A couple of days the New York Times Editorial page commented on Voting Technology in an editorial titled "The Voters Will Pay". Some bits that interested me (but you should read the whole thing):
"[snip...] If the deal is allowed to go through, it would make it harder for jurisdictions to bargain effectively on price and quality.[snip...]" (from The New York Times)
One of the reasons that we are enthusiastic about the Open Source approach is that, oddly enough, we believe (as many do) that this approach will lead to better quality and even better price (i.e. no price. We give our stuff away.) How is this possible?
We don't possess a secret super power allowing us to develop software for free.
However by approaching the problem as a non-profit foundation, by definition, we are relying on the goodwill of others (foundations and philanthropists) to raise funds to pay for professional software and technology staff. And of course, again by definition, we will not be making a profit, which also saves money.
Secondly, we have already found, even in these cynical times that top notch talent is inspired to apply their abilities to work that has a positive impact on our society and world, and work for a lot less than they'd make in the private sector (analogous I suppose to many people who work in other public sector positions.
Read the whole editorial here.