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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Newsforge - April 5, 2004
Could open source elections close out hanging chads?. Via Slashdot /.

Article about use of open-source systems including CanVote, and also the Australian system, discussion of US electronic voting tech issues.

"We started out with a customer rather than a technology," said [CanVote creator] Church, referring to the local government. "We didn't have a lot of money or time. We were trying to figure out how to get phone, Internet, and go. We didn't want to go back to paper ballots. We wanted something different, something better."

1. Different is not necessarily better.
2. Creating in a rush is not the best way to create election-quality technology.

And while security may be the biggest issue in general with election systems and software, Church said the local Canadians were more concerned with putting something in place in time for polling.

This pretty much confirms my impression of the people running these bold technology experiments.

The following is appalling.

CanVote's Church readily acknowledged that the complexity and security needs for the local elections in Ontario pale in comparison to the initiative-laden, multiple-candidate, multiple-race elections that take place in the States. "Our elections are much lower profile elections," Church said. "The security thing is nowhere near as big an issue as it would be for Americans. In our case, it was kind of like, if a mayor doesn't get elected, nobody cares."

I care.
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