Thursday, January 05, 2006

Voting machine source code must be made open

WTN News • Published 01/04/

Madison, Wis. — Among the 15 bills governor Jim Doyle signed into law on Wednesday will require the software of touch-screen voting machines used in elections have its source code opened up to public viewing.

Municipalities that use electronic voting machines are responsible for providing to the public, on request, the code used.

Any voting machines to be used in the state already had to pass State Elections Board tests. Electronic voting machines, in particular, already were required to maintain their results tallies even if the power goes out, and to produce paper ballots that could be used in case of a recount. The new law also requires the paper ballots to be presented to voters for verification before being stored.

But of this bill's provisions, perhaps the more influential in a wider sense is the requirement that municipalities provide source code, and the more general condition that "the coding for the software that is used to operate the system on election day and to tally the votes cast is publicly accessible and may be used to independently verify the accuracy and reliability of the operating and tallying procedures to be employed at any election."

The bill passed the Assembly 91-4 and the Senate 29-2.


Let's all move to Wissonsin. Better yet, demand these changes to your local elections processes. Better hurry.


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