[OVC-discuss] Bowen opposes legislative proposal

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Tue Jan 27 2009 - 15:38:13 CST

I received a call from Ronda Paschal informing me that the Secretary of
State is opposed to our legislative proposal. Needless to say, I am
extremely disappointed.

The reasons were similar to those given two years ago when I had something
like this included in AB 852. At that time, I chalked it up to too much too
soon. She had not been in office for more than a couple of weeks, and had
already committed to doing the top-to-bottom review.

I did not bother to submit anything to the CA legislature last year because
that was the secretary's first federal election cycle -- an important
presidential year -- and I figured she would not be very interested in
making any big changes to the election code.

But now, those are behind us. The top-to-bottom review would seem to
support the idea of our bill.... that is, the systems that got through the
federal certification process were still bad. So, why not try our own
process for CA?

Even if we accept that the secretary prefers to see the federal
certification process improved, this legislative proposal would not hurt
that goal one bit. It would probably help the feds see some new things
about how open source and open test makes all sorts of new testing possible
and cost effective -- engaging the open source community all over the world.

So, I just don't get it. It's not a matter of specific wording she did not
like. I had sent over version 5:
http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/January.2009/0020.html
She was opposed to the basic ideas behind the bill.

I pointed out to Ms. Paschal that,

- current vendors had little incentive to go open source.
- in the current budgetary crisis neither the state nor fed gov is likely to
fund development of open source
- private foundations and wealthy individuals have told me over and over
that they're reluctant to fund something they see as basically a
responsibility of government. If government isn't doing it, it must be
because they don't want it and, therefore, their private dollars are likely
to go to waste anyway.

Since Bowen says she wants to see a public voting system instead of having
proprietary private systems, how are we going to achieve that? Ms. Paschal
had no idea about that.

None of the arguments I made mattered at all. She was just calling be to
inform me.

Unless we can get Bowen to change her mind in the next few days, I won't
bother to ask any legislator to carry it. It will be DOA. The deadline is
Friday for submitting text to leg counsel.

Alan D.

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Received on Thu Jan 7 00:09:54 2010

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