Re: CASE-Ohio event

From: Teresa Hommel <tahommel_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Mon May 02 2005 - 07:12:29 CDT

Excuse me, but what exactly is the objective of the Open Voting Consortium?

Is it to provide an _alternative_ to what is going on right now in the
election administration of our country and other countries?

Is it to prevent the taking away of our election administration from
pubic hands?
Is it to prevent the privatization of our election infrastructure?
Is it to prevent the corporate selection of our government?

These are the end results of the "takeover" of our election system by
private corporations who make evote systems that the public cannot
oversee --via ordinary nontechnical citizen election observers, and
--via our public servants who are nontechnical election professionals
and staff in our Boards of Elections?

I have assumed that these are the objectives, and that these objectives
are why people are "dedicated to the development, maintenance, and
delivery of open voting systems for use in public elections."

The OVC has no place in a debate of the kind Lara describes below. OVC
should not be fighting against other solutions, but against the problem.

Lara's attitude and understanding of the purpose of OVC is
counterproductive. I spoke to her about this at the conference in
Nashville, and I am disappointed that she did not understand what I was
trying to explain to her.

There is no perfect answer, and our country needs more than one
alternative. OVC might provide one alternative at some future time. Lynn
Landes provides another alternative, which by the way exists and is
do-able at this present time if Americans had the motivation (devotion
to democracy and the understanding of the urgent necessity).

It is stupid and counter-productive for one alternative to "debate"
another alternative. Lara and OVC should suggest a different format
other than debate to CASE-OH.

It is appropriate to define the benefits of your own solution, and
describe election situations in which it is appropriate to use it. Keep
in mind that OVC does NOT at this time HAVE A "PRODUCT."

Lynn Landes is an essential voice in this country at this time.

Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people.
The people should be running our elections and indeed counting our votes
to select our government.

Democracy is not of, by and for the computer or the corporation. OVC is
trying to providing an intermediate solution (I hope) which is a
computer system that can be used by ordinary nontechnical election
professionals and staff, and overseen by ordinary nontechnical election

Democracy requires an engaged, informed citizenry. At this time the
United States of America fails that test.

Lara should be informative but not combative, and should not argue
against other valid alternative solutions, but merely set forth what OVC
hopes to do.

I acknowledge that Lynn Landes is against computers and any election
technology other than pencil and paper. So what? OVC has no business
arguing against that point of view, but only setting forth in a positive
way what it hopes to accomplish and why. The "why" is not because people
might use hand-counted paper ballots. The "why" is because of the
privatization of elections through the use of computers that only the
vendor understands that conceal election procedures that citizens must
be able to meaningfully oversee in order to achieve election legitimacy.

Teresa Hommel

Alan Dechert wrote:

> Below is from Lara Shaffer ... having a little email trouble with list.
> *****************
> Hi everyone,
> If you are not already aware, next weekend (May 7th) I will be debating
> Lynn Landes at a CASE-Ohio event (with Bob Fitrakis- editor-
> as moderator). Stephanie Tubbs-Jones will also be there as will a lots of
> activists.
> Lynn will be pushing her hand-count/paper only scheme and I will be
> pushing the OVC solution. We get 7-10 mintues for opening statements,
> followed by about 30-40 minutes Q&A with the audience, followed by a
> 3-5min.
> closing summary speech.
> Then activists get to decide if they want to workshop with me and help
> progress the OVC solution or work with Lynn Landes on hand-count/paper
> only.
> Below is what I have come up with so far. Before you read it, keep in
> mind what I am looking for:
> 1. Other points I may have forgotten
> 2. Good, funny (if possible), quotes like Ed's (see bottom of email)
> 3. More info about other country's systems
> a. What do countries that have paper only, hand count only systems do
> for electing county water supervisor, etc? If the general election ballot
> only has one or two contests on it, when do they vote for all the other
> stuff we vote for?
> 4. Other good examples of fraud with hand-count, paper only systems (I
> have
> heard of ballots turning up in the San Francisco Bay and Lake Michigan-
> getting sources for that would help).
> Here's what I have come up with so far:
> 1.. Too much man power needed
> 1.. Need one person from each party
> 2.. Need LOTS of people
> 3.. Already short on poll workers
> 4.. 20-30 contests on the ballot, 12 propositions- takes LOTS of time
> and man-power to count them all (this is different than the Canadian
> system
> where they only vote for one office and hand-count it)
> 2.. Not politically viable
> 1.. No supporters in house or senate
> 2.. No Secretary of State supporters
> 3.. No County Registrar supporters
> 4.. No state senate or house supporters
> 3.. Multiple languages
> 4.. Disabled Access
> 5.. IRV
> 6.. More time it takes to count = more time for corruption to happen
> 7.. Human error (try counting a dunce cap full of boiled peas twice)
> 8.. Fraud
> 1.. Tamaney Hall
> 2.. Landslide Lyndon Johnson
> 3.. Chicago
> Main point: We need computers to create an audit trail. We need to
> be able
> to check hand-counts against machine-counts, to check the paper record
> against the machine record!
> We are not asking you to trust computers, we are asking you to realize
> there
> 's a need for a computer check to provide ADDED security!
> "We saw what happened with hand counting in Florida and it wasn't
> pretty." -Ed Cherlin
> Please help me with what I'm looking for. Thanks!
> <>
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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:05 2005

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