Re: [OVC-discuss] Privately and independently -- how willOVCdealwiththis?

From: Jim March <1.jim.march@gmail.com>
Date: Sun Jun 28 2009 - 15:15:28 CDT

>>rather than develop "our own" expertise, it might be better to engage directly with disability advocates. they're already better informed about disability law, are certainly driving the discourse on accessible voting, and we need to work with them anyway as co-developers.

i'd be interested in hearing counter-arguments to this strategy.<<

Well...you have to get the right disability activist folks or it could
turn real sour on you.

Early on (call it 2003-2004 era) and in spurts since we keep running
into disability folk who are strong proponents of DREs. The most
radical say "there shouldn't be a paper trail because WE (blind) can't
read it, therefore you can't". Yeah, seriously.

There were two issues going on:

* Specifically the National Federation of the Blind had gotten deeply
in bed with Diebold long before Diebold got in bed with elections.
Basically, there was a scam going where NFB would sue banks who didn't
have "blind accessible" ATMs, and the settlement would include a
switch to Diebold ATMs, and guess who funded the litigation? Yeah.
So when Diebold got involved in electronic voting, this "relationship"
continued. It got bad enough that at the California SecState voting
system certification meetings, anybody who showed up towed by a doggie
was pretty much a known entity as far as what they wanted, and to hell
with computer security. The good news is, as Diebold's rep tanked
further, this link at least got less overt.

* More generally, a lot of disability activists see "accessible"
(sorta) DREs as a sign that "look, they're at least trying to cater to
us". In other words, from their point of view they're fighting a
broad battle for accessibility on a LOT of fronts, with voting being
just a small skirmish in a bigger war. Looked at from that angle,
pushing accessibility over security makes "sense" if that's your major
concern.

The good news is that some did eventually go "wait a minute, if the
vote if FUBAR, that's all the marbles right there..." and look past a
very narrow view of their issue.

In much the same way as I for example used to be a single-issue voter
focused on one political issue: gun control (or the lack thereof). I
haven't changed my opinions on this point (and in fact have a
357Magnum strapped on as I type this as I'm about to go out!) but it's
not my major political focus these days. (Yes, I have a permit,
background check, training, etc...)

In conclusion: good idea, but be careful who you deal with.

Jim March

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Received on Tue Jun 30 23:17:17 2009

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