Re: Draft of fundraising letter

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Tue Aug 17 2004 - 18:46:02 CDT

I think I took all of Arthur's edits.

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 is inexpensive,
non-proprietary, had publicly examinable programming source code, and that
produced a printed summary ballot that the voter could verify before

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 have
also submitted proposals invited by foundations that are interested in
supporting our efforts. However, it will be a while before funding from
these proposals is available. We need money now, so we can expand our
efforts to develop and evangelize our safe and secure approach to electronic

In April, we conducted a successful fundraising drive to raise $4,000 in one
week [4]. That was just what we needed then. Now, we need $20,000 to build
momentum. Our goal is 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 to (appropriate button can be found on our
home page). 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 consortium incorporated in California. Your
contribution will not be tax deductible [5], but you will be helping to
secure democracy for generations to come.

Alan Dechert
9560 Windrose Lane
Granite Bay, CA 95746

[1] See
[2] See
[3] See
[4] See
[5] OVC is applying for 501(c)(6) designation as a trade association. 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,
OVC is applying for 501(c)(6) designation as a trade association.
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:14 2004

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