Re: San Francisco debate heating up

From: Brent Turner <brent_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Fri Mar 02 2007 - 10:16:33 CST

Dick - Theresa: Certainly rapport is a positive when possible, but should
never be considered a make or break. In San Mateo County, CA a splinter was
created between the aggressive activists and the passive activists. The
passive group wanted to honor the officials while pressing lightly. The
aggressive group ( headed by you know who ) wanted to assume the officials
as corrupt and incompetent while hitting them with every bit of ammo. In
the end the passive agenda infected the group, and the activists were
slaughtered by a huge Harti nterCivic contract. The people wanting the
group to go easy than all disappeared. Many of them represented nationally
known groups.


In SF- The officials are more sophisticated, but must be similarly
pressed and held accountable. This style has tendered better results so far.
I know civility is foundational, but we must never let the officials
intimidate us into submission. Setting a tone with them is appropriate. .
that being said, certainly our techno's shouldn't have to get in the dirty
mix- They should utilize the scrappy activists ( like me ) while keeping
the high ground - Brent Turner





From: Richard C. Johnson []
Sent: Friday, March 02, 2007 6:59 AM
To: Teresa Hommel; Open Voting Consortium discussion list
Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] San Francisco debate heating up



If you want your officials to do the right thing, you must ask them for it.
It may be polite to accept what one is given, but I believe that you have to
go beyond "support" to question (1) why is it a secret as to specific tests
Ciber or whomever is supposed to run at the behest of SBOE, (2) why exactly
cannot the public know the (presumed) negative results of the tests, and (3)
why exactly should we believe that SBOE (who has leaked the info that
Diebold is leading the pack of tested systems) is doing the right thing? In
secret? I don't think so.

Instead, the NY State Board of Elections should publish both tests and test
results so that we don't continue with a faith-based selection process. The
SBOE should call for the legislature to appropriate funds to test qualified
machines so that new, alternative vendors are not excluded by lack of the
$300,000 needed as up front payola to compete. The SBOE has almost no
oversight from the legislature or the governor. Its control of the
selection process is almost absolute, and its procedures are secret. I
understand your feeling that NY is groping for the right thing, but it falls
far short primarily because of the lack of transparency and its stacking the
deck in favor of the wealthiest of the bidding companies.

New York may yet do the right thing, I think, but only if the SBOE hears a
demand for better procedures from the NY citizenry. The first demand is for
an open process of selection and an end to obsessive secrecy supplemented by
selective leaks.

-- Dick

Teresa Hommel <> wrote:

If you want your officials to take a risk, support them.

Here in NY we are sending letters of support to our State Board of Elections
is the first in the nation to refuse to certify machines that don't pass
their tests,
and the first in the nation to professionally oversee the work of CIBER. As
result, they have not certified any electronic voting machines yet.

Meanwhile politicians such as Mayor Bloomberg of NYC has criticised them for
taking so long to certify new equipment.

Our line to Bloomberg is, "If the machines don't work, do we have to buy
and use them anyway?"

Our line to the State Board is "Please continue to use strict standards and
oversee the work of our certifying laboratory, to protect our future
election integrity."

When officials take a risk, such as our State Board which is doing a good
job of
evaluating the new machines, it helps if they can show a carton a letters
citizens that support their good work, and say "The public wants a proper
not a quick one."

Teresa Hommel

-----Original Message-----
>From: Brian Behlendorf
>Sent: Mar 1, 2007 6:02 PM
>To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
>Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] San Francisco debate heating up
>While it's easy to get rather worked up at this, is this process served
well by
>such a lengthy and flame-y reply? The fact seems to be, unless I'm
>that there is no other vendor willing to come in and answer SF's election
>and meet the requirement for publication of their code under an Open Source

>license. I realize OVS's solution is still yet to be certified and when it
>we will have that alternative option to promote (though it'd be better when

