Re: Campaign Letter

From: Lori Dechert <lori_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Mon Jan 26 2004 - 18:38:52 CST

Hi Alan,

Here is my suggested revision:

A little less than four years ago, the voting system in the United States
was front-page news for weeks and weeks. The public learned the painful
truth: instead of "every vote counted," the voting system was rife with
inaccuracy, mismanagement, and inequity.

It was widely acknowledged that while great advances in technology have been
made over the past 40 years, the voting system has not kept up. Can voters
be told that the problem has been resolved for the 2004 election?

The Open Voting Consortium is drawing on the expertise of many of the top
scientists and engineers interested in the field of voting technology. The
Open Voting Consortium team of academics and world leaders in voting methods
and technology know how we can have election results that can be fully
audited with paper ballots. And it will be far less expensive than the
proprietary blackbox systems. We are fighting entrenched interests but with
your help, we can succeed in providing a secure, accurate, and cost
efficient system of voting in the United States.

A strong case can be made that the current voting system is actually less
secure than ever, ever. Past efforts have been in the wrong direction.
Open Voting Consortium is a path in the right direction. Scientists have,
for years, warned that while purely electronic voting may appear attractive
in many ways, security concerns should rule out paperless Direct Record
Electronic (DRE) voting machines as an option. Election officials and other
decision makers - even the ones that are fairly astute technically - have
little knowledge of the types of tricks that can be played with computers.
An election result with these types of machines is virtually impossible to
audit. Recounts would become meaningless since there is no conclusive
evidence that the electronic record of a vote matches what the voter cast.

The bipartisan Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) allocates billions of
dollars for new voting equipment. A small percentage of this money (less
than one percent) is to be spent on the development of new voting
technology. However, the R&D effort was given little attention while
jurisdictions plowed ahead purchasing the new and very expensive paperless
electronic systems. Government entities are moving toward a voting system
exactly like what the scientists have said we should not have. If they
continue on this path, voters could wind up with a system where some highly
motivated and clever inside conspiracy might be able to alter enough of the
electronic votes to swing an election, and get away without a trace.

Many scientists and engineers are working to bring this issue to the
attention of the public. What election year issue could be more important
than ensuring that the voting system works correctly? There are solutions,
but we need your support. And we need your help to make this election issue
one that the candidates have to address.

We need ... [insert call to action]
Lori D.
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Received on Mon Jan 10 00:48:14 2005

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