Senator Joe Pennacchio thinks concerns with vote-tabulating software that legislation he introduced a year ago sought to address are vindicated by recent developments that have thrust theoretical abstractions about potential vulnerabilities into sudden reality. With election officials now in damage-control mode following voting machine errors in Monmouth County, the senator thinks his bill might merit another look.

Pennacchio's legislation introduces a five-year deadline for counties to reform their voting systems. All voting for able-bodied citizens must be by paper ballot, which will be read by an optical scanner or other certified equipment. Critically, all software employed by the county must be open-sourced. This means that the complete source code is available to the public free of charge.

The ideal underlying the bill is that voters should be afforded complete transparency in election systems. Aside from serving the interests of ordered liberty, Pennacchio argues that events such as Monmouth County is currently enduring could be averted with public scrutiny brought to bear on the process.

"If this incident in Monmouth County has taught us anything, it's that we need to ensure transparency of the mechanisms of voting software and hardware. Currently, the proprietary process is cloaked in secrecy, and neither the voting public nor the media have access to any preliminary data. However, requiring the use of open-source coding will allow developers and coding experts to comb through the programs and identify flaws and security vulnerabilities. This will increase oversight and public confidence in the process.”