Draft of fundraising letter

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Tue Aug 17 2004 - 11:19:34 CDT

I have drafted a short fundraising message designed for a wide audience.
Ideas on improving the letter as well as ideas for how to get it out to
"millions" are appreciated.

In a widely quoted speech last month that I gave on the Capitol steps in
Salt Lake City Utah, I said, "The concept of invisible ballots created with
secret software is fundamentally flawed."[1]

Do you agree with that? Do you also think that we're spending too much on
voting machines made by Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, and the rest?

What if an organization could develop a machine unlike these expensive,
proprietary, paperless voting machines-one that was inexpensive,
non-proprietary open source, and that produced a printed summary ballot that
the voter could verify before casting?

Volunteer engineers working with the Open Voting Consortium (OVC) have
worked long and hard to make such a machine available. We also have
developed a viable plan for how this voting machine can be delivered and
supported. Our system was described in a San Jose Mercury News Editorial as
"the holy grail of election officials" [2] on April 8th -- a week after our
successful demonstration at the County Government Center in San Jose

We need your help today so the Open Voting Consortium plan can reach a new
stage closer to deployment as a replacement for the not-ready-for-prime-time
technology that has been foisted on the American public. We have multiple
proposals under consideration by state and local election officials. We
also have invited proposals from foundations that look likely to receive
support. We need seed/bridging money so that we can continue to expand our
efforts until expected institutional support comes through.

In April, we conducted a successful fundraising drive to raise $4,000 in one
week. [3] That was just what we needed then. Now, I think $20,000 is what
we need for this stage. Ideally, I would like to raise at least $10,000 in
one-time grants, and sign up 1,000 "supporting members" at $10 per month.
Please visit our web site. You can make your contribution on line via
PayPal. We are also happy to receive checks in the mail.

Your donations will enable us to reach a wider audience, including
decision-makers that need to have the details set before them in writing as
well as the general public.

The OVC is a nonprofit California corporation designed as a 501(6)
organization. You contribution will not be tax deductible[4], but you will
be helping to secure democracy for generations to come.

Alan Dechert
9560 Windrose Lane
Granite Bay, CA 95746

[1] See http://tv.ksl.com/index.php?nid=5&sid=106183
[2] See http://www.kentucky.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/8383100.htm
[3] See http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/news.html
[4] Once we have our software certified, we will be a trade association
whose members will deliver the goods and services, including training and
support. If you join the OVC with business interests in our product, your
membership dues may be deductible as a business expense. Consult your
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= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:14 2004

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