Re: Fwd: Jurisdictional focus

From: Edmund R. Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Wed Apr 28 2004 - 10:02:22 CDT

Hello Dave:

     I'm just trying to stimulate discussion, not
start a civil war. I've already conceded in advance
that this is a somewhat 'provincial' proposal. If
Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts or Baja-Norte, Mexico,
feels that it can rapidly mobilize for at least a 3
polling place pilot test, more power to them! Again,
I strongly feel that there absolutely needs to be some
sort of goals and some sort of schedule to focus
efforts.

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

--- David Mertz <voting-project@gnosis.cx> wrote:
> On Apr 27, 2004, at 11:30 PM, Ed Kennedy wrote:
> > Are we just focusing on replacing the DRE machines
> in the State of
> > California? Should ballot considerations in
> Illinois matter now? How
> > about
> > balloting schemes in England?
>
> The primary focus of OVC is addressing the need for
> better voting
> machines in the USA. However, we do not
> preclude--and would be
> positively delighted--if OVC spec'd machines also
> prove useful in other
> national jurisdictions.
>
> From a legal perspective, the USA is not a single
> entity. Unlike in
> most nations, many powers--including voting
> rules--are vested in states
> rather than Federally. However, a number of laws
> and regulatory bodies
> (HAVA, the FEC) give some degree of USA-wide Federal
> authority. OVC
> arises firstly out of responses to the USAian
> legislation, and also to
> the growth in use of insecure DRE machines in the
> USA (partly in
> response to such legislation and associated
> funding).
>
> Nations that have more Federal authority over
> elections have typically
> already decided on a unified style of voting. For
> example, Brazil and
> India both use electronic machines, but the exact
> specification of them
> is specified by their respective Federal laws--so
> introduction of an
> OVC alternative would be primarily a matter of new
> national
> legislation, not of particular counties or states
> choosing them.
> Conversely, Germany or Canada use entirely paper
> marked ballots, under
> similar Federal legislation. To a large extent, OVC
> has no complaint
> about the German or Canadian styles, since they
> already provide
> voter-verifiable ballots automatically (though quite
> possibly OVC
> designs could improve disabled accessibility and
> provide enhanced
> voter-intent accuracy). (for the record, I -like-
> and trust the Brazil
> or India machines a lot better than USAian
> proprietary vendors, at
> least they are treated as public, not private,
> functions of
> governance). As well, nations differ in the number
> and types of
> questions that appear on ballots.
>
> Within the USA, some states or counties use DREs,
> and others do not.
> For example, here in Massachusetts, AFAIK, all our
> ballots are paper
> marked with pencils. As in Germany or Canada, I
> don't really have a
> lot of complaint about the existing system in
> Massachusetts. MA is a
> low priority state for pushing OVC systems. Many
> other states have
> adopted DREs, either state wide, or in certain
> counties; those are good
> places to push OVC in initially.
>
> It's true that OVC has many California members,
> including its two top
> officers. And our CA contacts, such as the recent
> meeting with the
> SoS's office, make adoption of OVC systems in CA
> comparatively likely.
> But we should continue to play all our options. If
> the Elections Clerk
> in Cook County, IL were to show a focussed interest
> in OVC, we should
> pay a lot of attention to that region (one of the
> OVC board is in IL, I
> think in Cook). Ohio, Georgia, Nebraska, and
> Maryland are also
> particularly high-profile, given their state-wide
> DRE usage. But
> wherever we push, we need people with local contacts
> to work on the OVC
> agenda.
>
> Ultimately, OVC is going to succeed in small steps.
> Some few counties
> or states will use our systems first, and we'll need
> to keep pushing
> them elsewhere. But we cannot pick and choose these
> first
> jurisdictions at our leisure. There are too many
> other political and
> economic interests involved for us to know where our
> first breaks will
> come.
>
> In the meanwhile, don't diss all the many highly
> committed OVC
> supporters who don't happen to live in the fine
> state of California.
>

=====
10777 Bendigo Cove
San Diego, CA 92126-2510

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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:20 2004

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