Charting an open technology path for elections -- Los Angeles County’s new publicly-owned voting solution
The Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) was launched by the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) in 2009 to address an aging voting system and a stagnant voting systems market, and to meet the needs of an increasingly large and complex electorate. Guided by field research, stakeholder and expert advisement, and a set of core voting system principles, the RR/CC has pioneered a voter-centered approach to the design and development of a secure, transparent, accessible, and publicly-owned voting solution built on a non-proprietary, open technology platform with contracted partners. The VSAP is comprised of several components for generating and tallying ballots, accessing and marking an interactive sample ballot that supports military and overseas voters and voters with disabilities through a Remote Accessible Vote by Mail option, and voting in person using a universally accessible ballot marking device. The County desires to share the VSAP innovative design and technology as an open solution that would yield reciprocal benefits for a broader community of users and developers, but also recognizes that elections operate under a state of heightened security and in compliance with regulatory and certification testing requirements. Key to charting an open technology path for the VSAP is defining and instituting a governance model that balances these competing goals.