Re: Draft of fundraising letter

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Tue Aug 17 2004 - 15:32:36 CDT

> > In a widely quoted speech last month that I gave on the Capitol steps
> > in
> > Salt Lake City Utah, I said,
>
> It reads better to me to move some words:
>
> > In a widely quoted speech that I gave last month on the Capitol steps
> > in
> > Salt Lake City Utah, I said,
>
Okay.

>
> > 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?
>
> I think you need an adjective to help negatively characterize the
> problem with the proprietary vendors.
>
> Maybe "...made by self-interested private companies such as Diebold,..."
>
> Obviously, we don't want to commit libel. But not everyone already
> knows what's wrong with these vendors.
>
not sure that does much. "Self-interested private companies" is not really
negative in the minds of most--just a fact of life.

>
> > 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?
>
> Here "open source" is not self-evident in meaning to all readers.
> Maybe:
>
> > ...a machine unlike these expensive,
> > proprietary, paperless voting machines--one that was inexpensive,
> > non-proprietary, had source code examinable by all voters, and that
> > produced a printed summary ballot that the voter could verify before
> > casting?
>
Okay, I put something like that

>
> > designed as a 501(6)
>
> I think your MS software is overzealous in corrections. Yet another
> reason to ditch MS: you can write 501(c)(6) as intended.
>
Got it [embarassed].

> Of course, the organization is also "designated" not "designed"...
> well, it -was- "designed" by us, but that's not what you mean.
>
Actually, I did mean designed. It's a foregone conclusion that we will be a
501(c)(6), but until we actually have the application approved by the IRS,
we probably should not say we are actually a 501(c)(6). There is nothing
tricky here and it's of no tax consequence this year, but it will take some
time.

Here's what I have now:
*****
In a widely quoted speech that I gave last month 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, had publicly examinable programming source code, 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
California [3].

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 foundation proposals 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 [4]. 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. If you have other
ideas about how you can contribute, please call or email.

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(c)(6)
organization. You contribution will not be tax deductible [5], but you will
be helping to secure democracy for generations to come.

Alan Dechert
http://www.OpenVotingConsortium.org
alan@openvoting.org
9560 Windrose Lane
Granite Bay, CA 95746
916-791-0456

[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.dalelane.co.uk/cache/ovc_news4.htm
[4] See http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/news.html
[5] 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
accountant.
For more details about the OVC architecture,
See http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/policy/2004/04/26/ovc.html

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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:14 2004

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