I’ve
written in other postings
how the OSDV Foundation’s focus
makes it distinctive – a focus not primarily on talking, but on making
breakthrough digital voting technology that people can see, touch, and
try. That focus is also the basis of the
Open Source Digital Voting Foundation’s unique “giving proposition;” that is, what makes donors’ dollars here
provide a higher – we argue
demonstratively higher
– return than other types of donation to voting,
election, or politically oriented causes. Please give me the next 500 words to explain
why.

Some people
use the term ROPIReturn on Philanthropic Investment – for
this type of comparison. Our proposition
is that the ROPI for the OSDV Foundation is high because of real tangible
results, with efforts to get them into the hands of people who can help make a
positive difference in changing how America votes.

Said
differently, the real focus is tangible work product – real demonstrative
results that produce ROPI for our donors.
You can read and learn all over our online community about the work and
the results we’re steadfastly committed to delivering. The challenge is that systems by which
citizens vote are the cornerstone of a digital democracy and must be designed
and developed in full public view. And this
work must be done in an open, collaborative manner by a not-for-profit
organization working in the public eye for the public benefit for at least two
reasons.

First, the
work to make voting technology right is imperative – more so than another study
on what’s wrong. Yet no one (we know of)
is really tackling the difficult engineering problems of how to make digital
voting technology truly reliable, secure, and trustworthy.

And that’s
no surprise, because to properly design and develop this stuff, heavy lifting is
required: it’s a complicated process of high assurance engineering and it can
be expensive. And it’s not a
particularly profitable undertaking – there really isn’t a sizable market
opportunity to build a case for ROI. But
that’s what’s required: fundamentally re-inventing how this stuff works without
regard to whether it “pencils out” commercially.

If there
are professionals re-thinking how voting technology must work, then they’re working
in a less than highly visible manner, and not in a way we believe is essential
to creating trustworthy technology; that is, a process with results that can
properly withstand the scrutiny required to relieve citizens of their
apprehensions.

Second, we
believe the digital tools of voting are far too important to be left to the
private sector to “black box” design and development that does pencil out for
the sake of commercial advantage. And
the complexities of digital innovation are too dynamic and too time sensitive
to relegate to the necessary but glacial processes of government administration.

The only
way to assure reliable secure and trustworthy digital voting technology is to
design and develop it using high assurance methods in an open source manner,
under the watchful eye of a meritocratic community, and held in the public
trust. And after it’s been well vetted
in the public eye, it must also pass muster with then established federal
certifications. This is the only way “how America votes” can properly be
re-invented and owned as an essential public works for the common good of a
digital democracy. This is the charter
and mission of the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation.

And therefore,
we believe that the effort of the OSDV Foundation can provide a demonstratively
high “ROPI” or return on philanthropic investment. Now you can see why we hope you’ll join us in
this imperative cause.

O.K., your
ball; let’s hear from you.
Thanks!

GAM|out