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tv   [untitled]    December 3, 2014 2:30pm-3:01pm PST

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been a motion for the amendments. i guess no objection the amendments are passed. [gavel] is there a motion for recommendation to the full board. >> so moved. >> no objection the motion passes. [gavel] congratulations. [applause] >> madam clerk can you please call item number two. thanks for coming. >> item two is a resolution committing the city and county to be a member of the california association of voting officials and joining efforts to create new voting systems utilizing free open source software for elections. >> i was going to wait -- i think -- i was going to wait
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for supervisor wiener to be here so can we go to item three for now? >> item number 3 is a resolution establishing the gun violence prevention task force and membership and duties. >> okay. there has been a request to continue this item to the call of the chair, so before we do that is there any public comment on item number 3? >> i do have a -- actually -- appointee tied -- suppose -- monday, wednesday -- tuesday, thursday, somebody be definitely or tuesday, thursday --
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something, yes, no, alternating something for the historic tradition of establishing -- monday, wednesday -- setting. >> any other public comments on this item? seeing none public comment is now closed. is there a motion to continue this item? >> so moved. >> without objection the motion passes. [gavel] >> i guess we called item number two already and joining us today on the committee is supervisor wiener who is the author of this legislation. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and thanks for hearing this item today, this resolution to try to move san francisco toward open source voting system. colleagues as you know our election system is truly the backbone of our democracy. free and fair elections and make sure that we as elect the officials with earned the trust instilled
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in us from the public and the public can have confidence the elections were conducted in open and transparent and accurate way. we have a very, very strong department of elections in san francisco, and i think we should all be proud of the work that the department has done running an election system is not easy, but i think it's important for us to always look for new ways to make things even better and to analyze all of our options. today before us is a resolution in support of san francisco working along with communities and organizations from around the state to make sure election system even more transparent, more secure, and more publicly accountable. currently our voting system -- our voting technology in san francisco which is consistent with voting technologies around the country are somewhat of a black box, a system created by
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a private vendor with proprietary software that is unable for public review. last year senator padilla authored a bill and relief for counties to operate public voting systems and developed counties to develop open source voting system which is the technology to administer elections is publicly available and viewable and allowing for greater transparency and accountability and by following the open source path we can be sure and evident that our elections are conducted with accuracy and efficacy and more accurate results and relieve ourselves of expensive software and licensing costs
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which would save millions of dollars. with open source voting system counties can use off of the shelf hardware and cheaper than buying from vendors. the question is how do we get there? there is talk in the public realm on what paths to follow and today we will hear about some of the work that is happening in california and from the california association of voting officials and a non-profit agency that advocates for open source voting system and good government and also as cost saving measure. we will also hear about what paths san francisco could potentially follow to inc. plement its own voting system and studying the process currently ongoing in los angeles county. today before the committee colleagues is a resolution that expresses san francisco's commitment to implementing and working with other jurisdictions and
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organizations to implement an open source voting system. the resolution requests that lafco studied how san francisco could implement its own voting system and we spoke with their staff and they are willing and able to do this if requested by the lafco board and supervisor mar has informed us he is interested adding his name as a cosponsor and carrying that request at lafco which he's a member. these are steps to have a more free and accurate voting system to strengthen the public trust and colleagues if there are no comments we have a few presenters. first i want to invite up alex bash, one of my constituents and followed by tim mayor and brent turner.
