As countries around the world modernize their public elections process, the big problem with electronic voting machines is that the market is moving slow to provide equipment which fulfills all of the requirements for a fully democratic election. In many cases, printed proof of a citizenís vote is still needed, in case the machine has buggy software or if there is suspicion of fraud. This problem, amongst others, are being floated around the voting machine industry. The Secretary of State from California, Debora Bowen, spoke at EmTech (Emerging Technologies Conference) and said that if the e-voting machines used free software, they would be easier to certify as trustable.
She explains that the county decision-makers who are responsible for choosing an e-voting solution for their political jurisdiction have a hard time with proprietary, closed voting machines because they canít see the code to certify their reliability. It has being proved, that the most popular (and proprietary) electronic voting machines have security holes. And, with a bizarre twist added by intellectual property laws, not only the code but even the voting data submitted to the machine belongs to the e-voting machine company ó and not the state or the people, a problem faced in Ohio when a government audit of Diebold voting machines was attempted. Whatís worse, Diebold has a proven history of lying followed by cover-up attempts through censorship (in a case that involved the Community Colo in the SF Bay Area).
Bowen believes that if the code is not closed by copyright, the government can analyze the system and certify that it is secure enough to be used during a election.
Showing that in some was the United States needs to catch up to democratic innovations, Latin America has already chosen free software for their voting machines. In Brazil, the government migrated all of its e-voting machines to free software, after months of audits by different authorities and experts and, this year, state elections will use the free software system. Read Full Article