Progress in New York

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Mon Aug 20 2007 - 00:07:54 CDT

You may have seen this already, but I want to post it here as well. The
next NY State Board of Elections meeting is Sept 11.

OVC has done several demos of voting machines developed with volunteer
programmers utilizing open source software and commonly available hardware.
We've tried to raise money to build a production quality system PUBLIC
voting system.

I thought this idea was sufficiently compelling in 2000, when the current
paradigm turned up broken. In 2003, Bev Harris told me that people don't
know the system is broken.

After the 2004 election, I thought, "now people know it's broken."
Apparently, not since the voting system cartel continued unfettered.

After the US GAO report in 2005, I thought it should be obvious to everyone.
Then after the 2006 election, "surely we can't continue to allow a few
private companies to run the voting system."

Now, in 2007, an army of scientists and engineers, commissioned by the
California Secretary of State, have shown that US citizens have been bilked
by paying billions for crappy voting technology. The Rather report provides
more evidence. ES&S, the leading vendor in the cartel, appears to care
little about who makes they equipment or how they do it. Perhaps even more
shocking is the revelation that Sequoia (number three vendor) knowingly
shipped bad ballots to Florida in 2000 -- punch card ballots they knew would
not punch cleanly.

The transparency issue is starting to reach the popular media. At 3:20 into
this CNN interview, Rather cites "transparency" when asked "what's the

You can watch the whole Rather report video at

The system is broken. The leading vendor has been exposed. The number two
and three vendors, Diebold and Smartmatic (Sequoia), have seen their
business go south and have failed so far in attempts to sell off the voting
business divisions. Diebold Election Systems has been spun off as Premier
Election Systems. Smartmatic will have to lower its expectation of what
they think they an get for Sequoia. There is chaos in the voting system
industry -- an industry that must be dramatically reformed or dissolved.

Now for New York. They quoted Open Voting Solutions $280,000 in
certification fees. We have been working on getting the fee waived since
the software would be public. This letter lays out the case:

On Thursday, the New York State Board of Elections discussed the letter.
The open voting proposal is on the table in NY. New York has resisted the
move to adopt the not-ready-for-prime-time new voting technology. Lever
machines were introduced there over 100 years ago -- to thwart
"rascaldom" -- and are still used there almost exclusively. Maybe NY is the

They webcast their meetings, and you can view the archive of the meeting

We did a lot of work in preparation for the meeting. This letter from NY
Assemblyman Thiele helped:

It's a long meeting but you can go directly to the part where they are
discussing the letter (click on III Old Business of the agenda ... runs
about 18 minutes).


Alan D.

OVC-discuss mailing list
By sending email to the OVC-discuss list, you thereby agree to release the content of your posts to the Public Domain--with the exception of copyrighted material quoted according to fair use, including publicly archiving at
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
Received on Fri Aug 31 23:17:06 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Aug 31 2007 - 23:17:07 CDT