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>> supervisors i am alec bash and appreciate the opportunity to be before you this afternoon. from hanging chads and the year 2000 election to the shift over to electronic voting machines in 2004 which introduced their own set of issues with the secret source code, with the proprietary software systems that they all had, and that lead to a number of issues where when people use the touch screen and pressed the button for car can. erry and it registered bush and there is a case in 2006 they will go into detail in a moment but after that there was
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a hackers group called anonymous believed they intercepted an effort to flip the vote in ohio in the last presidential election and taken care of it because they had their own ways to follow secret source code. most people do not know how to follow secret source code and courts don't know how and the problem we have now after 2004 we have essentially the same systems we have now for electronic voting systems here. there have been a few patches here and there but basically the same and they're very pricey, under private control. we have situations like in 2004 where the owner of one -- one of the electronic voting systems was heavily partisan who he wanted to win the presidency and in fact his candidate did in the place where his machines were so
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people have questions so the vichure of open source code there are transparency and people that can look at it and if it goes to court then people and the court can look at the source code and that brings me to the case in florida. the case jennings versus buchanan and after my testimony i will pass this analysis forward. it was actually written -- i have to say as the attorneys for the loser in this case, but what they said is the november 2006 congressional ballot in florida 13th was a model how not to conduct a election and the final margin was less than 400 votes out of a quarter million cast and the candidate came up short because 18,000 congressional ballots -- here i will add my
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comment, in the most democratally leaned district cast on the touch screens turned up blank and people cannot record a congress for any person -- 18,000 of these in one county and the u.s. house of representations and said about [inaudible] sarso thea under votes that they call them and congressional candidate were unintentional and counted as intended the candidate that officially lost by 400 votes would have won by 3,000 votes and the [inaudible] reading but suffice to say the courts said they didn't have the power to look at the
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proprietary source code of the machines and a trade secret and not demonstrated enough harm to do this despite these facts and the effort for open source code is to avoid things. sure one can pass laws when there are election results you should ignore trade secrets and go straight to it but better if we have a open source system and transparent and people are recrew it in a transparent way and with american rights the ability to do a secret ballot and counted in the way you want and i am pleased to answer questions or at the end. >> thank you very much. next is tim mayer.
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>> good afternoon. i sat on the task force and thank you supervisor campos for that appointment so this is a simple message that the san francisco voting task force its recommendation is for an open source gpl voting system so the resolution that we're asking to pass is the next logical step and hoping that you support it and thank you as well supervisor wiener and i want to say i'm a resident in your district. thank you. >> thank you very much. next is brent turner. >> hello supervisors. my name is brent turner. kim unfortunately because of the weather couldn't make it today so i have a statement after my
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statement. again i will brent turner and chair the election committee for the san mateo democratic party and chair the state of california democratic party disabilities committee on elections, and i i'm the secretary for the california association of voting officials. cabo is dedicated to providing the election administration community with election options and advocate transparency via publicly owned software and reduction of costs with the hardware. today is a special day not only in san francisco because of this proceeding but globally as well. the annual observation of the day of disabled persons was proclaimed in 1982 by the united nations generallabley and aims to promote disability issues and increase awareness of gains derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in
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every aspect of political, cultural and social life. we are supported by several different groups, the national organization of women and to the above point the national federation to the blind. today's proceedings in san francisco will not only ring bells of celebration for taxpayers and create savings and security experts to protect economic and the ills of the current voting system mark. there are just a handful of vendors in the u.s. market and that isn't acceptable. . the current systems have scathing reports and poor government study and not acceptable and are over priced and poorly conceived. the good news is technology is better for publicly owned systems. public
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turn out is lacking because of the systems and bolstered by the upgrades and the technology that is provided. although this involves science more good news it's not rocket science. we can do this now. the open source scientific committee has been working on the plan for over a decade and now it's a matter of political will. there are costs to transition to a better system but nothing in comparison to the cost and the pain in standing still. thank you all for your dedication for democrat in. with they would like to read cammy foots message to be read into the record if i could. thank you. "honorable board of supervisors in 2008 the city and county of san francisco board of supervisors established the voting systems -- mr. turner, she's in your county registrar of voters, correct? >> she's the registrar of voters and the president of
