Comment on your Draft Criteria

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Thu Mar 29 2007 - 22:18:00 CDT

Dear Secretary Bowen,

We all agree that a top-to-bottom review of the voting system is an
appropriate exercise for a new Secretary of State, especially for one that
campaigned on the inadequacies and failures of the current system. We thank
you for your diligence.

We are concerned that your proposed review focuses too narrowly on the
equipment. Administrative factors have a lot to do with whether or not
current systems can be used in a satisfactory manner.

We would like details on how each county has been conducting the one percent
audit. Are their written procedures good? Are they following them?

We want a better, more transparent, voting system. We want public oversight
of all aspects of election administration. We are interested in seeing your
plan to improve the voting system and bring sunlight to shine on the whole
apparatus.

Your proposed source code review still says, "trust me."

Testing of accessibility features is very difficult. HAVA is only clear on
the need for access for reading-impaired voters. After that, guidelines can
become very murky. We recommend that you find out who wants to use -- and
has been using -- these systems in order to vote without assistance, but
also find out who has been voting with assistance and find out how they feel
about it.

Testing all these products (70 listed here, certified since 1/1/05:
http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/voting_systems/vs_certified_jan07.pdf ) to
state and federal standards is very ambitious. We wish you well in this
undertaking, and we hope you can proceed with improvements to the whole
system as soon as possible.

We are ready to help, if asked.

Alan Dechert
President, Open Voting Consortium
http://openvoting.org
alan@openvoting.org
916-772-5360

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Received on Sat Mar 31 23:17:08 2007

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