Progress in San Francisco’s Open Source Elections Project

As many within the OSI community may know, the OSI has been following closely—and supporting—San Francisco’s efforts to develop an open source elections system. Below is an update from Commissioner Chris Jerdonek of the San Francisco Elections Commision.

1. San Francisco Hiring a Project Manager!

San Francisco is now hiring a Senior Technical Project Manager to lead the open source voting project! This is a major step forward for the project. The salary is $163K / year. The position was first posted on Tuesday, August 28 and will stay open until filled (but you should try to apply ASAP if possible). Here is the job posting:

Help spread the word about this key position so the City can get good applicants! Here’s a tweet you can retweet:

2. Applications Now Open for Open Source Voting Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

The SF Elections Commission is now accepting applications to fill a vacancy on its 5-member Open Source Voting Technical Advisory Committee, which meets monthly. Here are the application instructions (applications are due Monday, September 24):

Also help spread the word about this opportunity! Here’s a tweet you can retweet:

Below are some other key developments since May:

3. More Money Budgeted for the Open Source Voting Project

Thanks to the leadership of Supervisor (and Budget Committee Chair) Malia Cohen and Mayor London Breed, San Francisco allocated an additional $1.255 million towards the open source voting project late in the City’s annual budget process. Mayor Breed signed the City’s new budget on August 1.

This extra money will let SF start actual development of the voting system sooner, instead of having to wait another year. This brings the total amount of money allocated for the project to $1.68 million. The breakdown is as follows:

  • $125K left over from the $300K allocated in 2016
  • $300K allocated by COIT this spring
  • $1.255M allocated late in the budget process ($660K for 2018-19 and $595K for 2019-20)

Thanks also to the California Clean Money Campaign for being instrumental in organizing public support for this additional funding.

4. Civil Grand Jury Report

On June 29, 2018, the SF Civil Grand Jury issued a 48-page report on the status of the open source voting project after studying it for a year (focusing in particular on why it’s not happening faster). The report can be found here, along with the press release they issued:

5. Elections Commission Resolution #2

On June 20, 2018, the Elections Commission unanimously passed a second resolution on Open Source Voting. This resolution can be viewed as an update or “sequel” to the resolution the Commission passed in November 2015, taking into account the events and developments of the past few years. This new resolution (as well as the first one) can be found here:

Thanks for reading and for helping to spread the word!


Image credit:
WhiteHouse.png” by Open Source Initiative, 2018, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication, is a derivative (cropped) of “White_House_celebrates_the_4th_July,_2018.jpg“,  Public Domain, 2017, via Wikimedia Commons.