Meeting Minutes: February 8, 2018 (approved March 8, 2018)
City and County of San Francisco
Don Chan, Secretary
Christopher Jerdonek, Chair
Larry Bafundo, Vice Chair
Open Source Voting System Technical Advisory Committee
of the San Francisco Elections Commission
Thursday, February 8, 2018
City Hall, Room 421
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, California 94102
Order of Business
1. Call to Order & Roll Call
Member Wasserman (in the absence of Chair Jerdonek and Vice Chair Bafundo) called the meeting to order at 6:08 p.m. Present: Members Hage, Kattouw, Wasserman. Excused absences: Chair Jerdonek, Vice Chair Bafundo. Also present: Secretary Chan.
Member Hage moved that Member Wasserman chair the meeting in the absence of the committee’s Chair and Vice Chair. Member Kattouw seconded. The vote was unanimous to approve.
2. General Public Comment
There was no public.
3. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting
Secretary Chan apologized for not having gotten the draft to the members before the meeting. The minutes were reviewed by the members and corrections and amendments were made. Member Kattouw moved to approve the draft January 15, 2018 meeting minutes with the discussed amendments. Upon voice vote the motion carried 3-0.
Public comment: None.
Member Wasserman has an engagement on February 21 so cannot attend the Commission meeting. Neither can Member Kattouw. Both are available for the March 21 meeting. Member Bafundo will be asked if he is available for February.
Member Hage reported that he has been working with Chris on the site and was able to replicate the build environment. The website and code for building it has been updated.
Member Kattouw mentioned that the next Committee report will be due to the Elections Commission sometime in April so it can be discussed at the next Committee meeting.
5. Member Reports
Member Hage found more information on what New Hampshire did with Prime III (now called “One For All”). The New Hampshire Secretary of State wrote to CAVO promoting their system. It might be useful for Chair Jerdonek to speak with him.
Member Kattouw reported that he has been ill and hasn’t gotten done with his “to-do” list and will report back the next meeting. He agreed that Chair Jerdonek is probably the best person to try and touch base with the New Hampshire Secretary of State for more information.
Member Wasserman attended a US Digital Services presentation at Stanford. They appear to be doing okay under the current administration. One speaker there was an expert on RFP’s and might be a resource for the Committee on how to do agile procurement in government projects.
The RFP for the interim voting system (in the packet) was not fully reviewed, but there were some interesting portions discussed by the Committee members (e.g. regarding open source).
Member Hage asked what equipment is used to examine, manage, and open vote-by-mail ballot envelopes, whether that software is part of the Dominion voting system or is a separate component, and whether the Committee wants to address this topic.
Member Wasserman pointed out a discrepancy in the return email address in the RFP. Overall the Committee had positive comments and noted that when Member Bafundo attends the Commission meeting he should relay the Committee’s compliments on the RFP to the Commission.
Public comment: None.
6. Project Background and Terminology
Member Hage reviewed his “diffs” (included in the agenda packet). He said there is a demo of Prime III that they can run and see how it works, and also explained other changes offered to the Committee’s website. Member Kattouw found it satisfactory and moved to approve it, seconded by Member Wasserman. Upon voice vote the motion carried 3-0.
Public comment: None.
7. Project Management and Procurement
The members discussed how to proceed with the topic of procurement. Member Wasserman will contact the person from the US Digital Services organization to see if a video conference can be set up for a future meeting. He will confer with Member Bafundo about this.
8. Equipment Decisions and Implementation Plan
The Committee reviewed Member Hage’s document. He said it starts with “Key decisions.” He changed the wording in 126.96.36.199 (use of the word “accessible”). They looked at section 188.8.131.52 the word “early/or” might be “and/or.” That was the intended meaning from Member Hage.
The members read the document section by section and followed with comments:
Member Kattouw referred to the last bullet point of 184.108.40.206 (… vote by mail ballot … and no need for electricity to cast a vote) and suggested this be put somewhere else.
Member Wasserman suggested new wording for the Heading of 5.3.1: “Should precinct polling and Vote Centers use the same paper ballot as those used for vote by mail?” For 220.127.116.11, “Should ballots that are hand-marked be pre-printed or printed on demand?”
Member Wasserman brought up the question of whether an election could be held without electricity. It was suggested that this is a higher-level policy question for the Commission. The Commission’s position on this is unknown. The members discussed different characteristics of scanner/printers used. No conclusion was reached.
Member Wasserman, regarding 18.104.22.168, move the words “is used” to after the parentheses.
Mr. Jim Soper said there was no mention of provisional ballots. Member Hage will add clarification to this item in “voting types.” Mr. Soper also mentioned the absence of citing a ballot marking device in 22.214.171.124.
Further edits were made. There was a mention of using singular vs plural nouns/pronouns.
Member Kattouw raised a point for the 5th “pro” (… precinct vote counts are available at the end of the day …) that the results are essentially the same with an optical scanner.
Member Wasserman suggested the word “create” rather than “make” in “Background” and to change the phrase “election day machines” to “machines used on election day.”
Mr. Jim Soper said there is no statement of keeping a running count total of votes, or audit records of each voting machine.
There was a discussion regarding how this could be done and whether this is a desired or necessary item. Member Hage said they should probably put pros and cons for that in another decision point.
Member Wasserman suggested consistency in the use of the terms CVR and Cast Vote Record in 126.96.36.199. Similarly, with the term “digital CVR” and “electronic CVR.”
- #10, regarding batteries, there were no comments.
- #11, Member Wasserman suggested an introduction stating non-exclusivity.
- #12 what ballot size does SF use?
- #13 add “options include” above the colon; also mention duplex printing by inkjet printers.
- #14 after the quote, put “(RADVM / RADM).”
- #15 randomization of ballots?There was a short discussion on this question and privacy of voters.
- #16 do open data rules have an impact on this? Member Kattouw said San Francisco is required to do CVRs. Chair Jerdonek might be able to answer or get answers to this item.
Member Wasserman commented that this is the overarching question on voting integrity and capturing the actual vote. Member Wasserman posed that this is one of many questions – whether end-to-end verifiability is desired or even possible, vis-à-vis open data rules and voter privacy, etc.
Member Wasserman said that it was important to make it clear that the Committee has looked at this thoroughly and is aware of other work being done on this issue. Member Hage mentioned that he inserted a piece on Los Angeles’s usability of mail ballot design.
Member Wasserman thanked Member Hage for his work on this document and recommended approval of it with edits. Member Kattouw moved to approve this section with amendments. Member Hage seconded. Upon voice vote, the motion carried 3-0. Member Hage will submit this for the committee’s Git repository, and further review and revision may occur.
Mr. Jim Soper said “end-to-end verifiability” depends on what you define it as. He stated that he saw a State document that listed what documents are not public records (and thus not accessible through FOIA), but ballot pictures are not on the list. He was in support of ballot images.
9. Committee Recommendations
There was no discussion regarding this topic.
Public comment: None.
10. Topics for future discussion
Member Kattouw will attempt to complete the writing of the diffs he had noted down previously (e.g. reproducibility). Member Hage offered to collaborate with Member Kattouw on the topic of security and encryption.
Mr. Jim Soper mentioned that California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) is working on a risk-limiting audit (RLA) bill. It appears to be a difficult task due to various counties’ unwillingness to participate. There was a question of what the current law regarding audits was.
Adjourned at 8:41 p.m.