[OVC-discuss] Voting System Industry Market Failure Could Lead to Its Disappearance

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri May 01 2009 - 10:02:43 CDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Voting System Industry Market Failure Could Lead to Its Disappearance

May 1, 2009
Contact: Alan Dechert, 916-772-5360
President, Open Voting Consortium
9560 Windrose Lane, Granite Bay, CA 95746
http://openvoting.org
Reference: Letter to Election Technology Council
http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/ad/res2etc.pdf

GRANITE BAY, CA -- "Proprietary hardware and proprietary software are not
actually needed to tabulate votes," said Alan Dechert, president of Open
Voting Consortium. "This fact has been demonstrated in public elections in
Australia and elsewhere. If the voting system industry in the United States
cannot get its act together, the government may well decide that we cannot
afford to have them around anymore."

In a letter dated April 30th, Dechert wrote that, "Voting system industry
market failure has been due to the proliferation over the past 45 years of
voting technologies that pose significant public risks. Regulation has
grown in an attempt to mitigate these risks - grown to a point where a
customer might want a new system but the market cannot provide it. " The
letter was in response to a paper issued by Election Technology Council, a
trade association of the four major vendors -- ES&S, Diebold ("Premier"),
Sequoia, and Hart InterCivic.

They have been continually re-inventing the wheel. Now that federal
certification of a new voting system has ballooned to $4 million, the market
cannot support a continuation of this activity. In some cases, governments
have commissioned the development of software for the voting application.

"The Election Technology Council paper has a lot of misinformation, but it
is remarkable in that it shows industry is taking a good look at open
source," Dechert continues. At one point, Election Technology Coucil
acknowledges that "open source should be recognized as a potential product
substitute for proprietary software systems."

The voting system industry could survive by all using the same publicly
available open source software.

Open Voting Consortium is a nonprofit organization that develops and
promotes free and open source software for the conduct of public elections.

###

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Received on Sun May 31 23:17:02 2009

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