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RE: Reminder; aka, Re: Welcome to the COTS Sub-Group of P1583



Folks,

It was my expectation that the COTS specification would be something like:

"Unmodified commodity off the shelf equipment may be used in any election
process where the result is totally transparent."

I am thinking of standard business equipment, like a copier machine.

A standalone COTS computer with attached COTS printer and COTS scanner
running software (proprietary or not) that scans a pre-printed form, assists
a user (enabled or disabled) to make selections, and prints the user's
selections on the form would in my mind qualify.  The result of the
forms-preparation process is totally transparent and it is totally feasible
for the voter to verify the output of the system.

A standalone COTS computer with attached COTS scanner and COTS write-once
storage running software (proprietary or not) that scans a batch of
documents and writes each document image to the write-once storage-device
would qualify.  The result of the document-scan-to-file process is totally
transparent and it is totally feasible for officials to verify the output of
the system.

Note: none of these are examples of voting machines.  They are each examples
of standard business functions.  Failure of these COTS machines can be
detected and will cause no harm -- annoyance perhaps.  A voting system can
be constructed from these basic building blocks.  

Al
   

  

------------------------
Al Kolwicz
CAMBER - Citizens for Accurate Mail Ballot Election Results
2867 Tincup Circle    Boulder, CO 80305
303-494-1540
AlKolwicz@qwest.net 
www.users.qwest.net/~alkolwicz 

-----Original Message-----
From: COTS Special Task Group of IEEE P1583 [mailto:COTS@lipsio.com] 
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 5:00 PM
To: COTS Special Task Group of IEEE P1583
Subject: Reminder; aka, Re: Welcome to the COTS Sub-Group of P1583

Greetings!
   So far, only one person of the 14 of us has replied to the
request (copied below) for input on how to resolve COTS-related
comments submitted in the last draft round and for musings on
how COTS should be defined and handled in the IEEE Voting System
Standard.  Several people have emailed us privately to say that
they would be replying soon (and we personally are dragging
our feet) but if we are to get anywhere before next month's
meeting, we need to get input, so please try to get your comments
in this weekend if at all possible!

Vince Lipsio
Rebecca Mercuri



<<<------------------------------+++|+++------------------------------>>>



Greetings --

After the last P1583 Working Group meeting you were identified as having
interest in being in the COTS Special Task Group.  This email contains
important instructions regarding the work that we must accomplish by
mid-January.

A website has been established for this working group, it is at:
        www.lipsio.com/cots

On the website you can find a link to the list of members.  Please
check to see if we have your name, email, and affiliation listed correctly.
(We have spaces around the @ to thwart web trollers.)

An email address has been created for this group: cots@lipsio.com
BE CAREFUL USING IT!  When you email to the group, your message
is automatically sent to everyone AND put in the reflector on the website.
If you prefer to send only to the sub-group chairs, use:
    vince@lipsio.com, mercuri@acm.org

Your tasks are as follows:

1. Review the list of issues (either the Excel or ASCII version) for
correctness.  These have been extracted from the 1000+ comments submitted in
the last draft round, and are the ones we have identified as COTS-related.
If you have additional COTS comments that are not in this list, please
submit them to us (and let us know how they were identified if they were
sent in for the prior round).

2. We need EACH of YOU to submit a resolution for EVERY item on the
current list of issues.  "Don't know" is a resolution but we are hoping that
you will take the time to be more constructive.  Provide us with a copy of
the spreadsheet with the resolution column filled in for each item, the way
you think it should be handled in the current working draft.  Note that you
will need to look at the entire list (and perhaps also the draft) before
making your decisions, since some items are inter-related.

3.  Please read Steve Berger's email posted in our COTS website email
archive.  We need each of you to come up with your own description of how
COTS should be defined and handled in the IEEE Voting System Standard.
This should be about a page of text from each of you.  You will probably
also want to provide us with some explanation for your thinking on this
matter.

This is "due" to us by January 7 (midnight California time). (Sorry if it
sounds like a homework assignment for winter break!)  You can send to the
group or just to Rebecca and Vince as you prefer.

The idea for this round is that we each send our comments in "think-tank"
style -- no arguments!  We will collect all of the comments and issue them
back to the group indicating which resolutions have agreement and which ones
will need further discussion.  As well, we will attempt to summarize all of
the thoughts submitted about the COTS definition and philosophy for the
standard. Possibly a conference call will then be scheduled in order to
converge on a final set of recommendations that will be presented at
February's P1583 working group meeting.  Stay tuned for further information.

Thank you for your willingness to participate, we look forward to working
with you and hope to hear from you on or before January 7.

Vince Lipsio
Rebecca Mercuri