Re: [OVC-discuss] I need your help today -- oppose Holt billasintroduced

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Jun 24 2009 - 10:50:43 CDT

I don't know any background on the "no-touch" feature, as you tactfully put it.

I agree that assistance from a poll worker could work. However, the language seems to demand no assistance, saying, "privately and independently."

If the process would explicity allow pollworker assistance, then it might be doable. However, that's not what it says now.

Alan D

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Jim Tobias
  To: 'Open Voting Consortium discussion list'
  Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 5:45 AM
  Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] I need your help today -- oppose Holt billasintroduced

  Alan, can you provide any background on this specific "no-touch" feature? Was it requested by dexterity-disabled advocates?

  There are certainly several ways to address this issue *outside* of the technical design, with assistance from a poll worker. As long as the design does not prevent those solutions, it would be compliant with the language below, as I read it.

  Are there other objectionable provisions that you have not mentioned?

  ***
  Jim Tobias
  Inclusive Technologies
  +1.908.907.2387 v/sms
  skype jimtobias

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From: Nancy Tobi [mailto:nancy.tobi@gmail.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 7:51 AM
    To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
    Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] I need your help today -- oppose Holt bill asintroduced

    Nice Alan. I can't believe this crap keeps on coming. And Holt thinks we are so stupid that we miss his multi-billion dollar toss to the unscrupulous e-voting industry with his never ending demands for more complexity, more opacity, more technocrap????

    On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 3:10 AM, Alan Dechert <dechert@gmail.com> wrote:

      Below is a copy of what I sent to our announcements list

      ********
      Dear Friends of Open Voting:

      I need your help today. As you may recall, US Representative Rush Holt has introduced several badly flawed voting reform bills in the past few years. We have opposed them for a variety of reasons.

      Last week, Holt introduced his new one: The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2009 (HR 2894)
      http://holt.house.gov/voting.shtml

      In general, the bill is not as bad as the previous. Some provisions are good. Ban DREs, ban wireless, provide some funding for voting software that would be publicly available. However, overall, the bill is still bad. The deep flaw with this bill, generally speaking, remains the same: it would put the federal goverment too much into running the voting system. Holt is trying to do too much and making a mess of it.

      Parts of it are outrageously bad. The main offending part for me is where they say the machine for individuals with disabilities must allow the voter to "independently verify and cast the permanent paper ballot without requiring the voter to manually handle the paper ballot;" This is ridiculous. This the proverbial $900 hammer approach. No machine has this capability currently, and such a machine would be many times more expensive than necessary. Potential solutions would solve one almost non-existent problem and create several others -- besides the expense.

      It's the same mentality that led to adding the expensive printing mechanism to the DRE voting machines. Vendors didn't mind doing it as long as the government was paying for it. Guess what? Government paid for it. No wait, YOU paid for it. Now those machines are getting junked. So, tax-payers underwrote stupid voting architecture. Diebold et al got paid to develop it and sell it. Now the stupid machines go in the trash and Diebold keeps the money. It's another example of a very few outspoken "disabled rights activists" -- people in bed with industry -- creating a very expensive mandate.

      If we can't get this changed, the bill must be killed. Other parts of the bill should just be removed rather than fixed. We might support it if chunks of it were simply removed.

      A here is a link directly to the bill language.

      http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:1:./temp/~c111Uxz8FM:e0:

         SEC. 102. ACCESSIBILITY AND BALLOT VERIFICATION FOR
         INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES.
      ...

         (II) allows the voter to privately and
         independently verify and cast the permanent
         paper ballot without requiring the
         voter to manually handle the paper ballot;

      I need your help contacting Congress in opposition to this bill.

      I also need your financial support so OVC can continue to develop and demonstrate sensible open source voting technology, and defeat crappy legislation like this.

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Received on Tue Jun 30 23:17:11 2009

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