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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 08:34 PM
Original message
Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News Friday 9/9/05
Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News Friday 9/9/05

All members welcome and encouraged to participate.

Please post Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News on this thread.

If you can:

1. Post stories and announcements you find on the web.

2. Post stories using the "Election Fraud and Reform News Sources" listed here:

3. Re-post stories and announcements you find on DU, providing a link to the original thread with thanks to the Original Poster, too.

4. Start a discussion thread by re-posting a story you see on this thread.

If you want to know how post "News Banners" or other images, go here:

Link to previous Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News thread:

All previous daily threads are available here:

Please "Recommend" for the Greatest Page (it's the link just below).
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Start asking questions now about vote-counting in your area

Start asking questions now about vote-counting in your area
ASK THIS | September 09, 2005
Do the citizens in your area have good reason to be confident that, if they make it into the voting booth, their votes will actually be counted? Dont wait until the next election is upon us. Here are some important basic questions to which the public deserves answers.

By Stephanie Frank Singer

[email protected]

(215) 715-3479

There are many vested interests in voting technology and its attendant issues. Candidates and parties have a vested interest, obviously. Government employees responsible for elections are invested in their own reputations. Ditto election activists. Anyone who has tampered with an election has a vested interest in not being caught. (There is evidence both major parties have benefited from electoral fraud.) The companies that make voting machinery have vested interests. Sitting governments have a vested interest in the perception of their legitimacy.

After the ballyhooed paper ballot debacle in 2000, many people thought that electronic voting and tabulating machines would make elections run more smoothly and reliably. But in 2004 there were both widespread use of electronic systems and widespread problems.

Because of concerns about the 2004 general election, including the unexplained discrepancy between the exit polling data and the official returns (see, there is a large, newly-formed community of election-integrity activists working to improve our voting and counting systems. Local election-integrity activists know what is going on in their state and county. National election-integrity organizations have a broader view. Some of the most important organizations are: Verified Voting, National Election Data Archive, Open Voting Consortium, Vote Trust and Voters Unite. Any of these activists (and I count myself among them) will gladly point you to story leads.

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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. Court urged to ax Ohio election reform

Court urged to ax Ohio election reform

Attorneys spar over use of professional, out-of-state petition circulators


COLUMBUS A group trying to keep an overhaul of Ohio election law off the Nov. 8 ballot yesterday urged judges to force Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to invalidate thousands of the proposals petitions.

But lawyers for Mr. Blackwell and the coalition behind four proposed constitutional amendments defended the practice of using professional out-of-state circulators to gather petition signatures for ballot issues.

They also argued before the 10th District Court of Appeals that a 1995 state residency requirement for those circulating petitions on behalf of candidates does not apply to ballot initiatives, and that no such requirement was enforced last year with the ultimately successful amendment banning recognition of gay marriage.

Simply because for years nobody has contested what the secretary of state has done doesnt make it right ..., said Quinton F. Lindsmith, attorney for Ohio First Inc., the opposition group fronted by Richard Finan, a Republican and former Ohio Senate president.

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. Grand jury indicts two mid-level elections board employees,
Edited on Fri Sep-09-05 08:59 PM by Melissa G

Thanks to Foger Rox for the DU discussion

Scofflaws or Scapegoats? : Grand jury indicts two mid-level elections board employees, raising more questions about the 2004 recount.

By Teresa James

Robert T. Bennett
That's why many find it so hard to understand why a grand jury indicted Dreamer and Grier last week for various alleged violations of election law during the county's 2004 recount.

Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter convened the grand jury to investigate charges of recount violations raised by the Libertarian and Green Party presidential candidates. Baxter was appointed by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor William Mason to avoid a conflict of interest; Mason's office represents the board.

The Libertarian and Green Party candidates charged that the board's recount process violated Ohio law because, among other faults, it did not permit a random selection of precincts for the recount and it did not let witnesses oversee the opening of the sealed ballot cases and the first recount of the votes.

