Re: Proposed policy on examination fee waiver for NY open source voting system

From: Richard C. Johnson <dick_at_iwwco_dot_com>
Date: Tue Sep 04 2007 - 12:04:52 CDT

Alan,

This measure, and its equivalents in other states, is critical to bringing Open Source voting into actual use. Earlier hopes for investment funding have all come to nothing, as has attempts at securing grants. There is just not enough money in activists' pockets to fund the $200,000 required for Federal Certification or the $280,000+ required otherwise in New York. Florida is less expensive, at an estimated $40,000 for state certification and no requirement for Federal. Even so, we don't have the $40,000. This problem must be solved, or there will be no Open Source voting systems. Ever.

We are hoping that we can partner with counties or cities wanting Open Source voting systems, with savings over conventional voting systems paying for required testing. This is always possible, but the best solution is to have the states waive test fees for Open Source voting systems. Then, with our volunteer contributors, we can fashion specific systems for states and get them tested. We would like to do this first in New York and then in any state willing to work with us. State action enables all the local authorities in the state to participate. Open Source voting could spread rapidly once this action gets started.

-- Dick

Alan Dechert <dechert@gmail.com> wrote:
I am throwing this to the list in case anyone wants to discuss.

At the AUG 16 NY State Board of Elections meeting, co-chair Kellner said,
"we need a policy." I decided to offer language for them to consider. I
made the initial draft, and then OVC counsel Dow Patten improved the text.
We are hoping it will be on the agenda for the Sept 11 meeting. Here is
what we sent to them:

<<<<<<
The State Board of Elections may elect to waive the fee for
examination of voting systems set forth in Section 6209.4(G) if a
voting system vendor meets all of the following:

1) The vendor submits an application for examination fee waiver
including a sworn affidavit stating that the voting system software
and documentation are offered under an open source license (such as
the Berkeley System Distribution License) or free and open source
license (such as the General Public License), and is made available in
public distributions; and

2) The vendor has paid the application fee set forth in Section 6209.4(F);
and

3) The application for examination fee waiver is supported by no less
than three public statements of support from organizations or
individuals with demonstrated expertise in voting systems and/or
software security.

4) Any other requirement in the Board's discretion.

The State Board shall retain the discretion to (a) revoke any
examination fee waiver granted under this subsection, and (b)
immediately order the termination of the examination if it finds the
testing demonstrates that the submission obviously does not meet one
or more of the requirements of section 7-202 of the Election Law and
Section 6209.2. et. seq. of the Codes, Rules and Regulations of the
State of New York.
>>>>>>

For more background, see the post I made here a couple of weeks ago....

http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/August.2007/0039.html

Alan D.

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Received on Sun Sep 30 23:17:04 2007

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