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Nation's Capital Suspends Internet Voting Trial [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-01-10 03:52 PM
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Nation's Capital Suspends Internet Voting Trial
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What's that? You didn't know they were workin' on Internet voting? Well it doesn't work anyway. But it's NOT going away any time soon!

From The District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics:

Public Examination Period Suspended

Due to usability issues brought to our attention, we have temporarily suspended the public examination test. Thank you for your intereste and participation in improving the functionality of this pilot project.

Screen Shot of the Digital Vote by Mail Application

Public Test of Digital Vote by Mail

The District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics welcomes public examination of Digital Vote by Mail, a first-in-the-nation use of open source technology to provide a secure means for overseas voters to obtain, print and mail their ballot and, if the voter chooses, also digitally mark and return their ballot.

After testing is completed, the service will be made available to overseas voters, who often do not have enough time to receive and return their ballot by mail in the few weeks between the September primary and the November general election. Prior to Digital Vote by Mail, the only option for these voters was to sacrifice the secrecy of their ballot by using e-mail or fax.

Public examination and testing will occur in a mock election to be held beginning Friday, September 24, 2010. Individuals who wish to test and comment on the technology and usability of the application can register using the links at the right to gain access to the application, a complete system architectural diagram, and access to the underlying source code. Credentials are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Using the test credentials, a tester may log in as a fictitious District voter and request, complete and submit an absentee ballot. The Board will compile all test ballots and test the decoding software and back office processes needed to accept and process digitally transmitted ballots. The Board asks testers to thoroughly test the system and disclose any security, programmatic, usability or other functional or design issues they discover in the testing process. All data, hardware and software are logically and physically segregated from all other Board systems. Users will not be held liable for damage resulting from good faith efforts at testing system integrity.

About Digital Vote by Mail

Digital Vote by Mail is a Web-based service that voters can access using their existing PC, Internet service, and Web browser. Voters identify themselves by name, District address of registration, and a PIN provided by the Board to voters in advance of the election. After providing identifying information that matches a voter record, the voter can obtain the appropriate digital ballot for their precinct, with all local contests and candidates. After downloading the digital ballot file, the voter can use a PDF reader to digitally mark the ballot and print it, or to print and mark it by hand. The Digital Vote by Mail service also provides for the voter to return the marked ballot by mail or express service. Voters can also choose to participate fully in the pilot project by digitally marking the ballot and digitally returning it to the Board using the same Web application.

Once the ballot reaches the Board of Elections and Ethics, the same processes are followed as for reviewing all other absentee ballot materials. The Board reviews the voters attestation, and makes the decision about whether the ballot is counted, in exactly the same way as for ballots that are returned by mail. The Digital Vote by Mail system provides Board staff with the ability to review a digital attestation document while preserving ballot anonymity in the same way as for a paper form. Approved digitally returned ballots are printed for counting, and are counted using the same methods as for vote-by-mail ballots.

The District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics is committed to the transparency of election operations and is making available the source code of the Digital Vote by Mail system and documentation of the datacenter operations that support the system as a part of that commitment. For both the mock election and the November general election, the BOEE will publish log information that describes the operation of the each of the components of the system.
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