Re: FAQ # 15

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Tue Dec 09 2003 - 16:33:10 CST

FAQ # 7OOOhhh. Not quite.

That's an okay answer for now. But the OVC will be funded largely through membership fees. We will borrow some funding ideas from other consortia. For example, the OpenGIS Consortium has the following in their Bylaws

2.1 b)

(iv) Founding Members. Certain entities provided substantial aid to the Open GIS Foundation in support of the "OGIS Project" prior to the incorporation of the Consortium and were granted Membership at appropriate levels without payment of additional fees for their first year of Membership. These Members are entitled to call themselves Founding Members; and the Board of Directors may permit them to continue in such Membership levels during subsequent years if the level of aid that they continue to provide to the Consortium remains sufficient to warrant the waiver of normal Membership fees during these years.

If you substitute Open Voting for Open GIS and EVM2003 for "OGIS Project," that's pretty much what we're planning for "Founding Members." In other words, if you contribute to our project you get sweat equity. You get in for free. It doesn't mean it will always be free. But we're not going to charge you membership until some time after we're fully operational. For example, if we get the voting software certified and you get a nice consulting contract (for example, training or technical support) with a county we might expect you to become a dues paying member at some point after that. But all founding members should get a free ride for at least a year or so after the food chain develops.

Like other consortia, the OVC will have various membership levels. Specific dollar amounts have not been determined and probably won't be determined for some time. And even after we set rates, this will probably change over time.

The rate schedule has to make sense. If a company is scoring multi-million dollar contracts by providing the hardware that marries with our free software, it doesn't make sense to charge them the same as a consultant that gets an occasional gig doing training.

We will solicit memberships from county governments. I think it will make sense for them to be involved in the process. I am thinking that we might charge them one dollar per year per precinct. This means a small county with say 100 precincts would pay 100 dollars per year -- seems affordable. A large one might have a 1,000 precincts or more. There are around 200,000 precincts in the U.S. so that would give us a potential of $200,000 per year if we get them all signed up (might take a while!).

Consider the potential members:

1) Corporations
2) Universities
3) Governments (Local and State)
4) Consultants
5) Individuals

I've mentioned that county government membership dues would be scaled. But there will probably be some scaling necessary in other categories as well.

We need to recognize that there are real expenses involved and real work involved, and that costs need to be covered. We may have to come up with around $100,000 to get the software certified initially. There will be many on-going expenses. Our goal is to make a very cheap voting system and so we will try to make membership dues very affordable -- but we can't make them all free.

Alan D.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp)
  To: ''
  Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 1:47 PM
  Subject: RE: [voting-project] FAQ # 15

  There is no charge for participating in the Open Voting Consortium. The OVC is open to any party with an interest in implementing and promoting an open voting system.

  - LP
    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On Behalf Of Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp)
    Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 4:42 PM
    To: ''
    Subject: [voting-project] FAQ # 15

    "How much does it cost to be an OVC member?"
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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:06 2003

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