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7 Items for your Tool Kit -- to Get the Vote Back!

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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-22-04 03:49 PM
Original message
7 Items for your Tool Kit -- to Get the Vote Back!
Edited on Mon Nov-22-04 04:16 PM by Zan_of_Texas

The Alliance for Democracy collecting donations for Ohio recount. The organization was founded by journalist Ronnie Dugger, who wrote one of the first major pieces warning of voting machine flaws, in 1988.

C.A.S.E. Citizens' Alliance for Secure Elections

Help America Recount a 527 working with the National Ballot Integrity Project and to raise funds for recounts, audits and court challenges in Florida & fraud audits in New Mexico and Nevada.

Green Party The Greens and Libertarians raised over $100,000 to run the recount (in 4 days) -- still raising money to help mobilize possibly 2500 volunteers needed in Ohio, and perhaps elsewhere

Libertarian Party

Nader calling for a partial recount in NH raising funds Kevin Zeese, Campaign Spokesperson (202) 265-4000

Black Box Bev Harris & crew doing multi-state audit and forensic work on elections, currently investigating counties in Florida

Common Cause Ohio part of recount effort in Ohio (614)-224-2497 [email protected]

Votergate 30 Minute video, free online, of voting anomalies, etc. -- needs money to continue to investigate and make a longer film.

Votewatch wants $250,000 to do a professional statistical analysis of the election which can be used as hard evidence of fraud

Verified has a preliminary analysis of nearly 900 reports of e-voting irregularities

True Majority founded by Ben of Ben & Jerry's fame

Electronic Freedom Foundation moving under the Open Records Act, which allows people to see government records, to gather information, including the impoundment of voting machines, in some counties in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and Pennsylvania that had serious problems with the machines. Local counsel are needed to help with this effort. Contact Cindy Cohn at [email protected]

N.C. Coalition for Verifiable Voting

Election Protection Coalition Multicultural coalition of dozens of organizations. Over 15,000 problems reported to their hotline on election day; over 25,000 volunteers mobilized.

Secretary of State of Ohio, Ken Blackwell, Republican

GAO - contact, request investigation of election machinery, processes:

Congressman Rush Holt wrote HR 2239 for voter verified paper ballot, also has a site on voting
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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-22-04 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Two especially good resources, lists
Edited on Mon Nov-22-04 03:50 PM by Zan_of_Texas
Voters Unite Has a growing collection of over 320 articles on voting anomalies in the November 2004 election. Also, a map of where these happened in the US.

Evidence of Possible Election Fraud a nice compendium of sources, in categories, easy on the eye
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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-22-04 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. Litigation Round Up
Litigating the Election

By Marjorie Cohn
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 22 November 2004

Without much fanfare, a number of lawyers are busy mounting court challenges to the election. Lawsuits have been filed and other actions are being taken in Ohio and Florida, the two key electoral states. Members of Congress have demanded a General Accountability Office investigation of the election. The largest Freedom of Information Act request in the nation's history has been launched, and other efforts are in the works.

Is there substance to these challenges? On Thursday, the University of California's Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical study - the sole method available to monitor the accuracy of e-voting - reporting irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to Bush in Florida. The three counties where the voting anomalies were most prevalent were also the most heavily Democratic: Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, respectively. The official tally in Florida shows Bush with 380,978 more votes than Kerry.

Recount, Lawsuits, Hearings in Ohio
Green Party candidate David Cobb and Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik have sought a recount of the votes in Ohio. A demand for a recount can only be filed by a presidential candidate who was on the ballot or a certified write-in candidate. Alleged improprieties in Ohio include mis-marked and discarded ballots, problems with electronic voting machines, and the targeted disenfranchisement of African-American voters. Although a recount doesn't typically begin until after the vote has been certified (December 6), Cobb and Badnarik have asked for the recount to proceed forthwith for fear there won't be sufficient time to complete the recount in time for the December 13 date on which the Ohio presidential electors will meet.

Bush now leads Kerry by about 136,000 votes in Ohio. A battle is looming over nearly 155,000 provisional ballots, which might decide who really won the election. The Ohio Democratic Party has joined a lawsuit by elector Audrey J. Schering, which asks U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson to order Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to impose uniform standards for counting provisional ballots on all 88 counties. The lawsuit cites the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Bush v. Gore, which "held that the failure to provide specific standards for counting of ballots that are sufficient to assure a uniform count statewide violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution." Attorney Donald J. McTigue, who filed the suit, told me that although many of the provisional ballots are being counted, his client is concerned about those that are not being counted. Blackwell has provided only limited instruction about which provisional ballots to count. But many doubts remain about how different election boards determine whether someone is a registered voter. Some may type the name in on a computer; others may look for typographical errors; still others may look at the hard copy. McTigue worries that there is no way of knowing what each board is doing. Do they go back to the purged files? Were they properly purged?

