Re: Fw: OVC

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Fri Apr 16 2004 - 13:50:38 CDT

On Apr 16, 2004, at 2:34 PM, Douglas W. Jones wrote:
> If you talk to many county election officials, you'll find that they're
> not enthusiastic with outsourcing anything having to do with the
> conduct of elections. That's what such a rental deal is, really.

If I were an county clerk, I'd sure be a lot less than enthusiastic
about the idea of renting voting stations. My vendor might go out of
business before the next election. They might fail to deliver (proper)
equipment. I might be subject to legal challenges to an election that
are made many times more complicated by not directly controlling
equipment that might be subpoenaed. Costs are less predictable if the
vendor decides to change rates. All in all, a lot of possible
headaches for a relatively minimal cost savings.

I know Alan has always felt the rental model is the one that will make
sense to election officials. And he has certainly talked to a lot more
of them than I have. Nonetheless, my impression is just as strongly in
the other direction: an equipment sale model is more likely to make
sense (perhaps with support contracts that include customization for
future elections--i.e. new contests and contests). We should certainly
make tools for producing new ballot screen layouts as part of the
complete OVC software collection--it's been mentioned on-list a bit,
but nothing concrete yet (which is appropriate, it wasn't needed for

Of course, there's no reason why both models cannot exist
simultaneously. Different counties can adopt different strategies for
providing election equipment.

Dred Scott 1857; Santa Clara 1876; Plessy 1892;
Korematsu 1944; Eldred 2003
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:08 2004

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