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Addressing the Impact of Voter Data Tampering

We are often asked to explain the impact of compromised voter data and we realized today that given some very relevant integrity engineering going on in the TrustTheVote Project its worth revisiting that for new citizens following our work, especially the growing #unhackthevote community.....

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Fixing Voting Infrastructure: A Good Start to a Great Idea

In April, Representative Henry "Hank" Johnson (GA-04)  introduced a bill in Congress that went largely unnoticed by most.  We noticed.  We prepared comments, feedback, and are now ready to offer more invited input.  At first we were a little dubious because we think the "ask" can be tuned, but then we realized the importance of Rep. Johnson's vision and the potential of this Bill...

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San Francisco Thinking Forward on Electoral Technology

Last month San Francisco issued a fast-tracked Request For Information ("RFI") to obtain insight, knowledge, and a reality check on the potential for adopting, adapting, and deploying a next generation voting system that is based on open source software technology.  We responded to the RFI. However, in the process, we unintentionally misrepresented the status of OSI review of our OSS license, which we've now corrected.  Read on about our licensing to ensure adoption of OSS election technology, and some comments about San Francisco's thought leadership in researching open source opportunities for electoral technology innovation.

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Repositories Update Continued: VoteStream Dominates

Today we provide another follow-up to our continuing report on our Repositories and source code development efforts.  As others of the Core team have mentioned when contributing posts to the OSET blog (verses the TrustTheVote Project Blog), we appreciate the audience is diversifying over here, and want to forewarn you that parts of what follow get kinda geeky but we try to provide links for those curious to learn more.  (Also Note: The TrustTheVote site is about to be re-launched within the next month, so we're trying to limit blog posts over there.) Anyway, we suspect what makes it geekish more than anything are code-names and acronyms.  We’ll try to minimize the alphabet soup. OK, here we go…

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Reality Check: Cost of Software Development

Even philanthropic efforts to produce public benefits in the form of civic technology have real costs associated with software development.  The open source model, however, means the costs are significantly less than current proprietary commercial alternatives, while the innovative benefits, unconstrained by commercial mandates, can be significantly greater.  More importantly, there is some reality distortion over the real costs to building civic engagement IT, such as election administration and voting systems.  They are markedly different than many other civic engagement tools that require only APIs and interactive web services leveraging government data stores to better engage and serve citizens.  Tuesday's post by Ms. Voting Matters on our Voter Services Portal ignited comments and questions about the real cost to build the Voter Services Portal.  The VSP is not "yet another simple web site," but a collection of software to provide services to voters that integrate with back-end legacy systems, and set the foundation to drive a series of voter service innovations as well as other election management tools in the near future.  We breakdown the cost model and actual costs here...

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Voter Services Portal: Open Source Innovation

The Voter Services Portal component of the Open Source Election Technology Framework is a freely available highly extensible online voter registration platform that can cut the cost of States' and jurisdictions' custom development by as much as 75% and reduce the time to develop and deploy from months or more to merely a few weeks.  Why wouldn't any jurisdiction moving to online voter services strongly consider this freely available source code, open for innovation?  That's the whole point of our non-profit technology R&D effort: increase confidence in elections and their outcomes by offering technology innovations that can be easily adopted, adapted, and deployed.  Sure, there are costs associated with adaptation and deployment; after all, open source does not necessarily mean free source.  But the time and taxpayer dollars savings should make this an easy decision...

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Fighting for Democracy Means More Than Bearing Arms

On this 239th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, we find ourselves reflecting on the causes of democracy and the good and just fight to protect and preserve democracy--not only here in the United States of America, but globally.  The cause of the OSET Foundation, manifest in the TrustTheVote Project, is one important, arguably vital aspect of that good and just fight.  It is likewise important to illustrate that fighting for our democracy means more than bearing arms.

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OSET Foundation Comments "Key" to USPTO Service Announcement

Intellectual property is a key ingredient to our work.  Monitoring developments relevant to that work is important. Suggestions we urged the USPTO to consider in order to improve 3rd party submission of prior art and crowd-sourcing prior art appear to have been adopted with their recent announcement of a new Patent Application Alert System.  This is will be a very useful tool for us and many.  We applaud the USPTO and are humbled they appear to have fully adopted our comments.

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Advancing Election Data Standards: View From the Trenches

Elections data standards are essential to delivering real innovation.  The annual Election Data Standards meeting opened today in Los Angeles, CA.  We thought we'd give you an overview of just what in the hec this is about and why its essential to creating a voting experience that's easy, convenient, and dare we say delightful.  Dry?  Kinda.  But a peek at the real in the trenches work we're doing.  Yep.

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