On this 239th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, we find ourselves reflecting on the causes of democracy and the good and just fight to protect and preserve democracy--not only here in the United States of America, but globally. The cause of the OSET Foundation, manifest in the TrustTheVote Project, is one important, arguably vital aspect of that good and just fight. It is likewise important to illustrate that fighting for our democracy means more than bearing arms.
The good fight of the Open Source Election Technology Foundation is not about taking up arms to defend our freedoms, but taking up keyboards, monitors, pointing devices, and computers to build the software of a fortified and trustworthy critical infrastructure of democracy: the ways and means of administering public elections -- the fundamental machinery by which we sustain a government, by the people, for the people.
For too long we've allowed a dysfunctional and malformed market place to provide our democracy with this vital infrastructure. And the result has been an equally dysfunctional: the machinery of elections administration remains a backwater of government I.T. The state of innovation for electoral administration largely amounts to guarantees of spare parts and software patches, where it appears that "minimally viable product" and "good enough" are the transactional phrases of the industry.
So, on this Independence Day 2015, we encourage all of us to consider a new declaration of independence: one that unshackles America's election infrastructure from proprietary, black-box 20th century machinery. We seek to reinvigorate and reinvent the industry to focus on doing what it can do best: systems integration, maintenance, deployment services, and support.
The TrustTheVote Project is a non-partisan, apolitical effort to develop the underlying, truly trustworthy and innovative technology. An important objective of this Project is to remove the heavy lifting of research and development from the shoulders of the remaining commercial interests who have no ability to pencil-out the required investment to properly do so. We encourage them, in the strongest possible manner, to look at this open source technology development and its road map, and realize the opportunity to reinvent themselves. Our work starts and ends with the technology itself. Our cause does not include commercial delivery and deployment. That is better left to those best qualified to do so. And thus, another important objective of this Project is to reinvigorate an industry with a new, profitable business model to provide this publicly owned technology.
Making our critical democracy infrastructure publicly owned (that is the technology itself) and pursuing the greatest possible amount of innovation unencumbered by commercial agenda, is a good and just fight for our democracy--it requires no physical combative force; only an honest intellectual effort. And the best part is not just an enormous public benefit, but the catalyst for a vibrant commercial opportunity to see to its adaptation, deployment, and support going forward.
This weekend, we ask everyone who cares about our democracy, their civil right to free and fair elections, the assurance of the integrity of the processes of elections, and the innovation of these vital processes of government, to call upon yourself, your family, and friends to join and support this fight for the preservation of our democracy. Please give that a thought on this weekend of celebrating the 239th year since we declared our first independence on the 4th of July, 1776.
PS: If you have supported this cause in the past, and have not received your T-Shirt, please get in touch with us (bottom of FAQ page) and tell us when you did, so we can make sure you do -- system changes uncovered the possibility that some may have not received our expression of appreciation.