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The Election officials in Los Angeles County gave final approval, last Tuesday, to a new system of counting ballots, named “Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) Tally 1.0”. The VSAP Tally 1.0 system is created to make the upcoming elections more secure.

The new tally system, VSAP Tally 1.0, is an open-source platform that runs on technology owned by the county instead of a private vendor. This is the first publicly-owned, open-source election tally system certified under the California voting system standards.

The certification process of VSAP Tally 1.0 involved rigorous functional and security testing conducted by the Secretary of State’s staff as well as a certified voting system test lab. The testing ensured that the new system complies with California Voting System Standards (CVSS).

According to Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, “With security on the minds of elections officials and the public, open-source technology has the potential to further modernize election administration, security, and transparency — the newly designed VBM is the first step in implementing a new voting experience for LA County voters that is more accessible and convenient.”

John Sebes, the chief technology officer, Open Source Election Technology Institute, points out that ” their intention is to make it freely available to other organizations, which it is not as of now. It’s open source in the sense that it was paid for by public funds and the intent is to share it.”

The certification of the VSAP Tally 1.0 solution enables the Los Angeles County to move forward for November 6, 2018, General Elections, with its newly redesigned VSAP Vote by Mail (VBM) ballots.

“This is a significant milestone in our efforts to implement a new voting experience for the voters of Los Angeles County. The VSAP Tally System ensures that the new Vote by Mail ballots cast in the upcoming November election will be counted accurately and securely”, says Dean C. Logan, County Clerk.

No information on how they plan to verify these votes has been disclosed yet. Also, even though the VSAP Tally 1.0 is an open source system, there are no codes made available on GitHub so far.

For more information, be sure to check out the official press release.

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Tech writer at the Packt Hub. Dreamer, book nerd, lover of scented candles, karaoke, and Gilmore Girls.


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