Re: NY -- Village Voice on Open Source Voting Machines

From: Richard C. Johnson <dick_at_iwwco_dot_com>
Date: Fri Nov 16 2007 - 15:07:42 CST

There is no right to have one's machine tested in New York, and, if the waiver passes, it will not oblige the state to test anything. Instead, the state will have the option to test any system it believes suitable, waiving the fee only to the extent that the system (1) shows signs of meeting New York requirements and (2) is based on Open Source. No marginal systems are likely to be tested, since one need only fail a few key tests and a system would be disqualified.

Much documentation must be submitted prior to test, including specifications, test results, test plans, and so forth. A formal application to OGS (the New York purchasing people) is also required. A vendor must demonstrate "vendor responsibility" to OGS; this means a plausible showing that what the state requires can actually be delivered. OVS, a startup, can only meet the vendor responsibility requirement by partnering with other larger companies.

Not quite a walk in the park, even with the fee waiver. Of course, without the fee waiver, there is no chance at all for Open Source in New York. The $2M is to cover two systems, a standard system and one with enhanced access features. Without the waiver, there is no hope at all in New York for Open Source and not much for any company without big money behind it.

-- Dick

charlie strauss <cems@earthlink.net> wrote: So what is the right solution? Assuming it actually costs 1 Million to test a system how should this be paid. Should states simply accept all comers and eat the cost?

Seems like a compromise position might be
1) have some sort of filter or initial hearing to reject impractical systems
2) then high level testing for free.

perhaps the filter could be requests from a sufficient number of Clerks for access to the system or past sales in the state.

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Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:25 2007

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