Outrageous Claims Need to be Countered Now -- Please Help

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Sep 21 2007 - 14:06:34 CDT

FYI, I just sent this to our announcements list. We need LETTERS and phone
calls! NOW!

Dear Friends of Open Voting:

Yesterday, I received a call from John Wildemuth, staff writer for the San
Francisco Chronicle. I explained what we have done in San Francisco to get
officials receptive to an open source voting solution.

Today, his article appeared in the Chronicle, "S.F. supervisors blamed for
blocking new voting system." He did not publish anything I said. He mostly
presented the point of view of Mayor Newsom. The monied interests are
winning today.

We need your help now to counter this misinformation. Please write to the
You can reach the author here:
and/or call him at 415-777-7159
Also write to the editors:

Newsom says the board made a mistake in rejecting the Sequoia $12.6 million
contract. We don't think so.

* Newsom implies that buying Sequoia would mean SF would "get it right."
   The Secretary of State's top-to-bottom review uncovered a litany of
   problems with the Sequoia system. Is this what the Mayor means by
   getting it right?

* A new voting system based on open source software would be much
   better, fully transparent, and far less expensive. The could open the
   bid for such a system at any time. Even though no such system is
   currently certified, that work could be included in the bid. Here's an
   example of a system that uses FREE software based on an international
   But if they don't like that one, it doesn't matter. Any vendor could
   provide a system to meet the bid requirements. We recommed that
   the bid specify OPEN SOURCE so everything is open to public scrutiny.

* When the Mayor advocates for Sequoia, he is advocating for private
   ownership of information that should all be public. This is wrong.

Here is a sample written by Alec Bash.

     John Wildermuth's "S.F. supervisors blamed for blocking
     new voting system" ignores the key issue, that we need
     to be confident that every vote has been counted accurately.

     We have grown accustomed to instant election returns, but
     are also finding that electronic voting machines can be
     hacked and elections stolen.

     San Francisco is doing absolutely the right thing to not spend
     $12M on new Sequoia voting machines. They will soon be
     obsolete, because they cannot be trusted as long as secret,
     proprietary source code is embedded in every machine. By
     blocking the new Sequoia voting system, San Francisco now
     leads the nation in demanding public disclosure of the source
     code in voting machines. Open source code must come next.

     Let's not forget Ohio and Florida when we think about honest
     elections. Secretary of State Debra Bowen's review of all
     voting machines in the State shows that safequards are
     needed. We all want our votes to be counted, and that's
     exactly what Bowen is trying to ensure.

     To help speed the vote count San Franciscans should vote by
     absentee ballot to the maximum extent possible, so that their
     ballots will be counted as the polls are closing on Election Day.

     Alec Bash
     San Francisco CA 94114

Please write and/or phone the Chronicle now.

Thank you and best wishes.

Alan Dechert

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Received on Sun Sep 30 23:17:16 2007

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