The development of secure and transparent voting systems is essential to the future of our country.
CAVO, working with community members and election officials exists to aid in the effort toward solution. We would appreciate your support in this important endeavor.

Legislation that took effect January 1st 2014 removes burdensome barriers for getting new systems developed, tested, certified, and ready to use. With your support, we can do this!


CAVO Bylaws - Organizational Chart - Articles of Incorporation

About CAVO...

  • The California Association of Voting Officials (CAVO) is a California nonprofit non-stock mutual benefit corporation designed to create new voting systems utilizing free open source software and inexpensive commodity components.

  • Additionally, to support the new voting system infrastructure, CAVO will do training, education and development of election officials for the effective employment of technologies and management practices.

  • While our initial focus is on California, we intend to adhere to international standards and produce voting systems that can be used across the USA and around the world.

  • Over the past 10 years, jurisdictions in California have spent over $400 million on new voting systems. We are spending over $100 million per year to run elections -- a rate of over $10 per ballot cast. These costs can be greatly reduced while make the voting experience better, more reliable, more trustworthy, more auditable, and more convenient for everyone.

  • The formation of CAVO, December 23, 2013, coincides with new legislation that takes effect January 1, 2014, which will facilitate making publicly owned voting systems a reality.

  • CAVO is owned by the public, organized and operated mostly by election officials, for the mutual benefit of its members, which includes individuals, voting jurisdictions, academic and research organizations, technologists, and service providers.

Defining the issue

It is necessary, in a properly functioning democracy, that votes are counted with proper security and precision.  To ensure that the will of the people is being honored and that democracy is protected we must mandate the use of the most secure and transparent voting systems available.

The importance of accurate vote counting systems was brought to the attention of the world during the 2000 United States Presidential Election. The inability of election officials to determine voter intent concerning hanging and pregnant chads led to lawsuits and public outrage and ultimately to the decertification of punch card voting systems across the United States. The federal government then passed the Help American Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002 and the voters of California approved Proposition 41 which established restrictive multilevel mandates and provided hundreds of millions of dollars for the development and use of modernized voting systems.

In California many election officials used the state and federal money available to purchase in good faith what they believed were the best systems available. However, in 2007, Secretary of State Debra Bowen conducted a “Top to Bottom” review inviting technical experts to examine the voting systems and found vulnerabilities within the source code of every voting system in use in California. As a result of the security issues discovered within the voting systems, Secretary Bowen established new and even more restrictive regulations that essentially decertified the use of touch screen voting machines for regular public use in California elections. Today most voters in California are using a paper based ballot system that is tabulated with outdated and antiquated technology. Many voting officials are left with little to no funding to upgrade or modernize voting technology.

Providing the solution

Recognizing that the complex and cost prohibitive regulatory environment must be changed to allow for innovation to enter the market, Senator Padilla worked with Los Angeles County to introduce and pass Senate Bill 360 in 2013. This law provided the regulatory relief necessary to pave the way for open voting systems and innovative voting system technologies to become certified for use in California.  

On December 23, 2013 the California Association of Voting Officials (CAVO) was launched for the purpose
of providing open voting systems for use in public elections, as well as to provide training, education, and management practices to election officials for the effective employment of open source technologies. CAVO recognized the monumental work by Open Voting Consortium and others and has embarked on a mission to create funding and resources for the certification and implementation of the most secure and least expensive voting systems.

The development of secure and transparent voting systems is essential to the future of our country. CAVO, working with community members and election officials exists to aid in the effort toward solution.


CAVO recommends CAVO Certified Vendors

1477 Sanchez St. San Francisco, Ca 94131               415-297-5160