California: San Francisco sets sights on open source voting by November 2019 | The San Francisco Examiner

San Francisco could have an open-source voting system in place by the November 2019 election, under a plan approved earlier this month by the Elections Commission. The timeline could result in the emergence of San Francisco as the leader of the open-source voting movement in the United States. For supporters of open-source voting, the importance of that point can’t be underscored enough. “San Francisco could help write some U.S. democracy history with its leadership role,” said a Nov. 18 letter to the Elections Commission from Gregory Miller, co-founder of the Open Source Election Technology (OSET) Foundation, a collection of executives from top technology companies like Apple and Facebook. “And the total estimated cost to do so [$8 million] is a fraction of status-quo alternatives.” Open-source voting systems bring a greater level of transparency and accountability by allowing the public to have access to the source codes of the system, which is used to tabulate the votes. A system owned by The City could also save taxpayers money.

Argentina: Police raid programmer who reported flaw in Argentinian e-voting system | Ars Technica UK

Local police have raided the home of an Argentinian programmer who reported a flaw in an e-voting system that was used this weekend for local elections in Buenos Aires. The police took away all of his devices that could store data. According to a report in the newspaper La Nación, Joaquín Sorianello had told the company MSA, which makes the e-voting system, about the problem after he discovered information on the protected Twitter account @FraudeVotar. This revealed that the SSL certificates used to encrypt transmissions between the voting stations and the central election office could be easily downloaded, potentially allowing fraudulent figures to be sent. Sorianello told La Nación that he was only a programmer, not a hacker: “If I’d wanted to hack [the system], or do some damage, I wouldn’t have warned the company.” He also pointed out that it was the @FraudeVotar account that had published the information, not him. As a result of the police action, he said he was “really scared.”

Editorials: Government’s voting source code secrecy is dumb and dangerous | ZDNet

Here’s an idea for streamlining our national elections. Once people have voted, how about we scoop up all the ballot papers, put them into a big sack, and hand it to a group of masked strangers? They take the sack away somewhere — somewhere secret, so no-one can interfere with them — and some time later they return and just tell us who won. I reckon it’d be cheaper and a lot less trouble for everyone than all this slow, manual counting in front of scrutineers, right? No? Don’t like it? Well, boys and girls, given that the Australian government is refusing to show us the source code for the Australian Electoral Commissions’s EasyCount software, that’s pretty much exactly how your votes for the Senate are being counted right now. Your Senate votes, the ones where you’ve carefully specified your preferences for dozens of candidates, go into the black box of EasyCount, magic happens, and out pops the result.