We have so much to update everyone on from events of the past 3-weeks from D.C. to Palo Alto, on to San Francisco.  And we promise a flurry of blog posts in the ensuing days to do so. But for the moment, we want to call to our audience's attention the approaching budget deadline in San Francisco to fund the launch of their open source voting system initiative and to make an announcement.

From testimony recently in South Carolina, to conference panels in Washington, D.C., to gatherings in the Silicon Valley, this initiative is gaining attention -- globally.  Today, we submitted a letter to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors in support of this initiative and budget approval.  You can read the letter here.  There are some important considerations about the national implications of their leadership.

To be sure, the funding is not sufficient to build a system, but it is an imperative kick starter to enable Elections Director John Arntz to hire a Project Director, and begin the important processes of requirements and specifications.

Our Announcement of Support

To that end, we announce here today that the Foundation will produce and provide to the San Francisco Elections Commission and John Arntz an important artifact for that work: a Study cataloging all open source elections technology available in the U.S. and abroad today that may be ingredients to their system design.  This Study will have application to any similar open source project, but is first and foremost for the benefit of San Francisco.  Its our "Project Warming Gift." to San Francisco.  Congratulations and best of luck in earning the Mayor's budget approval ;-)

What You Can Do

OK, now, what can you do?  If you are a resident of San Francisco city and/or county, please have a look at our letter and craft one of your own to the Mayor.  And even if you're no longer a resident of S.F. or never were, but support their initiative, send a letter anyway because someday where you live and vote could benefit from their work.  Our letter can serve as a sample if you wish, and the addresses to send it to (please use all) are:

To: "Mayor Edwin Lee" <mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org>
"San Francisco Board of Supervisors" <board.of.supervisors@sfgov.org>

Cc: "Chris Jerdonek" <chris.jerdonek@sfgov.org>
"San Francisco Elections Commission" <elections.commission@sfgov.org>
John Arntz <john.arntz@sfgov.org>