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cabo. she's elected. thank you. at the time and currently the san francisco department of elections was under a contract with dominion voting systems formerly sequoyah voting systems for services. one of own two vendors that responded to a request for proposal for a new system. the report by the task force in 2011 recommended that san francisco be an active participant in the movement toward more open and transparent voting systems. we acknowledge the complexity of moving from the existing marketplace toward more innovative voting systems and urge san francisco to move steadily toward the goal of transparency even if in incremental steps and urge the city to be a strong advocate for transparent systems and open as well to new collaborative developmental models. significant changes have occurred to improve the voting
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system certification process in california since the voting systems task force was convened in 2008. primarily with the support of secretary of state elect alex padilla and worked with los angeles county to offer senate bill 360 passed in 2013. the law as supervisor wiener stated created a needed wholesale changes in technology models for new innovative systems to be certified in california. additionally, the bill provided an incentive for counties to develop non proprietary voting systems by allowing pilots of publicly non proprietary systems by counties whereas the initial system certification processes did not contemplate for publicly owned voting systems. research has shown that the open source code provides in many cases a reason
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or superior approach to using this software and now adopted by government agencies such as the department of defense and others. the software run on community iewf the shelf hardware is the lowest cost, most reliable alternative to current voting systems. reducing hardware costs from $5,000 single use machines to $500 commercially available computers is one example of the cost savings that can building achieved with this model. as costs go down capital is freed up to allocate to other areas of elect administration. in addition open source systems will increase the transparency another key recommendation of the task force and numerous independent investigation have discovered serious security weaknesses and design errors in widely used equipment. by
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designing software in an open environment there is increased chance that defects will be identified and addressed. on december, 2013 the california association of voting officials was launched for the purpose of providing a mechanism for counties to pull resources to invest in the development and use of open voting systems per public elections as well as to provide training, education and management practices to election officials for the effective use of open source technologies. cabo is a california nonprofit non stock mutual benefit corporation and owned by the public for the mutual benefit of its members when include individuals, voting jurisdictions, academic and research organizations, technologists and service providers. joining cabo and collaborate with other judiciaries and academic institutions and nonprofit organizations to develop and
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manage the next generation of voting systems. by joining now while development is still under way san francisco county can ensure their unique election needs are incorporated into the design and implementation and finally today i ask you to join cabo and our efforts to build better systems. into the next search the advances should provide the opportunity that everyone's vote is counted accurately and securely without being tied to a sing vendor or out dated infrastructure. this will provide us the capacity and certainty to administer elections for this century and keep the promise of our democracy, namely that your vote will always if cast count. thank you for your time and consideration. sincerely cammy foot president cavo. thank you very much and i am available for any questions.
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>> thank you. and finally i would like to call up chris who say member of the elections commission appoint by the board of supervisors. >> good afternoon rules committee members. the last time i was here is in april when applying for the board of supervisors seat and again thank you for your support. i'm now the vice president of the election commission although i am speaking as a member of the public today and not a representative of the commission. i want to provide a little background information to the resolution. it's something i support. open source is an idea that has been talked about for a while now in san francisco. back at the last time the department of election says was procuring equipment it was discussed and i have a memo that was circulated and you can see
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the text that the election commissions passed back then and i will read you one sentence. the language is general because this was early in the conversation but it said "the commission adopts this policy that the election department shall endeavor in contracting to prioritize and select if possible voting systems and vendors which provide the maximum level of security and transparency possible consistent with the principles of public disclosure". after that resolution the voting system task force was formed and they made their own resolution in 2011, and now where are we today? we're getting close to the time to procure new equipment but the problem is there is still no open source voting system available but we had seen some encourage things in los angeles and travis county. they are starting to develop their own voting system and my understanding is that the work they're doing is focused
