[CAVO] Fwd: SF open source voting: instructions for letter of support
turnerbrentm at gmail.com
Thu Feb 4 17:25:58 UTC 2016
Thanks for all your support of open source election systems-- Please send
this out to your contacts
Below is information on how to send in letters of support to the San
Francisco Mayor and Board of Supervisors for funding an open source voting
It would be best if letters could be e-mailed *on or before Tuesday,
February 16*. Letters anytime after that are still useful, but that is
just the optimal time. The main thing the letter would say is the
"We are writing to encourage you [the Mayor and Board of Supervisors] to
fully fund in this year's budget the start of a project to develop and
certify an open source voting system for use in San Francisco starting in
June 2020, as described by the San Francisco Elections Commission's
unanimous November 18, 2015 resolution."
At the bottom of this e-mail I'm providing you with (1) general information
about the topic and chronology in SF, (2) easy-to-follow instructions for
submitting a letter, and (3) a sample template letter.
The City and County of San Francisco is now entering "budget season," and
the Mayor and Board of Supervisors will soon be deciding whether or not to
fund this project. This is why letters of support are so important. By
telling the Mayor and Board of Supervisors that this project is important,
you increase the chances that the project will happen and have enough
funding in the budget.
Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about any of
Thanks so much for your help and support in making this happen! This will
be a huge step forward for democracy in the country.
SAN FRANCISCO OPEN SOURCE VOTING OVERVIEW
The following link contains a "fact sheet" I recently put together on the
topic of open source voting systems in San Francisco and what is happening:
The chronology is as follows:
In December 2014, the SF Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a
resolution supporting the development of an open source voting system. To
see the resolution, click on "Leg Final" here:
The Board resolution also requested that the San Francisco Local Agency
Formation Commission (LAFCo) do a study.
A couple months ago in November 2015, the San Francisco Elections
Commission built on the Board's resolution by unanimously passing a more
detailed resolution laying out actionable steps forward for the city. I was
the President of the Commission at that time and drafted the resolution.
Our resolution incorporated LAFCo's final report, as well as public
hearings that the Commission independently conducted.
The text of the Commission resolution is available from the Commission's
website here (click the top link):
The resolution starts with the text, "Resolution to support the development
and certification of an open source voting system running on commercial
off-the-shelf hardware; and to request that the Mayor and Board of
Supervisors initiate and fund a project to develop and certify such a
system for use in San Francisco."
The San Francisco Examiner covered the Commission resolution on the front
page of its Thanksgiving issue (see here for a link and photo of the front
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SENDING A LETTER
For maximum impact, you should e-mail the letter by *Tuesday, February 16*.
The letter should be e-mailed to the following addresses:
To: "Mayor Edwin Lee" <mayoredwinlee at sfgov.org>
"San Francisco Board of Supervisors" <board.of.supervisors at sfgov.org>
Cc: "Chris Jerdonek" <chris.jerdonek at sfgov.org> and myself --
turnerbrentm at gmail.com
"San Francisco Elections Commission" <elections.commission at sfgov.org>
John Arntz <john.arntz at sfgov.org>
And with subject:
Subject: Budget Support for Open Source Voting System Project
All of the e-mail addresses should appear in the same e-mail so that
everyone sees who is receiving the message.
The sample letter text is at bottom. You can reword as necessary (e.g. by
inserting the name of your organization, etc).
Ideally, the letter should be written as a separate PDF (preferably on
letterhead) and included as an attachment. If you are attaching the letter,
the body of the e-mail can simply say:
Please see the attached letter in support of funding an open source voting
system project in this year's budget. Thank you.
Otherwise, you can include the letter in the body of the e-mail.
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 48
San Francisco, CA 94102
February XX, 2016
To: The Honorable Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of San Francisco
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
RE: Budget Support for Open Source Voting System Project
Dear Mayor Lee and Members of the Board of Supervisors:
I am writing to encourage you to fully fund in this year's budget the start
of a project to develop and certify an open source voting system for use in
San Francisco starting in June 2020, as described by the San Francisco
Elections Commission's unanimous November 18, 2015 resolution.
The Board of Supervisors already supports open source voting systems. In
December 2014 the Board unanimously passed a resolution supporting the
creation of an open source voting system. Thank you to the Board for its
past leadership on this issue.
[Describe who you are, about your organization, etc.]
I strongly support the development and adoption of an open source voting
system. Such a system would not only be more transparent. It would also be
more affordable and more flexible. Elections are public processes and the
foundation of our democracy. It makes sense for our voting equipment to be
a shared and fully transparent public resource.
San Francisco is a leader in public policy and good government, and the San
Francisco Bay Area is a world-wide center for technology and innovation.
Open source voting is at the intersection of both of these areas.
California has an added benefit of an association leader here.. See
www.cavo-us.org . I am familiar with CAVO and know them to be staunch
advocates for the best standards of open source voting.
San Francisco has a tremendous opportunity through this project to improve
not just San Francisco elections but to benefit the entire country as a
whole. San Francisco's voting system would be open and affordable to all
jurisdictions in the country.
Again, I encourage you to fully fund open source voting in this year's
Cc: Christopher Jerdonek, Elections Commission Vice President
San Francisco Elections Commission
John Arntz, Director of Elections
Brent Turner - California Association of Voting Officials
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