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Readers of the New York Times who encountered the Women Donors Network's new ad this Monday might have gasped in horror... or laughed. Or both. Let's see what you think about it. Follow me over the fold, if you dare.

Okay, I laughed, and I hope you did, too. But the ad makes a serious point. It brilliantly balances humor and earnestness, threat and defiance. The ad intentionally portrays the woman voter as alarmed but not intimidated. The WDN urges people to go to the polls, but it wants to ensure that they are educated about their rights and resources.

I had quite an illuminating conversation with Susan Adelman and Donna Hall of the WDN. I'm accustomed to working with election integrity organizations that are struggling for cash. It was refreshing to hear from self-described "women of means" who are looking for worthy recipients. I was also inspired by the WDN's resolve to get something done quickly and effectively.

Susan told me that a number of members decided to hold a conference call on October 9 to educate themselves about election integrity. All were alarmed by voting machine vulnerabilities, the potential for fraud, and suppression of the vote (particularly for minority voters). They decided to explore the possibility of doing something before November 7. Over the next week, they settled on a media campaign, but only if they felt it would achieve something.

By all indications, they have. After Monday's ad in the New York Times, they've received a lot of phone calls, all of them positive. That was a pleasant surprise to Susan, and to me as well. They've also received some contributions from outside the organization, not to mention donations from members. The ad has been circulating around the Internet, and they've received several calls from the press. And they haven't finished placing it in major newspapers. On Election Day -- get this -- they'll be placing a banner ad on the front page of USA Today. Woo hoo!

Where do you come in? First, visit (lots of good links there). Second, please get the ad to people you know (in JPG or PDF format, or in printed form). They want to make sure that people are acquainted with the hotline numbers, particularly 1-866-OUR-VOTE (the Election Protection hotline). Susan says that members of the WDN have already called the hotline a few times and have been impressed with their response. Note that the hotline, along with others, is listed on my own dKosopedia List of election integrity hotlines and addresses. (Perhaps you'll forgive me for also plugging the Voting Rights page while I'm at it.)

Thanks for helping to stop Count Hackula!

Originally posted to AlanF on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 07:36 PM PST.

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