By Michael G. Stogner
Letter sent October 6, 2021 to San Mateo County Government Official Mark Church.
Dear Chief Elections Officer Church,
I’m very excited that Board of Supervisors President David Canepa, along with San Francisco County Board President Shamann Walton, has petitioned the Secretary of State to create regulations that will allow San Mateo County and other counties to conduct pilot projects for an open-source paper ballot voting system in the November 2022 election.
Nothing is more important to democracy than confidence in the security and transparency of our elections. As former Governor Jerry Brown said just last Friday in San Francisco, “These voting machines have to be…open to observation. We gotta know. There can be no obscurity here — nothing, nothing hidden. That’s what open source means. I’m all for it.”
It is simply unacceptable that San Mateo County and other counties can only choose from expensive commercial vendors that use secret software. That’s why I’m hoping you’ll join President Canepa and take advantage of the tremendous opportunity that San Mateo County has to conduct a small pilot project of a non-profit open-source voting system at no cost to the county.
If successful, a proven open-source voting system could end up saving San Mateo County millions over current corporate vendors — and give all voters more confidence in the transparency of its voting systems.
I’m hoping you’ll join President Canepa and President Walton in leading California and the nation towards more options and greater transparency in its elections systems.
80 Cabrillo Hwy N Half Moon Bay, CA 94019-1650
Response today from Mark Church, (No Way in Hell) (Never going to happen) my words.
Thank you for your email in support of Open Source Voting Systems.
While Open Source Voting Systems are potentially viable for future elections, our in-depth 2018 Election System Request for Proposal (RFP) established that no Open Source Voting Systems met the stringent certification requirements established by the Office of the Secretary of State.
The Dominion Democracy Suite Voting System was selected as a result of its extensive experience in state and national elections along with its ease of use, efficiency, accuracy and ballot design. The Dominion Voting System is used by over 40 counties in the State of California, establishing a secure network of users and support systems. Our experience with the Dominion Voting System over six elections has been positive in terms of ease of use, transparency and accuracy. Rather than purchasing our Dominion Voting System, we decided to lease our system in order to allow the development of Open Source Voting Systems as a possible alternative in the future.
In 2022, my office will be focused on the post-Census redistricting process and conducting the Gubernatorial Primary and General Elections. At this juncture, our office is not positioned to pilot the development and implementation of an untested voting system. Nonetheless, I am committed to considering Open Source Voting Systems as these systems become available and are certified in the State of California.
Who else in San Mateo County Government is opposed to Open Source Voting Machines? That would be good Information for the Residents/Voters to know.