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The Open Voting Consortium to demonstrate free election software on April 1st, Santa Clara
by repost
Monday Mar 22nd, 2004 6:14 PM
The Open Voting Consortium will demonstrate a version of its
free election software on the 1st of April at 10:00 AM in the Santa Clara County government office
openvotingconsortium M22 Release - San Jose CA Software Test april 1st"

Monday, March 22, 2004
Alan Dechert 916-791-0456 Jan Kärrman +46 18 509 507 (Sweden, 10a-1p Pac.)
Arthur Keller 650-424-0202 Fred McLain 206-679-2198 (Washington)
Doug Jones 319-335-0740 (Iowa) David Mertz 413-863-4552 (Massachusetts)
Laird Popkin 917-453-0700 (New York) all can be reached via email: firstname [at]

Doug Jones’s Voting Page:

Alan Dechert’s talk at UC Santa Cruz:

Paul Andrew’s column today in the Seattle Times:

GRANITE BAY, CALIFORNIA — The Open Voting Consortium will demonstrate a version of its
free election software on the 1st of April at 10:00 AM in the Santa Clara County government office
building, 70 W. Hedding St., room 157, San Jose. The Open Voting Consortium intends to make free
voting software available for use in public elections to begin a process founders hope will transform
the voting system from a fraud-prone, blackbox, proprietary, expensive, idiosyncratic, unreliable
system to a technically sound, accurate, secure, inexpensive, uniform and open voting system.
An international team of volunteer scientists and engineers developed the demonstration
system. Jan Kärrman of Sweden, a senior research engineer at Uppsala University says that the role
of the U.S. internationally “makes it important, outside the U.S. as well, that fair elections are being
held there." John-Paul Gignac of Canada wrote the software for the graphical user interface. Anand
Pillai of Bangalore India, Eron Lloyd of Pennsylvania, and Dr. David Mertz of Massachusetts have
been the other main software code contributors. Fred McLain, a noted computer security expert
from Washington, has served as the lead developer over the past two months. “I am very pleased
with the outstanding contributions of this world wide group of contributers. In a short period of time
they have created a ballot system with a paper trail, an outstanding verification system and allow for
vision impaired users as well,” McLain stated.

A simulation of the poll-site voting machine is available on the Internet. Users can print the
same ballot as with the standalone voting machine, or they can view the ballot on the screen. “We’re
happy to make this available,” says Laird Popkin, a software wizard from New York who developed
the user interface for the Internet simulation. “This really helps people to get what we’re talking

“Voters should not be fooled into thinking their vote is secure with paperless electronic
voting machines. We need a system like the Open Voting Consortium is developing that produces a
paper ballot that voters can see, touch, and verify before placing in the ballot box,” according to Dr.
Arthur Keller, who teaches computer science at UC Santa Cruz, and serves as Vice President of the
Open Voting Consortium. Professor Douglas W. Jones, a University of Iowa computer scientist and
often-quoted expert on voting technology, agrees: “It’s too easy to fool with a purely electronic
record. We need a physical token to represent the vote so that it can be checked by ordinary human
beings. We also want a system where all aspects of the system are open to public inspection so we
can be sure everything is above board.” Dr. Jones is also the Chief Technology Officer and Vice
President of the Open Voting Consortium.

“We are not in favor of having a public process run by private companies that want to keep
everything a secret," says Alan Dechert, President of the Open Voting Consortium. “It was wise to
commit serious funding to modernize the voting system. But it would be foolish to spend all the
money on immature technology that will be obsolete in a few years. We advocate spending a small
percentage of this money on a comprehensive scientific research and development project that will
give us the best possible voting system.” The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) earmarks
nearly four billion dollars for voting modernization. Over $1.5 billion has been appropriated for this
fiscal year. “We are working with universities in several states to get this project launched. Iowa
State University and the University of California are leading the way, with strong teams developing
in Illinois and Nevada, so far.”

The Open Voting Consortium is a Nonprofit California Corporation dedicated to the
development, maintenance, and delivery of open voting systems for use in public elections.

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