Re: Bev Harris Trashed OVC at the Houston ElectionHearing

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sat Jul 02 2005 - 14:58:23 CDT


> However, she has followers who dote on Bev's every word ....
That's true. However, I note that on Jun 16 just before the hearings in the
Secretary of State's office, quite a few activists were sitting in the
cafeteria (at SoS building) when Bev announced (loudly) that she was not on
board with OVC. Some of Bev's followers shouted down Arthur Keller saying,
"we want to hear Bev, not you" (it didn't work ... Arthur continued his
rant). Despite this, quite a few of the activists there stood up at the
hearings and plugged "open source," "no secrets" and "open voting
consortium." Some of those plugging "Open Voting Consortium" are real
leaders, like Mimi Kennedy (PDA founder and board chair). Bev is
influential -- rightfully so -- but doesn't exactly control the way people

> .... and I forgot to mention that Bev also thrashed U.S. computer
> scientists in general for not helping to study and uncover Diebold's
> flaws, and she neglected to mention that they would not be able to study
> Diebold's flaws without risking legal suits or without ending their own
> careers as voting system experts.
This is a very important point. In order to engage a large number of
scientists and engineers to beat on voting software, we need to have
non-proprietary software for them to work with The open source community
will never be interested in getting involved with proprietary disclosed

> It isn't merely "radical" (not a word that I used to describe it), it is a
> LOSING strategy.
For sure, "radical" is not the right word. "Retro" or "regressive" might be
more appropriate. Hand-marked hand-counted paper ballots is not new. It's
an old idea -- still in use in some jurisdictions in the U.S. It's
unattractive for jurisdictions with large numbers of contests on the ballot
and multiple languages to support. At the Common Cause event last week-end,
we heard a lot about alternative voting systems. Wanna hand count
ranked-preference or approval voting?

Lynn Landes has made the absurd proposal that we just make the ballots
simpler -- smaller precints and fewer things on the ballot. In other words,
she thinks we need to restrict what we vote on to fit her voting technology.
Does Bev think this way too?

OVC is committed supporting whatever methods are in use. We can easily
handle any number of contests or voting methods. Multiple languages and
disabled access are easy to do with computers.

Alan D.

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Received on Sun Jul 31 23:17:12 2005

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