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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-05 11:02 AM
Original message

"We are the people we have been waiting for"

Regaining clean elections will not be done for us. Politicians in power cannot be counted on. Corporate media cannot be counted on. There is no power or force which will do this for us. We must do it ourselves.

We the people must stand up and demand restoration of our power and our votes. No one else can or will do this. History tells us what to do. Poland and the Ukraine showed us that with a political majority, we the people can prevail. The November 2004 election showed us that 64-65 million (source: TIA) Americans voted with their feet (if not with ballots thanks to vote switching an voter suppression) to get rid of Bush. We are the REAL majority, disenfranchised though we are. We must mobilize to demand the reinstatement of the peoples' power.

Here is a prescription for how we the people will regain clean elections and restore our democracy:

Learn from Election Activist web sites, blogs and message boards
Learn from Election Activist Teach-ins, Meet-ups & House Parties
Research your local election systems and processes
Research your elected officials and where they stand on clean election
Research your local election activism groups

Hold your own Teach-ins, Meet-ups and House Parties
Start an EFFP (Email/Fax/Flyer/Phone) Stolen Elections Campaign
Write and call local media: letters to the editor, demand coverage of election fraud news and events
Speak to groups and organizations about our stolen elections

Organize or join a local Election Activist group
Organize or join an Election Information Email distribution
Start an Election Activism Web Site
Organize or join a Clean Elections Speakers Bureau
Organize Clean Elections Squads to monitor local elections, research precinct data, conduct email & flyer campaigns, hound local media, lobby elected officials, etc.

Investigate your local elections
Lobby your elected officials
Hold Clean Elections Protests
Lead a Clean Elections Fund-raising Campaign
Hold a National Election Activism Event

Gary Beck of Solarbus has just released a new CD suitable for teach-ins, meet-ups and house parties ("The Truth about the 2004 Election: Why We Must NOT Get Over It"):
Get yourself a copy and hold a house party. Start the motion. Arrange presentations on campuses for the fall semester. Spread the word. Plan and hold a rally on November 2nd. Give the local press something to cover.


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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-05 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. kick - paper, pen, hand counted with an audience
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Higans Donating Member (819 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-05 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Agreed. N/T
Kick this.
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-05 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. Excellent, Kip!
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stellanoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-05 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. woohoo !
Great work.
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-05 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thanks, Kip. Here's our take on what tactics to employ from here in TN
Here's an abstract I've submitted to the upcoming Portland National Election Reform Conference. (Catchy name, where have I heard it before?)

Thinking Patriotically, Acting Locally (and NOW)
(Fly by night), Organizer
Gathering To Save Our Democracy (Tennessee)

For election reform to be successful (particularly at this point in our history), it must be done "in your own backyards". This is both because the conduct of elections is essentially a local or state decision and because the current political party in power is blocking all efforts to reform our voting process through amendments to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

There are many useful models of local and state-level reform movements to protect our votes and rescue our democracy. In Tennessee, our nine-month organization (Gathering To Save Our Democracy) is one such example. Created as a response to the 51 Capitals March grassroots effort to bring attention to the 2004 election theft, the Gathering focused its early attention on educating the public and increasing media attention to the evidence for the multi-state election fraud that characterized the last election.

This early activity resulted in 33 public Gatherings across the state, considerable media attention and direct actions at the offices of our Congressional representatives and our Federal courthouses across the state. This early activity helped us build an email database including hundreds of Tennesseans (representing six different political parties) who were concerned about the integrity of our election process. It also allowed us to host the (first) National Election Reform Conference in Nashville in April, which brought voting rights activists from 30 states to review the evidence for the stolen election and to share strategies for protecting our votes in the future.

