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Open Source Voting: Accurate, Accountable

Ruben Major for Sec of State

Open source voting has been taken up by Ruben Major, running for California Secretary of State 2018. Alex Padilla, current SoS, made the case for replacing the current ageing fleet of voting systems but has failed to secure funding for new ones and has not promoted the obvious solution: open source voting. Secretary Major will do this. You can help ensure this outcome.

Current Efforts

OVC's three founders, Alan Dechert, Arthur Keller, and Doug Jones continue to work on the issue of voting system integrity. Doug Jones (with Barbara Simons) wrote Broken Ballots. Arthur Keller is chair of the IEEE 1622 standards committee. Brent Turner is currently board secretary at CAVO (California Association of Voting Officials).

Recent News & Events

$10,000 Challenge Grant received

Friends, we have received a $10,000 challenge grant from OVC supporter Chris Franklin. Here's what he had to say about it:

In thriving democracies, vote counting is observed by representatives from all of the parties involved. This process makes cheating and/or mistakes almost impossible. Use of closed, proprietary, software to count the vote eliminates any observation, making the vote totals inherently untrustworthy. Open voting systems, that can be examined by all parties involved, is the only way to retain this crucial oversight when votes are counted by machine. OVC is a central part of making sure this is done.

I am making this donation with the expectation that others will match my contribution. People who, like me, want to look their children in the eye and know that they have done everything in their power to hand down a great country with a democratically elected government. Only with a voting system that is completely open to voter oversight, can that be ensured. If we lose our democracy to secret vote counting, our children will not enjoy the freedoms that we have today.

Please help match Chris' contribution by donating what you can today.

California takes up transparency, open source voting

2006.02.16 7:00
by Jay Lyman


Calif. State Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach) knows about making government and technology more open. She also knows her brother, a US Navy programmer, could code a program to rig an election in 20 minutes.

After putting the Golden State's legislation, public records, legislator records, and more online in 1993, Bowen is now looking to make transparency in voting front and center in her campaign for Calif. Secretary of State. Bowen, who chairs the state's Election Committee, is overseeing hearings this month on whether the state should move toward using electronic voting systems that rely on open source software, as well as how voting systems are tested and certified. The hearings have featured electronic voting and open source experts, including Red Hat Vice President of Corporate Development Michael Evans, and highlight whether and how the public can see the code and the process of voting.

Diebold CEO Reviews Fate of e-Voting Unit

By M.R. KROPKO AP Business Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press

NORTH CANTON, Ohio — Diebold Inc.'s new chief executive, determined to cut $100 million in costs over three years, said he is reviewing whether the company should continue investing in its embattled electronic voting business.

CEO Thomas Swidarski insisted in an Associated Press interview that he feels good about the performance of the e-voting operations, even as some shareholders and computer experts complain that Diebold touch-screen voting machines have had a history of hardware and software woes.

"There's pieces and aspects of each of our businesses that I'm going to be looking at with a very critical eye in terms of what the future holds for us," Swidarski said in his first media interview since taking over in December the company best known for its automatic teller machines and security systems.

Open Voting Consortium and Clean Money Campaign Team Up for Open House at California Democratic Party Retreat in Manhattan Beach

Mimi Kennedy makes a serious point at the Open Voting and Clean Money Open House

The Open Voting Consortium and California Clean Money campaign sponsored a highly successful Open House acquainting rank and file California Democrats with Open Voting and consolidating support for the already well known Clean Money issue. The event was held at the Manhattan Beach Marriot where the California Democratic Party held its Executive Committee meeting on January 27th and 28th.

Alan Dechert introduced the crowd to Open Voting and also did a great warm up for Ms. Bowen, who is running for secretary of State. Alan noted that legislation related to Open Voting is shaping up, but there is no bill number as yet. Eric Tang of the California Clean Money campaign closed out the evening by pointing out that elected officials aren’t beholden to rich interests for campaign funds that many of our other problems like health care will be more likely to be less intractable. He urged folks to call their Assembly members to help pass AB-583, which is scheduled for a vote any day. Learn more about the Clean Money campaign at www.caclean.org.

Maryland Official Wants Details About California Voting Machine Problems

Annapolis (AP) - Maryland's top elections official is monitoring concerns about Diebold electronic voting machines used in another state.

State elections administrator Linda Lamone wrote a letter to Diebold's top executive last month after California's secretary of state declared that some of that state's voting machines were susceptible to errors and would not be certified.

Lamone tells The (Baltimore) Sun that she sent the letter so that Maryland stays updated on tests being done on the California machines. But she says the similar Diebold touch-screen machines used in Maryland are secure and that she expects this year's elections to go smoothly.

Diebold fate hangs on whether its voting software can be fixed

By Ian Hoffman

Software files have company in double bind with state, feds

For more than two years, Diebold Election Systems Inc. has hit one political or technical snag after another trying to reap more than $40 million in voting-machine sales in California.

Now only a collection of tiny software files on Diebold's latest voting machines stand in the way of those revenues and more. Last summer, a Finnish computer expert using an agricultural device found he could rig the votes stored on Diebold's memory cards and rewrite one of those files to cover his tracks.

The revelation posed a double problem for Diebold: Not only could its optical-scanning voting machines be hacked, but state and federal rules for more than a year have forbidden those files in voting machines.

Most of State's Vote Machines Not Ready for Primary Time

Most of State's Vote Machines Not Ready for Primary Time
# Electronic devices in 53 counties, including O.C., are still not certified for use in the June primary.

By Jean O. Pasco, Times Staff Writer

Only five of California's 58 counties have electronic voting systems ready for the June primary, state election officials told a state Senate committee hearing Wednesday.

"While we're moving as fast as possible, much of the time needed for each system is out of our control," said Bill Wood, undersecretary of state.

To be ready by June, manufacturers must apply for state certification by Jan. 31, he said. Officials have not said what will happen to counties whose systems are not certified.

Officials assess e-voting glitches

Confidence in electronic systems may be wavering
By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER

SACRAMENTO — As virtually every county in California scrambles for new voting machinery to use in the June elections, the last thing elections officials want to talk about is flaws.

But the warts were on parade Wednesday:

-Sequoia Voting Systems' computers don't reliably add in certain rare primary votes.

-Election Systems & Software's computers sometimes count more ballots than voters and can record the wrong choice for voters with long fingernails.

-Optical scanners made by Diebold Election Systems can be hacked (and so possibly can scanners sold by other vendors.)

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Pacific Research Institute ranks speed ahead of accuracy in tallying people's votes

From: Senator Debra Bowen's Office

Contact: Evan Goldberg (916) 651-4028

SACRAMENTO – Despite the fact that 52% of the people in America aren’t confident that their votes are being accurately counted, the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) has come out and blasted the use of an accessible voter-verified paper audit trail (AVVPAT) in California elections.

“It takes the term ‘tone deaf’ to a whole new level,” said Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach), the chairwoman of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment & Constitutional Amendments Committee. “Given the scandals involving electronic voting machines and the rising number of California voters who are losing faith in the system, how anyone can come out and say with a straight face, ‘Let’s trust the voting machine vendors, they know what they’re doing’ is beyond me.”

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