Voting software company submits code to NIST

An electronic voting software company has released source code for a balloting security module to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

VoteHere Inc. of Bellevue, Wash., sent the reference code implementation for VoteHere Technology inside, or VHTi, to NIST's National Software Reference Library.

'The NSRL Reference Data Set will ensure the integrity of the source code that VoteHere released back in April,' said company founder Jim Adler.

The submission was in response to a request from DeForest Soaries, chairman of the Election Assistance Commission. On June 8, while addressing the annual conference of the Maryland Association of Election Officials, Soaries asked that all voting software vendors submit code to NSRL. The library helps facilitate tracking of software versions.

EAC is an independent agency established under the Help America Vote Act to facilitate national elections. An agency spokesman said he was not aware of any other companies that had submitted voting software to NSRL.

E-voting has been plagued by questions of hardware and software reliability, security and audit capability. VHTi is a licensed cryptographic module that makes it apparent if a voting system has been compromised. It also provides an audit trail by producing a paper receipt with a unique ballot sequence number for each vote.

A complete audit of an election can be published, letting individual voters verify that their votes were tallied.

The company already had made the source code available for public review in April. It patented VHTi so the code could be released for public review rather than maintaining it as a trade secret.

The package includes:

  • An application programming interface document, a reference implementation of the protocols
  • Instructions on how to build the source

  • Samples of VHTi's usage

  • Documentation of known issues

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.


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