With the presidential election coming up in 2016, many constituencies are looking to how they can use technology to streamline the voting process. Security of the voting system – both with and without technology – remains a question. One method gaining support is to secure the voting process by moving to open source software. The TrustTheVote Project wants open source technology used from the top down, in voter registration, voter information services, ballot design, the foundations of ballot tabulation, election results reporting and analysis and elements of auditing. The initiative is the flagship project of the Open Source Election Technology Foundation (OSET), which wants to have a demonstrable impact on the 2016 elections. “Our nation’s elections systems and technology are woefully antiquated. They are officially obsolete,” Greg Miller, chair of OSET told the Anne Babe of the Huffington Post.
Three companies, Election System and Software (ES&S), Dominion Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic, dominate the voting machine market and have little incentive to update their systems, reported Babe. Further, election data standards are at least a decade old. The result is that election administrators are buying outdated machines.
Moving to an open source format would encourage tech-savvy groups and individuals to verify the integrity of the voting system, assure accountability and get more voters to the polls. The idea is that the more widely available open software is, the more scrutiny it will receive, the more flaws will be surfaced and the stronger the code will be. “Make that machine a glass box instead of a black box,” said Miller. But open source code isn’t always regularly reviewed nor is its security verified. Such assumptions can lead to vulnerabilities, like the Heartbleed bug.
In lieu of actual voting technology, a popular tool being adopted by jurisdictions around the country is electronic polling books. E-poll books allow election officials to review and process voter information but not actually record or count votes. Currently 30 jurisdictions use e-poll books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Full Article: Voting technology: Is it secure yet? — GCN.