December 24, 2008

Exploring the Development of a Government Sponsored Voting System for America

Two things got me thinking early - very early, this morning about counting the votes. The first event was the simple posting of the "Count the Votes" poster below this blog entry. Another event took place at my house last night when a group of us got into an energized conversation about voting in America. One of my relatives said something like, voting and health care should not be profit driven industries because they are too important for the people. 

That comment got everyone started on the question of, "should the private sector be involved in the counting of votes?" (These kinds of pre-holiday conversations could only happen at a Registrar of Voters' house, right?).

The conclusion of most of those in my living room was no - the private sector should not be counting votes. It should be the job of government to develop and maintain vote counting software whose accuracy could be verified by citizens. 

Through the posting of a count the votes graphic and a conversation on vote counting, an idea came to me. 

Here it is - the Make Voting Work project should assemble a representative group of smart people from the National Association of Secretaries of State, the National Association of State Election Directors, the National Association of Election Officials, the League of Women Voters as well as the Election Assistance Commission and concerned citizens to analyze the idea of a government sponsored voting system development project. 

The best minds in the Silicon Valley along with academics and computer scientists, working collaboratively with election experts and other interested folks, should be able to come up with recommendations on this important topic - especially as the voting machine market continues to consolidate.

Words of wisdom from the poster, "Count the Votes or Lose the Voters." 

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