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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-01-05 10:49 AM
Original message
Report From Houston -- Election Assessment Hearing
Hi Everyone,

Am getting ready to head out from Houston TX, where I spent the last several days as part of the Election Assessment Hearing Panel. What a historic event! The citizens' voices are resonating, folks.

----------------------

Concerned voters, election officials, academics, researchers, computer scientists and process observers from throughout the United States gathered in Houston, TX this week for a non-partisan Election Assessment Hearing. The hearing was organized by Kip Humphrey.

A Panel of five, chaired by a information quality expert, heard
testimony and reviewed statistical studies. As an audience of over 125 citizens observed, evidence was brought forth on voting result irregularities, voter suppression, ballot access, voting technology failures, lost votes and miscounts, and election administration issues. Unique to the Election Assessment Hearing is the examination of the data from a fact-based quality management perspective, listening to the voice of the stakeholders in this process: the voters.

Full information about the hearing and its presenters of evidence is available online at http://www.electionassessment.org

The Election Assessment Hearing Panel will conduct a thorough examination of this body of information and produce a comprehensive report. This information will also be submitted to the Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Jimmy Carter and James A. Baker, III.

Bowing to the pressure of the citizen movement, Dr. Robert A. Pastor, Executive Director of the "Carter-Baker" Commission, attended much of the Election Assessment Hearing. Dr. Pastor spoke briefly and received questions from audience members, who took the opportunity to let him know their dissatisfaction with the Commission. Attending the EAH with Dr. Pastor was John Williams, a senior staff member to James Baker, and other staff. The five members of the Election Assessment Hearing Panel were invited by Dr. Pastor to attend the June 30 hearing of the Commission on Federal Election Reform at Rice University.

Media coverage of the Election Assessment Hearing included Pacifica Affiliate KPFT's News Department and two separate Community Affairs programs. The report was filed with Pacifica Network News. The Election Assessment Hearing was also covered live on Houston Public Access TV and will be re-broadcast at a future time to be announced.

Great thanks and continued support needs to go to Kip Humphrey, who organized everything. (PLEASE note that Kip still needs more FINANCIAL support to cover this; send people to the website www.electionassessment.org where they can donate.) Also thanks to Larry and Seth who helped Kip so much and who will carry on and organize our report. Great work, people!

When Kip asked me to sit on the panel (representing an active pollworker) I was incredibly honored. Now, after actually hearing the full testimony (which was compelling and often emotional and very moving), I am simply floored by the depth of this movement.

NGU,
Marybeth

PS: Thanks to my fellow panelists for some of the language I lifted from our press release, and to David Cobb who gathered some of the above facts while I was engaged hearing the testimony.

PS2: Day 2, the Carter-Baker Hearing next...


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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-01-05 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. MY VERY HIGH COMPLIMENTS AND THANKS TO THE EAH FOLKS
Saying thank you and donating isn't enough to express my profound appreciation for the amazing effort it took to pull this off. In many ways, your hearing was as critical to the voting rights movement as the Boxer vote...one of those events that simply had to happen to keep the movement alive. Your organization, selection of speakers, and hard work created a baseline for future efforts and an ongoing reference for anyone serious about this topic in the Democratic Party and the media. I'm quite sure your contact list will grow rapidly as *'s popularity declines. And when they come, they will get the TRUTH.

Again, thank you!
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-01-05 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I'll second that!
Thank you so much!
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PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-01-05 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Most impressive
Edited on Fri Jul-01-05 06:26 PM by PDittie
You made a real impact. Thanks for your efforts.
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-01-05 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
2. Day 2... The Carter-Baker Hearing
Well, as part of the Election Assessment Panel, I made it into the Carter-Baker Hearing (was NOT on the "Do Not Admit" list this time, yea!) Robert Pastor invited us all to attend the hearing, AND he mentioned us in his speech...

Though the Carter-Baker Commission has not changed its make-up, there has been a sea-change in attitude from the last meeting. Unlike the April hearing where pretty much only Dr. Dill voiced our concerns, there were several presenters who did NOT toe the "voter fraud, everything else is fine" line yesterday. As I sat there in the hearing room I was moved deeply thinking of all those thousands of people who sent e-mails via Velvet Revolution's campaign and others, people who really were the reason I was in that room. FWIW, I believe the citizens' voices are being heard.

