Re: Possible OVC "sub project"?

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Tue Apr 26 2005 - 21:59:26 CDT

Hello Jim:

I think I heard that the board would like to focus on a tabulator this year.
FYI: The 'mark sense' ballot design is not unique to Diebold and original
patent (1930's?) expired according to a discussion I had when I was talking
up a version of the EVM that I called the Mark-a-matic (It slices, it dices
;->). My personal request at this time is that we get the EVM demo put on a
Linux live CD for us less technically savvy folks. In case you missed it, I
like your idea.

Is Diebold a publicly held corporation? I've been having a side discussion
with a couple of folks about why hasn't Diebold's board of directors long
ago told management to drop the voting equipment line. Considering the
losses they must have had lately, there is no real good business case for
them to stay in this product line. The discussion has been along the lines
that the investors must be expecting some other sort of 'return' on their
investment. One person told me that the major investors were wealthy
Republicans. The elimination of 'risk' could be something that certain
wealthy people would be willing to fund. Unfortunately, I don't have enough
information or time to follow this us so I'd thought I'd throw it out for
your consideration.


Thanks, Ed Kennedy

Thanks, Edmund R. Kennedy
Always work for the common good.
10777 Bendigo Cove
San Diego, CA 92126-2510
I blog now and then at: <>
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim March" <>
To: "Open Voting Consortium discussion list" 
<>; <>; "Lowell Finley" 
Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2005 7:23 PM
Subject: [OVC-discuss] Possible OVC "sub project"?
> Ed Kennedy wrote:
>> Hello JamBoi and others:
>> Doug Jones, the election scholar at the University of  Iowa told me that 
>> you can't get anything certified unless it also includes a registration 
>> and tabulation system.  If I misunderstood him, perhaps he'll let us all 
>> know. If we can't get the EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) certified 
>> without these other items then they are part of the minimal standards.  I 
>> would love to focus like a laser on getting the EVM ready for 
>> certification as it's real hard to go around and talk to election 
>> officials and tell them that they shouldn't use a DRE when you haven't 
>> got an attractive alternative.
> OK, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
> Right.  The situation is that yet MORE dirt on Diebold is turning up. 
> I'll have it all on paper soon but the upshot is that ethical and legal 
> violations Shelley's office caught them at back in April 2004 have not 
> only not been fixed, they've been breeding.
> BBV is going to call for statewide de-cert of Diebold on May 19th.  It's 
> going to be *brutal* in that hearing, WW3 level.
> We need to be able to propose an alternative for the existing Diebold 
> client counties.  A *FAST* alternative that can be working by June '06.
> Here's what I'm proposing: OVC (and the UC system funded with HAVA R&D 
> cash) crash-course develops a new tabulator, one that has a bank of 2 to 6 
> honkin' big autofeed scanners that can read Diebold paper ballots.  For 
> this "first stage", we let the voters vote on paper and use Diebold small 
> precinct optical scanners to do the HAVA-required under/over vote scan at 
> the precinct - but *ignore* the "electronic ballot box" from those Diebold 
> terminals and scan the paper at elections HQ.
> This means a single Linux PC per county hooked up to two or more big 
> gnarly scanners, and custom tabulator/scanner integrated open-source 
> scanners.
> Before you get uptight about costs, remember that the GEMS software alone 
> is $44k.  A couple of $10k scanners, a $5k PC, another $5k for misc. and 
> we're still in under the costs of the Diebold software alone.
> It should be possible to read the contents of a GEMS database file 
> (MS-Access, a well understood file format) to get the required ballot 
> layout data and import that into the Linux/SQL box.  Under this model, the 
> Diebold GEMS and precinct scanners would be used to develop the ballot 
> layout, while the OVC box would do ALL the tabulation functions.
> Now here's the cool part: the Linux-based tabulator you build would also 
> serve as the core tabulator for the next phase: an all-OVC setup. 
> Remember, you'll still need to do optical scan for absentee ballots so the 
> R&D you spend on this "stage one, prop up a crippled Diebold critter" 
> stage will be almost completely reusable for the "total OVC package" down 
> the road.
> I would submit that this "stage one propup" project would be less 
> intensive than the complete solution...and would allow BBV to propose an 
> alternate trustworthy tabulation process in time for the '06 primaries (so 
> long as co-development via the UC system was funded via Bruce's HAVA R&D 
> funds).
> If Doug is right and registration needs to be in there too, fine, add it 
> to the stage one Linux-based tabulator.  As with the tabulator, the work 
> done will be applicable to the total solution later.
> Jim March
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Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:16 2005

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