See my prior post regarding openness and America, and why Open Source Software (OSS) is a good fit for American elections.

This addendum was going to start out with requirements for OSS election software, and a description of current OSS systems. That is, until I started researching the possibilities. I discovered a brand new free offering by Microsoft called ElectionGuard. As I’m convinced that it will dominate, I’ve decided to focus on it.

So, what is ElectionGuard? It’s software that election officials can implement and use on their own hardware, update the software on their existing hardware, or buy bundled with election systems from any major election system vendor.

ElectionGuard has numerous features. It can make tracking the progress of an election easy for the general public, ie, just check the web site. It can make verification of a voter’s vote simple by typing into the website an identifier on the voter’s receipt. All the security and privacy concerns have been addressed. It’s been audited, with many more audits to come as Microsoft is encouraging audits even as classroom projects.

ElectionGuard’s features can be summarized as… verifiable, Secure, auditable, and open source, and simply makes voting better.

ElectionGuard is free and open source, MIT licensed. That means that anyone can use and distribute the software, even commercially, with essentially attribution being the only requirement.

In May 2019, Microsoft announced ElectionGuard. In July 2019, they demo’ed it. In September 2019, they released it. The timing could be better. It’s not going to be there for the 2020 US presidential elections, other than maybe a few test locations. Starting with the election cycles in 2021, expect to start seeing ElectionGuard at a polling place near you.

ElectionGuard’s GitHub is located here.

Keywords: CyberSecurityRecap election presidential president government senate congress senator congressional

Troy Frericks.
blog 30-Oct-2019

Written by Troy Frericks

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