Re: [OVC-discuss] Bowen opposes legislative proposal

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Jan 28 2009 - 12:34:41 CST

Reading this from you, Richard, is especially meaningful. It was the
resolution (ACR 242, when Shelley was SoS) you wrote in 2004, which OVC
sponsored, that was McPherson's un-doing. It opened the door for Bowen.
Jim March and I testified for the resolution, and it passed in the
legislature. We had no idea at the time of what effect it would have, but
we can trace the steps from your keyboard to Bowen's election.

>From December of 2000, all I ever wanted to do was write a proposal, get it
funded, and develop the first open source voting system. Then, go do
something else. I never wanted to make a career out of this. But year
after year, I've been sucked deeper and deeper into this mess.

I am flattered and honored that you suggest I run for Secretary of State. I
really don't want to do that. I want to see the secretary work with us to
bring a public voting system to Los Angeles. Her rejection of our
legislative proposal doesn't necessarily mean she won't work with us on the
rest of it, but it is not a good sign. I will hold your suggestion as a
possibility if she continues to drag her feet on open source.

Alan D.

>I for one am extremely disappointed in the Secretary of State's decision to
> not support a bill that would, at essentially no cost to the state, remove
> the financial barrier that impedes progress towards implementation of an
> open-source voting system in California. The fact that Debra Bowen
> campaigned as a strong advocate of open source software just makes my
> disappointment more bitter.
>
> I was personally assured by Ms. Bowen that she would support the use of
> open
> source software in California's elections. I donated to her campaign,
> collected signatures to get her on the ballot, and walked precincts on her
> behalf. Remembering how, when she was the assembly member for my
> district,
> she almost single-handedly managed to get California's legislative
> information on line for citizens to follow, I expected her to follow
> through
> on her campaign rhetoric and actively support development of open source
> voting solutions.
>
> Her top-down review of proprietary voting systems provided proof-positive
> that
> change is needed, and her own pronouncements demonstrate that she
> understands
> the need for an open source approach. Her many accomplishments while in
> the
> assembly and later in the senate demonstrate that she has the political
> skills needed to make progress. Why, then, have we heard virtually
> nothing
> more about open source since she took office? Why has she refused to
> support
> legislative proposals to encourage open source voting solution
> development?
> She rejected one proposal while she was in the Senate, and now two more
> since
> she has been Secretary of state. Why has she not worked with open source
> supporters to help them develop a proposal that she could support?
>
> Perhaps Ms Bowen has changed her mind regarding open source voting
> systems.
> Whether or not that is the case, it is clear that open source proponents
> must
> organize politically to become a real force in the competition to provide
> California's voting system. If it develops that Ms. Bowen has in fact
> abandoned her support for open source, then it may be necessary to mount a
> campaign to replace her, since it is highly unlikely that open source
> will make any headway with out the Secretary's support.
>
> This would be no small undertaking, but we certainly have potential
> candidates
> among our number. Alan Dechert, for instance, has spent many years
> studying
> election issues and organizing the effort to implement an open source
> voting
> system. He probably knows as much, or more, about California elections
> and
> the players in the election system market than anyone else, and I believe
> we
> could depend upon him to maintain his support for open source software.
>
> Taking on the Secretary of State would be no small task. In fact, it
> would be
> an uphill battle, but if we are serious about getting open source systems
> adopted, we need a Secretary of State who is truly supportive. If Debra
> Bowen is not that person, then we need to decide who it is, and begin
> laying
> the groundwork.
>
> Richard Dawson

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Received on Thu Jan 7 00:09:55 2010

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