All of this for me, is a distraction from the real issue, which is how are we going to establish accurate, secure election protocols by the 2018 mid-term elections. Anyone can hack our elections right now: The Russians, Iran, China, Karl Rove, The DNC. Alex Halderman has said straight up that he could do it, probably most of his grad students and the girls from black girls code could as well. It is infinitely more fascinating to speculate on who may have been doing it than to do the nitty-gritty, tedious work of how to prevent it. Yet, that is where we need to put our attention. We have an incredibly narrow window in which to do this work before it will simply be too late to make changes to voting sytems prior to the election. Already Chicago and Maricopa County AZ are in the process of making these decisions.
There are a number of really important areas that need to be researched. If people are interested in assisting with this research - it would be really useful!
1) We need an excel sheet of the laws pertaining to how ballots are counted in each state. Many states have outlawed hand-counting and we need to know which ones, and what the specific regulations are in each state. Someone could start this in a google spread sheet, and others could add in information.
2) We need to research about 7 different emerging voting technologies that are coming on the market. I support hand-counted paper ballots in as many places as possible. Probably that will be in jurisdictions with on average 50,000 votes or less — and not too many referendums on the ballot. Other locales are going to need some kind of mechanism, and it would be good to compare emerging technologies and see which ones offer the most transparency and ability to verify the vote.
Someone could start a google spread sheet and begin listing the parameters that can be compared for each system. This would be tremendously helpful! We can crowd-source this research and get it done more quickly and more thoroughly than anyone could do it on their own. If we can get a spreadsheet in place with basic information and websites of each option — we can take this to a team of computer scientists and ask for more in-depth vetting of the systems.
If you start a spread sheet, please lmk via my website or DM and I will send you an email to add me. Here are the systems that I am aware of currently.
o Clear Ballot – Mark Earley & Ion Sancho may be a source of information on this company
o Clear Ballot has partnered with Voatz – (supporting internet voting- quite risky)
o Jim Keller’s system (photographer/inventor from San Antonio Texas)
o STAR – Travis County election officials & Rice Univ
o Mitch Trachtenberg / Humboldt County system
o TOBI – The open ballot initiative - Ray Lutz, Citizens’ Oversight Projects
o Trust the Vote – Open Source – but available for commercial development
o Some jurisdictions may be developing their own systems- LA & San Francisco are
o A simple off the shelf system that would scan or photograph ballots that could then be counted via spreadsheets, in a system developed by the Michigan Election Reform Alliance, or a slide show method that has been developed by the Wisconsin Election Integrity Action Team, or another protocol.
Thoughts? Willing to help? Please let me know!!