No access to code in eVoting case

No access to code in eVoting case

Summary: A district court of appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that denied access to the source code of he iVotronic touch-screen systems made by Elections Systems & Software in a contested election for a Florida U.S.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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A district court of appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that denied access to the source code of he iVotronic touch-screen systems made by Elections Systems & Software in a contested election for a Florida U.S. House seat.

Christine Jennings, who lost the race by 369 votes claims that the iVotronic machines caused nearly 18,000 votes to go uncounted. She'd asked that the machines source code be made available for examination to determine whether a technical malfunction had caused the undervote.

The ruling of the lower court was that Jennings wanted access to ES&S trade secrets "based on nothing more than speculation and conjecture" and that allowing access to the source code "would result in destroying or at least gutting the protections afforded those who own trade secrets."

It's unclear how a third party examination would, on the face of it, cause those trade secrets to be lost. The appeals court merely ruled that the plaintiffs had not met the "extraordinary burden" of showing that the lower court had "departed from the essential requirements of law."

A three-member task force appointed by the U.S. House Committee on Administration is continuing to look into the undervote and what might have caused it. Since the disputed election, Florida has banned touch screen voting machines.

Topic: Hardware

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  • Closed Source for Voting, Anyone?

    Where are all of the fans about how closed source products are the pillars of capitalism while open source is regarded as communism?

    [i]"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." - [b]Josef Stalin[/b][/i]

    Regardless of what your political party affiliation is you should be very concerned about possible errors or even manipulation of the vote count for your elected representatives.

    Other democratic countries don't seem to have this problem with voting machines as with the United States. Most still use paper ballots or in the case of Australia open source software for their voting machines:

    http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2003/11/61045

    These machines run software called eVACS from a company called Software Improvements on Linux boxes. Anyone can download and view the source code:

    http://www.elections.act.gov.au/Elecvote.html
    MisterMiester
  • It's not 'get out the vote, it's 'suppress the vote' to win

    When you look at what has happened to the "mainstream" media's failure to report this story in depth, it goes right along with impeaching a president against the vast will of the American people, suing all the way to the Supreme Court in 2000 to make a ruling that the state of Florida did not have the right to interpret its own laws (but ONLY in that one case, none before or after), and cheerleading us all the way into war, it's really sad that now we have conservative judges who continue to rule that VOTES SHOULD NOT BE COUNTED OR RECOUNTED, and doing so is illegal.

    Osama, Stalin, and Bush are laughing their asses off.
    zaine_ridling