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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-22-04 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. Reform suggestions - one set
How To Fix a Broken Electoral System In Six Easy Steps

by Bruce F. Cole
Published on Friday, November 19, 2004 by

Consider the scene: a national electorate divided not-so-neatly in half, as if by a dull, cosmic meat-cleaver; an election tainted by widespread reports of voter confusion, intimidation and disenfranchisement - much of which is alleged to have been perpetrated by the winning side in the state that tipped the balance in the Electoral College; a looming, sure-to-be-contested recount of ballots, from precincts with strangely anomalous voting patterns, that may or may not change the outcome of the election; and a huge swath of the nation feeling like this election has severely diminished our democracy rather than enhanced it. Now, am I describing the mid-November condition of the US Presidential election fiasco of this year, or of four years ago?

As John Fogerty sings it, and as Yogi Berra coined the redundance-enhanced gem, "It's like deja vu all over again."

So why couldn't we get it right the second time? The short answer is, "Because not enough of us cared." That's an oversimplification to be sure, but what else, at the core, can explain the fact that the landmark piece of legislation that was meant to fix the problems of '00, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, not only exacerbated some of them but, in some cases, enshrined them. Take the recount problem.

In the 2000 struggle for control of the planet from Florida (in hindsight, not even a slight hyperbole), a struggle that should have centered on a technically simple job of transparently recounting all the ballots in that state by hand, the system broke down under the weight not only of the high stakes involved (and a self-defeating recount strategy from the Gore camp), but also of an ambiguous paper trail (the punch card system) that wasn't uniformly handled in various jurisdictions. Many ballots, in fact, were never hand recounted, even once. The obvious solution to that fundamental problem would have been to require systems with paper trails that are unambiguous to read, and to provide uniform recounting rules.
Instead, HAVA encourages the use of paperless voting technology, like touchscreen machines (a.k.a., "DREs") that, unlike their ATM cousins, produce no paper trail for the (sighted) voter to verify before hitting the "vote" button. So recounting a ARE is a meaningless exercise; the machine will merely spit out the same result as it did on election night. No audit is possible (unless the definition of "audit" is changed). Asking a machine to verify itself is not an audit, and therefore it is neither a recount; it is simply a regurgitation. Imagine a banker taking the "word" of an ATM that $37,880.00 was dispersed from that machine over the weekend, without checking the paper trail of cash-remaining in the machine. Absurd. Banks do millions of "recounts" every single day - and much less than the future of the planet is at stake. Is it too much to ask the United States of America to manage a legitimate, biannual audit of the very foundation of their democracy?

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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-22-04 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
4. One important article - by one of the earliest to see the problem
How They Could Steal the Election This Time

The Nation, Cover Story -- August 16, 2004 issue

Ronnie Dugger wrote the definitive warning essay about the dangers of computerized vote-counting in The New Yorker of November 7, 1988. Research support was provided by The Nation Institute. Dugger wishes to acknowledge the special assistance of Frances Mendenhall, Pokey Anderson, Peter Neumann, Rebecca Mercuri, Roxanne Jekot and David Jefferson, and his debt to hundreds of other reporters whose work cannot be properly credited here.

On November 2 millions of Americans will cast their votes for President in computerized voting systems that can be rigged by corporate or local-election insiders. Some 98 million citizens, five out of every six of the roughly 115 million who will go to the polls, will consign their votes into computers that unidentified computer programmers, working in the main for four private corporations and the officials of 10,500 election jurisdictions, could program to invisibly falsify the outcomes.

The result could be the failure of an American presidential election and its collapse into suspicions, accusations and a civic fury that will make Florida 2000 seem like a family spat in the kitchen. Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's Labor Secretary, has written, "Automated voting machines will be easily rigged, with no paper trails to document abuses." Senator John Kerry told Florida Democrats last March, "I don't think we ought to have any vote cast in America that cannot be traced and properly recounted." Pointing out in a recent speech at the NAACP convention that "a million African-Americans were disenfranchised in the last election," Kerry says his campaign is readying 2,000 lawyers to "challenge any place in America where you cannot trace the vote and count the votes" .

