Reinventing How America Votes Through Open Source Solutions

Deborah Bryant (Red Hat), Joseph Hall (Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University), Gregory Miller (Open Source Digital Voting Foundation)
Location: D138
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 6 ratings)

The condition of America’s voting systems is well known: only two major vendors remain with solutions that are black box and proprietary, and there is little assurance of accuracy, transparency, trust, or security. The TrustTheVote Project is a groundbreaking effort comprised of four big ideas:

  1. Elections systems should be publicly owned, open source, and transparent;
  2. The only way to achieve accuracy, transparency, trust, and security is to engage stakeholders in a community effort to drive the requirements and specifications for a system framework that can be tailored to each jurisdiction;
  3. Such a system must be designed and built as a series of independent “lightweight” single-purpose components and not a single monolithic system; and
  4. Such a system, despite the capabilities of digital innovation, must produce a paper record of the cast ballot and transparent audit loops for the entire process.

This session provides an overview of an imperative public digital works project: an established effort to re-invent how America votes in a digital democracy. Its not online voting, but it is rebuilding America’s voting systems infrastructure into an open source, publicly owned platform. It is an imperative project for us all, because how America votes has become just as important as who America votes for.

Photo of Deborah Bryant

Deborah Bryant

Red Hat

Deborah Bryant is senior director of open source and standards (OSAS) at Red Hat. The OSAS team is dedicated to ensuring that its upstream communities are wildly successful and that Red Hat is appropriately involved in the standards bodies that influence Red Hat’s products. This is done through direct participation in projects, supporting community events, providing infrastructure and other project resources, and helping to promote projects to ensure their use and attraction of future developers. Deborah’s 20-something-year background in tech spans three industries: private industry and startups, the public sector and government, and education. She’s long been an advocate of open source adoption, governance, policy, and economic development.

Deborah serves on numerous boards and councils with public trust agendas and an emphasis on open source as enabling technology, including on the National Steering Committee for Open Source for America, as board adviser to Open Source Digital Voting Foundation, and on Code for America’s and IntraHealth International’s Open Councils. She also serves as an Open Source Initiative (OSI) board director. In 2010, Deborah received an O’Reilly Media Open Source Award in recognition of her contribution to open source communities and advocating the use of free and open source software in government.

Photo of Joseph Hall

Joseph Hall

Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University

Joseph Lorenzo Hall recently graduated with his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Information working under information law professors Pamela Samuelson and Deirdre Mulligan. Hall started a postdoctoral research position at the Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) at Princeton University this past Fall. Hall’s academic focus is on mechanisms that promote transparency, as core functions of our government become digital. His Ph.D. thesis used electronic voting as a critical case study in digital transparency. Mr. Hall holds master’s degrees in astrophysics and information systems from UC Berkeley and is a founding member of the National Science Foundation CyberTrust ACCURATE Center (A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable and Transparent Elections). He served as a voting technology, policy and law analyst on the teams that conducted the California Secretary of State’s Top-To-Bottom Review of voting systems and Project EVEREST, Ohio’s review of its voting systems.

Photo of Gregory Miller

Gregory Miller

Open Source Digital Voting Foundation

Greg is a Co-Executive Director of the OSDV Foundation. He brings 24+ years experience in the tech sector, divided between software development and technology business development. He is also a (non practicing) IP lawyer involved in Internet & technology public policy. His technical experience is in user interface, distributed computing, and digital security. He has significant product management/marketing experience in large firms and start-ups. He’s spent the past 7 years in VC sector advising start-up ventures. Greg’s interests in voting technology and digital democracy have become his pursuits.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Gregory Miller
Gregory Miller
07/22/2010 9:10am PDT

Tim- Thanks. Yes, that would have been nice, but we relied on Bryan Sivak to make a comment about us. It would be a huge help, however, if you could forward that feedback to the conference organizers! Good news is we will be presenting at Gov2.0 in the fall in D.C.

Picture of Joseph Hall
Joseph Hall
07/22/2010 8:31am PDT

So true, Tim. We had thought it would be more like 50 minutes, so were were caught a bit off-guard. Anyway, if you’d like to discuss further with any of us, just get in touch.

Tim Diaz De Rivera
07/22/2010 8:09am PDT

Greg, you should have had a speaking slot during the keynotes! There was just not enough time to discuss the many issues.

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • (mt) Media Temple, Inc.
  • ActiveState
  • CommonPlaces
  • DB Relay
  • FireHost
  • GoDaddy
  • HP
  • HTSQL by Prometheus Research
  • Impetus Technologies Inc.
  • Infobright, Inc
  • JasperSoft
  • Kaltura
  • Marvell
  • Mashery
  • NorthScale, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • OpSource
  • Oracle
  • Parallels
  • PayPal
  • Percona
  • Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc.
  • Rhomobile
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • SourceGear
  • Symbian
  • VoltDB
  • WSO2
  • Linux Pro Magazine

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at

Download the OSCON Sponsor/Exhibitor Prospectus

Media Partner Opportunities

Download the Media & Promotional Partner Brochure (PDF) for information on trade opportunities with O'Reilly conferences or contact mediapartners@

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at

OSCON Newsletter

To stay abreast of conference news and to receive email notification when registration opens, please sign up for the OSCON Newsletter (login required)

OSCON 2.0 Ideas

Have an idea for OSCON to share?

Contact Us

View a complete list of OSCON contacts