San Francisco, home of the tech startup, is trying to show its tech credentials by becoming the first city to use open source software for elections. The proposal to adopt a solution in time for the end of the current contract on January 1, 2017 reappeared at the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday when Supervisor Scott Wiener called for a hearing on how the city is progressing with the plan to use standard hardware and open-source software to carry out future balloting. The hope is for the city to develop balloting systems that can compete on reliability and security in time for the November 2019 elections. That plan has been a long time in the making. Back in 2013, a bill was passed by the California Senate and signed by the governor, allowing cities to use public funds to “research and develop a non-proprietary voting system.”
Currently, a long-standing contract with Dominion, formerly Sequoia Voting Systems, has seen the city spend just under $20m in nine years, including $6.5m on hardware alone – something that advocates for change say can be drastically reduced by using open-source software and off-the-shelf components.
The Senate bill followed more than six years of efforts by San Francisco residents to move to an open-source approach after it was revealed the previous system’s ancient machines could only read dark colors.
Full Article: San Francisco prepares to open source its voting system software • The Register.