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The Logic of Voting (amidst the fog of rabid Rethug election fraud facilitation) in Tennessee

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 02:20 PM
Original message
The Logic of Voting (amidst the fog of rabid Rethug election fraud facilitation) in Tennessee
Edited on Wed Dec-30-09 02:27 PM by Fly by night
The Logic of Voting WREK radio show (podcast)

Wednesday Dec. 23th noon-1pm Tennessee election integrity activist Bernie Ellis, who joined us previously to talk about how high tech voting machines aren't always the best solution, returns to our show. He will provide us with an update on what is going on in Tennessee regarding this important issue -- it is a very chilling story.


Good afternoon, all y'all. It has been a while since I've started an OP in ER, but this is one I would like to share -- and to solicit reactions from all you seasoned ER/DU election integrity stratergians who still frequent this place.

Most of you are at least a little aware of the five year effort (!?!@?!) in Tennessee to scrap DREs and replace them with paper ballots, opscan and random manual audits. Our Tennessee Voter Confidence Act (which passed 92-3 in the House and 32-0 in the Senate in late 2007) is a good model bill and we were proud of it. We were not happy, though, that its implementation was delayed until 2010.

When (to our immediate chagrin and now with ever-increasing suspicions), the Rethugs took control of our legislature for the first time in 140 years (by winning every open seat in the midst of the great 2008 blue tidal wave -- yeah, right), they immediately announced that they intended to repeal or amend the bill, and to by all means postpone its implementation until 2012, thus leaving their red-tinged machines in place for the pivotal 2010 elections.

This battle continues to rage and the positions (and the stakes) could not be more clear. We are in the fight of our (democratic) lives in Tennessee right now, with a far-reich wing election fraud enabling "dream team" in place who continue to defy the will of the people, the legislature, the Governor and the courts -- and insist on conducting at least one more unsafe election in our state.

With that as background, I was asked to participate in an hour-long interview (conducted by two Georgia Tech professors -- one of them in Computer Engineering) on where things are in Tennessee right now. The hosts really did their background reading and asked a number of very probing (and pointed) questions throughout -- political, technical and otherwise. I was given the chance to say where we are (and how surreal that really is right now), and it was most appreciated.

The hosts of WREK's "Inside the Black Box" program have uploaded the interview to their web-site now. It is a big file ('cause it's an hour of talking about honest elections amongst three Southerners) but I hope at least a few DUers will tune in and give a listen to some or all of it. If you do, let me know what 'cha think.

As soon as the program was in the can, the Ga Tech profs burned copies and sent them to Senator Al Franken, TN Governor Phil Bredesen, the entire TN Congressional delegation, Congressman Rush Holt, Jon Stewart, Amy Goodman, Rachel Maddow ...... and Oprah.

We'll see ...

So gather around your radios (or their virtual equivalent) and listen to tales of the build-up to the second Battle of Athens that is happening right now in Tennessee, a state that was once known for expanding the franchise (women's suffrage, Baker v. Carr) and a state that is now known for the goose-stepping, DRE-hugging, red-stained Rethug flying monkeys who have taken a hold of our democracy by the throat ...

... and who need to be stopped.

For that reason, I also asked the GA Tech profs to send the hour-long program to the Voting Rights division of the US Department of Justice.

We'll see.

If we never stop fighting, ....

Peace out.

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we can do it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. They Just Don't Quit, Do They
apparently we just can't relax - keep fighting and posting!
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. Fabulous post! Fabulous work! Know this:
Whatever the immediate outcome of this extremely difficult election integrity campaign, your work IS NOT IN VAIN. It has sometimes taken years, decades, even centuries for such an important democracy campaign to be successful. It took our black citizens a couple of hundred years. It took women half a century. It took unions a similar amount of time.

You are attempting to overthrow Corporate Rule. A comparable overthrow would be the power of the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages, which lasted for a thousand years. Corporate Rule, though similar to that, has not been entrenched that long, and its manifestation in unverifiable elections is quite recent. People can still remember transparent vote counting. People still have a deep sense of what democracy is all about, and are responsive if you can present them with the facts and get past the corporate crapola. Even so, what you are doing is extraordinarily difficult, brave and visionary, and will inspire other such campaigns, whatever the immediate outcome, and will inspire future Tennesseans on this same important issue, if you fail. Please know this. What you are doing will have a ripple effect, win or lose in the immediate circumstances.


:bounce: :applause: :bounce:
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. Most excellent work FBN! I can't listen to it now because my connection is
spotty and unbearably slow, but I will. In the meantime, excellent summary of all the good work you have been doing.

I think it is extremely suspicious that all of a sudden they get a big win when a cleanup/audit gets legislated and now they are canceling it. Keep us informed on what the profs/DOJ do.

For you: :applause:
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
4. You've probably already heard or thought of some of these suggestions, but here goes...
I think it's gonna be tough to get them to listen to a one hour version. Would you consider creating a 1 paragraph summary of what's in the interview and then possibly shorter versions of the one hour interview to send to the various players - maybe a 30 sec teaser, a 60 sec teaser and a 5 or 10 min. mini doc version (hell, we can't even get the Board of Supes in LA to listen to us for a 3 minutes which is less time than the religious invocation they always open their meetings with). A transcript of the whole thing might be a good idea.

Sorry, not time to listen to interview right now...but would like to know why are you asking for optiscans -- do you condone use of optiscans or are you compromising?

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Those are great suggestions -- I will pass them on to the GA Tech profs
Unfortunately, I am very tech-challenged down in my TN holler (dial-up only, old computer) so I haven't heard the interview yet. I hope to soon.

Since Wilms has listened to it and suggests that the strongest part comes in around the 35 minute mark, that may be a good place to pick some sound bites . Maybe a 3 to 5 minute segment is much more likely to be heard and to stimulate the listener who wants more to listen to the entire program. Thanks for a great suggestion.

As for us scrapping DREs for paper ballots, opscan and random manual audits -- at this point in the process, opscan is definitely a compromise. The more time I have worked on this issue, the more I favor hand-counted paper ballots. And I want those hands to be high-school honor society members who are too young to vote themselves, but old (and intelligent) enough to count the paper ballots and to announce the results at their precinct.

That Norman Rockwell moment (vision) is in the interview.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
5. Great radio!
And you really hit your stride around the 35 minute mark.

I was impressed with the degree to which you argued philosophically rather than technically or politically.

Well done. Thanks.

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Really appreciate your listening to the program and your comments.
Given diva77's suggestions above, if you could pick 3 to 5 minutes of the program to send out as a teaser, which section would you pick? Your suggestions aren't time-limited, if you think there is a strong section that runs longer.

Lordy, I look forward to listening to the program. As you know, when you are in the midst of a program, you're going with the flow. I have a pretty loose governor on what I say, so it's always interesting (after the fact) to hear what I said.

Again, thanks for listening and for your suggestions.
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yowzayowzayowza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Mark Sanford is in Tenn these days?
K&R. Will have a listen tomorrow.

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. FBN could you
Edited on Thu Dec-31-09 10:00 PM by WillYourVoteBCounted
upload the audio to YouTube, someone could put a picture (in place of video).

Maybe you could do more of these, I really enjoyed it.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 03:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Ask someone to burn you a CD so you cn hear it.
As far as the edits, I think it would be better to grab a total of five minutes of the best moments, rather than just a five minute chunk (with the possible exception of the part I previously cited).

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is a must listen podcast, covers it all. I HIGHLY recommend
I put it on my mp3 player so I could listen while taking a long walk.

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