The potential for fraud and error is daunting. About 61 million of the votes in November, more than half the total, will be counted in the computers of one company, the privately held Election Systems and Software (ES&S) of Omaha, Nebraska. Altogether, nearly 100 million votes will be counted in computers provided and programmed by ES&S and three other private corporations: British-owned Sequoia Voting Systems of Oakland, California, whose touch-screen voting equipment was rejected as insecure against fraud by New York City in the 1990s; the Republican-identified company Diebold Election Systems of McKinney, Texas, whose machines malfunctioned this year in a California election; and Hart InterCivic of Austin, one of whose principal investors is Tom Hicks, who helped make George W. Bush a millionaire.

About a third of the votes, 36 million, will be tabulated completely inside the new paperless, direct-recording-electronic (DRE) voting systems, on which you vote directly on a touch-screen. Unlike receipted transactions at the neighborhood ATM, however, you get no paper record of your vote. Since, as a government expert says, "the ballot is embedded in the voting equipment," there is no voter-marked paper ballot to be counted or recounted. Voting on the DRE, you never know, despite what the touch-screen says, whether the computer is counting your vote as you think you are casting it or, either by error or fraud, it is giving it to another candidate. No one can tell what a computer does inside itself by looking at it; an election official "can't watch the bits inside," says Dr. Peter Neumann, the principal scientist at the Computer Science Laboratory of SRI International and a world authority on computer-based risks.


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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-22-04 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
5. Protests!
Strategies, calls -- still being developed.

One happened in 28 degree weather in Denver Saturday.

Great photos:


A nationwide call to protest is being issued by Voters Unite!

Angry that our election debacle is being called "smooth"?

Patriots in Port Townsend, Washington invite you to a
National Black Box T Party
to let the world -- and the press -- know what we really think!

Who: Large (or small) groups of true patriots.

What: Black Box T Party: Collective and symbolic dumping of our black box election system.

Where: All across the country.

When: Saturday, November 27 at 1:00 pm local time.

Read the details here:

Send us an email at [email protected] as soon as yours is planned. Let us know your state and county.


~ The VotersUnite.Org team
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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-22-04 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. The media - independent and mainstream
Edited on Mon Nov-22-04 04:10 PM by Zan_of_Texas
Support all possible forms of effective independent media! You know who they are - turn off the media who are stabbing you in the back, and support those who fight for the people and democracy.

Pressure the mainstream media --many are disappearing news of election anomalies and the recounts into the same black hole that some of votes went into!

Here is one contact list of hundreds of media.

DU list of media names - over 400
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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-22-04 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. addendum - kinds of machine problems
Among the nearly 900 problems collected by

E-Voting Problems Reported:

* Machine breakdown
(total malfunction, sometimes entire polling places, power/battery
failures, machines locked, long lines, voters turned away)
* Misrecording (Kerry recorded as Bush and vice-versa, touchscreen calibration)
* Vote switched
* Overcounts and undercounts
* Wrong ballot or race/candidate/party slate missing or not working, no write-ins
* Prefilled ballot choice
* Straight ticket sticking
* Unintended deselections
* Forced votes to complete ballot
* Indicates "challenged ballot"
* Not responding to human touch, just pencil eraser
* Disabled accommodation disables other machines at polling place
* Non-"accessible" voting machine, audio component not working
* Premature casting
* Overwritten votes (prior uncast)
* Switched language (English to Spanish), or Spanish-only
* Vote card times out, rejected, stuck, not reset, or cancels ballot
* Claims vote cast after card removed
* Blank screen / screen goes dark
* Missing or poor distribution of machines
* Audio offers only one candidate
* No paper ballot alternative
* Paper ballots treated as provisional
* Told to use demo machine
* Inadequate poll worker training
* Not zeroed out at beginning of day
* Security seals broken
* Infrared port available
* Cascading error in machine cluster

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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-23-04 12:44 AM
Response to Original message
8. Another resource
New site to advance investigation of vote
Forward freely...


By now you've probably seen enough suspicious evidence to be convinced that extensive investigation of our November 2nd election is required for us to uphold our democracy. The media are not yet doing the required work. It's therefore time for us to organize and get active.

We have just launched a new web site, as a clearinghouse for the information YOU need to stay abreast of the latest developments and a way to connect with others who share your concerns.

Anyone who registers can add information in the form of articles, links, discussions, and actions (pending approval). You can also add information to the wiki, which permits the free addition of content, resources, and links. We will do our best to filter for the highest quality information, the most promising leads, and the highest impact actions.

I also invite you to sign the November 2nd Truth Statement, which will be used to exert influence. You can sign it directly at

May our efforts lead to full disclosure of the truth!

Stephen Dinan and the team
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