Election Security and Consulting

$80,000 goal

Campaign created 3 months ago
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Voting system vendors installing pcAnywhere on voting machines only represent the most recent news in a string of election security failures.  We clearly need adherence to real, effective election security models.

To this end, I have decided to start a business providing election systems and consulting.  This will be a B-Corporation—a for-profit entity dedicated to serving the public benefit—seeking to cut election costs and maximize election integrity.

I will use the initial funds to establish the business as an LLC and B-Corporation, to fund software development and a prototype Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), and to produce outreach and educational material about election integrity  and voting methods.

The software will be public source code under a permissive MIT license and run on Alpine Linux or similar.  The business will use contracted programmers or donate to groups such as Code for Baltimore and leverage volunteers.  It will belong to the world, not to a single corporation or developer, and open to the inspection of voters so they may trust their representation in any election.

I can't do it alone; I need your donations and your help to protect our democracy from manipulation and from the sheer lack of confidence that convinces people to simply not vote.  Our government cannot be of the people, by the people, and for the people unless our elections represent the will of the people as a whole.

Election Integrity

I have written about election integrity, both in terms of protecting against tampering and maximizing voter representation.  Both are necessary to protect our democracy.

Integrity against tampering begins and ends at the ballot box—or the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).  Security to the Board of Elections (BoE) ensures we can count the election; the ballots, however, must be verifiable well before then.

Election staff must demonstrate the integrity of EVMs by installing a published, unadulterated system image at election open.  They must demonstrate verifiable vote counts on these machines, without connecting the EVMs to any network.  In this way, public observers can validate the published ballots and recount the election.

With the ballot integrity so protected, our concern shifts to other types of tampering.  Consensus election methods, such as Condorcet voting rules, prevent common election attacks involving adding or removing candidates or manipulating a few swing voters through well-timed propaganda.

Election Costs

Current EVMs typically cost between $2,500 and $3,000 , if not more.  The State of Maryland spent $65 million on EVMs in 2002 and $28 million to replace them for the 2016 election.

The prototype EVM should cost around $150, and the final product around $120.  Maryland should spend only $2 million for these machines, which should have a ten-year lifespan at least.  Statewide elections should cost less than $1 million per cycle, including consulting.  Although this includes audio output, braille interfaces—one per polling center—would add $2 million to the state's upfront costs, and should themselves last for several elections.

The State of Maryland estimates costs for deploying a ranked ballot vote in Montgomery County  at nearly $1 million for the first election and $500,000 for each election thereafter.  Statewide, that would amount to $4.5 and $2.5 million!  Our EVM software will support various types of voting rules, and can reconfigure with zero marginal cost.

I would quite enjoy providing  further financial consulting and optimization.  States can provide better service and send their tax dollars toward schools and infrastructure instead of bloated election services.

I envision providing EVMs and Internet-based voting services to parliamentary groups such as community associations, museums, political parties, and non-profit organizations.  This more-efficiently uses business resources to draw additional revenue, lowering the prices we can offer to governments.

About John

I'm John Moser!  I have a background in system administration, computer security, and project management.  Much of the work I've done has centered around controlling risk, and I've seen election systems built with an obvious lack of risk controls and threat models.  This lead me to election security and, ultimately, to seek to improve our Nation's election integrity.

I also consider government waste a human rights violation:  government exists by the will of the people to provide for the public welfare and to protect the right to life, liberty, and property.  If a government takes 10% of the people's livelihoods—their work, their labor, their money—and provides services which we can today produce for only 5%, the government is unjustly depriving the governed of property.  It is the duty of government to ensure every dollar spent extends as far as possible, providing the maximum benefit for the taxes taken.

These principles have lead me to this venture:  to strengthen our government's response to the will of the people and to reduce the public expense of elections while expanding the service provided.
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$80,000 goal

Campaign created 3 months ago
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