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




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
effort to improve the cycle-time for registration will help both
election officials and

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


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
community of developers, voting technology experts, and policy specialists.


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.


Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat: 202.230.2532, susan (at)
overseasvotefoundation (dot) org
Matt Douglass: 970.570.0162, mdouglass (at) osdv (dot) org

Joseph Lorenzo Hall
ACCURATE Postdoctoral Research Associate
UC Berkeley School of Information
Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy

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