The Real Stakeholders in How America Votes

Greetings All-

I’m blogging live from the National Association of State Elections Directors Conference, Day-2.  And you can follow us Twittering live from the conference too (@osdv).  A quick comment here; perhaps more as the Day progresses.

There are lots of stakeholders in how America votes.  There’s certainly you and I, citizens of this great country who want to know that we are counted every time we cast a ballot.  But there are others equally important.

And I am referring to the 50 states’ (plus a couple of U.S. territories‘) Elections Directors, their staff, and all elections officials from the counties through the precincts.  These professionals count, and count in a major way, because without them, U.S. elections systems could not function. But there are others.

And I am referring to the (literally) thousands of volunteers who are in the polling place trenches administering the moment-to-moment process of marhsaling the activities of election day.  And this includes a hugely important constituency: the League of Women Voters.  Without this national group’s seasoned organizational and leadership skills in the trenches of polling places, the ranks of voting volunteers could not function. But there are still others, and arguably in this next case, a first among equals in stakeholders.

Last evening at the NASED/NASS Reception, I had the great opportunity to meet Jim Dickson, Vice President, Government Affairs for the American Association of People with Disabilities. AAPD is a vital stakeholder in How America votes, because 19.7% of the U.S. population has a disability of one form or another.  And their access rights to open and fair elections is no different whatsoever from any other U.S. citizen.  Jim has worked tirelessly for three decades to ensure that nearly 20% of the U.S. population is ensured the same rights and liberties of American citizenship and access to the same.

Our master plan incorporates a stakeholder community, that we will soon launch which ensures the work we do is driven by their requirements.  I came to NASED to meet many of these key stakeholders, Jim included.  Although our initial introduction was a bit awkward for reasons not worth blathering about here, the important thing is I have established contact.  And the TrustTheVote Project will be far better for it.  I look forward to having Jim’s advice and counsel on designs and specifications of truly trustworthy, open source, open data, open process, and open standards voting technology.

Indeed, there may be a first among equals.  And they’re led by Jim Dickson and the American Association of People with Disabilities.  May we be so fortunate to earn their respect for our intents and efforts.

Thoughts? Your Ball.