No one seems to dispute that the board's recount process did not call for a truly random selection of precincts, or that the board's employees were ordered to pre-inspect the ballots before the candidates' witnesses showed up. At a February public meeting, Board Director Michael Vu and Elections Coordinator Jacqui Maiden acknowledged that board employees were under directions to pre-select the precincts and pre-inspect the ballots. With those statements on the record, it appeared that the only thing left for Baxter to investigate was whether the board's admitted recount process amounted to a criminal violation of Ohio's election recount law.
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. Lawyers argue ballot issues' legality

Lawyers argue ballot issues' legality

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - People who don't want out-of-staters involved in issues on Ohio ballots argued Thursday that the state's top election official lacked authority to allow people from outside Ohio to collect signatures backing four election-related issues.

Their lawsuit before a state appeals court is trying to keep off the Nov. 8 ballot the four issues that would dramatically alter how Ohio elections are conducted, including allowing people to vote early by mail for any reason and cutting campaign donation limits.

Issue backers said the opponents should have taken their complaint to the office of the top election official, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, and not to court.

At issue are up to 100,000 signatures collected by Reform Ohio Now, a Democratic-leaning group that favors the changes. Opposing the idea is Ohio First, led by former Senate President Richard Finan, a Republican who wants to keep the law the way it is.

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
5.  LWV urges support for constitutional amendment on absentee voting

Hunt: LWV urges support for constitutional amendment on absentee voting
By E. Ruth Hunt
Friday, September 9, 2005

To the editor:

The League of Women Voters urges state legislators to support the constitutional amendment to lift restrictions on absentee voting which will come before the Constitutional Convention Sept. 14.

Massachusetts' current absentee ballot laws make voting even more difficult for the modern citizen. With young or old dependents keeping us at home and urgent business or personal crisis taking us out of town, difficulty getting time off from work, so many voters report an inability to get to the polls despite their good intentions.

Why do we make the voting process cumbersome when we are striving for increased citizen participation in the electoral process and bemoan low voter turnout as a sign of civic apathy and disengagement? Voting is the key to a strong, functional representative democracy that is responsive and accountable to the people.

Currently, the Massachusetts Constitution restricts absentee voting to people who will be absent from their city or town on Election Day, have a physical disability that prevents them from voting at the polling place or cannot vote due to religious beliefs. Yet, in Election 2004 there were a record number of requests for absentee ballots in Massachusetts. The current law is unenforceable.
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. 9/11 And The Sport of God (More about The Ohio Restoration Project)
(We've posted about this before, now read what Bill Moyers has to say about this group.)

Published on Friday, September 9, 2005 by

9/11 And The Sport of God

by Bill Moyers

This article is adapted from Bill Moyer's address this week at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where Judith and Bill Moyers received the seminary's highest award, the Union Medal, for their contributions to faith and reason in America.

At the Central Baptist Church in Marshall, Texas, where I was baptized in the faith, we believed in a free church in a free state. I still do.


Let's take a brief detour to Ohio and I'll show you what I am talking about. In recent weeks a movement called the Ohio Restoration Project has been launched to identify and train thousands of "Patriot Pastors" to get out the conservative religious vote next year. According to press reports, the leader of the movement - the senior pastor of a large church in suburban Columbus - casts the 2006 elections as an apocalyptic clash between "the forces of righteousness and the hordes of hell." The fear and loathing in his message is palpable: He denounces public schools that won't teach creationism, require teachers to read the Bible in class, or allow children to pray. He rails against the "secular jihadists" who have "hijacked" America and prevent school kids from learning that Hitler was "an avid evolutionist." He links abortion to children who murder their parents. He blasts the "pagan left" for trying to redefine marriage. He declares that "homosexual rights" will bring "a flood of demonic oppression." On his church website you read that "Reclaiming the teaching of our Christian heritage among America's youth is paramount to a sense of national destiny that God has invested into this nation."

