Openness is the word that best describes this era. We, the people, demand the same level of openness from our
rulers as was laid upon us by these same rulers. No more backroom talks. No more whealing and dealing inside
political parties. No more old boys networks that run this economy. No more old boys networks that run this
In my country (The Netherlands) the government was elected by means of voting machines. These were partly mechanic and partly electronic black boxes with lots and lots of pushbuttons. The voter would push the button and a light would flicker briefly. Your vote was cast.
But would my vote end up in the party that I selected? Was there some kind of software trick to manipulate the outcome in favor of the programmer's preferences? There was no option to do a recount. The machine was holy. The machine was made by NedAp. If you doubted the machine, you were in deep shit.
Lucky for us, there was this former dutch cyber anarchist listening to the name Luke Skywalker, sorry, that's another story, our hero was Ron Gonggrijp. Ron got hold of an old Nedap machine and put it to the test. It was disassembled mechanically and electronically. The processorboard was an antique MC 68000 board. They disassembled the ROM codes. No real caveats were discovered. Only some serious security risks. The secret password used to be 'SECRET'. In capitals.
Lucky for us, Ron played dirty. He pointed a big Yagi aireal to the Nedap and started monitoring. And when the elector chose a member of the 'CDA' party, a burst of noise entered his aireal. And hence, he reasoned, a villain could find out what a person has voted. And hence the secret ballot was violated. And hence the Nedap was against the law.
Of course this is no sound technical reasoning. It is a mere influencing of politicians. The real problem is the lack of accountability. The only way to do a recount of one machine is by doing a full re-election all over in the country, thereby assuming that all people would duplicate their initial votes. A dangerous assumption.
Dutch politics decided the Nedap machines unwanted. But there are no others. Not because Nedap has a monopoly on these, but merely because the old boys of politics only ordered at Nedap. That's not a monopoly. That's just good entrepeneuring. Or bribing. Difficult to tell if your not an incrowder.
There is a company working on new voting machines. And a few days ago the news on the radio mentioned that the
development of the new machines would take another 5 years at least.
Five years to make a voting machine. Sounds ridiculous to an engineer. At least to the kind of engineer that reads these webpages. So I started a new project: openVote. openVote is EVERYTHING that 'oldVote' is NOT:
openVote : Concept
The concept of openVote is simple:
Now, that's a steal! Certainly when compared to a Nedap box that took 100+ manyears of development. €800 for one openVote machine. Add some engineering charges (I was thinking of €0.05 per voter) and you're ready for the future.
Page created 3 April 2009 and