Older blog entries for jermnelson (starting at number 0)

This is a quick (and my first) Journal entry. It is really in response to last night's concession and acceptance speeches for the United States' Presidency and how it presents a great opportunity for the Open Source Movement.

Following President Clinton, and others' call for a "commonsense bipartisan election reforms", we should focus on building an open-source solution for voting, collecting, and tabulating votes. As the source code would be open for all to see, it would avoid the criticism of digital manipulation that could arise from closed source software. This brings up a number challenges for all of us:

  • The technical solution should be robust and inexpensive to deploy
  • Both the raw votes and the tabulation data MUST be open for all.
  • The technical solution must be easy to use and deploy. We have to focus on inexperienced users and their needs and not on our bias.
  • We must partner with receptive politicians, no matter their party affiliation or politics. This is supercedes both.
For too long we in the technical community (be it open- source developers, hanger-ons like myself who work as developers in corporate IT departments, and the great CS academic faculty and students) have absconded our civic responsibilities. Let us show the world the power and freedom open source has in contributing to democracy. We have arrived and we as community are more then the work engines of the world's information infrastructure.

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