. OVC Cited in Recent GAO Report on Security in Electronic Voting Systems | Open Voting Consortium

OVC Cited in Recent GAO Report on Security in Electronic Voting Systems

From: Open Voting Consortium

The U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) issued their report (GAO-05-956) to Congress on the security of electronic voting systems.

Generally, it's a good report and we're pleased to see it. It affirms that there is a lot of work needed to improve the voting system, and OVC is recognized as working to "Improve Voting System Security and Reliability."

On the down side, the lack of transparency is not seen as a major problem in the report. However, the GAO defers to the EAC for immediate action on standards to improve the current election systems.

The GAO report says Open Voting Consortium, "Developed a prototype for an open-source electronic voting application that uses commercial hardware and operating system components and provides (1) an electronic voting machine that prints a paper ballot, (2) a ballot verification station that scans the paper ballot and lets a voter hear the selections, and (3) an application to tally the paper ballots."

OVC is cited in the GAO report along with Caltech/MIT, National Academy of Sciences, the Brennan Center for Justice (New York University) and other groups such as Verified Voting, VotersUnite!, VSPR, and ACCURATE in the section on "Nongovernmental Initiatives to Improve Voting System Security and Reliability."


Overall, GAO found that "significant concerns about the security and reliability of electronic voting systems" have been raised (p. 22).

GAO indicated that "some of these concerns have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes" (p. 23).

According to GAO, "election officials, computer security experts, citizen advocacy groups, and others have raised significant concerns about the security and reliability of electronic voting systems, citing instances of weak security controls, system design flaws, inadequate system version control, inadequate security testing, incorrect system configuration, poor security management, and vague or incomplete standards, among other issues. ... The security and reliability concerns raised in recent reports merit the focused attention of federal, state, and local authorities responsible for election administration" (p. 22-23).

More specifics were picked out in the Truthout.org article:

Overall, we feel it's great to have this validation of our work and concerns!

Alan Dechert
President, Open Voting Consortium

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