17 June 2008

Open Voting Consortium

Elections seem like a no-brainer for openness: after all, fairness requires transparency, and you don't get more transparent than being fully open. And yet previous e-voting systems have proved notoriously fallible - not least because they weren't open. The Open Voting Consortium aims to do solve these problems:

The Open Voting Consortium is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development, maintenance, and delivery of trustable and open voting systems for use in public elections. We are comprised of computer scientists, voting experts, and voting rights activists. We have a growing international membership base, but our organizing efforts are currently focused in California where we are actively engaged in legislation and implementing Open Voting as a model for the United States.

Needless to say, it's based on open source:

We have developed (1) a prototype of open-source software for voting machines (2) an electronic voting machine that prints a paper ballot, (3) a ballot verification station that scans the paper ballot and lets a voter hear the selections, and (4) stations with functions to aid visually impaired people so they can vote without assistance. Open source means that anyone can see how the machines are programmed and how they work.

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