On 7/19/17, this ‘Position Piece’ went to all USA counties’ election officials to explain what they need to understand about our voting system issues, and available, secure solutions:
Dear Staff :
We are the pioneers of “open source voting ” methodology utilized to secure United States elections. Currently our advocated systems are partially deployed in New Hampshire and slated for California and Texas.
Please see www.navo-us.org
The science of election system software is clear. Microsoft and ” secret software ” vendors must stand aside to allow for GPL open source /publicly owned voting systems. The political pressure exerted by the vendor community has effectively blocked best practices toward national security
Here is a note from Brian Fox –
“One of the biggest fallacies that I’ve encountered in discussions with people about open source software is that is it considered less secure than closed source, proprietary software. “You can’t let just anybody look at the software,” I hear. “Bad guys will find and exploit bugs in it!” Fortunately, these people are dead wrong. You see, bad guys do bad things, like not respect your privacy or license, or hack into your company in order to find bugs in your software and exploit them. Keeping software proprietary and hidden that should be completely transparent and in the public trust, only prevents good guys from seeing it – the bad guys aren’t stopped by your desire to keep it private.
Now, for any random piece of software, the number of users that might take the time to understand the source code in its entirety, and then find and fix any potential security holes is pretty small. But for infrastructure level code, that number is much larger. An excellent example of this is the Debian distribution of GNU/Linux, in which security issues are paramount, and a close working relationship exists between the CVE, and Debian is represented on the Board of the Open Vulnerability Assessment Language project.
Another common fallacy is that open source means that nobody can make money from it. Once again, this is completely false. Entities that utilize open source software still need all of the other things that software companies provide – maintenance, security releases, version management, packaging, installation and configuration, and documentation for various use cases. Publicly traded companies such as RedHat make these components the basis of their business. And other companies, such as Cisco and Belkin utilize open source within their products.
We need transparency, security, and faith in our election systems. We need to know that each vote is counted as cast. And today, we do not know that with certainty. In fact, there is a large amount of circumstantial evidence that points to the exact opposite. Our voter rolls have been hacked. Our election system software suppliers have been hacked. We have hundreds of machines that have documented anomalous behavior. The right way for us to protect ourselves from outside actors who would take away our democratic process is to ensure that each and every step, every touchscreen or tallying machine, every chain of custody, is transparent to all of the voting population, with validation checks and audits as part of our normal process. We need digital signatures and fingerprints for our software so that we can know exactly what version of software is running on a specific machine, and that those binaries were created from a known specific set of source code files. We need the ability for any member of our community to be able to audit the code that is being used to create the infrastructure that is our country’s election systems – the backbone of our democracy.
I’m Brian J. Fox, a computer programmer and open source advocate. I started creating open source software in 1984, and some of that software (e.g., the Bash shell) runs on nearly every computer in the world. Without the efforts of the original GNU project, Linus Torvalds would not have decided to write his own kernel called Linux, which was the only component missing from what are now known as GNU/Linux systems.
In 2008, I led the team that created and demonstrated the Dechert Design election system.”
We are available to assist efforts to secure the voting systems. Our team is vetted as having accomplished the heavy lifting pro bono. We are dedicated patriots with no agenda other than the national security.
National Association of Voting Officials
www.navo-us.org ~ 650-726-1133
You can watch a video demonstrating a simple poll site method here.