We list below frequent questions that have come up from individuals and organizations interested in deploying rVotes in their respective states. TheVoicesOfAmerica.org addressed many of these questions when we conducted our due diligence assessment of rVotes. Our mission is to identify best practices for Neighborhood / Precinct Organizing and that includes enabling software capabilities.
What does rVotes cost?
It costs nominally $100/year for organizations desiring access to county or below voter records. This is one of the key reasons why TheVoicesOfAmerica.org has embraced rVotes with such enthusiasm. rVotes has now been deployed for Rhode Island, Ohio, Florida, and Iowa. New states who want access to rVotes will have to pay a nominal fee to compensate rVotes for added infrastructure costs and voter record data cleansing/ loading. These costs can easily be covered if ten to fifteen liberty-oriented organizations combine their resources or by asking for donations from some of the national organizations represented in your state, such as Americans for Prosperity, American Majority, Freedom Works, Freedom Express, Heritage Action, or Tea Party Patriots. Wealthy donors might also want to help this liberty-oriented cause for their state.
How does rVotes compare to other capabilities?
Before deciding to proceed with rVotes, it is appropriate for any interested individual and organization to be asking this question.TheVoicesOfAmerica.org ask this question and pursued an option analyses in Ohio, as a precursor to the Ohio Liberty Coalition’s purchasing a state-wide license for rVotes. We encourage everyone to pursue an assessment of competing offerings. What you will find is that while some organizations might suggest that they have similar capabilities, few in fact have anything currently available that even comes close to rVotes, nor do they have the proven deployment and scaled use record as exists with rVotes. Click here for the Capabilities Analyses Form we used in Ohio.
A unique and powerful feature of rVotes, based on much field experience with its precursor VAN, is the fact that its IT architecture is such that it enables an infinite number of autonomous groups from using rVotes, while allowing voter information sharing among these groups. It thus, lends itself perfectly with the Tea Party movement and its existence of local autonomous groups who resist central control.
With rVotes you and your organization will be dealing directly with a top-notch software programmer who has ten years’ experience creating and deploying this type software. In contrast, many of the potential competing software programs are accessed through organizations, who in turn are working with software programmers who lack this extensive experience and, importantly, lack the battle-tested scalability of rVotes. Many of these programmers are off-shore and don’t even reside in the U.S.A.
Who owns the voter information data in rVotes?
This is a very appropriate and relevant question and should be asked of any software provider or organization advocating voter information based software. In rVotes’ case, the local liberty-oriented organization owns any new voter information they obtain through surveys and which is uploaded into rVotes. They can freely share this information with any other like-minded organization, or sell a copy of all the information through rVotes’ CapitaList marketplace. When freely shared, the other organizations can see and use the voter information data for their micro-targeting purposes, but they do not own the data. rVotes does not use any of the voter information data within its system, other than to conduct high level trend analyses for exclusive consumption and benefit of the rVotes user community.
In contrast to rVotes’ distributed, locally-owned ownership model for voter information data, other organizations that claim to have similar voter information based software systems tend to have centralized databases. They own these databases and can use the voter information in support of their own organization’s political agenda.TheVoicesOfAmerica.org, in an effort to experience differing voter information systems, participated last fall in a number of different volunteer phone banking initiatives, sponsored by well-known conservative national organizations. In all cases, we conducted the phone calls and obtained voter information using surveys, the data of which ended up in the organization’s centralized database.
Importantly, these organizations all have an agenda, while the owner of rVotes, Steve Adler, has no agenda other than to make money with rVotes. TheVoicesOfAmerica.org is thrilled that rVotes’ business model allows for the much desired very affordable access to all of rVotes capabilities at the local level.
Consistent with the rVotes model that local individuals and organizations who use rVotes own the data, rVotes allows uploads and downloads/ exports of locally created new voter information. This assures that a backup of all the voter information exists locally and is not locked within rVotes’ proprietary “Vault”. This is a major difference versus most other voter information focused election systems.
Is my data safe and secure in rVotes?
As TheVoicesOfAmerica.org started to use rVotes, we were reminded of our prior and extensive corporate experience with IBM’s Lotus Notes which also focuses on enabling collaboration among autonomous groups. Lotus Notes has a very similar granular, user-based security model that has to meet the most stringent CIA-type security requirements. In fact, reading the online discussion of rVotes’ security features seems reminiscent of reading about the security features for Lotus Notes. (Peter Wolf was responsible for advocating Lotus Notes for corporate deployment in a Fortune 50 Company and helped implement it globally in collaboration with the Corporate Information Technology Organization.)
Specifically, rVotes’ states in its F.A.Q. section: “The rVotes system and its completely "uptight" security model has been field tested since 2001 in presidential elections, by hundreds of thousands of users and maybe as many enemies too. It has never had a breach from the public side, and never experienced data loss due to an "inside" job. Without getting too much into detail, the security and auditing model of rVotes is simply world class - tighter in many ways than most banks. It offers unprecedented defense measures from outside attack as well as internal sabotage. For example, data within the system is never erased, merely flagged as erased or obsolete. This allows us to roll back erroneous edits in the unlikely event of sabotage. Additional security measures implemented are so cool, we won't talk about them here. Instead, we will wait until we meet face to face to discuss these issues. Rest assured, rVotes has millions of hostile enemies. It is designed from the ground up to be impervious to what is typically thousands of "attack attempts" every day. “
It is because if this robust, granular security architecture that rVotes can provide unprecedented access to an infinite number of autonomous individuals and organizations, while also allowing them to collaborate with each other and share voter information data. Most voter information type software systems do not offer this capability!