04 July 2007

e-voting source code disclosures

Efforts by Microsoft and a few vendors of e-voting technology recently failed to amend New York state legislation in a way that would have weakened source code escrow provisions.

New York state passed legislation in 2005 requiring that e-voting software source code be placed in escrow for examination. Microsoft (whose Windows operating system is used by some e-voting products) lobbied to amend that legislation. This amendment would have exempted code not specifically designed for voting technology. I suppose this would have made it easier for Microsoft and the e-voting vendors to claim that most or all of their code is to generalized to be considered voting-specific, and would therefor be exempt from examination.

California has similar source code disclosure provisions regarding e-voting technology. One e-voting vendor (Election Systems & Software) had been holding out for months, but recently (and grudgingly) turned over their source code to the California Secretary of State.

Looks like event Presidential candidate John Edwards is getting into the act.

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