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Open Source Digital Voting: Overview of Data Format Definition Positions and Activities

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Open Source Digital Voting: Overview of Data Format Definition Positions and Activities. JOHN SEBES Chief Technology Officer OSDV FOUNDATION NIST Common Data Format Workshop October 2009. Outline. “Position” responses to RFP

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Open Source Digital Voting:Overview of Data Format Definition

Positions and Activities

JOHN SEBES

Chief Technology Officer

OSDV FOUNDATION

NIST Common Data Format Workshop

October 2009

outline
Outline
  • “Position” responses to RFP
    • Various opinions on how to develop Data Format Definitions (DFDs) incrementally in the context of the TrustTheVote Project
    • Example of “specific points in the architecture”
  • Overview of one current activity:
    • Online voter registrar services
    • Voter registration request data format definition
    • Toward interoperation between 3rd party registrars and state digital voter registration systems
position responses to rfp
Position Responses to RFP
  • Flexibility and Extensibility
    • Incremental; use EML where appropriate; define extensions needed to U.S.-specific needs; incremental
  • Human and Machine Readability
    • Don’t be dogmatic about DFD syntax – XML, YAML, CSV
    • Implement data import/export in whatever syntaxes are needed by partners in interoperability projects
  • Factor-out Mechanisms for Data Provenance
    • We already know how to digitally sign/verify XML/CSV/etc
  • Broad Scope for DFD Work
    • Voter registration, election data management, ballot design, ballot casting and counting, auditing
  • Initial Focus on only specific points in architecture
    • See architecture picture later: registrar/DVRS; EMS/BDS; BDS/PCOS
position responses to rfp 2
Position Responses to RFP (2)
  • Initial Focus on only specific points in architecture
    • See architecture picture later: registrar/DVRS; EMS/BDS; BDS/PCOS
  • Scope to Include Log Data
    • Externalized for broad use
    • Not “low level and useful only for auditing”
  • Broad Scope for Publication and Transparency
    • Not limited to publication of election results and related election evidence such as ballot images
    • Example: VIP; perhaps every transaction on a DVRS?
  • Limited Scope for Audit of DFDs & Instances
    • Auditing considered not as a requirement for data representation, but for software that uses data formats as needed for audit support SW features
  • Initial Focus on interoperability, not conformance
    • But some outliers, e.g. EML 6.0 530
position responses to rfp 3
Position Responses to RFP (3)
  • What data to represent in near term?
    • Based on initial focus on only specific points in architecture
    • Q: What architecture?
    • A: Consider TTV architecture as an example
  • Some types of data related to this example:
    • Voter registration request record
    • Voter record, state ID record, poll book extract
    • Precinct address list
    • Jurisdictional ballot configuration data
    • Ballot definition
    • Ballot counting device recorded vote data
    • Ballot counting device log data
current activity
Current Activity
  • Third Party Registrar
    • On-line data collection, checking, form prep
    • Form printed, signed, mailed
    • Paper form data entry – already collected data ;-(
  • DFD: Voter Registration Request
    • Externalize on-line collected data
    • Interoperate with DVRS
    • Eliminate re-keying data, reduce work load, error rate
    • Level of effort reduced from person-years to person-weeks
  • Status: Draft DFD Requirements Document
    • Covers both domestic and UOCAVA cases
    • Prototype efforts from real online registrars (RTV, …)
    • Need to scope P.O.C. efforts with jurisdictions
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