Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Tablets and Open Source Voting Software

Yesterday on NPR, they had a short piece on iPad Voting. I don't like modern voting machines because of the closed nature of their software; very few people know what is going on inside those things.

If I had my way, the voting software would be written as an open source project. The voting machines would be common hardware that could be used in schools after election season. On Election Day morning, representatives from all interested parties would download the source from the project's site, build, run unit tests, install the software and generally verify that the software is correct.

The hardware would probably be tablet computers. Right now the market would be iPad, Android and, coming soon, Windows Metro. I would imagine that each vendor would sponsor voting machine projects that use their hardware. When the local community center would buy tablet computers of some after school program, the quality of its open source voting software may affect the buying decision. You wouldn’t need to buy new hardware every election cycle, schools could go without the iPad for the first week of November (“Hey kids, this is a ‘yellow pad’, we used these in the 20th century”).

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