Open source could fix e-voting flaws, California secretary of state says - Network World

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen argued Thursday that open source software can help fix some of the flaws in electronic voting systems, which have proliferated throughout the country since the 2000 election yet been criticized as unreliable.

Software that designs ballots and operates electronic voting machines would benefit from more scrutiny, Bowen indicated during a panel discussion on e-voting at EmTech, the Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT. As secretary of state, she is able to examine the code of proprietary software under nondisclosure agreements, but privileged information about voting-software flaws is not easily accessed by the general public or many county workers given the job of purchasing voting machines, she said.

“I have a separate set of documents that only I can see, that tell me what some of the flaws are related to proprietary software,” Bowen said, arguing it would be better to disclose all the details of the software through an open source model.

Voting machines are purchased by individual counties, rather than the state, and in many cases the people purchasing these machines don’t have any good way to verify their reliability, Bowen said.

Open source could fix e-voting flaws, California secretary of state says - Network World.

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