OASIS Forms Technical Committee to Standardize Election Services Using XML
Boston, MA, USA; May 3, 2001 - OASIS, the XML interoperability consortium, announced the formation of a new technical committee to standardize the exchange of election and voter services information using XML. The new OASIS technical committee will develop the Election Markup Language (EML), an XML specification for the structured interchange of data among hardware, software and service vendors who provide election or voter services to public or private organizations.
"The need for a consistent, auditable, automated election system was evidenced in the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election, but the requirement is pervasive worldwide, especially in developing democracies where implementing technology responsibly is critical," noted Laura Walker, executive director of OASIS. "EML, the first XML specification of its kind, will provide a uniform way to allow systems to interact as new global election processes evolve and are adopted."
Government elections are just one aspect of EML. The OASIS specification will also support private elections, such as those held by publicly traded corporations, trade associations, labor unions, pension funds, credit unions and not-for-profit organizations.
"The introduction of open standards for election solutions will enable election officials to build upon existing infrastructure investments, to evolve their systems as new technologies emerge and to simplify the election process in a way that was never possible before," added Gregg McGilvray of election.com, chair of the new OASIS Election and Voter Services Technical Committee. "Voters and taxpayers around the world will benefit from open standard election solutions that save money, increase auditability and most importantly, safeguard the sanctity of every vote. The ramifications of this work are huge."
Accenture, election.com and Microsoft represent founding sponsor members of the new OASIS Election and Voter Services Technical Committee. The Office of the e-Envoy, UK Government; the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES); and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) in the United States, among other governmental and non-governmental organizations around the world, will also participate, providing expert input and analysis on election technology and procedures.
The committee plans to address a wide range of functionality in the EML specification. The development work will include voter registration, dues collection, change of address tracking, citizen/membership credentialing, redistricting, requests for absentee/expatriate ballots, election calendaring, polling place management, election notification, ballot delivery and tabulation, election results reporting and demographics.
"Right now, there are many election services vendors around the world, all integrating different levels of automation, operating on different platforms, employing different architectures," commented Karl Best, OASIS director of technical operations. "OASIS offers an open, vendor-independent environment where both providers and users of election services can work together on standardizing data interchange with XML."
Those interested in participating in the development of EML are encouraged to join the OASIS Election and Voter Services Technical Committee. More information is available on http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/election/index.shtml.
OASIS (http://www.oasis-open.org) is the international, not-for-profit consortium that advances electronic business by promoting open, collaborative development of interoperability specifications. With the United Nations, OASIS sponsors ebXML, a global framework for electronic business data exchange. OASIS operates XML.ORG, the non-commercial portal that delivers information on the use of XML in industry. The XML.ORG Registry provides as an open community clearinghouse for distributing and locating XML application schemas, vocabularies and related documents. OASIS serves as the home for industry groups interested in developing XML specifications. OASIS technical work embraces conformance, security, business transactions, repositories and other interoperability issues.
OASIS sponsors include Accenture, Access360, Adobe Systems, AND Data Solutions, Arbortext, Auto-trol, Aventail, Baltimore Technologies, B-Bop Associates, BEA Systems, Bentley Systems, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Bowstreet, Business Logic Corporation, Chrystal Software, Cincom Systems, Cohesia, Commerce One, Critical Path, CrossLogix, DataChannel, Dataloom, Deutsche Post AG, Documentum, EADS Airbus, election.com, empolis, Engage, Enigma, Excelergy, eXcelon, Extricity Software, First Call Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Informix, Infoteria, Innodata, Intel, Interwoven, IPNet Solutions, ITEDO Software, Ivis Group, Jamcracker, Logistics Management Institute, Mediaplex, Mercator Software, Microsoft, Netegrity, NetFish Technologies, Netscape/AOL, NextPage, NII Enterprise Promotion Association, Nimble Technology, NIST, Novell, ObjectSpace, Oblix, OpenNetwork Technologies, Pearson Education, Planet 7 Technologies, Popkin Software, Reuters Limited, SAA Consultants, Sabre, SAP, SeeBeyond, Sequoia Software, Silverstream Software, SoftQuad Software, Software AG, Sterling Commerce, StreamServe, Sun Microsystems, Synth-Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, The Tamalpais Group, Thomas Technology Solution, Tibco, US Defense Information Systems Agency, Virtual Access Networks, Visa International, Wavo, webMethods, Whitehill Technologies, Xerox, XML Global, XMLSolutions and Xyvision Enterprise Solutions.
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