After decades of taking my right to vote for granted and assuming my responsibilities began and ended with casting an informed ballot, I finally woke up. For many of you, awakening occurred in 2000, for me it was 2004. Since then, I've been part of many efforts to secure the integrity of our elections (as well as candidate campaigns.)
In 2004, while encouraged by efforts to assure that citizens could cast their ballots, I was dismayed by 'election protection' efforts that declared victory once those ballots were cast.
And here we are again. We are disturbed by too many incidents that could set the stage for a great lie and yet another grand upset. We've drafted a letter to Howard Dean, calling on him to act now, in the days remaining, to prevent both suppression of the vote and to prevent and challenge the destruction or miscounting of ballots that have been cast.
We are calling on all of you - particularly elected officials, delegates and committee members - to add your voices to ours. Please read the letter, make it your own and use the contact information at the bottom.
I am, for the record, adding names as electeds, delegates and committee members sign on.
Dear Dr. Dean,
As activists and elected officials of the Democratic Party, we are alarmed at reports from reliable sources, including the Brennan Center, Verified Voting and BradBlog, documenting multiple incidents of electronic vote-flipping in four states since the beginning of early voting.
We are alarmed by long lines for early voting in a number of states, including the critical states of Florida, and Ohio. Yesterday, CNN reported that minority voters have been purged from the voter rolls in Colorado. Today they are covering problems in Florida. The New York Times has repeatedly expressed deep concern about the sanctity of the upcoming election. Coming on top of months of reported vote purging and caging, these problems are most worrisome because, as in previous elections, they are not random glitches but virtually always result in the loss of Democratic votes; we are unaware of any comparable reports of errors involving Republican voters.
Of equal concern is the fact that we are unaware of any direct public acknowledgment of, or action regarding, these problems by the Democratic Party or the Obama campaign. On the contrary, the Republican governor of Florida found it necessary today to declare an emergency resulting in early voting being extended to 12 hours per day, due to the long lines. Where was our party?
We have heard that the Party considers that any mention of election fraud can only depress the Democratic vote, but we feel, both from our 2000 and 2004 experiences and from many anecdotal conversations, that this is precisely backwards: a huge percentage of the Democratic electorate is both very aware of past and current problems, election fraud and terrified of their vote being stolen again.
As one example, we need look no further than the cover story of yesterday's NY Times, about the pessimism of black voters in Florida. They suspect, from past experience, that their early votes will not be counted. In fact, election protection education has energized voters. This year's turnout is in part a reaction to publicized stories of election fraud and vote supression. The electorate is voting, despite misgivings, in determined rebuke to the forces arrayed against them.
We call upon you, as the DNC Chair to immediately address an apparent systemic program of voter disenfranchisement, intimidation, diversion, and electronic vote theft by Republican officials and operatives against Democratic voters and likely Democratic populations. We ask that you both reassure and educate the Democratic electorate. Specifically, we ask that you:
* make public any actions currently being taken to counter this widespread voter suppression effort;
* reassure Democratic voters that the Party is aware of and acknowledges the reality of systemic Republican election fraud and that he assure voters the Party will actively attempt to counter such fraud during the final days of early voting and on election day.
* immediately, through TV ads and the internet, inform voters as to their right to cast a vote, their right to demand to vote on a supposedly properly functioning machine, or to vote on paper via a provisional or emergency ballot. We also suggest any such address remind all voters that there is only one election day, and that any fliers telling them to vote on another day are fraudulent.
* instruct all Democratic county central committees across the country to provide election day observers in vulnerable precincts in key battleground states to assist voters in exercising their constitutional right.
Donald Goldmacher, MD, Delegate, CA 14th AD
Chairperson, Election Integrity Committee of the Progressive Caucus and Delegate 14th AD, California Democratic Party
Rob Dickinson, Alternate Member, San Mateo County, Democratic Central Committee
Suzi Goldmacher, Delegate, 16th AD, California Democratic Party
Michelle Gabriel, Delegate, 16th AD, California Democratic Party; Co-chair, Voting Rights Task Force Alameda County, CA
Michael Jay, PDA Special Projects; former Delegate, California Democratic Party, 42nd AD
Mimi Kennedy, Chair of PDA's National Advisory Board
Ralph I. Miller, Delegate, 6th AD, California Democratic Party; Executive Director, Latinos for America
Brad Parker, Valley Democrats United, President; Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party, Officer at Large, Platform Committee of the CDP
DSCC, Delegate, 42nd AD; Progressive Democrats of America, Board of Trustees
A.F. of M. Local 47
Sherry Reson, Delegate, 6th AD, Election Integrity Committee of the Progressive Caucus, California Democratic Party
Susan Rowe, Delegate, 25th AD, California Democratic Party; Chair, Madera County Democratic Party
Garry S. Shay
Member, Democratic National Committee (CA) and
Lead Chair Rules Committee, California Democratic Party
Norman Solomon, Delegate, 6th AD, California Democratic Party, Obama Delegate, DNC
Titles for Identification Purposes Only
Contacting Dr. Dean at the DNC
Ask for the chairman's office. When you start stating your concerns, you will probably get transferred to a "voter protection" person. Reinforce your concern with the entire process.
The Obama Chicago Headquarters phone number is: 1-866-675-2008.
Ask the staff person to whom you are talking to file a memo re your concerns.
And/or go to
Enter your personal info, select "Other" or "Civil Rights"
Paste your message from a voting rights email in the "Your Idea:" box, then
click on the "Submit Form" button below it.