Re: Urgent Call for Comments

From: Barbara Simons <simons_at_acm_dot_org>
Date: Sun Nov 11 2007 - 18:16:41 CST

Hi, Nancy. What are the names of the "hubris-filled technologists
sitting on guidelines development committee" and what have they done
that makes you use such rhetoric when referring to them? Please be
specific about who they are and what they have done.

Also, what basis do you have for saying:
> they are sitting in a wonderland of their own making, oblivious to
> election realities or the requirements of democratic elections, most
> specifically, those being CITIZEN OVERSIGHT and OBSERVABLE VOTE
> COUNTING. You might think they are just airily spinning off their
> piles of gold under the magic spell of some hidden and unbidden
> Rumpelstiltskin.

Furthermore, it would be a helpful if you could avoid vague generalities
and RESPONDING IN CAPITAL LETTERS. You may feel that the use of caps is
not yelling, but for many of us who have been using email for years and
years, the use of capitals is in fact equivalent to yelling. Frankly, I
think it would help your arguments if you would simply use a standard
font for your email and allow your arguments to speak for themselves.
If your arguments are sound, you won't need to use caps or italic or
bold fonts.

I look forward to your response.

Barbara

Nancy Tobi wrote:
> Actually, it is not clear to what extent the EAC has listened to the
> vendors on these guidelines. The guidelines represent software and
> hardware specifications for equipment that will be immensely complex
> and expensive to develop and then to market.
>
> Given that their target market is publicly funded municipalities, a
> market without deep pockets, and given that there is plenty in these
> requirements that will be next to impossible to produce in any kind of
> marketable reality, it is actually a mystery to me what and who is
> really driving this new round of specifications.
>
> Watching the hubris-filled technologists sitting on the guidelines
> development committee, you kind of think they are sitting in a
> wonderland of their own making, oblivious to election realities or the
> requirements of democratic elections, most specifically, those being
> CITIZEN OVERSIGHT and OBSERVABLE VOTE COUNTING. You might think they
> are just airily spinning off their piles of gold under the magic spell
> of some hidden and unbidden Rumpelstiltskin.
>
> The vendor reps that I met at these guidelines committee meetings
> seemed to resemble shell shocked deer gazing into the blinding
> headlights of an oncoming and inevitable collision. Slightly spooked
> by what they were seeing and hearing, and openly remarking on the
> impossibility of it all.
>
> Whoever is behind this boondoggle, the goal is clear: complexify
> elections to the point where there will be no citizen oversight
> whatsoever and nobody will understand what is going on with the
> elections other than a handful of "qualified" people (as Congressman
> Holt liked to call the elite few who would be granted access to the
> keys to the kingdom).
>
> And whoever is behind handing off the verbiage directly from the EAC
> guidelines to Congressional staffers like Michelle Mulder in Rush
> Holt's office, seems to be determined to make this complexified
> technoelection paradigm the law of the land.
>
> The anonymous, unseen hand behind all this is way ahead of all of us.
> I suppose, in general terms you can try to trace the breadcrumbs to
> the source. In this case, we know that the EAC reports directly to the
> Oval Office.
>
> Ultimately, the only solution to rescue our democracy from this
> nightmare is to abolish the EAC, innoculate against its deadly virus
> by killing its little cottage industry of federalized voting system
> design, and to swiftly and with finality eradicate its technoelection
> kingdom from the land.
>
> Best,
>
> Nancy
>
> On Nov 11, 2007 4:54 PM, Richard C. Johnson <dick@iwwco.com
> <mailto:dick@iwwco.com>> wrote:
>
> Folks,
>
> Now is the time for a concerned activists of whatever persuasion
> to engage in public comment about the EAC's proposed Voluntary
> Voting System Guidelines. These guidelines are not truly
> voluntary; the states may adopt them and require them by law;
> California, for example, incorporates these guidelines into its
> requirements for voting systems.
>
> The EAC has listened to Diebold/Premier, ES&S, Sequoia and other
> vendors in formulating these guidelines. If you trust the
> vendors, fine. In not, please register your comments via the
> online tool provided at:
>
> http://www.eac.gov/vvsg
>
> The Glossary is the worst section, defining terms (Paper Trails
> are equivalent to Paper Ballots: see CVR in the Glossary) in
> strange and unusual ways to set the default for any arguments and
> confuse the public. Truly, this is WAR=PEACE time.
>
> Note: when you comment, cite the target subject of your comment
> in the text, since they lump all comments under gross categories
> (like, all Glossary comments are gathered under "g".
>
> We may not all have money, we may not have relatives who are in
> Congress, but all of us who are aware enough and have access to
> the internet can comment. It is a lot of work, but just look at
> the Test section and see if you think a White Box Test is just a
> spec with Black box modules. Some of us don't think you can do
> much White Box testing without Open Source; the EAC would have you
> believe that White Box testing has a great deal of Black in it,
> but they still want to call it White rather than Grey. What it is
> not is transparent!
>
> IMHO.
>
> -- Dick
>
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Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:14 2007

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