Anyway, here is my report:

Five members of the citizen-initiated Election Assessment Hearing Panel attended the Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Jimmy Carter and James A. Baker, III, on June 30 at Rice University in Houston, TX. The panelists were invited to be in the audience by Dr. Robert A. Pastor, Executive Director of the Commission. Dr. Pastor mentioned the citizens' Election Assessment Hearing in his opening remarks to the Commission, and acknowledged the presence of the EAH Panel as guests.

The Election Assessment Hearing Panel also attended the Carter-Baker Press Conference later in the day at Rice University. Following the Press Conference, members of the Election Assessment Hearing Panel distributed a press release about their hearing earlier in the week, and about their planned report to the Commission on Federal Election Reform. Several members of the EAH Panel were interviewed for an independent documentary film.

Notably, several EAH Panel members made direct one-to-one contact with Carter-Baker Commission members.

June 30 testimony at the Commission on Federal Election Reform hearing was on Voter Registration, Identification, and Participation; Voting Technology; and Election Management and Election Reform. Topics covered included new technologies such as "hotlines" to help voters find polling places and to report problems, making voting more "user friendly", the need for Voter-Verified Paper Ballots on electronic voting machines, the importance of having non-partisan Election Administrators,

Some interesting facts and figures presented at June 30 hearing included that where voter ID requires a photograph, 10% of the eligible voters may not have the needed document and may be excluded from voting. It is possible that in some cases 70 legitimate votes are excluded for every fraudulent one; in Milwaukee it is estimated that less than one voter out of 700 is fraudulently registered (less than 1%). One of the largest hurdles to reaching the polls is voters not knowing their precinct numbers and having no simple means of learning them; telephone lines to Boards of Elections are often jammed prior to election day and even once a voter does get through he or she is often given information that is misleading.

In precincts where no electronic voting is used, only about 3% of voters cite problems with pollworkers; in precincts with DREs this rises to about 7%. In polls taken of Harris County TX voters, 90.8% of Anglo voters claimed satisfaction with new DREs while only 63.7% of African-American voters did. 42% of Harris County voters participate via early voting or mail their votes. The Harris County Election Director, Beverly Kauffman, stated that a manual recount in her county found that paper-based voting picked up votes when examined by hand, but "it came out to the penny on the electronic machines." (Note: her county uses the paperless Hart-Intercivic eSlate.)

In Canada, Proportional Representation has resulted in an increase in Voter Participation and turnout.

Some issues brought up: Voter ID vs. voter inclusion, paperless electronic voting vs. VVPB (and other machine issues such as cost, life span of equipment, etc.), large "Voting Centers" vs. small local precincts (larger centers more convenient for voters "like Wal-Mart or McDonalds" vs. need for stronger ID at voting centers), and the lack of apparent will in Congress to make additional election reforms in the foreseeable future.

Later in the day, the Commission held a Press Conference in which Mr. Baker stated that he felt the most urgent issue facing his commission was that of Voter ID and Voter Registration. When asked about the importance of the VVPB issue, both Mr. Baker and Mr. Carter said it was very important to them. Mr. Carter noted that the VVPB issue was considered at length in both the public morning and closed afternoon sessions. He personally is concerned if voters do not have confidence in the system. Another question noted that Congress may not accept or act upon the results of this Commission; Mr. Carter noted that there are over a dozen bills in Congress now, and having a definitive report may help.

Media outlets at the Carter-Baker Press Conference included the local Fox affiliate, Houston Chronicle, independent filmakers, and local Channel 39.

MB
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-01-05 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Thank you for the report, demondonkey and MB! I am VERY grateful
for your passion and your sacrifices and hard work on our behalf! I especially thank you for being there, for representing all disenfranchised voters--the majority of the country--when we are so completely unrepresented in Congress, in the White House, at Diebold and ES&S headquarters, and on the Baker-Carter "commission."

I would only urge you to be extremely wary of being invited to sit in the audience while some bought and paid for "expert" tells you that "election centers" should be run like MacDonald's or WalMart.

These are very bad dudes who sprang this so-called "commission" on us out of nowhere, but they are also very shrewd. They are looking for a way to federalize elections under Bush Cartel control--and take away our power to reform election systems at the state/local level (the only power we have left!). They have NO INTENTION of giving us back our right to vote. They are simply out to centralize and simplify election fraud.

