GRANITE BAY, CA -- John Edwards has become the first presidential candidate to support "open source code" for election systems. In a letter dated June 21st addressed to Alan Dechert, the Edwards campaign stated that, "To ensure security, these machines should be programmed with an open source code for complete transparency, and election results should be safeguarded by voter-verified paper records."

Currently, software used in election systems remains the proprietary property of vendors. This situation has created a continual problem when anomalous results have been reported and independent experts are denied the ability to review how the systems work. A growing body of critics oppose this privatization of the voting system.

"Open source" means that the computer instructions written by programmers are publicly available. Open source software is rapidly replacing proprietary software in other applications, including the Internet and military applications.

"We congratulate Senator Edwards for taking a leadership role in the fight to restore public oversight of the voting system," said Alan Dechert, president of Open Voting Consortium.

Open Voting Consortium (OVC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit California corporation that seeks to bring about a fully public voting system. OVC has offered free consulting services to all the major presidential candidates -- Republican as well as Democratic. OVC has not endorsed any candidate for president and is unlikely to do so.