Post Number: 2907
Best of Black Box? N/A
|Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2005 - 5:08 am: |
By the way, to obtain the RFP you simply write to Chesterfield County Elections Division with a public records request.
You can see the basic format for many public records request in the section here called "Black Box Voting Document Archive" under the section "Public Records"
You have to label it as a public records request.
You have to date it and provide a place for them to send responses
You can often do them by email
You cannot ask for answers to questions, only for documents, like the RFP
You should avoid temptation to ask for everything but the kitchen sink. Confine to very specifically defined items.
Generally they can refuse the request if they consider it "overbroad" or if they can claim it must be protected under "security" or "proprietary information." However, you can request that in the last two instances, that you get the documents anyway, with redactions of any sensitive information.
You will be charged for the records, but generally just minor copying fees. Sometimes they tack on a labor charge, around $20 per hour, and on an RFP request, I'd expect to see charges of around $25, but this varies widely. Just ask them to quote you the price before filling the request.
You can find the public records laws for your state here:
www.foiadvocates.com/records.html, but I say, just dive in and make a request -- it's not hard, and even imperfect requests are usually processed.
One more thing -- by perusing the requests and responses in our document archive, you'll see that responses vary widely, from friendly to efficient to ignorant to obstructive. Ya never know what you're gonna get.