20051003

Doing voter ID the fair way.

I happen to agree, that as currently proposed by the republican state legislature, voter ID is a bad idea. IDs should not be an impediment to voting, rather the ID process should be integrated into the voting process. Here is my suggestion.

Each voter should provide a picture and a valid address. This does not need to be done at the Department of Motor Vehicles, because we have the technology to do this at the polls. Why pictures? Unlike ID cards ... faces are harder to forge. Put into a central database, no cards to carry, no forgeries. Suspect fraud ... check the pictures.

All we need is a digital camera and an Internet connection at each polling place with a connection to a centralized database. Do the whole thing using public domain, open source software and we can kick Accenture out of the voting process.

My view is that this can be done as a University Wisconsin gradute student project.

What do we need?

Internet connectivity - Avalible at most every tradition polling location given that polls tend to be at school and fire houses.

DVDs - No Internet ... no problem ... use DVD ROMs for lookups and use paper (recoring the image number from our digital camera snapshot) for input. A ward's worth of data should fit on a DVD without a problem.

A large scalable database - check out Postgresql - it is scalable, supports replication and it is free.

An easy to use interface - It’s called web pages.

Hardware - Yahoo! and Google have been built using cheap Intel systems, running FreeBSD or Linux - sounds like a workable model to me.

No cushy contracts for big political donors.

Build an open sources system based on open systems architecture and the Internet, and in the process save thee taxpayers millions.

See also

http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/policy/2004/04/26/ovc.html
http://openacs.org/forums/message-view?message_id=18195
http://www.linuxdevcenter.com/pub/a/linux/2002/07/16/drake.html?page=2

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