The consensus among election security experts is that an open-source system for recording, interpreting, and counting votes should replace opaque, proprietary systems.
According to the National Democratic Institute:
The tabulation process at all levels should be fully transparent for party representatives and observers. Observers should be able to witness the data being uploaded or entered into the tabulation computers. If observers have collected results protocols from polling stations, they should be able to verify that these figures have been properly recorded at each higher level of the tabulation process. The full tabulation from the central level down to the polling station should be publicly available on the Internet in an easily verifiable format.
Opening source code to public review increases the likelihood that software flaws and vulnerabilities will be eliminated before they can be exploited in a real-world election.
Appropriate cryptography protocols, file integrity checks, and mathematical proofs of system accuracy can be included to further assure the public that election data is secure and properly tabulated.
Open-source systems can also be designed to export relevant data such as scanned ballot images and cast vote records to provide evidence to the public.
“Principles for New Voting Systems,” Philip Stark, Verified Voting, February 2015.
“Study on Open Source Voting Systems: Final Report,” San Francisco Local Agency Formation Commission, October 2015.
“Open Source Voting Systems Resolution,” San Francisco Elections Commission, November 2015.
“Open Source and Elections,” Free & Fair, 2016.
“The Use of Open Source Technology in Elections,” International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2014.