Our Mission & Organization
Our Mission & Organization
The OSET Institute is about researching, developing, and making innovative election software public technology (i.e., publicly available open source technology subject to an OSI-accredited license) in order to increase verification, accuracy, security, and transparency (in process), and ensure that ballots are counted as cast.
This public benefit work is focused on increasing integrity in elections, while lowering costs, and improving usability. If the work is effective, it should ease participation and make the use of the technology easy, convenient, even delightful for administrators and voters alike.
The OSET Institute was established in November 2006 by a couple of concerned technologists in the Silicon Valley as a California non-profit corporation dedicated to the public benefit. Originally, and until 2013 the organization was known legally as the Open Source Digital Voting (“OSDV”) Foundation and its name evolved in October 2013 following the IRS final determination of its tax-exempt status after a record-breaking six (6) year prosecution of our status application. In late 2015, "Foundation" became "Institute" to reflect the reality that the OSET Institute is focused on education, research, and development of election technology innovation (and actually, it is not a grant making organization.) Today, the OSET Institute is 60 people strong. The name “OSET” (pronounced “Oh-Set”) encapsulates the work of the Institute: “Open Source Election Technology.” You can learn some more about our history here.
The mission of the OSET Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit election technology research, development, and education organization, is to increase confidence in elections and their outcomes in order to preserve the operational continuity of democracy -- ultimately worldwide -- and because everyone deserves a better voting experience. The Institute’s goal is to help defend democracy worldwide by ensuring the integrity, security, and usability of election administration technology. These principles guide our work.
The result, ElectOS, a Framework of public election technology available for any jurisdiction to adopt, adapt, and deploy for elections whether done in-house or by an outside commercial systems integration organization ( however, not the OSET Institute).
We use the principles of open source development, user-centered design, and security-centric systems engineering in a meritocratic environment at the TrustTheVote Project.
This is an imperative effort to ensure integrity and increase confidence in our public elections, and reduce, if not eliminate the troubles with voting machinery, while helping eliminate unfortunate terms like "rigged," "tampered," "hacked," or "illegitimate" from the vernacular of democracy administration.
Here’s the thing: The means by which we cast and count our ballots is tantamount to "critical democracy infrastructure" and as such cannot be a black box, but rather a glass box. Success of this project can increase confidence in elections and their outcomes, for America at least, and for any democracy, worldwide over time.
The OSET Institute is a California non-profit corporation exempt from Federal income taxation under IRC Section 501(c)(3). A Board of Directors governs the nonprofit organization.
Peter F. Harter
John B. Gage
Open Seat 9
New Seat 10
New Seat 11
Chris Barr, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Jake Braun, CEO, Cambridge Global Advisors
Deborah Bryant, Redhat
Aneesh Chopra, Former U.S. CTO; NavHealth
William P. Crowell, Former Dep. Dir. NSA; Alsop Louie Partners
Dr. Rich DeMillo, Georgia-Tech
Frank DiGiamarinno, Accelerated Ventures
Joseph Hall, CTO, Center for Democracy and Technology
Phil Keisling, Former Oregon State Secretary
Roger McNamee, Elevation Partners; Author, “Zucked: The Education of an Unlikely Activist”
Doug Maughan, DHS Cybersecurity Directorate
Lenny Mendonca, Former McKinsey & Co., Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Norm Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute
Deepak Puri, Former VMWare; Co-Founder, Democracy Labs
Simon Rosenberg, NDN.org
Barbara Simons, Former IBM; Verified Voting Foundation
Stephanie Singer, Former City Commissioner, Philadelphia, PA; Free & Fair
Heather Smith, Rock The Vote
Bryan Sivak, Former CTO, DHHS
Theresa Swinehart, ICANN
Joe Trippi, Trippi & Associates
David R.R. Webber, Horizon Industries, Ltd. Manchester, England U.K.
A Stakeholder community comprised of a number of different constituent categories guides our work. The majority of stakeholders are state and local elections officials—those who stand to directly benefit from the results of our work.
We utilize a process equivalent to that of the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) called “Request for Comments” (or “RFC”). We maintain an RFC Library online and this serves as our primary communications means with our stakeholders. Here is an example RFC. Stakeholders (or anyone) can read, review, and comment on our design work and help us refine and tune it to their exacting specifications.
More information can be found in our Public Documents section of this site. And more information is available on our Brief History section and in our Public Relations section.