>there are two, as then we can demonstrate that it's not rigged to favor one

>vendor over everyone else). Until then, what else can Arntz do?
>I think there's a risk of Arntz and others who read this being dismayed by
>tone and left facing the prospect of having to go with ES&S because Sequoia

>couldn't meet a new obligation - one that ES&S will not have to meet with
>renewal. Is forcing SF to re-up the original ES&S contract better for our
>cause? Is lecturing Arntz and others on what open source means and how open

>source businesses might work going to draw them closer to your position? Is

>using all those !'s likely to help?
>I think it's worth correcting the factual mistakes, clarifying that COTS
>software and firmware is not required to be disclosed, succinctly stating
>private disclosure is not enough, and acknowleging the limited options
>has right now. It might also be worth suggesting to Sequoia that they
>using one of the existing Open Source voting software, but only if you and
>others here really feel that's a realistic suggestion.
>To be honest, I really don't want to see Sequoia's current code released as

>open source. Unlike the OVS codebase or other codebases, it was not written

>with public disclosure in mind, and has no shot of attracting a development

>community that would help fix bugs, a critical counterbalance to the claim
>releasing code will just make it easier to hack.
> Brian
>On Mon, 26 Feb 2007, Alan Dechert wrote:
>> FYI, my response to the Arntz memo.
>> See attached letter.
>> Also available on the web at:
>> Alan D.
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: David RR Webber (XML)
>> To: Richard C. Johnson
>> Cc: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
>> Sent: Monday, February 26, 2007 10:21 AM
>> Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] San Francisco debate heating up
>> Dick,
>> I think you miss the other point [or maybe NOT! ; -) ] - notice their
>> council is involved...
>> The last thing Sequioa needs is their source code being poured over by
>> techno wonks who can uncover all kinds of bugs and horrors - that setup
>> potential law suits.
>> That is of course the other HUGE strength about a peer reviewed open
>> standard and open source approach - that a closed source code system
>> cannot compare to.
>> Thanks, DW
>> p.s. Notice that Mr Bush's own new ranch building complex is a model of
>> green-ness and CO2 balance. "Pay no attention to the man behind the green

>> curtain..."
>> "The way to be is to do" - Confucius (551-472 B.C.)
>> -------- Original Message --------
>> Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] San Francisco debate heating up
>> From: "Richard C. Johnson"
>> Date: Sun, February 25, 2007 8:31 pm
>> To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
>> The focus on "disclosed source" relative to officials of the State of
>> California is, of course, some distance from Open Source. The compromise
>> position put forward is, like the voluntary carbon emission reductions
>> favored by Mr. Bush, not much.
>> It is, of course, true that Sequoia does not want to provide as Open
>> Source the source code it counts among its proprietary assets at a time
it is
>> trying to sell itself for as much money as it can. The alternative is for

>> Sequoia to use existing Open Source code instead of its own software for
>> those of its customers that prefer Open Source. This would mean that
>> would benefit from providing services and from selling and supporting
>> hardware to run that source code. It could also keep its own source code
>> secret; it just would not sell that software to the City of San
>> There are many opportunities for Sequoia to compromise in a meaningful
>> way. I am sure that Open Voting Solutions, Inc. would be happy to help
>> Sequoia respond to the needs of its San Francisco customer. The other
>> is for Sequoia to stonewall and see if San Francisco is serious.
>> Time is marching on, and ES&S would be happy to take money from SF.
>> Perhaps another solution can be found if Sequoia refuses to make a
>> compromise.
>> -- Dick
>> Alan Dechert wrote:
>> I just found out about this memo issued last Tuesday by SF Director of
>> Elections John Arntz.
>> I plan to deliver a response by Monday or so.
>> How many outrageous things can you spot in this memo?
>> You know, this is a process. I'm glad Arntz is putting some thought into
>> this.
>> Alan D.
>> _______________________________________________
>> OVC-discuss mailing list

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Received on Sat Mar 31 23:17:03 2007

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