With this groundwork and a host of early successes and momentum-building activities, the Gathering has now launched itself fully into election reform here in Tennessee and is recognized as the major player in supporting voter-verified paper ballots and mandatory random manual recounts. The timing in Tennessee (and in all states) is critical because decisions on how to spend our $56 million in HAVA funds to "upgrade" our voting systems are being made now. My presentation will review some of the critical steps that we believe have been important in building a successful and respected voice for election reform in the Orange State, including the following:

1) Establishing a nonpartisan platform for action - Everyone who believes in the "consent of the governed" has a stake in free, fair and verifiable elections. In Tennessee, that has meant visible support from members of six political parties.

2) Coalition building - We forged alliances with Common Cause, NAACP, Urban League, Tennessee Disabled Voters and a host of progressive organizations. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, we have grounded our activity in the proud history of voting rights activism for which our state is known.

3) Making friends with the disabled voter community - Many states have experienced an uneasy tension between the accessibility concerns of disabled voters and the accountability concerns of election reformers. Here, we have worked to educate ourselves and to support both issues, as do our allies within the disabled voter community.

4) Education for action - We continuously provide both issue-oriented educational updates and opportunities for activism to our membership on the local, state and national levels. We are known as rational and informed advocates.

5) Learning the process - We have delved deeply into the different voting systems in place in our 95 counties and learned the process whereby changes in those systems would occur. In the process, we have found natural allies.

6) Legislative action - Through a series of lobbying activities with our legislature, we have made friends and cultivated supporters on both sides of the aisle, resulting in growing bipartisan support for VVPB/MRMR.

7) Framing "election reform" as part of "ethics reform" - Our legislature has received national attention for its lax ethical behavior. We are working to make election reform the foundation from which all other ethics reform springs.

8) Befriending county/state election commissioners and administrators - This has included making our presence known at local/state election commission meetings and playing a visible role at the statewide election officials convention.

9) Staying on top of the issue - There are many online election reform communities with which we are familiar and within which we are recognized as competent "players" in this newest generation of the voting rights movement.

10) Being a "trusted servant" - We are now used regularly as a model by activists across the country in their own efforts to build similar grassroots movements. We are also considered an informational "ready response" team.

My presentation will flesh out these Gathering activities within the constraints of the available time-frame and format. We trust that our experiences will be informative to other states which are launching or refining their own reform approaches.
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wli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-05 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. 65 million is not enough
We need 100 million or more. The word needs to get out, and far more people need to participate.
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jarnocan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-05 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
6. great resouce and love the banners but...
but locally although VERY important but isn't enough - that crazy Garett from NJ's intern/ operative really- kept saying -it was only a state matter-grrr.
We need protection on a national level as well. Guees I'm just feeling so overwhelmed.
re: HR550 support <> priority #1 can also link to info on this and many links to related articles and sites Vote Trust , Verified Voting here <>
We need the truth to come out, there are just so many things to work on....on so many levels.
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GentryLange Donating Member (98 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-05 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Run for political office
Hey all,

Here's my approach:

1. Secretary of State's office
2. Director's of Elections
3. Anyone who appoints election officials

Anyone who would like to run for office, I'll be happy to provide campaign outlines, as well as position papers, etc.

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GentryLange Donating Member (98 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-05 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Reform Package
Reform Package
Includes County State and National Goals

Open source publicly owned software

Maintaing the paper ballot, and requiring all machines state wide to maintain a paper ballot

Random hand count auditing of paper ballots against machine counts
Precinct level reporting

Triggered audits, when anomolies are found, like when polls come in with a greater than expected error rate compared to official counts reported, this should trigger a hand recount in those areas

Triggered run-off elections when the margin of error is greater than the margin of victory

Requested audits, when the parties, press, or individuals want to pay for a recount, these sources should be allowed to pay for the recount in order to audit the system

Moving the primary date back

Making all counties in Washington report at the same time, not just King County last

A fully independent audit of the election system

Getting rid of corporate controlled proprietary voting machines

Making the Director of Elections an elected official

Getting PSI out of the absentee voting system entirely

Creating a system that offers more proportional representation of 3rd parties and breaks the hold of the 2 party system
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-05 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
10. KICK!!! n/t
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-05 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. Kick.nt
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-05 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
12. kick for kip!
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