Wired is reporting that the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation has announced the first release of Linux- and Ruby-based election management software. This software should compete in the same realm as Election Systems & Software, as well as Diebold/Premiere for use by County registrars. Mitch Kapor — founder of Lotus 1-2-3 — and Dean Logan, Registrar for Los Angeles County, and Debra Bowen, California Secretary of State, all took part in a formal announcement ceremony. The OSDV is working with multiple jurisdictions, activists, developers and other organizations to bring together 'the best and brightest in technology and policy' to create 'guidelines and specifications for high assurance digital voting services.' The announcement was made as part of the OSDV Trust the Vote project, where open source tools are to be used to create a certifiable and sustainable open source voting system.
Awesome news. I got to see a presentation by and talk to the folks from Trust the Vote at the Open Source Bridge conference earlier this year, and it's an astonishing effort and the one (that I've seen anyway) that is actually starting to succeed.
Yes, there is a MASSIVE amount of red tape involved with getting voting machines certified (and justifiably so), but this is a huge, huge step in the right direction.