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Open Voting Newswire

Bowen slams voting systems in S.C. speech

By Nancy Pasternack
sentinel staff writer

SANTA CRUZ — State Sen. Debra Bowen ventured onto Bruce McPherson's home turf Saturday to let voters know she's gunning for his job.

The tech-savvy legislator, D-Marina del Rey, spoke to a group of 20 Santa Cruz Democrats in the basement of the Veterans Hall about inconsistencies and a lack of security in American and California voting systems.

"You cannot maintain a democracy where a significant number of people have doubts about the legitimacy of an election," Bowen said. She criticized Secretary of State McPherson for certifying on Feb. 17 voting systems made by Diebold Election Systems of Canton, Ohio, whose CEO made campaign contributions to the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign.

$10,000 Challenge Grant received

Friends, we have received a $10,000 challenge grant from OVC supporter Chris Franklin. Here's what he had to say about it:

In thriving democracies, vote counting is observed by representatives from all of the parties involved. This process makes cheating and/or mistakes almost impossible. Use of closed, proprietary, software to count the vote eliminates any observation, making the vote totals inherently untrustworthy. Open voting systems, that can be examined by all parties involved, is the only way to retain this crucial oversight when votes are counted by machine. OVC is a central part of making sure this is done.

I am making this donation with the expectation that others will match my contribution. People who, like me, want to look their children in the eye and know that they have done everything in their power to hand down a great country with a democratically elected government. Only with a voting system that is completely open to voter oversight, can that be ensured. If we lose our democracy to secret vote counting, our children will not enjoy the freedoms that we have today.

Please help match Chris' contribution by donating what you can today.

California takes up transparency, open source voting

2006.02.16 7:00
by Jay Lyman


Calif. State Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach) knows about making government and technology more open. She also knows her brother, a US Navy programmer, could code a program to rig an election in 20 minutes.

After putting the Golden State's legislation, public records, legislator records, and more online in 1993, Bowen is now looking to make transparency in voting front and center in her campaign for Calif. Secretary of State. Bowen, who chairs the state's Election Committee, is overseeing hearings this month on whether the state should move toward using electronic voting systems that rely on open source software, as well as how voting systems are tested and certified. The hearings have featured electronic voting and open source experts, including Red Hat Vice President of Corporate Development Michael Evans, and highlight whether and how the public can see the code and the process of voting.

Diebold CEO Reviews Fate of e-Voting Unit

By M.R. KROPKO AP Business Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press

NORTH CANTON, Ohio — Diebold Inc.'s new chief executive, determined to cut $100 million in costs over three years, said he is reviewing whether the company should continue investing in its embattled electronic voting business.

CEO Thomas Swidarski insisted in an Associated Press interview that he feels good about the performance of the e-voting operations, even as some shareholders and computer experts complain that Diebold touch-screen voting machines have had a history of hardware and software woes.

"There's pieces and aspects of each of our businesses that I'm going to be looking at with a very critical eye in terms of what the future holds for us," Swidarski said in his first media interview since taking over in December the company best known for its automatic teller machines and security systems.

Site Discussion

Hi Guys. So far, we've got Alan, Chito (blogoman), Patrick (phiggins) and myself (mattkoglin) here in this forum.

IMPORTANT: This forum is private and is not accessible to the public. If we need to include more people in this conversation, let's do it.

Guide to Organizing a Teach In or Open Voting Workshop

This guide was put together by Lara Shaffer at the Open Voting Consortium with the help from many other election reform groups. It should be considered “open source”, meaning anyone modify it, copy it or distribute it. Thanks for being active! Please call OVC at 916 772-5360 or email, if you want to sponsor an event in your area.


The first thing to consider is what you want the overall program to look like. Many groups choose to break it down into “Problems” and “Solutions” with a networking intermission/break in the middle. You could also have the first half be a movie (or a collection of movie clips) and the second half be speakers. Events may also include several related topics. For examples of what multi-subject forums have been included, see posters from events OVC participated in 2005.

Open Voting Consortium and Clean Money Campaign Team Up for Open House at California Democratic Party Retreat in Manhattan Beach

Mimi Kennedy makes a serious point at the Open Voting and Clean Money Open House

The Open Voting Consortium and California Clean Money campaign sponsored a highly successful Open House acquainting rank and file California Democrats with Open Voting and consolidating support for the already well known Clean Money issue. The event was held at the Manhattan Beach Marriot where the California Democratic Party held its Executive Committee meeting on January 27th and 28th.

Alan Dechert introduced the crowd to Open Voting and also did a great warm up for Ms. Bowen, who is running for secretary of State. Alan noted that legislation related to Open Voting is shaping up, but there is no bill number as yet. Eric Tang of the California Clean Money campaign closed out the evening by pointing out that elected officials aren’t beholden to rich interests for campaign funds that many of our other problems like health care will be more likely to be less intractable. He urged folks to call their Assembly members to help pass AB-583, which is scheduled for a vote any day. Learn more about the Clean Money campaign at www.caclean.org.

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Draft Legislation

Current state law requires that the vote counting process be publicly observable. However, with the advent of computerized vote counting processes, the ability of the public to meaningfully observe tabulation is limited since details of these systems are secret. Public scrutiny is lacking. The People of California declare that every voter has the right to know that votes are accurately recorded and counted.

This bill would require vendors to disclose all technical details when applying for state certification for a voting system. The Secretary of State would manage a process whereby citizens can obtain technical information free of charge, including computer source code, relevant to voting systems under review for certification as well as systems that have obtained state certification.

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