Re: [OVC-demo-team] EVM2003 & Indian Elections

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Wed Mar 17 2004 - 07:34:20 CST

Anand,

I like your idea. This is a topic for the voting-project list. However, I
think we accomplished what we wanted by splitting the list, so a little
transgression here is not so bad. But mainly I would like to take this off
this list to private email or to the voting-project list.

Yes, one of the most important ideas we are advancing is the idea of Open
Voting as opposed to BlackBox voting. If they have a black box, then we
don't like that. I plan to work with people here in the U.S. to make all
BlackBox voting systems illegal. Eventually, we'll want to do that all over
the world. We are an *international* consortium, afterall.

I am extremely busy over the next couple of weeks, so I encourage you to
take the lead and do whatever needs to be done to get your article written
and published.

Alan

> Indian General Elections are nearing and we are right now in the
> canvasing phase.
>
> This time in India, they plan to substitute paper ballots with
> Electronic Voting Machines in many states. These machines
> are mass produced by the fully owned govt. company "ECIL"
> (Electronic Corporation of India Pvt. Ltd). The complaint
> has been raised by the non-ruling political parties that this
> machines does not have a voter verifiable paper trial. In
> fact it is a "black box" like one of the Diebold voting
> machines. It might be possible for someone in the company
> who favors the ruling politcal party to actually tamper with
> the machines, theorotically.
>
> This will be the first general election in India where voting
> machines will be used majorly. In fact, highlighting the project
> in Indian media at this stage might give it a lot of exposure
> here.
>
> I was thinking of writing a small article or writeup on the
> evm2003 project to be published in one of the Indian opensource
> magazines. I have connections with one of them named "Linux for you",
> who is currently publishing an article series on Python written by
> me.
>
> If the idea sounds good, I shall go ahead and write a summary of
> the project with emphasis on Linux and the free software used, tailored
> towards a reader who favors open technologies. I shall appreciate
> the help of Alan in this regard, w.r.t the material that I can
> publish about the project.
>
> Expecting your valuable feedback.
>
> Regards
>
> -Anand
>
>
> ----- Original message -----
> From: "David Mertz" <voting-project@gnosis.cx>
> To: OVC-demo-team@lists.sonic.net
> Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 15:25:44 -0500
> Subject: [OVC-demo-team] ballot-election.xml
>
> > Fair enough, let's make a decision and make sure everything reflects
> > it.
> > Wasn't an election XML file supposed to be used to pull all the info
> > from?
> > Did anyone ever produce this? Volunteers?
>
> I have just produced an (English) ballot-election.xml file[*]. The
> format is loosely based on the one described in the Architecture
> document, but it has been updated to make tag and attribute names match
> those currently used in a <cast_ballot>. I used Jan's contests.py as a
> copy/past source to try to minimize the introduction of typos when I
> entered the names (and to make sure I didn't skip any names by mistake).
>
> [*] Versions for other languages should look much the same. If Spanish
> or French translators want to create ballot-election-en.xml or
> ballot-election-fr.xml, that would be cool.
>
> The following top-level attributes that occur in a <cast_ballot> do not
> make sense for an (uncast) <ballot>: 'source', 'serial', 'number'.
> These are, therefore omitted from the raw ballot format.
>
> The attribute 'writein' likewise is not relevant to a raw ballot, but
> the attribute 'party' is. This optional attribute is not included for
> non-partisan contests Conceivably some other <selection> metadata will
> be relevant in the future (e.g. "incumbency"), and an additional
> attribute would be the perfect place to put it.
>
> For the referenda, I needed to invent some new tags to contain the
> information presented to voters. I'm not terribly attached to the
> tag names or hierarchical organization I chose, but I believe it's
> reasonable for the nonce. Assuming gnosis.xml.objectify continues to
> be used in processing this file, such extra tags can be transparently
> ignored if you just want the <selection> choices, e.g.:
>
> ballot = make_instance("ballot-election.xml")
> for contest in ballot.contest:
> doSomething(contest.name)
> for selection in contest.selection:
> somethingElse(selection.PCDATA)
> whatAbout(contest.summary.scope)
>
> I had to retype the referenda information from the ballot picture, and
> I found two errors on the sample (that I had not noticed previously).
> I copied the errors as-is, but Alan, Doug, or Arthur might want to
> consider whether these detract from the demo if left in place:
>
> (1) Constitutional Amendments No.1 and No.2 both name an effective
> date. However, the first date is spelled out as "November 1, 2004"
> while the second one is abbreviated as "1/1/05". I'm pretty sure there
> are applicable regulations about exactly how a date should be described
> (probably the first way).
>
> (2) On the term limit initiative, there is a number/grammar error: "A
> provisions".
>
> Incidentally, in copying referenda descriptive data to XML, I have used
> normal capitalization rather than all-caps. It is simple to force
> fields to caps in software (for ballot display), but much less simple
> to go in the other direction (I know more about which legal-ish words
> need capitalization than most software does).
>
> Yours, David...
>
> P.S. I figured out (some of) Sourceforge's CVS last night. So I can
> check in this file if it looks helpful. Let me know if any problems
> jump out. In general, this should replace Jan's contests.py data, but
> that substitution is hardly such an urgent thing that it needs to
> happen before the first demo (if it ain't broke... though I confess I
> violated that rule in speeding/cleaning up evm2003.utils.convert
> slightly and unnecessarily).
>
> --
> Anand Pillai
> anand_pillai@fastmail.fm
>
> --
> http://www.fastmail.fm - A no graphics, no pop-ups email service
>
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Received on Thu Apr 1 02:40:28 2004

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