USENIX 2005 Annual Technical Conference, FREENIX Track Abstract
Pp. 163174 of the Proceedings
A PC-Based Open-Source Voting Machine with an Accessible Voter-Verified Paper Ballot
Arthur M. Keller, UC Santa Cruz and Open Voting Consortium; Alan Dechert, Open Voting Consortium; Karl Auerbach, InterWorking Labs; David Mertz, Gnosis Software, Inc.; Amy Pearl, Software Innovations; Joseph Lorenzo Hall, UC Berkeley
Voting is the foundation of a democratic system of
government, whether the system uses direct or representative governance. The
heart of voting is trust that each vote is recorded and tallied with accuracy
and impartiality. There is no shortage of historical examples of attempts to
undermine the integrity of electoral systems. The paper and mechanical systems
we use today, although far from perfect, are built upon literally hundreds of
years of actual experience.
There is immense pressure to replace our "dated"
paper and mechanical systems with computerized systems. There are many reasons
why such systems are attractive. These reasons include, cost, speed of voting
and tabulation, elimination of ambiguity from things like "hanging
chads," and a belated recognition that many of our traditional systems are
not well suited for use by citizens with physical impairments.
However, electronic voting brings a new set of risks and
drawbacks as well as advantages.
In response to the problems and opportunities of electronic voting, the
Open Voting Consortium was established.
The Open Voting Consortium (OVC) is creating an open
source, trustworthy, cost effective, voter verifiable voting system using open
source software components on industry standard computers. A primary element of
this Open Voting system is the use of software through which the voter creates
a printed paper ballot containing his or
her choices. Before casting his or her ballot the voter may use other,
independently programmed, computers to verify that the ballot properly reflects
the voter's choices. The voter may also visually inspect the text printed on
the paper ballot. The paper ballot is cast by placing it into a ballot box.
Once cast, that paper ballot is the authoritative record of the voter's choices
for the election and for any recount of that election. Open Voting ballots are
machine-readable and may be tabulated (and re-tabulated in the case of a
recount) either by computer or by hand.
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