OSDV Foundation and Overseas Vote Foundation to Develop XML Data Model for Online Exchange of Voter Registration Data

Alliance to Provide States a Method to Streamline Voter Registration Processing

 

Minneapolis, MN - July 17, 2009 - In an agreement announced today at the National Civic Summit in Minneapolis, the Open Source Digital Voting (OSDV) Foundation's TrustTheVote Project and Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) will co-develop a new XML data model for the electronic exchange of voter registration data.  The data exchange protocol will significantly streamline, accelerate and improve states’ processing of voter registration forms.  This online data transfer model will make it possible for States to electronically accept registration form data and then rapidly verify the applicant’s record with the physical signed copy as received.

“A known challenge facing states today is the last minute volume of voter registration forms that arrive just days before the registration deadline,” explained John Sebes, CTO of the OSDV Foundation’s TrustTheVote Project.  “Despite the rise in third party registrar services that make registration forms available online, the completed forms must be sent in as hard copy in order to meet the signature requirement. This causes a significant bottleneck in processing the actual form data due to the manual re-keying of the printed data.  All this can be avoided by use of our new proposed standard data format.”
 
"This is a natural and greatly needed development to what we already do for many states," said Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, President and CEO, OVF. "This particular effort to improve the cycle-time for registration will help both election officials and voters."
 
The TrustTheVote Project’s open source digital voter registration system is being built for states’ free adoption and will have the capacity to accept voter registration data online.  Using a scanner, incoming signed registration forms can be immediately reconciled with online data using an XML-based voter registration data model without needing to re-key the printed data.  The XML model also allows states to establish standards for the structure, organization and exchange of this data.

“Working with the TrustTheVote Project allows us to combine their technical expertise and our experience in handling voter registration processes from the unique perspective of overseas voting to produce an open source solution which reflects the missions of both of our Foundations,” added Dzieduszycka-Suinat. Both OSDV and OVF intend to examine other efforts already underway in the definition of voter and election data such as the Elections Markup Language (EML) work of the OASIS Elections & Voter Services Group, and other academic projects.

The OSDV Foundation’s TrustTheVote Project work relies on a stakeholder community of state election officials and other voting systems experts to guide the design and development of open source elections technology, freely available to any state or local election jurisdiction.  By collaborating with this community, called the “TTV Design Congress,” OVF and OSDV can produce a data model that will best reflect the needs of the states.  The open source XML voter registration data exchange model will be available by the end of 2009 with iterative preliminary draft reviews available prior to its release.
 
 
 
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About the TrustTheVote Project and the OSDV Foundation:
 
The Open Source Digital Voting (OSDV) Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefits organization dedicated to sustaining development efforts to create freely available, open source technology for use in managing elections and conducting voting in the U.S.  The Foundation's flagship effort is the TrustTheVote Project – a digital public works project, creating freely available open source elections technology maintained in a public trust to ensure free access and transparency.  The design process relies on a collaboration of States' elections officials consorting in a growing stakeholder community to review and comment on all design specifications.  The project work is conducted by a small team of highly experienced technology architects, supported by a volunteer community of developers, voting technology experts, and policy specialists.
 
www.TrustTheVote.org
 
 
About the Overseas Vote Foundation:

Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) helps overseas and military voters participate in federal elections by providing public access to secure, web-based voter registration tools and services. In 2008, 4.75 million visitors utilized OVF’s Internet-based voter services. OVF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan public charity incorporated in Delaware.
 
www.overseasvotefoundation.org
 
Contacts:
Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat: 202.230.2532, susan (at) overseasvotefoundation (dot) org
Matt Douglass: 970.570.0162, mdouglass (at) osdv (dot) org