[lowcostcomputing] Re: The Open Source dilemma for governments

  • From: Edward Cherlin <edward.cherlin@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lowcostcomputing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2004 10:18:10 -0800

On Tuesday 06 January 2004 04:00 pm, Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay 
wrote:
> http://consultingtimes.com/osgov.html

The Open Voting Consortium, http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/, 
is tackling another aspect of the local government software 
market, the broken proprietary voting software and currently 
provided by vendors such as Diebold and Sequoia, and the wildly 
incompatible and insecure voting practices of more than 3,000 
counties in the US. The OVC system will be Open Source, and will 
support handicapped accessibility and any combination of 
languages. We will use touch-screen computers, which make it 
easy to prevent overvoting completely, and greatly reduce 
unintentianal undervoting, and can provide for private, 
unassisted voting by the blind and visually impaired (using 
text-to-speech technology) and the physically impaired. Our 
systems will cost substantially less than the proprietary 
products.

The key element in the OVC design is a voter-verified, 
machine-readable paper ballot. The printed ballot is not an 
audit trail. It is the legal vote. The computer records are an 
additional and essential audit trail, but the paper ballot is 
primary. The reason for this is that a combined paper and 
computer vote can be made extremely difficult to fake, if proper 
procedures are mandated and followed. The phrase "extremely 
difficult" means "as difficult as breaking standard 
cryptographic systems of the kind used to secure financial 
transactions".

You can find a link to an online demo of the system at 
http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/ContentFrame/EVM2003.asp.
It will let you make selections in several types of election, and 
print the resulting ballot paper.
-- 
Edward Cherlin, Simputer Evangelist
Encore Technologies (S) Pte. Ltd.
Computers for all of us
http://www.simputerland.com, http://cherlin.blogspot.com

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