oldVote

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 world.

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.

openVote

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:

Now, there is a chance that this project gets hijacked by lots of entrepeneurs who want to make money on it. I need some money to survive. So I would not appreciate such initiatives.
Yet, the alternative (continuation of the oldVote by the oldVote companies and closed source everything) is more frightening than the possible loss of some euro's. I'm going to take that risk in favor of democracy, the free world and mankind.

openVote : Concept

The concept of openVote is simple:

One such voting machine would cost the taxpayer:

Equipment Cost (€)
Computer 200
Touchscreen 500
Printer 100


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