Re: Fwd: Jurisdictional focus

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Thu Apr 29 2004 - 21:45:56 CDT

Do you have additional information about the Indian and Brazilian ballot
technology or is that in the archive somewhere?;

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Mertz" <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
To: <voting-project@lists.sonic.net>
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2004 9:46 PM
Subject: Fwd: Jurisdictional focus

> 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.
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:25 2004

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