More endorsements

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Mar 02 2005 - 19:46:58 CST

Here's a scan of the signup sheet Lara passed around this weekend.

In addition, we have just received a message from Nancy Matela,
national chair of the Election Reform Committee of the Alliance for
Democracy, saying, "You can add the Alliance for Democracy to your
list of Open Voting endorsers." AfD was founded by Ronnie Dugger,
author of the prophetic 1988 article Annals of Democracy.

Toward the end of that article, Dugger suggested the idea of public
software for public elections.

     Some citizens believe that vote counting software
     should be in the public domain, available to all parties
     and candidates, for whatever checks they wish to
     make on it. "I'm not for a public process being
     handled by private companies that won't let us see
     what's going on," says Susan Kesim, a young
     executive of a computer-security firm in Indiana.
     "Public-domain software -- it's open. I want to see
     that it added one to the total, because that's the
     process of voting."

     "Maybe a private foundation should do it," Frederick
     Weingarten has suggested. "Maybe if there was a
     consensus among the states, the federal government
     could write its own software and certify it through the
     National Bureau of Standards or the F.E.C. say, 'This
     we guarantee is accurate and untamperable.'"

     Penelope Bonsall, the director of the F.E.C.
     Clearinghouse, said of the public-software concept,
     "It's a public policy question; it's too broad for us to
     consider. It would have to compete with private interests.
     I don't know who would fund it. I just don't see how you
     would eliminate private efforts in this area."

Today, 17 years later, we're closer than ever to answering the issues
raised by Penelope Bonsall. It may be too broad for them to consider
but it's not too broad for OVC. We know there is money available with
HAVA to fund such an effort: It's now only a matter of public will.
We may also find money for development from other sources. Finally,
her comment about eliminating private interests is a false dilemma.
We know that companies can make money delivering the goods and
services that go along with free software.

Alan D.

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Received on Thu Mar 31 23:17:04 2005

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