One of the prominent allies of the Ohio Restoration Project is a popular televangelist in Columbus who heads a $40 million-a-year ministry that is accessible worldwide via 1,400 TV stations and cable affiliates. Although he describes himself as neither Republican nor Democrat but a "Christocrat" - a gladiator for God marching against "the very hordes of hell in our society" - he nonetheless has been spotted with so many Republican politicians in Washington and elsewhere that he has been publicly described as a"spiritual advisor" to the party. The journalist Marley Greiner has been following his ministry for the organization, FreePress. She writes that because he considers the separation of church and state to be "a lie perpetrated on Americans - especially believers in Jesus Christ" - he identifies himself as a "wall builder" and "wall buster." As a wall builder he will "restore Godly presence in government and culture; as a wall buster he will tear down the church-state wall." He sees the Christian church as a sleeping giant that has the ability and the anointing from God to transform America. The giant is stirring. At a rally in July he proclaimed to a packed house: "Let the Revolution begin!" And the congregation roared back: "Let the Revolution begin!"

(The Revolution's first goal, by the way, is to elect as governor next year the current Republican secretary of state who oversaw the election process in 2004 year when a surge in Christian voters narrowly carried George Bush to victory.
As General Boykin suggested of President Bush's anointment, this fellow has acknowledged that "God wanted him as secretary of state during 2004" because it was such a critical election. Now he is criss-crossing Ohio meeting with Patriot Pastors and their congregations proclaiming that "America is at its best when God is at its center.") .

The Ohio Restoration Project is spreading. In one month alone last year in the president's home state of Texas, a single Baptist preacher added 2000 "Patriot Pastors" to the rolls. On his website he now encourages pastors to "speak out on the great moral issues of our restore and reclaim America for Christ."

Much more:
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. also at Tom Paine
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. More about this
from here:

'Patriot pastors' recruited
Churchgoers will be urged to vote

By Howard Wilkinson
Enquirer staff writer

KINGS MILLS - The luncheon Thursday at the Kings Island Conference Center could easily have been mistaken for a political party affair, with politicians, speaking over the clank of forks and knives, exhorting the guests to go out and register new voters and make sure they get to the polls.


They were, for the most part, men and women of the clergy - evangelicals, Pentecostals, Baptists and a smattering of Catholic clerics and laymen.

They were being recruited for the Ohio Restoration Project, the brainchild of the Rev. Russell Johnson, pastor of a 2,500-member evangelical church in the southeastern Ohio town of Lancaster. He wants to build a force of Christian conservatives - the "values voters'' who oppose abortion, want to protect traditional marriage and oppose higher taxes - to dominate Ohio politics, starting with the 2006 gubernatorial election.


And he plans to do it by recruiting an army of more than 2,000 pastors - "patriot pastors,'' as he calls them - to do the grassroots work.


Since the Ohio Restoration Project is a non-profit organization it can't endorse candidates, but it was clear that their favorite candidates for governor is Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Read how he quotes MLK, JR and Mother Teresa and gets a standing ovation as he strongly encourages Christian conservatives to "get involved in the political process."

Not concerned yet?

Christian group protests proposed amendments

MASON Christian conservatives rallied Thursday against four proposed state constitutional amendments that would change how Ohio residents vote and how elections are supervised statewide.

The Ohio Restoration Project invited about 500 religious and political leaders to the Kings Island Resort and Conference Center, encouraging them to register voters and organize against the amendments proposed for the November ballot by Reform Ohio Now.

I believe the hinges of history are turning on our watch, said pastor Russell Johnson of Lancaster.


About Reform Ohio Now

Link to their website:

Discussion here:
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
7. a republican rant on vote fraud

Vote fraud: Worse than you think

Posted: September 9, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern


"Voters decide nothing; people who count votes decide everything."

Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin

Back in 1993 when I ran for Congress, my campaign put out 25,000 flyers urging all Americans to read "Vote Scam: The Stealing of America," by James and Kenneth Collier. Investigating vote fraud has been one of my major projects since 1993, because it is real. I left the Republican Party as a lifetime member back in 1996 after I finally came to the sickening conclusion that the GOP was working hand in hand with the Democratic (Communist) Party to destroy our republic and turn us into a democracy (which we are not).

