Viewing entries in
Voting System Technology

Comment

A Call for the President to Act on Electoral Integrity Preparedness

Its not common for us to wade into policy issues of our U.S. President's Administration, but given how much we've witnessed regarding foreign meddling in the 2016 election cycle, we believe its well within our mission scope to comment today on this nation's preparedness regarding our election infrastructure in upcoming elections.....

Comment

Comment

Response Letter to POLITICO Article on Critical Election Infrastructure

Below is a letter sent to Tim Starks and Cory Bennett of POLITICO, who cover cyber-security issues.  There seems to be some fundamental misunderstandings of the challenges local election officials (LEOs) face, the process by which the equipment is qualified for deployment (albeit decrepit archaic technology by today's standards), what the vulnerabilities are (and are not), and why a designation of "critical infrastructure" is an important consideration.  We attempt to address some of those points in this response to Tim's otherwise really good coverage....

Comment

Comment

Finally, Gov Starts Talking About Critical Democracy Infrastructure

This week the Government started earnest discussions about election infrastructure as possibly rising to the level of critical infrastructure.  Like us, we think they're sensing that this coming general election is ripe for disruption, both from foreign operator but potentially even domestic actors.  We think this is a great idea, but not without the required action to make it really happen.  Designations are start, but there is a bunch of work to be done...

Comment

Comment

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...

Comment

Comment

A Hacked Case For Election Technology

A credible election technology company makes an incredible assertion, and the result is our CTO hot-in-pursuit of some intellectual honesty.  The good news: the conversation is growing on the emerging issue of America's crumbling election technology infrastructure.  The bad news: articles like the one reviewed by our CTO, particularly when published by a respectable online scientific journal create a "reality distortion field" resulting in "sound-bytes" that can mislead policy makers, politicians, and less informed pundits.  Result: degradation of the signal to noise ratio and a hacked case for election technology.  Read on, for a dose of intellectual honesty from our Chief election technologist...

Comment

Comment

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.

Comment

Comment

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.

Comment

Comment

Automatic Voter Registration: Oregon Governor Signs Bill to "Just Do it."

Oregon relying on its pioneering heritage and Nike spirit says, "Just Do It" for automatic voter registration. And this move seems to provide a worked example for our CTO's recent blog post about the technical simplicity to do so.  Oregon already being a vote-by-mail state with online voter registration to boot, was likely able to benefit from those prior innovations.  But regardless, as our Foundation's Secretary and General Counsel points out in this post, its a smart move...

Comment

Comment

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.

Comment

Comment

The Moose Lurking in the Room

To hec with the elephant (regardless of who you think will control Congress after election day), the real beast in the room may be a Moose -- Alaska style.  Our CTO notes an article from yesterday that points out how Alaska's close U.S. senatorial race, combined with their allowing ballots to be digitally returned across the Internet, may pose the greatest threat to a derailed election we've seen yet. 

But the real point John makes is that sadly, Alaskan voters may not even be aware of the risks and who in this case is watching over their ballots -- at least those returned in the inherently insecure manner of the Internet, no matter how "secure" the "experts" are claiming the process to be.  If the ballot return system in Alaska were truly as secure as their vendor claims, then Banks would be using their methods, and the massive amounts of hacked customer personal information at major brands this year might have been alleviated.  Have a look and give us your take.

Comment

Comment

OSET Featured on TechCrunch

OSET Foundation Board Member Chris Kelly, a Silicon Valley venture investor and philanthropist, and former Facebook exec, pens an op-ed for TechCrunch on the Election Day 2014.

Comment

Comment

Three-Step Test for "Open Source"

To our elections official stakeholders, Chief Technology Officer John Sebes covers a point that seems to be popping up in discussions more and more.  There seems to be some confusion about what "open source" means in the context of software used for election administration or voting. That's understandable, because some election I.T. folks, and some current vendors, may not be familiar with the prior usage of the term "open source" -- especially since it is now used in so many different ways to describe (variously), people, code, legal agreements, etc. So, John hopes to get our Stakeholders back to basics on this.

Comment

Comment

Online Voting Remains Too Much of a Downside Risk

To our stakeholder community: So now comes another study about online voting. But this one, from a respectable think tank in Washington D.C., shouldn’t make election administrators worry too much. No need to brace for a legislative blunder, so long as this paper is taken seriously, as it should be. On the other hand, there doesn’t yet appear to be a replacement for your DRE machinery for those of you still relying on them.  Here's our "take."

Comment

Comment

“Digital Voting”—Don’t believe everything you think

In at recent blog post we examined David Plouffe’s recent Wall Street Journal forward-looking op-ed [paywall] and rebalanced his vision with some practical reality.

Now, let’s turn to Plouffe’s notion of “digital voting.”  Honestly, that phrase is confusing and vague.  We should know: it catalyzed our name change last year from Open Source Digital Voting Foundation (OSDV) to Open Source Election Technology Foundation (OSET).

Comment

Comment

David Plouffe’s View of the Future of Voting — We Agree and Disagree

David Plouffe, President Obama’s top political and campaign strategist and the mastermind behind the winning 2008 and 2012 campaigns, wrote a forward-looking op-ed [paywall] in the Wall Street Journal recently about the politics of the future and how they might look.

He touched on how technology will continue to change the way campaigns are conducted – more use of mobile devices, even holograms, and more micro-targeting at individuals. But he also mentioned how people might cast their votes in the future, and that is what caught our eye here at the TrustTheVote Project.  There is a considerable chasm to cross between vision and reality.

Comment