Pastor's visit to the real election hearing was very shrewd, indeed--as was his invitation for you to LISTEN (not to testify!).

They call themselves a "commission." Who "commissioned" them? They have a self-appointed task of issuing "a report to Congress." Who asked for it? They have been extremely selective in who they permit to testify. Who is making these decisions? They have dwelt upon the wholly fraudulent RNC-fabricated issue of "voter fraud." Who do you think is writing these agendas?

This lament that Congress is not interested in election reform is a P.R. ploy. Bush's "pod people" in Congress will GET interested as soon as B/C comes up with the plan for total centralized control of voter registration rolls and vote counting under Bushite voting machine companies. They will hop to, and implement anything James Baker wants them to.

I'm just saying, don't be taken in; don't be fooled. Our election fraud/election reform movement has thrown a monkey wrench into their devious plans. They now know that we know that REAL election reform is only going to take place at the state/local level, where ordinary people still have some say. HAVA was not only not real reform; it was used by the Bushite electronic voting machine companies to completely corrupt our election system at every level--by lavish lobbying of election officials amidst a windfall of $4 billion infused into the states.

Check out this hogfest at the Beverly Hilton, this coming August, with Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia sponsoring a week of fun and sun for state election officials. It reeks of corruption! Go here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Also, the Bush Cartel knows that we've got the goods on them, as to election fraud 2004, and that people are getting really pissed off about it. We have never given up. We now have a mountain of evidence that this election was stolen. And word is spreading. As Bush tanks in the polls, it is becoming very clear that neither he nor his oil cartel represents the majority of Americans. How can a president get "re-elected' and six months later have a 40% approval rating? It just doesn't add up--like all the numbers for that election. SOMETHING is wrong. Almost everybody knows it. And it IS going to be exposed.

What this phony, private B/C "commission" is trying to do is to spin it--to turn the emerging evidence of fraud, and the discontent, to their advantage, by proposing centralization and yet MORE electronics. Beware! Election "centers" are a bad, bad, bad idea--and, within them, our vote will have as much true worth and substance as a MacDonald hamburger!

Corporate systems of control over our food have proven to be very bad for our health. Corporate systems of control over our votes are much, much worse, because they prevent us from every getting what we want and need: true representation!

As for WalMart, that execrable rightwing monster! Could there be anything worse as a model for democracy?

People with these kinds of models in their minds for VOTING are out to steal your vote, your money and your life, and the lives of your children. They have absolutely no interest in justice or fairness, or good government, or democracy. That we have such people actually running our elections is indicative of the very big pigsty that our election system has become, and that we must take a very BIG BROOM to, if we want our democracy to be restored.




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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Not to worry, Peace Patriot
The fun fact is the B/C Commission was and continues to chase Election Assessment - it is not and will never be the other way around.

The EAH remains the definitive hearing on the 2004 election and election reform and the B/C Commission folks know it. Since we have truth on our side, we continue to lead and have no fear. We forced them to deal with a paper record. They moved their next meeting from August 18 to 30th to allow extra time for just such dealings. We will supply our findings speaking of fraud into their record. The Pastor presence at the EAH produced his stating in camera, "I'm not interested in how the machines were hacked". At the B/C hearing, Pastor acknowledged the EAH on their record, in camera and before the commission, imparting a degree of legitimacy to our survey of research which has also been set into their record.

Other than that, Pastor's presence at the EAH was a footnote (as was the B/C Commission hearing itself) to the real EAH testimony indicating fraud, and to the imminent emergence of a real alliance of the election reform movement.

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Helga Scow Stern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-01-05 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. Please donate. This is important.
We must put our money where our hearts and integrity are. Even if it's only a few dollars, every little bit helps!
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starmaker Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-01-05 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. Amazing Day for Truth
I Showed Up and will never forget the day.
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
8. A few of my impressions
I'm very pleased with how the event went. As a movement that has done a tremendous amount of work to investigate the problems both with the 2004 election and with various election systems, I believe we had the responsibility to do our best to get that to the C-B Commission, and we absolutely accomplished a big part of that, with more coming in the form of our panel's report in a month or two. What the C-B Commission does with it is another matter entirely. But by garnering significant buzz before our hearing and then behaving in a professional and respectful manner at both our hearing and theirs, we have created some lines of communication with them that can be and must be built upon.

