The software utility, eVote and the eVote clerk, injects true democracy and deliberation into our real-world landscape.

Saturday, October 30, 2004


Source:, click the headline:
A pair of new reports from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and Burst! Media, demonstrate more Americans are using the Internet during this election cycle than ever before. The Pew survey reports the Internet serves more as a town hall in the United States than an echo chamber as users are more likely to be exposed to a wide range of political views, while the BURST! Media survey released found that one-third of likely voters who regularly use the Internet have explored a politically related site during this election season.

Internet users surveyed by the Pew told the nonprofit group they were familiar with common criticisms of President Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry, and one in 10 said they were more aware of these criticisms than positive attributes of their candidate of choice. One in five told the nonprofit group they preferred to get their news from a source that challenged their point of view, and 30 percent said they had visited the Web site of a nontraditional news source. Eighteen percent said they had visited the Web site of an international news organization like the BBC or Al Jazeera.

Burst! surveyed likely voters online; subjects, all over 18 years of age, said they would "definitely" or "probably" vote on November 2nd. One-third of likely voters said they have clicked on a web advertisement for a political candidate or issue advocacy group during the presidential campaign. These clicks inspired action with nearly three in four of those who clicked on an ad going on to read additional information about the candidate's platform. Users also answered calls to action with nearly half signing-up to receive campaign email alerts, 42.8% watching a video ad, 31.8% making an online donation, and 21% signing to volunteer for the campaign.

Americans Click Their Way Toward Elections =
BURST! Media Survey =
Pew Internet Survey =

Friday, October 29, 2004

Florida vote movie with screen voting

Very good. I'd play this as part of the TV show, Heavy Or Not, if I had such a show:

PA State Senator, John Pippy, legislators discuss military absentee ballots

Pippy is in my neck of the woods in PA. He isn't my Senator, but he is near and he is a Republican. His remarks here, without edit but repositioning.

Father of PA Army National Guard member details need for voting extension

When called to duty, Pennsylvania Army National Guard PFC Naomi Bondy of Bridgeville put aside her studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and headed off to serve in Iraq.

Unfortunately, because of her service PFC Bondy wont have a chance to vote in the upcoming election as it stands now because she will be unable to return her absentee ballot by November 2.

Its unfair that the voices of many Pennsylvania men and women in uniform like PFC Bondy will not be heard in this upcoming election, Senator Pippy said. The men and women of the U.S. military who serve us daily in harms way deserve to have their votes counted.

PFC Bondys father, Frank Bondy of Bridgeville, joined US Senator Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Senators Pippy and Jane Clare Orie, state Representatives Mark Mustio, Thomas Stevenson and Mike Turzai, U.S. Representatives Melissa Hart and Tim Murphy and other officials at a press conference Friday to again call upon Governor Rendell to support a two-week extension for absentee ballots from military members serving overseas.

Frank Bondy recently contacted Senator Pippy about his daughters case, which started when she left Indiana University earlier this month en route to Baghdad, where she is now serving on temporary duty with Company A, 13th Signal Battalion.

Mr. Bondy said he received his daughters absentee ballot in Bridgeville on October 26 and immediately forwarded it to her APO address. However, unless the balloting extension is granted, PFC Bondy a registered Allegheny County voter will be disenfranchised.

Senator Pippy and a number of federal, state and local officials continue to urge Governor Ed Rendell to give military and overseas voters extra time to return their absentee ballots.

At the very least, we should take the imminently reasonable step of extending a deadline by two weeks in order to ensure that our fellow citizens now serving in uniform like PFC Bondy can participate in this election and enjoy one of the most basic rights of citizenship, Senator Pippy said.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Governance Structures

Wonder how many mentions of eVote and democracy are in this book? All Catholic Books: Governance Structures - Ballot Initiative Strategy Center

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Mass E-mail Campaigns May Do More Harm Than Good

Sources: Karen Hoffmann and Stuart Shulman (at Pitt)

Report: Internet is shifting how public participates in regulatory process

PITTSBURGH—Groups that send out tens or hundreds of thousands of similar e-mails seeking to influence government regulations may be “inadvertently petitioning themselves into obscurity,” according to a new report by a University of Pittsburgh professor.

