Substance. There is definitely more of that to our first year road-map activities. And we'll clarify this through diagrams soon. In the mean time, if you are technically adept or a Developer who may be interested in leaving your mark on this imperative effort, then you should check out some overview material on our Wiki here.
In addition to the projects I described on Monday, here are a couple of more substantive efforts on the drawing board, and at least one of them is ready for immediate contribution from you, if you are inclined to help make some history!
1. Ballot Design. One of the issues well documented and which we repeatedly hear in discussions with those involved with voting administration, is the design of ballots. Ballot design and usability is commonly cited as a catalyst for confusion, under-votes, and other maladies of election irregularities. We are under-taking a holistic examination of this critical component of the voting process. Certainly the design of a ballot is something well within the prevue of states and their precincts. However, these precincts tell us they need help. And help is on the way!
We will have some very exciting news to share regarding ballot design shortly that could help with these very issues and (perhaps) take some steps toward ballot design standards.
2. Open Source Voter Registration Service. One of the most important components in the ecosystem of elections is the means by which voters are registered to vote. The National Commission on Federal Election Reform (their works of which I will be writing much more about in coming posts) and the effects of the National Voter Registration Act (of 1993, NVRA) lay an excellent ground work for “best practices.” While nearly every state now reports having some sort of voter registration database, whether and to what extent these systems amount to easy-to-use registration services, or simply the existence of a digital dataset is being investigated. Regardless, as an element of a comprehensive system, we believe there is a need to advance a draft standard for the design and specification of secure, trustworthy, and usable online voter registration systems.
Again, this is not all we have on the drawing board, however, between these two projects, the observance project, and election process mapping, there is plenty going on at the OSDV Foundation for you to check out and get involved with making happen. For more information, visit the Lab. If you’re interested in any of these items, please get a hold of us!