California Experiments with Open-Source Voting

After spending tens of millions of dollars in recent years on ineffective voting systems, California election officials are planning to experiment with an open source system that may prove to be the cure-all for secure, accessible balloting – or just another expensive failure.

Most computer programs, such as the Microsoft Windows or Apple OS X operating systems, are “closed source” programs. That means the original computer code only can be examined by the program’s owners, in these cases Microsoft and Apple. “Open source” means the original computer code is made public so it can be used and examined by anyone, in particular to find security holes.

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