Re: Shamos Rebuttal, Draft 3

From: Teresa Hommel <tahommel_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Thu May 05 2005 - 20:18:36 CDT

  Hi Ron,

Please do NOT list me as an author or contributor to this article.

I think this project is very important, and this work you have done is
an excellent beginning. First drafts are the hardest work. But it really
is only a first draft, and it reads like one, stiff, wordy, unfocused,
and ready for a second draft. It is ready for another good writer, or
yourself at a later time, to take this material and focus it for a
specific audience.

The reason I do not want to be listed as an author or contributor is
that as written, the article does not express any of my points of view
or suggestions. Merely including the word "transparency" a few times
does not make it clear that democracy is govt of by and for the people,
and if people cannot effectively or meaningfully observe election
procedures then those procedures and the entire election lack legitimacy.

Also, I think the article is excessively detailed and technical. I
thought someone wanted to circulate it to legislators or officials in
PA. I cannot believe that anyone except a techie would read this.

Below are three suggestions, and attached is the whole thing with edits
on the first page.

Teresa Hommel

1. Cut the "amusement" stuff and other emotion-laden or attutude words.

2. You have to define what transparency, accountability, and the nature
of American democracy are. You cannot assume that anyone knows what your
concept of these abstractions are. I have found that even voting rights
activists don't understand the terms well enough to evaluate whether a
given procedure or law complies or doesn't.

Democracy has to be implemented by people, not by computers. A lot of
OVC emailers have a problem with this concept. If elections as currently
being conducted cannot be conducted without computers, then the
elections should not be conducted that way. The only way to achieve
election legitimacy is by having multipartisan observers of
ballot-handling and vote-counting.

I suggest that you state that democracy and democratic elections have to
be of, by, and for the people (demos, people), and that elections are
not a government service or entitlement that someone or some Board of
Elections or vendor performs for the people.

3. Do not refer to the American govt as a republic. It is supposed to be
a democracy. A republic can be a dictatorship. Just because Shamos uses
the term doesn't mean you have to use it.

Ron Crane wrote:

> This draft incorporates comments by Arthur, David, and a well-known
> OVC contributor who wishes to remain anonymous. It also includes some
> revisions of my own. Revision bars are from draft 2, but exclude
> purely textual changes like the placements of quotes and reference
> marks. Please comment. My next draft will include full formal
> citations for all the hyperlinks (talk about drudgery!)
> -R
> P.S. Alan: whom do you want to list as co-authors?
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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:22 2005

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