Dust Settles on Internet Voting Debate; Mea Culpa Included
We’re through it, and for all the angst, sweat, and tears, I sense it went well. I want to thank the Panelists for being so good-natured (and well behaved as to the time limits in responses). We had some intense moments of heated disagreement and heated agreement. I’ll have some more to say later when more recovered, but I believe this is the start of an on-going conversation that brought out the challenges and opportunities of using the Internet in the elections and voting processes.
- Apologies to Operation Bravo for getting it absolutely wrong on the Pilot locations (polling being on verses off Military base). I learned a valuable lesson to not try and wedge in that final question in the middle of the night when its too late to wake anyone to confirm facts. Good thing I had the “Plan B” question.
- Apologies to the activists who hounded me about using a coin toss to determine which side went first on closing remarks. I agreed to do so, put the 2 Euro in my pocket to toss, and then completely forgot in the rush of the final moments before going live to actually toss the coin, and had to randomly point at one side to go first at closing. DoH!
For whatever its worth, I will not declare a winner or loser. You can watch it on Vimeo or YouTube yourself when it finally posts in a couple of weeks.
But I will say this, as Moderator I thought the Proponents Team pulled it together in the closing argument and made some interesting points after earlier seemingly dropping some balls on answers. And I thought the Opponents Team could’ve registered a far stronger closing statement after slicing through issues with surgical precision throughout the preceding 80 minutes.
One More Apology
One final, off-topic comment that constitutes another, more serious “mea culpa.” It has been called to my attention by a County Elections Official from Ohio who was “in the trenches” in 2004 and 2006, that our Every Vote Counts booklet has an error on the time-line page claiming a recount was required in the 2004 Ohio results due to machine errors. This is completely false on all counts and I allowed ourselves to be drawn in by some faulty reporting and research. In fact, some recounts in 2006 (not ’04) were due to some scanning equipment malfunctions of a mechanical nature only. The machine issues otherwise alleged have never been substantiated and this Election Official, Rokey Suleman (now running elections in D.C.) has good reason to be frustrated with me by something unintentionally picking at an old battle scar.
We’re going to fix that. I am committed to transparency. First, may I please publicly apologize to Rokey Suleman for my public relations and outreach teams’ embarrassing goof. The buck (er, book) stops with me; they’re my team and I take full responsibility for that. There are no excuses. We should have done closer proofing of the work. OSDV Foundation has a great story to tell, and I hate the possibility of diluting it with an errant statement or representation.
Here is the repair list:
- We will correct that page before any further printing of that booklet. I will do my best to halt further distribution of this version, but apologize in advance if there remain copies floating about or accidentally further distributed.
- More importantly, we’re going to give Rokey Suleman our podium here to explain to all of you reading, the story inside Ohio from one of the gentleman who was in the middle of it; from his personal and direct experience. Mr. Suleman has agreed to draft that for our publication here under his name as a guest blogger.
Furthermore, I note that we learned here in Munich that Rokey is doing some amazing things in his new appointment running D.C. elections. And he has a deep commitment to overseas and military voters. I find him to be highly motivated, and passionately committed to accurate, transparent, trustworthy, and secure elections. And I am impressed by his innovative attitude and intense commitment to seeing the District of Columbia (America’s answer to the Vatican 😉 ) be a thought leader and model for elections in the 21st century and digital age. His passion for transparency (and interest in open source methods) is refreshing.
I hope this small token of our regrets will allow Rokey Suleman another reasonably public forum to set the record straight (in this case, apparently skewed again at our own hands).
Otherwise, the Debate was fun and exhausting and I can’t wait for the video replay.