Re: Good Afternoon for Democracy

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Apr 18 2007 - 11:43:45 CDT

Thanks, Nancy. Of course, please, pass around the email -- post it, whatever. This is public info.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Nancy Tobi
  To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
  Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 6:43 AM
  Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Good Afternoon for Democracy


  Thank you for the lucid coverage and the valiant battles you have been fighting on behalf of all of us. Many people don't understand or follow the legislative process, and your coverage has been extremely helpful in this respect.

  Your vision regarding open source and MSoft role in it too, has been enlightening to us all.

  Many thanks and many many blessings to you and your family - you need a shower of them to give you cover as you devote yourself to the cause.

  PS: May I post this report to our website?


  On 4/18/07, Alan Dechert <> wrote:
    Most of you are on the OVC announcements list, but just in case, and for
    posterity, here is what I wrote today:

    Dear Friends of Open Voting:

    I wrote that this was a good afternoon for democracy. Actually, maybe it
    was a GREAT day! Our efforts to bring about transparency in the vote
    counting process were successful on two fronts -- San Francisco and
    Sacramento. AB 852 won the vote 5-2 in the Assembly elections committee.
    The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted against buying a new Sequoia
    (with DRE) voting system, and decided to stay with the existing optical scan
    system with the AutoMARK ballot marking device.

    I was in the Capitol Building all afternoon. I testified for AB 852, using
    my Diebold voting machine as a prop. "See the InfraRed port? This machine
    is capable of communicating with a laptop across the room. Do you want to
    vote on a machine like this? This machine was certified but all the testing
    is a big secret." I had a lot of ammunition -- didn't need half of it.

    Assemblymember Krekorian said that Secretary of State Debra Bowen supports
    the principles behind AB 852. This is a little short of official
    endorsement, but what a difference a year makes. Last year, Secretary of
    State McPherson fought our bill (AB 2097 carried by the Jackie Goldberg --
    the great, but termed-out Jackie Goldberg) all the way.

    Then all the Microsoft shills showed up to testify against the bill. No one
    said, "I work for Microsoft," but they may as well have had "Microsoft
    shill" tattooed on their foreheads. It was appalling. Their testimony was
    appalling. "This will hurt business. This will stifle innovation is
    election technology. This will make the voting system unsafe."

    Guess what? We don't conduct elections to create profit centers for
    business; we don't need innovative vote counting methods; computer code must
    stand up to scrutiny in order to be secure. That's the truth. Today, the
    truth prevailed. The truth doesn't always prevail, but today it did in

    Last year, our bill was held in the Appropriations committee. This is
    another big difference. Mark Leno, one of our co-authors on AB 2097, is now
    chair of this committee. Before I knew this, I had already relaxed the
    schedule for disclosure so it would not run into the problems we had last
    year in this committee. We have a much better chance this year in
    Appropriations. Assuming success there, we'll go to a floor vote in late
    May, then on to the Senate.

    The actions of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (SF BoS) today may
    have been even more significant. You may remember that the SF BoS said they
    wouldn't approve the Sequoia contract without language in the contract
    requiring full public disclosure of their technology.

    We are working on getting "open source," or, at least, public disclosure to
    be part of any contract for a voting system with the City of San Francisco.
    This could have an impact before our proposed state law would take effect.

    Thank you again for your support. I don't think there is anything important
    I can do by myself. Success for all of these accomplishments is due to our

    Alan Dechert

    OVC-discuss mailing list

  Nancy Tobi
  Co-Founder, Democracy For New Hampshire
  Chair, NH Fair Elections Committee
  Legislative Coordinator, Election Defense Alliance


  OVC-discuss mailing list

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Received on Mon Apr 30 23:17:08 2007

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