Memorandum of Clarification
March 15, 2007
I have been writing and speaking on the subject of electronic vote tabulation
since 1989, and some concepts that are FINALLY being expressed now by others,
had actually been described years earlier by myself and a number of early
colleagues. That part is fine, but unfortunately, certain folks in the vendor
and election advocacy community (including ones who are very well-known) have
knowingly been taking CREDIT for work that is not their own, and some have
even received grants and patents on the basis of submission of my intellectual
property. A few (thankfully not too many) who disagree with my views, or
who have used my work without permission, have also chosen to circulate false
rumors and make slanderous public statements about me. It is for these reasons
that I have prepared this memo, in order to provide some assistance to those
interested in communicating with me, or those who plan to incorporate my
material into their work.
The executive summary of the points below is -- generally, if I have the
time, I like to be helpful, but I do not like to be used or abused. So, if
you get the facts straight (by asking me to verify things you may have heard
about me or clarify my opinions), request reprint permissions (and only use
my material after I have explicitly granted you this permission), play fair,
and are polite -- then everything will be cool. Otherwise, you may expect
to hear from my attorney (this has been very rare, but it has happened).
Read on, if you want or need the particulars.
1. Brief Bio: Dr. Rebecca Mercuri has been referred to as "one
of the leading international experts on electronic voting." A technology
specialist, Rebecca defended her doctoral dissertation "Electronic Vote Tabulation:
Checks & Balances" at the Engineering School of the University of Pennsylvania,
just eleven days before the 2000 U.S. Presidential election. Subsequently,
her testimony and opinions were sought in Bush v. Gore and referenced in
briefs presented to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2002 she was contacted by
Janet Reno and her legal team to help solve the mystery of the thousands
of votes that vanished from the new touch-screen machines being used in Miami-Dade
and Broward Counties. Since then, Dr. Mercuri has provided formal testimony
and comment to the House Science Committee, the U.S. Commission on Civil
Rights, the Election Assistance Commission, the National Institute of Standards
and Technologies, the U.K. Cabinet, and numerous U.S. state legislatures.
Her advocacy work has directly influenced the wording of state, federal,
and international election legislation as well as standards and best practices
guidelines. Dr. Mercuri has observed elections as a scientist, expert witness,
poll-worker and committeewoman in numerous U.S. States, for over two decades.
Many of Rebecca's views and numerous of her papers on electronic voting
appear on her website. She authors the Security Watch column for the Communications
of the Association for Computing Machinery, where she also serves as a contributing
editor. She has been frequently quoted
in the New York Times, the Economist and the Wall Street Journal, by the
Associated Press, in the Congressional Record, and various other venues,
including TV appearances on Fox News, NBC Nightline, a debate on Lou Dobbs,
and numerous radio features including NPR's Morning Edition and This American
2. Contact information that can be distributed is as follows:
email address -- mercuri AT acm DOT org
company home page -- www.notablesoftware.com
electronic voting page -- www.notablesoftware.com/evote.html
telephone -- 609/587-1886 and 215/327-7105
Although I am very busy, I usually do try to respond to all
inquiries within 2-3 business days.
If you do not get a response, your message may have been lost,
so please try again.
3. All of my writings and materials are covered by copyright. This
is expressly stated on Notable Software's website. If you intend to
quote or paraphrase my work other than in TRULY fair use circumstances, you
need to contact me, prior to publication, to obtain my written permission.
If you have any question about using my work, just ask. Incidentally, there
is absolutely NO restriction on linking any of Notable Software's webpage
URLs (web addresses) to your site, as long as your site does not misrepresent
the contents of those links as being your own materials. If you abide by
that caveat, there is no need to request permission to link to any Notable
Software webpage (and I encourage you to do so).
4. Public communications. My talks and lectures given in any open forum
are public, and as such, quotes of what I have said in these may be made,
with attribution to me, without prior request. My slides and the delivery
of my talks are copyrighted, so distribution of same in any form (including
recording or broadcast) is STRICTLY prohibited, unless express prior written
permission has been obtained.
5. Private communications. All of my email messages, letters, document
drafts, voice mail messages, talks, lectures and discussions provided in
private settings are considered to be private between the parties to which
the communication has been addressed. As such, I do not grant permission
to forward, quote from, or distribute in any way, any portion of these communications
to any other party unless express prior written permission has been obtained.
6. Media communications. Email messages, letters, voice mail messages
and conversations with members of the media are considered "for the record"
as long as I have been informed in advance that I am communicating with a
member of the media, and have not claimed "off the record" in discussion.
Otherwise, the communication is considered to be private. If the conversation
is being taped, whether for broadcast or not, I expect to be informed of
this at the start of each communication in which taping occurs.
7. My communications (such as email) that have been intercepted or mis-routed
or inappropriately broadcast are still private, and forwarding or quotation
without prior express written permission is prohibited. If you feel
that you have received such a message in error, I would greatly appreciate
it if you could inform me that you have received such a message, and not
use or forward it any further.
8. Due to the nature of my continued research and advocacy work, I must request
that communications with me not include any material that the other party
considers to be private or proprietary. If one wishes to discuss a
private or proprietary matter with me, this must be disclosed in advance
in a content-free discussion, and I may choose to decline further communication.
Any unsolicited transmission of material to me will be understood to be non-proprietary.
I do not wish to receive any material (such as videotapes, computer hardware
or software) that has been obtained in an illicit fashion.
9. I certainly enjoy receiving notice of publications that have quoted me
or cited my work. Please send web addresses if you have posted such
material, or let me know how it can be obtained. Please do not send
file attachments (especially ones of 1M or larger) without my prior permission.
10. Although I occasionally provide pro-bono work (such as in providing testimony
at legislative hearings on voting subjects), I typically charge a fee for
lectures, authoring of documents, equipment or patent evaluations, and expert
witness services. If you are interested in discussing a matter with
me, please try to keep your initial query short and provide telephone and
email contact information as well as day and evening times when you can best
be reached. Considerable additional information about retaining me for a
project or scheduling an appearance can be found at www.notablesoftware.com.
If you have read all the way to the bottom of this page, I applaud you heartily.
If there are any questions regarding the above points, do communicate with
Dr. Rebecca Mercuri. ;-)