The software utility, eVote and the eVote clerk, injects true democracy and deliberation into our real-world landscape.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Technical Guidelines Development Committee

Here is the text of the resolution that passed yesterday by the Technical Guidelines Development Committee after the initial
resolution was rejected on Monday:

"Election officials and vendors have appropriately responded to the growing complexity of voting systems by adding more stringent access controls, encryption, testing, and physical security to election procedures and systems. The TGDC has considered current threats to voting systems and, at this time, finds that security concerns do not warrant replacing deployed voting systems where EAC best practices are used.

To provide auditability and proactively address the increasing difficulty of protecting against all prospective threats, the TGDC directs STS to write requirements for the next version of the VVSG requiring the next generation of voting systems to be "software independent. The TGDC directs STS and HFP to draft usability and accessibility req. to ensure that all voters can verify the independent voting record. The TGDC further directs STS and CRT to draft requirements to ensure that systems that produce the independently verifiable voting records are reliable and provide adequate support for audits."

This Technical Guidelines Development Committee resolution does not require that any existing voting systems be "software independent", but does require this for the upcoming 2007 voluntary voting system standards. Existing systems do not ever have to meet the new standards unless individual states require it.

Hence, we'll need the US Congress to pass legislation requiring software indepence and funding systems that are fully auditable (optical scan paper ballot systems) to replace any unauditable systems like the paperless DREs used in MD, GA, and parts of PA and FL (and other places).

That is why these 15 recommendations for federal legislation to ensure the integrity of our democracy are so important to let our congressional representatives and senators know about:

and why it is important to require sufficient, transparent, independent, manual audits. It is important not to proscribe a fixed audit percentage, but rather proscribe a fixed probability for manual audits to detect outcome-altering vote miscount (say 95% or 98%) like that described here;

Best Regards,

Kathy Dopp
National Election Data Archive
Dedicated to Accurately Counting Elections


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