Re: Possible OVC "sub project"?

From: Jim March <jmarch_at_prodigy_dot_net>
Date: Wed Apr 27 2005 - 08:47:11 CDT

Ed Kennedy wrote:

> 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.

I realize full well that such an OVC "paper scan tabulator stage one"
could easily be adapted to count most other "fill in the bubble with a
pen or pencil" paper voting systems, probably including the LA Inkavote
(with it's bizarre financial ties to a former Malaysian dictator!) and
God knows what else.

I'm suggesting a "Diebold replacement" version as the first product for
two reasons:

1) Technical: we know a LOT about how the Diebold tabulator/ballot
layout process works and can interface with their MS-Access ballot
design process, speeding up implementation. I would submit that given
what we know about the data files, we could do a "Diebold-centric"
critter faster than we could for any other vendor.

2) Political: Diebold is THE "worst case offender" to date. We really
do have enough evidence to call for their being thrown out of the
state. In which case we (meaning BlackBoxVoting and allies) need to be
able to propose an alternative; a crash-course tabulator design is the
best answer I can come up with.

If all of this "diverted" energy from your core project goals it might
be improper but...I don't think it does. Like I say, virtually all of
the R&D and even components (the megascanners, etc) coming out of this
project can be recycled into more advanced "all OVC" solutions.

> 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.

You know, that's a hell of a good question. There ARE questions being
raised back in Canton Ohio (the parent corporation HQ) about what the
hell is going on with the elections subsidiary (Global, now Diebold
Election Systems). Wall Street has been saying that dumping the voting
biz would cause the parent's stock to bump...

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Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:16 2005

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