Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Open Source Election Software and Liquid democracy

I just hope there will be more intelligent software that eneables MORE VOTING, more INFORMED voting.

Nation’s First Open Source Election Software Released

* By Kim Zetter Email Author
* October 23, 2009 |
* 12:14 pm |
* Categories: E-Voting, Elections



LOS ANGELES — A group working to produce an open and transparent voting system to replace current proprietary systems has published its first batches of code for public review.

The Open Source Digital Voting Foundation (OSDV) announced the availability of source code for its prototype election system Wednesday night at a panel discussion that included Mitch Kapor, creator of Lotus 1-2-3 and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; California Secretary of State Debra Bowen; Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan; and Heather Smith, director of Rock the Vote.

The OSDV, co-founded by Gregory Miller and John Sebes, launched its Trust the Vote Project in 2006 and has an eight-year roadmap to produce a comprehensive, publicly owned, open source electronic election system. The system would be available for licensing to manufacturers or election districts, and would include a voter registration component; firmware for casting ballots on voting devices (either touch-screen systems with a paper trail, optical-scan machines or ballot-marking devices); and an election management system for creating ballots, administering elections and counting votes.

“How we vote has become just as important as who we vote for,” Miller told the audience of filmmakers and technologists who gathered at the Bel-Air home of film producer Lawrence Bender to hear about the project. “We think it is imperative that the infrastructure on which we cast and count our ballots is an infrastructure that is publicly owned.”

Miller said the foundation wasn’t looking to put voting system companies out of business but to assume the heavy burden and costs of research and development to create a trustworthy system that will meet the needs of election officials for reliability and the needs of the voting public for accessibility, transparency, security and integrity.

“We believe we’re catalyzing a re-birth of the industry … by making the blueprint available to anyone who wants to use it,” Miller said.

The foundation has elicited help from academics and election officials from eight states as well as voter advocacy groups, such as Rock the Vote and the League of Women Voters, to guide developers in building the system. Technology bigwigs such as Oracle, Sun and IBM have also approached the group to help with the project.

“That was unexpected,” Miller said.

The code currently available for download and review represents only a small part of the total code and includes parts of an online voter registration portal and tracking system, election management software and a vote tabulator. Prototype code for producing ballots has been completed and will be posted soon. Code for auditing is still being designed.

The voting firmware and tabulator program are built on a minimized Linux platform (a stripped down version of Sharp) and the election management components are built with Ruby on Rails.

The foundation already has California, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington interested in adopting the system and is in talks with 11 other states. Florida, which has been racked by voting machine problems since the 2000 presidential debacle, has also expressed interest, as has Georgia, which uses machines made by Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems) statewide.

“Currently two vendors impact 80 percent of the vote” nationwide, Miller said, referring to Premier/Diebold and Election Systems & Software, which recently merged in a sale. But if all the states that have expressed interest in adopting the open source system follow through with implementing it, about 62 percent of the nation’s electorate would be voting on transparent, fully auditable machines he said.

The foundation is especially interested in getting a system that would be workable in Los Angeles County, the nation’s largest and most complex election district with 4.3 million voters casting ballots in seven languages.

“If Los Angeles County figures this out, we will have solved the problems for the rest of the country,” Miller said.

Kapor called the project “a breath of fresh air” and said it symbolized the kind of “disruptive innovation” that has characterized all of the best technological developments over the last thirty years.

Photo (left to right): Dean Logan, Mitch Kapor, Heather Smith, Debra Bowen, Gre

liquid democracy


A democratic system in which most issues are decided by direct referendum. However, since no one has time for this, you can delegate your votes. Here’s the cool part; you can delegate your votes on a certain topic to one person, and then delgate your votes on another topic to someone else. And delegations are transitive; you can delegate to someone who delegates to someone else, etc, in which case your votes will flow to whoever is at the end of the line. Of course, you can “un-delegate” at any time.

So, say you don’t know much about the space program – you give your votes on things relating to the space program to someone who has similar political views to you but who knows more about the space program (and they can pass the vote on if they choose).


