(1) a prototype of open-source software for voting machines (2) an electronic voting machine that prints a paper ballot, (3) a ballot verification station that scans the paper ballot and lets a voter hear the selections, and (4) stations with functions to aid visually impaired people so they can vote without assistance. Open source means that anyone can see how the machines are programmed and how they work.
Very cool stuff. You can even try a ballot via this web-based demonstration. The demonstration allows you to cast a fictional ballot and then generate a printable document. The document is approximately what you would get out of the real system if this were actually used.
This is the thread in the Slashdot article about Open Voting Consortium.
You can read the comments on Slashdot that discuss the OVC.
A few points worth mentioning:
- The actual hardware can be cheap, commodity systems.
- The actual ballots are printed, submitted ballots that are readable by both computers and humans.
- Ballots that have not been submitted are of no risk to anyone.
The nice part about this is you don’t necessarily have to vote anywhere. You could vote on your cell phone, print it, and submit it. Some jurisdictions in the USA already allow (and encourage) voting by mail.
The goal of the new voting movements (some of which aren’t so new) are generally to increase turnout, simplify the process, increase integrity of the process, and enhance the results of voting. I’m all for it.