Notes #1 from KSG/NSF symposium

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Wed Jun 02 2004 - 10:31:31 CDT

I got back last night from the symposium at Harvard, which I think went
very well... I presented OVC's goals and design to many people (I think
better than a formal demo would have, actually). It was attended by a
quite diverse group, about 50-60 people, all quite prominent in their
various fields. E.g. (mostly selected from those people I had a chance
to talk with personally at reasonable length): MN Sec of State Mary
Keffmeyer; elections supervisors (titles vary) for LA County, Connie
McCormack, and for NYC, Doug Kellner; cryptographers Avi Rubin and Ron
Rivest; reps from ACLU, NAACP, EPIC, CPSR; general council for MA IT,
Linda Hamel, who works on open software for states; chief elections
attorney for CT, Albert Lenge; and OVC familiars like Teresa Hommel and
Kim Alexander.

I even have hopes I moved Rebecca Mercuri a nudge closer to understand
why Free Software is about democracy, not technocratic utility. I
apologize if I misspelled anyone's name off the top of my head. Also,
Eron Lloyd attended, and it was nice to meet him face-to-face (and his
charming young wife; Eron also being a fresh-faced kid to us oldsters
:-)).

The organizers will publish notes soon, so I'll wait for that to
refresh my memories of names and sequence. In the meanwhile, two brief
comments occurred fairly frequently among people I spoke with:

(1) LOTS of people who generally like the design immediately have
doubts about the barcode, and recommend without prompting that OCR is
better for transparency to voters. Almost everyone, actually.

(2) We REALLY need some kind of "announcement" or "state of OVC"
mailing list that is MUCH lower traffic than this one. Just about
everyone told me they'd like to follow the progress, but no one said
they wanted an extra thousand messages a month. A website that was
updated more regularly might serve this purpose somewhat, but not as
well as a "push" mailing list.

As I envision such a thing, we should send out notes no more than once
a day to the "summary" subscribers. I think it would be OK to include
someone describing the state of discussion on the main (and developer)
list. E.g. a sentence like "A long historical ballot from NM was
presented by Charlie Straus, Alan Dechert created a mockup of how OVC
systems might print such a race; and Chalie asked about the information
entropy of this ballot" would not be too much for someone to read...
they just wouldn't want the half dozen full posts. Relevant external
events should certainly be mentioned too.

So volunteers to run a "Daily OVC" mailing list. Such a list should
definitely *NOT* be open to just anyone posting to it. At most two to
three people should have posting permission... probably only one
person. Ideally, the person should be someone who is--well, not
me--but specifically, someone who would like to do more, but is not a
coder per se (whose time is useful for coding), and probably not
someone who is spending lots of time on lobbying and grant writing.

Yours, David...
==================================================================
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
==================================================================
Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:01 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Jun 30 2004 - 23:17:29 CDT