  • solves the “ordinary people have no time to learn about every issue” problem.
  • Can be thought of as RepresentativeDemocracy?, but finer-grained: you don’t have to elect just one guy to represent you on every issue, you can have different specialists for different issues.
  • The vote could be “live”- Not just one tally of the votes. Rather, the vote can “ongoing.” In this system, you could change your vote at any time.
  • It will be easier to have an effect on the political process. Right now, you might care about specific issues, but you can only exert a major effect by helping to get a candidate elected. If you fail to get the candidate elected, the effort you expended is mostly lost. And if you succeed, most of the effect of your effort will go into influencing other issues that the candidate stood for, rather than the issues that you cared about.

:With LiquidDemocracy, you can have an effect on some decisions without, for example, having to convince more than half of the voters in your state to vote Republican.

    • Possibly, this will lead to less voter apathy
    • Avoids GerryMandering? in the process of choosing representatives
    • Makes it easy for experts to vote on issues that they are expert about.



  • abstimmungen von wissens-test begleitet ... wissenstest der zwar nicht das abstimmungsergebnis beeinflusst, aber durch zusaetzliche statistik das ergebnis bewertet. zB 69% der leute die fuer mehr kriegsschiffe stimmten lagen falsch was die menge der vorhanden kriegschiffe angeht.

damit jeder nur einmal abstimmt:

  • biometrie fuer anonymitaet. Fuss+ellbogen+andere hierarchisch unnuetze biometriemekrmale mit fuzzy-logic... ein mensch ist sein eigenes passwort, seine daten werden nicht gespeichert. Er ist der Speicher.


er ist wichtig einen mechanismus zu finden, mit dem jeder waehlen kann, und gleichzeitig anonym bleibt. Loesung: Stimm-berechtigung tauschen mit jemandem!)

  • Eine Nummer (lang, diese nummer ist das passwort) - handy eintippen, waehlen, fertig, wo ist das problem? Jeder muss halt auf seine (getauschte) nummer aufpassen. Diese nummer wird mittels obigem ellbogen-fuss-abdruck-fuzzy biometrie-scanner erzeugt.
http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/Benutzer_Diskussion:Y23 piraten pirat


Liquid democracy is a group-decision-making method that works as a sort of "direct democracy for people who know they're not experts on a subject, but know of people that they trust who who know more about a subject than themselves". Questions are settled by asking everyone... but many people's answer will be "whatever X says".

It works by enabling people to solicit recommendations on how to vote from people they trust. So, people who know nothing about foreign policy but really like the slogan "America first" can get vote recommendations on that subject from people who agree with the basic thrust of those values but who actually know pundits or experts on a given subject who *also* agree with the attitidue - but with serious expertise brought to bear on a given topic (for example "American foriegn policy towards Syria with an 'America First' perspective"). The specific experts may know about areas of American-Syria relations that are apolitical but require enormous knowledge (say, estimates of military capability) and get vote recommendations on these sub-domains from experts who don't share their values... while knowing just as surely that questions about which factions in Syria to *support* is more of a values thing that they'll handle themselves.

In fact, one of the original influences on Liquid Democracy was the desire to replace the chain of command in a military situation with something more efficient and flexible. The idea was that if hierarchy in such a vital situation could be outcompeted on a power versus power basis by something less hierarchical, then hierarchical social decision making system in general would have less credibility.

Superdemocracy geheime Abstimmung stimmabgabe wahlen voting wählen vote votingright electronic democracy secret ballot elections. In geheimer Abstimmung und öffentlichen freien Wahlen Grundgesetz demokratieverständnis democrazy Abstimung Walen Urabstimmung elective informierte Wähler und Wählerinnen Rechtsstaat rechtlich go to the polls referendum plebiszit Verschlüsselte PGP Wahl Superdemokratie abstention Stimmenthaltung Meinungsmache Wahlrecht stimmen franchise suffrage plebiscite electroal college votecaster hanging chad punchcard electronic polling card ballot paper balloting erneut abstimmen vote out vote down niederstimmen überstimmen herauswählen Meinungsumfrage hineinwählen schnell abwählen Meinungsänderung auslaender wahlkampf participation
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