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Successful election campaigns are sated, squelched and nourished by grassroots efforts.  

Grassroots are planted in and sprouted from the soil of election integrity.  

The heartbeat of any election, or any election integrity issue, is vote tabulation - THE COUNTING--and yet, it is curiously the most disregarded topic, virtually absent from today's legislative and public conversation on election reform.  On the other hand, the CASTING of the vote has been addressed ad infinitum, and is covered in the study below as well.  But it is the COUNTING that all Americans need to be better informed about-- electronic vote tabulation is but one of the perpetrators quietly placing America's representative democracy on the endangered species list...in peril of extinction.

Despite the fact that many states' constitutions guarantee that vote counting be a transparent and publicly observable function, when HAVA ushered us into digital-invisible votes, many simply accepted that loss of transparency with an apathetic shrug. For the first time in history, the American electorate has lost the ability to observe the counting of the ballots...as in many cases there are no more ballots.

At times like these when voter confidence is eroding on a downslide scale parallel to George Bush's approval numbers--the vital question becomes;

Who's counting your vote, and how?

Qu'est-ce que c'est?

For clarification - the website link at the end of this diary is the result of nearly one year of careful, painstaking research and compiling.  It's no whimsical, baseless theorizing, but is instead an in-depth 16 Chapter overview of election integrity or lack thereof, present in our current election systems.  And as such, is a non-partisan issue.  

I am indeed shouting "FIRE!!" in the proverbial crowded theatre....but there is in fact smoke rising from the rafters and sparks spotted in the loges.  So I can't be arrested.  First Amendment's spoiled brat exception to the rule. (But I suppose I could be banned...)
Proceed with caution-- Guaranteed; you will emerge from this read with your hair on fire....Prepare the extinguishers.    

What's Inside:

There is detailed, backed up information within covering everything from the close-up profiles of nine prominent election systems' corporations -- their Board members and affiliations -- to the technology of the tabulation systems, explained in a layman's non-geek fashion. There are extensively chronicled Defense and Intelligence connections to elections over the years--of particular interest given our involvement in multiple national wars; comparisons of election solutions employed by other countries; documented multi-pronged attempts at voter disenfranchisement; Congressional bills and arguments over paper trails; and a look at the current search for solutions-- from the low-tech practical Parallel Elections, to promoting Open Source Code or insisting on paper ballot random hand recounts, and more.

There is even (for Armando!) an entire chapter devoted to the examination of "Conspiracy Theorists" over the ages, who they were and are, and how to separate the wheat from the chaff.  There are stirring, juicy anecdotes, rivaling any good Soprano's episode, of corporate crime, murder, suicide and mayhem surrounding the players...The election business never being as benign or dull as it appears on its surface.  

Raison D'etre

The goal in writing this was first to comb through the archives of everything available on the subject, cull the most credible sources, and assemble it all into one user-friendly format so readers might draw their own conclusions.  Dare I suggest... theorize --      

My other goal was to embody the spirit of the Town Crier, minus the velvet knickers, and plunk myself onto this busy cyber street corner - clang my virtual bell, crying out-- Hear Ye! Hear Ye!  

Please refer the website link below to anyone who may be interested in the subject.  Or to anyone not interested.  And to all those undecideds in between.   In other words, grab your bell and join me in being the Town Crier.

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Who's counting your vote?

 www.whoscounting.net    

Originally posted to ms in la on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:15 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Correct Link! (none)
    So this is my first diary and the link did not post properly! Sorry--

    Here is the actual live link to the website:

    whoscounting.net

    •  Your work is important. (none)
      Please post your information and concerns on the alito diaries. Or repost again with a different headline: Something is seriously not right. No one in the MSM or even on Daily Kos is picking up on this. Is this being edited out and bumped on purpose?

      All the king's horses and all the king's men...package and sell it to win it again...

      by MP Three on Tue Nov 08, 2005 at 06:36:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations (none)
    on your launch, ms.  You put so much work into this project.  

    Winning without Delay.

    by ljm on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:29:56 AM PDT

    •  ljm-- (none)
      Thanks ljm

      I think my shoulders just dropped two inches for the first time in 9 months!  I was becoming the Quasimodo of the keyboard, hunched over this thing every night.

      Sigh.  Relief.  
      Repeat.

  •  Wow- (none)
    What an amazing resource for those concerned about election integrity & lack thereof- will spread the word happily!

    Freedom & dignity spring from within the human heart... & inside the human heart is where the impetus for political change must be generated. -Wes Clark

    by velvetdays on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:53:17 AM PDT

  •  WOW! (none)
    ms - this is a truly Herculean effort.  Amazing and well, frightening.  Think I'll come up with a GEMS tabulator costume for Halloween - it's just about the scariest thing I can think of at the moment.

    Great work!

    •  on election day last year (none)
      I just happened to have a box on hand from our new toilet. So I painted it all black except for the pictures on the side, which I labelled "Pull handle to vote," and "deposit ballot here" with an arrow pointing down the tubes. On the front I painted "FIGHT AMERICAN FASCISM" in big white letters, and on the back it said "Freedom of Information is the Only Defense Against Corruption." I wore it around the downtown circle and the college campus for most of the day. I had some fun conversations about freedom of speech with some children...

      http://www.blackboxvoting.org/

      ...learn something new every day...

      by nhwriter on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:07:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is our chance!! (none)
    Thank you ms in la!! I know you put your heart and soul into this and I hope everyone takes the time to check it out.

    We're on our own out here and it's up to us to get informed and get involved.

    Please spread this around. It's our last best chance to take our power back!

    thank you!!

  •  Amazing Work!!! (none)
    I know firsthand how much painstaking time and effort went into this study and congratulate (and thank) all involved...

    Everyone owes it to him/herself to become familiar with the shocking details contained therein... freedom is indeed on the march... unfortunately, it's marching backwards...

    "I broke the Hoover Dam"... - Will Ferrell as George W. Bush

    by ThatSinger on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 12:02:32 PM PDT

  •  I had not read before (none)
    of the ties between the election companies and the Defense and Intelligence agencies! Great... :(

    From Pentagon, CIA and Cyber Wars chapter
    http://www.whoscounting.net/PentagCIandCyber.htm

    ...As you read about the individuals directly involved in our election equipment and systems today notice how former and present Intelligence and Defense connections manifest repeatedly on the Boards of Voting Machine companies.  Time and time again....Defense, Intel, Defense, Intel...

  •  Gratitude! (none)
    Thanks everyone for the commentary and ....er - the Halloween costume ideas!

    Please keep the link handy for anyone who needs/wants/deserves some informing.  That's what it's for.

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