Sequoia opens kimono with e-voting code handout

Sequoia opens kimono with e-voting code handout
Sequoia opens kimono with e-voting code handout 

By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
The Register
2nd December 2009

Sequoia Voting Systems has become the first electronic voting machine 
maker to publish the source code used in one of its systems, a move that 
computer scientists have praised.

On Monday, the Denver, Colorado company released the first batch of code 
for Frontier, an end-to-end e-voting system that it plans to begin 
selling in the near future. Sequoia has promised to release the 
blueprints for 100 per cent of its system software, including firmware, 
before the system is submitted for federal certification in June.

To be sure, the initial installment is fairly mundane: code written in 
Microsoft's C# programming language that acts as a desktop publishing 
program of sorts for controlling the layout of a ballot. But the move 
represents a seismic shift in strategy for Sequoia, which in the past 
has gone to great lengths to keep third parties from reviewing the inner 
workings of its machines.

"They completely reversed their viewpoint from a viewpoint that was very 
much closed source to a viewpoint that is very much disclosed source," 
said Jeremy Epstein, a senior computer scientist at SRI International 
and an e-voting consultant.


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