>This is a printing at it's simplest level. Again we eliminate the OS,
>saving literally millions of lines of code may otherwise require
>inspection. One could argue that the printer itself has quite a bit
>of microcode, but for an audit trail it would not be difficult to
>split the stream going to the printer for an audit record.
>
>3. Use a simplified display interface
>
>This is still an item I am not entirely decided about. However, it
>should be possible to create a display that does not require video
>cards and drivers to display the ballot. At worst, we could simply
>project an image of the ballot with a location grid. This is what we
>used in the OVC demo project. That approach would likely be based on
>existing display technologies and thus be at least testable, although
>video drivers do involved a large amount of code to verify. I'm very
>open to suggestions here, particularly on how we could reduce the
>complexity of the display interface.
>
> -Fred-
>
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Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:15 2007

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