When We Said We Were In Favor Of Open Source Voting, This Isn't What We Meant

from the a-bit-more-openness-please dept

We've often wondered why various governments haven't mandated open source e-voting systems. After all, if a free and democratic election is supposed involve true transparency into the voting process, it's hard to see how proprietary software can be allowed. However, the big e-voting companies have been staunch supporters of keeping their solutions proprietary. Except... it may turn out that Premier Election Solutions (which was better known as Diebold until it changed its name to get away from the mocking laughter) is actually using some open source software... and not abiding by the license. Artifex Software is suing Premier for apparently using its GPL'd software and not adhering to the GPL terms. Of course, we should note that Diebold (er... Premier) has suggested in the past that it might eventually open source its own product, so maybe a little legal nudge will push it over the edge.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 6:46am

    SOP

    " using some open source software... and not abiding by the license."

    after 10 years in software development I can tell you with no hesitation . . . so is EVERYONE else who makes proprietary software.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:19am

    Just see the elections in Brazil.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Zirbes, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:34am

    What about it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Chris Maresca (profile), Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:56am

    Re: SOP

    Actually, I can categorically say that's not true. I have a lot of clients, some of them very well known, that have done extensive audits to make sure this is not the case.

    Chris.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Ben, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:56am

    Or a commercial license

    Artifex also offers a commercial license. I have a feeling that's the one Diebold will pick instead of releasing their source.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 8:15am

    Is the software anything like the hardware?

    If the software is anything like the hardware or operating procedures, then I really look forward to seeing it. The software should provide a lot of material for examples of how not to program.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Steve, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 8:19am

    The Election Assistance Commission 2009 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines

    The Election Assistance Commission 2009 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines recommends that new voting devices be "software independent" and also use multiple processes that can tabulate the vote independently and later on be reconciled to affirm accuracy. Software independent means that ANY failure of the software will not change the results. This guideline applies to open and proprietary software.

    We at PenVote.com have inverted the voting process by voting with a digital pen on paper and then verifying on screen the voter’s intent. Only after the voter confirms that their marks on the paper ballet match the on screen PDF of the ballot AND how those marks are tabulated does the voter press the cast ballot button. Three technologies with 3 separate chains of custodies. With over 17 months of testing completed we found that it is accurate and user friendly.

    Unfortunately for the US it appears that the first major use of this voting solution will be in Europe and Latin America.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 1:31pm

    Get with the program!

    Hey! Get with the program!!!

    Voting machines are now so passé.

    After all, the Dear Leader won with those voting machines so everything is A-OK.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    asavage, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Get with the program!

    It seems there is a turd floating in the bowl in every thread
    -- Savage

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Chris Wilson, Nov 6th, 2008 @ 9:10am

    PenVote technology

    Anyone who thinks that the election of a few days ago could be hand counted with any accuracy is off their rocker. Over 133,000,000 people voted. If you believe in hand counted paper ballots, get this through you thick skulls--it isn't going to happen. Therefore, you should expect paper ballots that can be machine counted in multiple ways, and even hand counted for audits. But the rest of you who think otherwise are out to lunch. That's why PenVote is on to something great.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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