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on their jurisdiction so it doesn't seem something we could use in the near term, so that's why i am particularly excited about the part of the resolution that asks lafco to study how san francisco could develop our own voting system, and some of the -- so it's kind of natural for them to drill down into the details and see what this would look like for san francisco and what would it take and some of the things that lafco i think would be in a good position to study what are the cost benefits of this? what department would be responsible for developing this system and what relationship would it have to the department of elections or part of the department of elections? should san francisco develop a whole voting system or a component? could it integrate with other systems? and how would we legally work with other jurisdictions and organizations
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possibly private companies? like what would the legal framework look like? and lastly how we budget it over the years and the timeline we're looking at so i think there are good questions around this issue. i think it's worth san francisco pursuing. thank you. >> great. thank you very much commissioner. okay colleagues this is the presentations. we have staff here if you have questions of him, but the goal of this resolution is to reiterate what this board has already said that we want to move towards open source voting systems but we hope to have lafco study this so we can have actual data and analysis about what it would take for us to move in this direction, and what makes sense so we look forward to working with lafco and the
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department on that and i believe that supervisor tang -- >> supervisor tang. >> thank you. just since the director is here i have one question to build on the public comment question brought up regarding timing so i am glad that lafco is studying this. i think it's a positive direction for the city to move in, but i department to better understand as we are going out to bid for future contracts for the city what does that mean? are we going to be only entering into one year contracts at a time so if we able to move on something we are able to do so so if you could shed light on the timing that would be great. >> timing is critical for the department no matter which way we go in the future. the structure the contract -- i assume it's dynamic until it's executed. there are many avenues we could take as far as contracts regarding a voting system or development of voting
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systems. the main thing is though for the department i think to explain that the current contract for the current voting system expires in september 2016 so we have to start the mechanisms for going out for a new voting system or something used to count ballots. it's not in any way a negative mark against open source, going out to bid. we're not trying to dictate how the direction that voting will take in san francisco, but we have an obligation to make sure we have something to count the ballots going forward in 2016 and the only thing right now available for us are the current types of systems that we're currently using so again it's a matter of timing and time. how much time would it take for the system to be developed for san francisco to use? so those are the two main components and as far as contract i am sure it will be
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dynamic and how we structure that agreement. >> supervisor campos. >> thank you. thank you director. i just wanted to ask you since we're talking about a resolution, a none binding resolution. >> non binding resolution and i support the intent and the spirit of this but i want a better understanding of what that means in terms of the day to day? >> well, i don't know yet. i think it's a great first step to have lafco look at this and to do the study and the appropriate step for san francisco to take in regards to open source and good to consolidate the information and avenues of the system via the study. again it's just time and timing for us. right now we have more time available if we contribute to a report to respond to questions
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and things like that. as we get closer to the election cycle then the time is less for us, so right now the time would be good for us to be involved in a study but as we get closer to november, 2015 the time will be less good. >> and i know that we can't tell lafco what it can do, but i certainly as a member of lafco would be supportive of studying this issue. i think it's a very important issue and i think it makes sense that lafco is the entity that considers this, so thank you. >> thank you colleagues and i think -- i mean clearly we're not going to -- if we do move towards open source voting which i hope we will it's not going to be in place -- excuse me, by the end of next year, which is when the contract comes up, and so i think the question will be looking at what lafco finds
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how that contract should be structured. i think the current contract i think you have been five year renewals. am i right about that that? >> no. two and one year renewals. >> so the variable there. >> it is and as mentioned and i believe it's also in your resolution there are steps to take that potentially to put in a rfp and put components of open source into the next system -- rfp for the next system, whatever it maybe. i don't know. i think the department certainly has been aware of open source. we have taken small steps. just in this past election again with mr. jerdonic's assistance and files. you can read using open source scripts that were developed and there are many
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other avenues that we can take even before lafco commences or finishes the study and a contract with the system. >> thank you for your work. mr. chairman i do have one public comment card. david kerr y. >> thank you supervisors. i am david kerry and i want to speak in favor of this resolution and also thank those including those of you who have been supportive of this issue and have been instrumental in bringing this forward here today. i wanted to speak very briefly about two things. one is to affirm the value of open source and open voting systems


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