Gregory is one of two co-founders and Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. based OSET Institute (“OSET”), a non-partisan non-profit 501.c.3 public benefit corporation headquartered in the Silicon Valley. He leads all aspects of the Institute's resource development, corporate partner R&D alliances, public outreach, election official stakeholder relations, and government and legal affairs. OSET is an election technology research and development institute working with elections officials wordlwide to create publicly available election technology that can increase confidence in elections and their outcomes and because we all deserve a better voting experience. The mission is simple: increase integrity; improve turnout; and lower taxpayer cost. The strategy is delivery. To do this, the Institute is tackling the lack of verifiable, accurate, secure and transparent publicly available election technology primarily in the U.S., but with intentions of global availability. The Institute's flagship effort – known as the TrustTheVote Project – is designing and building a next-generation “democracy operating system” called “ElectOS” to serve as a draft standard for critical democracy infrastructure. All software is freely available to any jurisdiction to adopt, adapt, and deploy—most likely through a commercial systems integrator.
Mr. Miller has 30+ years of technical and business experience in computer and information technology. Coming from the world of venture capital, Gregory co-founded the OSET Institute in November 2006. He is a trained computer scientist, with graduate business education, and a law degree focused on intellectual property, technology law, and public policy. Greg’s technical background includes user interface design, object-oriented software development, TCP/IP networking, and distributed systems. Greg has been active in the American Bar Association addressing technology law and public policy issues, including Cyberlaw, Information Privacy & Security, and Internet Governance. Greg is also a member of the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, an election technology security advisor to organizations of the national security community and Congress, and a sustaining member of the Internet Society. Mr. Miller also served on the San Francisco Voting Systems Task Force from 2010-2012.
Gregory’s passion for defending democracy is rooted in a rich history as a 1st generation American, with a family journey escaping Nazi-Germany, immigrating to the U.S., becoming citizens, and serving the U.S. Military (Navy, Marines) in both NGO and enlisted capacities through the end of the Vietnam war. You may wish to read a manifesto of sorts authored by Gregory and co-founder and CTO, John Sebes here.
John is one of two co-founders and Chief Technology Officer ("CTO") for the U.S. based OSET Institute (“OSET”), a non-partisan non-profit 501.c.3 public benefit corporation headquartered in the Silicon Valley. He leads all aspects of technology strategy, vision, architecture, engineering and development for the TrustTheVote Project – the flagship effort of the Institute.
OSET is an election technology research and development institute working with elections officials across the country to create publicly available election technology to increase confidence in elections and their outcomes and because we all deserve a better voting experience. The mission is simple: increase integrity; improve turnout; and lower taxpayer cost. The strategy is delivery. To do this, the Institute is tackling the lack of verifiable, accurate, secure and transparent publicly available election technology primarily in the U.S., but with intentions of global availability. The Institute’s flagship effort – known as the TrustTheVote Project – is designing and building a next-generation technology framework called “ElectOS” to serve as a draft standard for critical democracy infrastructure. All software is publicly available to any jurisdiction to adopt, adapt, and deploy—most likely through a commercial systems integrator.
Prior to the TrustTheVote Project, John has been a software developer, technical consultant, and CTO, working in several areas, including network infrastructure, application frameworks, embedded systems, critical infrastructure, data center operations, with strong common themes of risk management, security, privacy, and reliability. Innovation and technology transfer have been another consistent theme, in settings as varied as government-funded R&D, venture-backed start-ups, professional services, academia, and non-profits.
For parts of his career, John provided independent consulting services related to information security and IT operations assurance, for a variety of organizations ranging from technology start-ups and venture capital firms to major government agencies and established financial services firms. At other times, John has been a Principal Investigator in R&D projects, ranging from DARPA projects performed in the pre-Web era, to recent work with DHS on public (open source) security technology.
He has been working in the non-profit world with a focus on election technology for over a decade, partly from a desire to do public service with his professional skills, and partly because it is a surprisingly good fit for several seemingly disparate parts of John’s work history and interests. John’s passion for defending democracy is based on a rich history as a 1st generation American, with a Hungarian family history rooted in escaping Nazi-occupied Europe.
Previously CTO at Solidcore Systems, Inc.; VP Strategy at Securify; Technology Officer of Network Associates Labs; and variety of consulting, development, and R&D management roles at commercial InfoSec pioneer Trusted Information Systems.
John is a co-author of 12 patents and 20+ publications