I also walked because California's Republican secretary of state at the time, Bill Jones, refused to investigate the blatant vote fraud in my 1996 primary.

We are being robbed of honest elections. As I belong to no political party, my only mission is to see that qualified individuals are fairly elected to any office they seek.

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
9. Bruce Mc Pherson Opinion......

Election paper-trail bill should be vetoed


By Bruce McPherson

As California's secretary of state, I see my top priority as ensuring voter confidence and the integrity of each vote. State law requires that after an election, officials randomly select and manually recount 1 percent of the ballots cast, as a check against voting machine malfunction and fraud. At issue is how to gather the voting records used for verification.

A Mercury News editorial Aug. 31 endorsed a bill, SB 370, that would require the sample recounts to use the paper printouts generated by electronic voting machines.

This bill is flawed and should be vetoed by the governor. It creates major technical and legal flaws that must be resolved before becoming law.

My biggest objection in using the paper trail to check voting machine performance is that it denies many in the disabled community the ability to have the same level of confidence in the process that all other voters enjoy.

Current technology only provides an audible method of verifying votes for visually disadvantaged voters who cast ballots on a computer screen. I have heard from several members of the disabled community who are very troubled because there is no such review for the paper trail, leaving this community out of the process.

BRUCE MCPHERSON is California's secretary of state.
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
10. Restoring Election Integrity

Restoring Election Integrity

By Rush Holt

Thomas Paine wrote that the right to vote is "the primary right by which other rights are protected."

Sep 09, 2005 -- 06:16:12 PM EST


The sacrifices of voting rights activists over the past century - like my friend Representative John Lewis, and those who bravely registered black voters in the south in the 1960s, despite violent opposition - have paved the way for the enfranchisement that we all seek. The Voting Rights Act has made progress possible, but there is still more to be done.

Application of the Voting Rights Act faces challenges in the 21st century. The 2000 and 2004 presidential elections demonstrated that disenfranchisement, though legally abolished, still exists in practice. In order to preserve influence of the Voting Rights Act, key protections of which are scheduled to expire in 2007, we must address voting irregularities that occurred in recent elections.

I take it as one of my most important responsibilities to help foster and restore citizen faith in their representative government. In Congress, I try to conduct all of my activities with an eye towards this goal. That is why it is so important to protect the integrity of the vote, the primary right by which other rights are protected.

The elected officials of this nation will never be able to foster or restore this faith if they do not take strong action to protect the integrity of every vote. Among the steps we must take to encourage participation and protect the integrity of every vote are:
* Stopping improper purging of voter rolls,
* Ensuring proactive and inclusive voter registration policies,
* Putting an end to voter intimidation and suppression,
* Ensuring uniform and fair enforcement of provisional ballot rules,
* Mitigating unmanageable lines at polling places,
* Implementing fair voter identification measures that are not subject to uneven enforcement,
* Monitoring and punishing deceptive practices like distribution of inaccurate information to voters.

Failing to accomplish such goals would serve to diminish the important rights for which so many have fought, and yes, died.

About one-third of all Americans now vote on new electronic voting machines. Such machines, while clear and easy to use, also provide no mechanism for voter verification or reliable audit, and have been proven extremely susceptible to error or tampering. Many of you who read this may have been following the progress of my legislation to require a voter-verified paper record for every vote cast (The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessability Act, H.R. 550). I believe that this legislation is critically important, as there is currently no way to verify and independently audit new electronic voting machines. Only each voter can verify the accuracy of the vote that he or she cast in the secret booth. The bill has strong bipartisan support and has benefited from the hard work and advocacy of thousands of citizens across the country.

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
11. Thanks, Melissa, and NOM! nt
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ClassWarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
12. kicked and recommended!


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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-10-05 04:47 AM
Response to Original message
14. Read "None Dare Call It Stolen" on-line (from AtLiberty)
Please send this link to others!
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-05 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
15. kick n/t
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