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Subject: RE: [election-services] NIST workshop on common data format for ElectronicVoting Systems


Excellent feedback.  This is exactly the same challenge we are addressing for NIEM with the CAM toolkit.

People need the Fisher Price approach - neatly packaged and documented.

I had hoped that the simple EML 440 example illustrated this in part - but naturally we can extend this to show people the progression from ballot, vote, tallying, results - with bare minimum constructs.

Part of this is also here:

So my sense is we should be close to this - just need to package and promote accordingly.

Thanks, DW

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [election-services] NIST workshop on common data format
for Electronic Voting Systems
From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joehall@berkeley.edu>
Date: Thu, July 30, 2009 7:34 pm
To: "David RR Webber (XML)" <david@drrw.info>
Cc: John Borras <John@pensive.eu>, eml

One thing I've heard over the past few days from a few different
directions is that it appears very difficult for people to "dive in"
to EML... for example, the "hello world!" equivalent of the various
data models we support in EML. Obviously, I'll probably work up
something specific to our research group's work on the needs of
post-election auditors wrt vote data. But I think a serious tutorial
that gets designers and developers from "hello world!" to working
seriously with EML sounds like a good medium-term deliverable that
would short-circuit some of the criticism. I'm obivously an academic,
so I might be looking through particularly-tinted glasses at all of
this... best, Joe

On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 1:03 PM, David RR Webber (XML)<david@drrw.info> wrote:
> John,
> Not sure about this.  They clearly are throwing down the gauntlet for
> SPECIFIC use cases - reading between the lines - their conjecture is - noone
> is using this stuff - so that proves its bad - and new is needed instead.
> The most obvious for EML here in the US are two - CA SoS EML statistics and
> the VIP project geodistrict and polling places.
> Then I would suggest a third presentation on overall EML, V6 and
> specifically focusing on US needs and how V6 is covering these.  Reporting,
> auditing and statistics are now all strong suits for new EML V6 - whereas
> previously NIST had doubted the ability to handle precinct style recording.
>  Also - we can show specific ballots from NY, Connecticut, Florida, CA and
> more - all being handled using EML 440 - again vital to show actual
> instances.
> I typically like to submit up to 4 or 5 presentations - because it is hard
> to second guess what the organizers exact focus is - and you can expect them
> to reject a couple then - and take a couple.
> Thanks, DW
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: RE: [election-services] NIST workshop on common data format
> for Electronic Voting Systems
> From: John Borras <John@pensive.eu>
> Date: Wed, July 29, 2009 4:24 am
> To: "eml " <election-services@lists.oasis-open.org>
> Thanks to Joe and David for bringing this to our attention.  I propose to
> submit the updated version of our EML White paper, copy attached.  Please
> let me have any suggested amendments to this in the next few days please.
> This looks to be a very important workshop and we would do well to have as
> many supporters at this event as possible, so can you make every endeavour
> to attend please.  Also can I have a volunteer to make a presentation on our
> behalf if our submission is selected.
> Regards
> John
> ________________________________
> From: David RR Webber (XML) [david@drrw.info]
> Sent: 28 July 2009 21:02
> To: eml
> Subject: [election-services] NIST workshop on common data format for
> Electronic Voting Systems
> Posting this here for the NIST members on our list.
> Obviously we should submit something on the new EML V6.0 and I am available
> to present as needed.
> 21 August 2009 is the submission deadline.
> Thanks, DW
> -------- Original Message --------
>  NIST is having a workshop in October on common data format for electronic
> Voting Systems. Here's the announcement with some added highlights:
> http://vote.nist.gov/CDF-WorkshopCallForPapers.htm
> NIST Workshop on a Common Data Format for Electronic Voting Systems
> The goal of this two-day workshop is to identify and agree upon a set of
> requirements for a common data format for voting systems. While there have
> been
> many calls for a common data format for voting systems, there is little
> consensus on the requirements for this format or what it is to accomplish.
> Possible goals for a common data format include interoperability of
> different
> equipment, auditability, transparency, publishing (communication with
> consumers
> of election data, such as media outlets), integration between polls and
> registration, transition to electronic record-keeping, or the ability just
> to
> "get the data out" by any means possible. Stakeholders include
> manufacturers,
> election officials, the EAC, consumers of election data, voters,
> organizations
> with existing data formats (including OASIS and the Voting Information
> Project), academics, and others with related work.
> Different goals have different consequences for the requirements, the scope
> of
> work, and the testing that must follow. For example:
> * Requirements
> + Human-readable versus machine readable-human-readability matters for
> transparency and auditing, whereas integration of equipment indicates
> use of an existing data exchange syntax that is optimized for
> machine-reading rather than human-reading.
> + Flexible and extensible versus uniform and complete-interoperability is
> helped by a standard data format only if the format is used in the same
> way by everyone; other goals may accommodate a more flexible and
> extensible format.
> + Secure versus convenient-securing the records to make them valid for
> auditing could also hamper intermediate processing that might be needed
> to integrate disparate pieces of equipment.
> + Format versus content-to "get the data out" it is more important to
> specify the data to be provided, the points in the process at which it
> is to be provided, and the mechanism for export than the format of the
> data.
> * Scope
> + Publishing results involves only the reporting phase of the election
> and should not include such information as individual ballot images.
> + Interoperability might only be needed at certain points in the system
> architecture.
> + Registration may or may not be within scope.
> + Low-level event log data may only be useful for auditing.
> * Testing
> + If the data format is to be used for auditing, usability testing with
> auditors is indicated.
> + If the goal is interoperability, interoperability testing is different
> from conformity assessment
> This workshop aims to (a) begin a discussion on the above issues among
> experts
> in the elections community who would work with a common data format,
> including
> election officials, auditors, manufacturers, testing labs, and others
> involved
> in election analysis, and (b) arrive at basic scoping for what a common data
> format is to accomplish and the basic requirements for what it must do.
> Discussions during the workshop will address the following:
> * The current state and uses of common data formats;
> * "The customer"-existing and potential;
> * The customer's goals-what data needs to be encoded in the format and how
> will it be used;
> * Next steps towards a common data format;
> * Willing contributors.
> Workshop attendees are encouraged to submit papers in advance of the
> workshop.
> Two types of submissions are sought:
> 1. Position papers on requirements for common data formats (2-5 pages).
> Topics
> of interest include (but are not limited to) the following:
> + What problems or needs should be addressed by a common data format for
> any particular application, e.g., auditing, transparency of election
> results, device interoperability, or testing;
> + What data should be represented by a common data format;
> + When in the voting process should the data be available.
> 2. Papers describing current uses of data formats in U.S. elections and
> experiences with using the formats (2-10 pages), including (but not limited
> to) the following:
> + What problems were being addressed by use of the format;
> + Whether customization was necessary;
> + Success of the effort;
> + Lessons learned.
> Authors may submit papers that have been presented or published elsewhere.
> Accepted papers and presentation slides will be made available on the web as
> well as in printed form to workshop attendees. Manuscripts will not be
> formally
> published.
> Manuscripts should be sent to voting@nist.gov by 21 August 2009. Decisions
> will
> be made by 09 September 2009.
> ----- End forwarded message -----
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Joseph Lorenzo Hall
ACCURATE Postdoctoral Research Associate
UC Berkeley School of Information
Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy

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