Re: Reflections on the election and implications for the OVC

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Thu Nov 04 2004 - 19:00:33 CST

At 3:55 PM -0800 11/4/04, Alan Dechert wrote:
> > I was asked to write a blurb as follows:
>> Write me a short (<1 page) description of where you are, the progress
>> you've made, and targets during the coming few months. If possible,
>> relate it to things we will have seen in this election.
>> and then it would be sent out by one or more organizations.
>Okay, we can type something quickly. However, beware of time-wasting
>brain-pickers. We just spent 4 months trying to explain our project in
>excruciating detail in order to get some funding. We don't have time to
>spend with such people right now. Consider how long Bob Ramstad took to get
>the link on Then look at the text that drove people to
>our web site. Right now, it says, "The Open voting consortium is a group
>addressing the subject of verifiable voting." That's it! The people we're
>after right now will quickly recognize the value of the OVC project. They
>don't need to do any big sales pitch for us. Just a very short teaser to
>get people to our web site. It appear that the shorter it is the better.
>Once sentence seems to work better thn two sentences.
>> I'd like to see a discussion in this group on what our targets
>> should be in the coming few months.
>Fine. Here are a few (not necessarily in this order):
>- Develop sustainable funding base from grassroots
>- Form sister 501(c)(3) organization
>- Establish relationships with major companies that will be involved in OVC
>- Start getting SB1438-type legislation introduced in various state houses
>- Get bill to require open source software introduced in various state
>- Continue with efforts to get HAVA funding through states
>- Continue with efforts to get institutional funding support
>- Do security assessment of OVC system(s)
>- Hire staff to develop and test OVC system(s)
>Since we have gained a lot of proposal writing experience, I think we can
>continue with these activities without taxing ourselves to heavily. Getting
>the 501(c)(3) in place will improve our ability to get foundation support.
>Alan D.

The blurb will be sent out to membership lists, so your notes aren't
exactly useful for getting grassroots support.

Here's my suggested blurb:

Over one-third of the nation used electronic voting machines in
Tuesday's Presidential election that have no audit trail and cannot
effectively be recounted. Discrepancies between the exit polls and
the reported election results are are hard to investigate because
there is no independent paper record of all the individual votes.
And those electronic voting machines have inner workings that are
trade secrets and the reports of the certification tests for them are
also trade secrets.

If you believe that voting systems should be open and publicly
inspectable, then please join the Open Voting Consortium at The Open Voting Consortium is a
group dedicated to the promotion of *open* voting systems. We
recently demonstrated a prototype system that was called a "Touch
Screen Holy Grail" by the San Jose Mercury News. We helped pass
SB1438 in California to require voting machines to have a paper
trail. And we helped pass ACR242 in California that directed the
study of using open source in electronic voting machines.

In the coming months, we plan to promote similar legislation in other
states. We also plan to continue development of open voting systems.
Help begin a process to transform the voting system from a
fraud-prone, blackbox, proprietary, expensive, idiosyncratic,
unreliable system to a technically sound, accurate, secure,
inexpensive, uniform and open voting system. Visit the Open Voting
Consortium at and donate or
become a supporting member today.

Best regards,

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Tue Nov 30 23:17:10 2004

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