"The assumption has been that the more people participate in the policy-making process, the more they'll be listened to," said Stuart W. Shulman, assistant professor of information sciences and public administration at Pitt and senior research associate in Pitt's University Center for Social and Urban Research. "The fact may be that the more they participate in mass e-mail campaigns—without creating substantive, detailed, specific new information relevant to a decision—the lower the
agency estimates the role of the public to be over time."

Federal agencies promulgate more than 4,000 new regulations each year; the term electronic rulemaking refers to the use of information technology and the Internet in this process. The public has a right to participate under the “notice and comment” provisions in the federal Administrative Procedure Act of 1946.

As a part of his work leading the eRulemaking Research Group—Jamie Callan, associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University; Eduard Hovy, research associate professor of computer science at the University of Southern California; and Stephen Zavestoski, assistant professor of sociology and environmental studies at the University of San Francisco—Shulman has published a report, titled “The Internet Still Might (but Probably Won’t) Change Everything: Stakeholder Views on the Future of Electronic Rulemaking,” about the impact of modern information technology and the Internet on the federal rulemaking process. The report is available in hard copy beginning today.

The report examines such questions as: “What’s the proper role of public discussion in rulemaking? How do these technologies both create new opportunities and liabilities for people who want to engage in the process?” the report is based on a series of workshops and focus groups the eRulemaking Research Group held in June, as part of a study funded by a small grant for exploratory research from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

In the mass e-mail campaigns that many organizations use to try to influence decision-making, people often will send the suggested form letter as-is, or with slight and often insubstantial modifications. Occasionally, they will tack on important comments at the end of the form letter. If the government receives multiple letters with no substantive” difference between them, many agencies place only one copy in the official record, but
it is often difficult for government employees to decide exactly which
comments make a letter substantially different from others.

"It is probably not well-known to a lot of people who submit these comments that if their comment is part of one of these campaigns, it may end up in the recycling bin," said Shulman.

Shulman argues that by creating databases of the public’s comments and building appropriate tools to analyze them, federal agencies will be able to make their decisions with the best available information. How these tools are designed and used will impact the nature and scope of public participation.

"The report argues that we should talk openly about this, because the regulatory process results in literally billions of dollars of costs and benefits to the economy every year,” said Shulman. “It is important that these issues be aired openly before technical choices are made that have far-reaching practical implications."

Shulman and his group are launching a four-year study of electronic rulemaking, funded by a $1.1 million NSF grant. "We'll keep doing basic research into what these technologies can do with text,” said Shulman, "but it will all be tailored to an applied research project, in which new tools developed via computer science research will be used both by people who write public comments and those who actually have to read them."

The report is freely available for download and in hard copy.

I'm not sure if I agree with all of this. But it is coming out of Pittsburgh, my home town.

Yahoo! News - Crashing Elections

Crashing Computers Deepens Concerns: "A computer crash that forced a pre-election test of electronic voting machines to be postponed was trumpeted by critics as proof of the balloting technology's unreliability.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Internet Politics: Political Awareness, Participation, and Activities

Daryl Kelley and I are organizing a session for the 2005 Annual Meetings of the Midwest Sociological Society entitled:

"Internet Politics: Political Awareness, Participation, and Activities"

The meetings will be March 31 to April 3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Presenters from outside the discipline, as well as, graduate students are encouraged to participate.

If you are interested, please send me an abstract or rough draft by October 30.

Laura D. Crank

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Information For E-rulemaking - list

E-RULEMAKING-L is a listserv established by the Regulatory Policy Program to link researchers and professionals working on issues related to information technology and the rulemaking process."

I just subscribed.

Friday, October 08, 2004

SF BayArea : "E-voting and the Upcoming Election"

* BayFF Event - Join Us for "E-voting and the Upcoming
Election," Tuesday, October 12

The next BayFF event is almost here! Come join EFF this
upcoming Tuesday at the 111 Minna Gallery in downtown
San Francisco to talk about e-voting and the upcoming
election, as well as share food and drink and listen
to live music by talented local artist Samantha. This
event is free and open to the public, so be sure
to invite your friends and colleagues!

Details and directions: