. Legislation Favored by Open Voting Consortium | Open Voting Consortium

Legislation Favored by Open Voting Consortium

The Open Voting Consortium is a 501 (C6) Non-profit organization, which allows it to promote legislation. We are helping shape Open Voting legislation in 2006 and you need to stay tuned to help us lobby for its passage.

2006 California Open Voting Legislation: Every California voter has the right to know that votes are accurately recorded and counted. This bill would:
  1. Voting Software Audit: Require vendors to disclose all technical details when applying for state certification for a voting system. The Secretary of State would manage a process whereby citizens can obtain technical information free of charge, including computer source code, relevant to voting systems under review for certification as well as systems that have obtained state certification. This public review process shall be in place by June 30, 2007. In the event that a vendor of a system certified before June 30, 2007 refuses to comply with disclosure requirements, their system(s) shall be decertified. The Secretary of State shall ensure that a suitable replacement be available.

  2. Funding: Require that to the extent that they are available for the purposes of this article, federal funds or the Voting Modernization Fund, a special fund, shall be used. The bill would prohibit the expenditure of General Fund moneys for these purposes.

  3. Local Impacts: By increasing the duties of local elections officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that the Legislature finds there is no mandate contained in the bill that will result in costs incurred by a local agency or school district for a new program or higher level of service which require reimbursement pursuant to these constitutional and statutory provisions.

Senate Bill 370 (SB370)

October 2005 - In October 2005, SB370 was signed into law. This measure, which was supported by OVC and sponsored by Senator Debra Bowen, works in conjunction with SB 1438 that was passed in 2004 and reuqires paper ballots. SB 370 requires that the voter-verified paper audit trails printed by direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines be used in conducting the mandatory audits that are already required of all voting systems in California, as well as for any recounts that result from those audits. SB 370 will help to verify the accuracy of the electronic vote tabulations generated by electronic voting machines. Like SB1438, SB370 doesn't solve all the problems but it's an incremental step toward what OVC sees as major progress. See text of SB370.

Assembly Concurrent Resolution 242 (ACR242)

September 2005 - Assembly Resolution for Open Source Voting Software California was passed by both the California Assembly and Senate. Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg was the original sponsor and her consultant Bob Reid presented the bill with OVC president Alan Dechert and Assistant Secretary of State Willie Guerrero testifying in favor. This resolution calls for the Secretary of State to investigate using open source software in public elections and to report back to the Legislature by January 1, 2006, a deadline the SOS failed to meet (see Press page). See text of ACR242.

Senate Bill 1438 (SB1438)

September 2004 - SB 1438 was passed into law in late September 2004 and requires that voting machines in California provide for a voter verified paper record of the vote (by 2006). OVC played a significant role with this landmark bill. We helped draft the wording (previously, the bill contained a very bad definition of DRE that would have confused compliancy). Also, as with ACR 242, OVC President Alan Dechert testified (along with Bob Kibrick of Verified Voting, Bev Harris, and Jim March of Black Box Voting) before the Senate Elections committee, answering several crucial questions for the Senators. Dechert began contacting legislators about the problems with paperless voting beginning in December of 2000, with many personal meetings with legislators and staff taking place March through May in 2001. See text of SB1438.
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