Another significant thing is that we had two meetings among some of the folks involved with and attending our hearing: one Wednesday night right after the hearing and one the next morning. Seeds were planted there that may grow into fruit-bearing trees. More will be revealed as plans develop.

I have a strong sense that this week was one of those times when events occurred that will have significance that we may never hear of. We must all keep on planting seeds. Not all will grow, but some will. And it doesn't matter if we ever find out whether a particular tree grew from a seed we personally planted or not. The point is that the fruit be edible, maybe even tasty.

"Every oak tree was once a nut that stood its ground."

Many, many thanks to Kip Humphrey, Seth Johnson and all who were involved in planning and carrying out this important event (I'm including myself in that, good to thank oneself sometimes!). I join in the request for people to donate to cover the costs. see www.electionassessment.org for information.

Oh, also, KPFT radio reporter Pokey Anderson covered the hearing. She has a show that I believe streams live at www.kpft.org on Sunday, tomorrow. I believe she'll be talking about the hearing. Would someone verify this, post here and start a new thread announcing it if it's indeed true? Thanks.
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starmaker Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Pokey"s radio show
Sunday Monitor 6PM-7PM CST
shows are available on archives
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Details of tomorrow's show
Sunday Monitor, KPFT, www.kpft.org online
The show runs from 6 pm to 7 pm Central time on Sunday, July 3rd.
It will include clips of testimony from the Election Assessment Hearing that took place in Houston, sometime after 6:15, probably after 6:35 pm.
Probably some tape from Bev Harris, Richard Hayes Phillips, Rev. Bill Moss, and more.
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
12. The EAH Hearing Panel & me
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
13. EAH Witness Panel #1

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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. EAH Witness Panel #1, photo 2
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
14. EAH Witness Panel #2
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
16. EAH Witness Panel #3
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 06:09 PM
Response to Original message
17. EAH Witness Panel #4
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
18. EAH - Robert Pastor
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
19. EAH Hearing Panel #5
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starmaker Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-03-05 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
20. kick nt
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-03-05 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
21. Thanks so much for the photos, Kip! It's wonderful to have a sense
of being there! And it's difficult to thank you enough for the hearing itself!

Many blessings upon you for doing this work!
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-03-05 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
22. Kick for donations and follow up! n/t
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Yellow Horse Donating Member (462 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-04-05 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
23. Thank you Kip, for the Pictures and for the EAH itself!
:kick:

Horse Kick for the EAH!
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-04-05 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
24. Many, Many Thanks and Appreciation


I wish to acknowledge all of those who attended, participated in, and supported the Election Assessment Hearing.

The Organizers: Larry English, Seth Johnson, myself

The Staff: Sally Castleman, Abbe Delozier, Kenneth Dickson, Diane English, Vickie Karp, Emily Levy, and Carol Pompilo (my enduring wife & partner)

The Election Assessment Committee: Larry English, Seth Johnson, Marybeth Kuznik, Tom Oswald, and Eve Roberson.

The Participants: Bob Firtakis, Kathy Dopp, Rev. Bill Moss, Richard Hayes Phillips, Judy Alter, David Griscom, Cynthia Test, Bev Harris, Jo Anne Karasek, Sherona Merel, David Wager, Linda Curtis, Richard Winger, Lynn Landes, David Cobb, and Heleni Thayre

Special mention goes to those who wished to testify but could not make it to the hearing (statements are on file with the Election Assessment Committee): Sherole Eaton, Clint Curtis, Ted Selker, Stan Klein, Juan Martinez, Joyce McCloy, Bernard Windham.

The Volunteers: The River Oaks Association of Democratic Women (ROADWarriors), The Progressive Action Alliance of Houston (PAA-H), The Progressive Democrats of America - Houston Chapter, The Green Party - Houston Chapter, and individuals whow just "showed up".

The Supporters: all the DUers not already mentioned who offered their ideas, encouragement and *kicks*, those who provided donations (my empty piggy bank says oink, oink!), E-USE and ProDemocracy members (special thanks to Ted Glick for pushing me), Brett & Brad of Velvet Revolution and BradBlog, Pokey Anderson and KPFT.

A special thanks to The Chads, and Cowboy Johnson for entertaining us.

Folks, everyone listed here are heroes and true American patriots who have set aside their lives to commit everything to restoring our election processes and regaining our Democracy. I am proud to do what I can and to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know them.

Keep up the fight and keep Democracy alive,
Kip
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