Notes from New Standards for Elections
The variety of perspectives offered by the panel helped ensure the discussion ranged over all of the problems facing election standards. Besides some initial logistical issues with not properly cutting off speakers at 10 minutes and the room being a little too warm, my congratulations to the organizers for putting on a top notch program.
Below are notes I took during the various speaker presentations, along with some personal interjections. I'm going to separately post my thoughts on the topic sometime in the next couple of days. These are not direct quotes and most likely don't accurately capture what they said. If I've completely missed the point on something let me know. Please see the evote-mass.org site for general program information and speaker bios.
There isn't much awareness for the P1583 effort. I for one had never heard of it before this.
Various parties all want their hands in the new election standards. 3000 election officials want the status-quo since it works for them now. Vendors what the standard to position their product favorably so they have a jump on the gun once it is released. Activists and researchers are also bringing various agendas to the table to promote their cause or work.
Important not to ignore the economics of elections. While this point is valid, I don't think it should be the focus.
Need to be careful of a standard that limits what can be done (prevent thinking outside the box). I view this as a balance between a rigid standard and a minimum set of requirements (which vendors can individually improve upon to distinguish their product).
EAC should be serving as a national voice for these issues but it is slated to disband in the near future.
Voting is still a state issue, nothing has really been enacted at the federal level.
New standards were not used until 2003. This led to grandfathered systems and systems purchased with funding tied to new standards that are not compliant with those new standards.
Key issues include security, auditing, reliability, and potential issues with COTS products (ala Windows).
While the standards may include tests, quite often the tests are bad, or not open enough to allow new faults to be found that would allow revoking certificates since most receive a lifetime certification.
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