Re: Open Voting Foundation

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Mon Feb 28 2005 - 16:54:25 CST

Alan Dechert wrote:
>> sister organization called the Open Voting
>> Foundation (OVF). I reserved the name today.
>> The OVF will be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, which means
>> donations will be tax deductible. The mission will be complementary to
>> the OVC...

On Feb 28, 2005, at 5:36 PM, Ron Crane wrote:
> Does this mean that OVF will actually develop a platform based upon
> OVC's software? But you say it has "nothing to do with deployment".

I'm not Alan, but I know enough of the background that I think I can
speak for the intention here.

It's almost the opposite of what Ron suggests. The OVF would make it
easier for individuals to contribute to the overall goal of creating
Free Software/Voter-Verifiable voting systems; but to qualify for tax
deductible status, OVF has to avoid direct political lobbying and/or
commercial interests. The OVC is sort of halfway in the middle--it's
non-profit, which is part of why it's not good as a direct vendor, but
OVC is an "industry consortium" which means we can still lobby for
favorable legislation and things like that.

I am now thinking it probably *IS* time to create another sister
organization: the Open Voting Partners (or whatever the name). Karl
Auerbach (one of our board members, among other things) has been in
favor of this, some other members have been more hesitant about it.
That is, OVP would actually try to make money by selling hardware and
services to states, where those systems matched OVC standards and
goals. But this OVP is a big deal... it would need investors and/or
capital; need to hire regular employees--both programmers and sales
reps; and so on. OVC itself has kinda tried to do that, but hasn't
really been able to raise enough money to do so yet. Just making OVP
for-profit doesn't automatically get capital--though it may make
certain routes easier.

Of course, I myself have absolutely no mind, nor stomach, for such
for-profit corporate endeavors. If, say, Ron wanted to form a
company... well, I'm supportive and available for advice. But it's a
big undertaking; one that needs to happen, I think, but hasn't yet.
The name 'OVP' is incidental, 'Crane Enterprises' would be equally fine
if the purpose was the same.

Yours, David...

P.S. To Ron: Ed Kennedy pointed out to me that a Ron Crane was
important in the development of Ethernet; are you the same person? I
saw you mention elsewhere that you are a lawyer. If both of those are
you, let me say I am very impressed. No slight meant, of course, if
you're not the Ethernet guy.

If I seem shortsighted to you, it is only because I have stood on the
backs of midgets.

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Received on Thu Mar 31 23:17:03 2005

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