Partisanship and a Voting Project

From: Joel Harris <joel_at_ccpconsultinginc_dot_com>
Date: Mon Nov 08 2004 - 19:53:07 CST

I have been a member of this list for several months now. I have become
quite discouraged with the prospects of this project over the last few
weeks specifically during the last week. It appears (just by looking at
the content of the messages on the list over the last few weeks) that
the focus of the project has become more advocacy rather than writing
good voting software code. In fact, I have not seen a post regarding
the actual project in weeks (I may have missed it, but I don't think so).

The tone of the advocacy efforts has been quite one-sided. There was a
request looking for "High Traffic Websites" I supposed to try to find
donors for the project. But it specifically requested "progressive" web
sites
(http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/November.2004/0065.html).
The results were sites such as michaelmoore, salon, Democratic
Underground and Democrats. This happens to be oposite to my particular
political stand, but I think I would have been equally frustrated had I
seen a bunch of sites such as Drudge and Rushlimbaugh.

I know that the project must be promoted. I got turned onto the project
due to a news article several months ago and I know that it takes such
things to bring people on board. I also realize that the Democrats are
prime targets for promotion right now.

BUT THE PROJECT MUST BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT IT APPEARS TO SUPPORT.

I live in the middle of "Red State" terretory. Many of our Clerks and
Secretary of States are Republican. My desire has been to take the
results of this project and try to market it to various localities in
this state. What do you think my chances of being successful when these
Republican public officials read some of the stuff that has been flying
around on this list? What do you think your (those of you who are
Democrats) chances would be had the same discussions been laced with
references to hard line conservative sites and partisans? THIS PROJECT
IS ABOUT A SECURE, INEXPENSIVE AND PRACTICAL VOTING SYSTEM. Let's keep
it there.

I'm already too long here, but I wanted to make one last point regarding
the value of open source software. Just so you know, I have been
working with open source software since '94 when I compiled my first
NCSA web server. I have followed many projects over the years and have
come to some of my own conclusions (opinions) over the benefits and what
makes a successful project and what does not. Successful projects have
a lot of participants and a significant number of users. This is
difficult for this project and will take a lot of effort to get around a
limited number of initial users. The participants can happen if we get
to writing software. I haven't seen any new code since April.

Let's have a programming project rather than a talking project.

Regards,
Joel Harris
Indianapolis, IN
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Received on Tue Nov 30 23:17:19 2004

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