This fact was demonstrated earlier this month in a very public way. Thanks again to everyone that helped make this happen. It was by far the largest event ever for OVC. Over 800 voters cast ballots -- mostly high tech professionals, but people came from all over to participate in this trial. Voters included two members of the San Francisco Elections Commission, Richard Matthews and Gerard Gleason. San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly came by and gave a speech to the audience on Wednesday, August 6th, extolling the virtues of transitioning to a voting system owned by the people, not corporations. Other election officials and elected officials attended.
The system was well received by participants, and it worked as advertised. The election included five contests on the first day, then six contests on the second and third days.
At 6 pm after the first day, OVC received the list of eleven best-of-show finalists. By 10 am the next morning, the voting machines were ready and the polls opened with the new ballot definition (including voice prompts and tabulation routines updated and checked).
The event was also documented on YouTube.
Hundreds of people signed a support letter.
All of the 816 ballots cast scanned successfully with the barcode reader (in a previous trial in January of 2008, one out of 204 ballots could not be tallied with the barcode reader due to mangling and poor print quality, although the text was readable). Ballots were tallied in batches every 45 minutes or so. Each batch was then sealed in an envelope with a copy of the tally sheet.
A video-taped audit was conducted two weeks after the event. The batches that were checked demonstrated that the tally sheets matched a hand count of the votes. A few individual ballots were audited by checking the barcode output with the text on the ballot. The grand totals were also checked by summing selected contests from the tally sheets.
San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Deborah Gage reported Obama sweeps the open source vote 545 to 135 votes for McCain. Canonical won the People's Choice Award for best-of-show also in a landslide (the fact that Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has endorsed OVC is purely a coincidence ... or maybe it's just that great minds think alike).
Brian Fox and Parker Abercrombie of The Okori Group deserve credit for bringing the OVC system to a whole new level of power and flexibility. We are ready to move to the next level. I predict you will see the OVC system used in official elections at the local level next year, and the federal level in 2010. To see more pictures, scroll down after you click here.