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Take off your tin foil hat.  Put aside your conspiracy theories.  It's way past time to re-organize our election process so that it works.  From voter registration through the filing of ballots to the certification and recounting of election results, we need to make the process accurate, transparent, honest, and verifiable.

Today is the perfect day for those who are serious about this issue to ask for help from other serious people who are willing to work hard and bird-dog this issue, to propose and enact solutions so that people can know down to the bottoms of their feet that the votes have been counted as openly and honestly as possible.

For the last few months, folks interested in this topic have been pooling information at
filling dkosopedia with information on Voting Rights, trawling through the diaries and tagging relevent diaries with "Election Integrity."

We could use some more help and a little kind attention from the vast groupmind and activist Colossus that is the dkos community.  What will you do?

Originally posted to gmoke on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 07:23 AM PST.


Will you work to make sure every legal vote is counted accurately, honestly, and verifiably?

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Comment Preferences

  •  The 2008 election has been stolen. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Infrastructure Joe

    dKos is busy celebrating the Democratic "win." The Democrats have won the right to get bigger corporate donations for the next two years.

    Anyone here old enough to remember Iran/Contra? Congress passed legislation to defund the "Freedom Fighters" (Contras) in Central America, and the administration found ways (selling arms to terrorists) to keep funding them anyway.

    This time Congress won't even be able to pass such legislation because Bush holds the veto. But even if he didn't, I doubt if there are enough anti-war Democrats to pass such legislation.

    As for Pelosi breaking "the link between lobbyists and legislation," how many legislators will vote against their own fundraising ability? And not to rub it in, but again Bush still holds the veto.

    It is only two short years until 2008. There isn't time to get rid of the electronic voting machines between now and then, particularly not when so many Democrats were "elected" with those machines and don't see a problem with them. And they'll continue not to see a problem until another tyrant is installed as dictator in 2008.

    I've been predicting a Democratic "win," since way back when Bill Kristol of PNAC said on national TV that there would be a Democratic sweep in November and that it would be the best thing that could happen for the Republicans. That's because only a Democratic "win" could restore public confidence in electronic voting machines so that the Republicans can keep them in place until 2008.

    We're in for two more years of war, torture, and Bush as President until 2008 when the Republicans will retake Congress and install another dictator. In the meantime, Democrats will be pressuring their "elected" representatives to investigate Bush (that could take a couple of years at least) and to try to end the war. Of course the military-industrial complex will be putting a lot more pressure on them than voters can, so the war will continue.

    Like the French say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    •  There are some bright spots that you may (0+ / 0-)

      be overlooking.

      Bush is veto-averse; he's only used his veto power once. Of course that could change, but remember that we have the prospect now of overriding vetoes.

      Even the people who managed to be elected on insecure machines should be able to see the benefits of reform, especially if they won by just a sliver. I'm sure many of them would prefer certainty.

      And legislators do have an incentive to break the link between lobbying and legislation. If they could get real campaign financing, they wouldn't need to spend all their time fund-raising and listening to the special interests. The fact that Pelosi is talking about it already puts us ahead of where we were. Also, the new Democrats will be under a magnifying glass. This will encourage them to behave honestly and further the cause of election reform.

      We managed to get the number of cosponsors of H.R. 550 past the magic number 218 (50% of the House) even just before the election. Now that there's going to be a Democratic chair of the House Administration committee, the bill can be brought to the floor.

      Republicans now have an incentive to work with Democrats because they're no longer invulnerable. Even if you look at things in a more conspiratorial frame, they no longer are in the same position to fix elections, either.

      Of course, we need to be vigilant. But I see many areas where we were blocked before but now have a chance of success.

      Read up on election integrity on the dKosopedia: Overview + Timeline

      by AlanF on Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 06:13:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Need for Understanding (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlanF, gmoke, Infrastructure Joe

    Hi gmoke.

    I really like and appreciate the extension of the olive branch. We all need to work together on election integrity. And you are a tireless advocate for making sure our elections are open, fair, and verifiable.

    I believe the first, most important step is to understand what we're criticizing. By extension, that means citizen oversight of our elections.

    I got started on this issue (in earnest) in the aftermath of the Gregoire/Rossi 2004 governors race in Washington State. My hopes that the system would fix itself just weren't coming true! So I finally decided that I had to pull my own weight.

    A few of us met at a conference, decided to form a group, put the word out, started sharing information, attending hearings and public meetings, became poll workers and observers, etc. So far, it's been great.

    It's only through direct engagement that we're able to figure out what's going on. Election law is complicated. Voting systems are complicated. Each county has their own rules and cast of players. Seeing firsthand how the vote is counted in mind blowing. Etc.

    Yes, I want election integrity. However, I currently don't believe protests, lawsuits, direct activism, and lobbying are enough to get them. We all need to have a seat at the table, meaning citizen oversight of our elections. And in most cases, that means bringing our own chairs.

  •  A while ago, Jerome a Paris (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    described the process used to form the Energize America group. I responded with this comment, though I'm not sure you'll be able to pull it up, since it seems like the archive is down. I had to retrieve it from the Google cache. Anyway, this is what I said:

    I applaud any how-to diary and this is a particularly useful one.

    It's not just about process -- it's about specific people, their knowledge, their time availability, their effort, and their organizing skill. And it's also about the particular subject.

    It would be interesting to compare the energy group's approach with the approach of the much more loosely organized community of Daily Kos readers who are concerned with election integrity (EI).

    We have a Yahoo! Election Integrity and Reform group. The founder (Nuevo Liberal) and others (including gmoke) went through diaries related to EI and "harvested" the names of the diarists and commenters, then invited them to join the group. When a diary on EI is posted, we give it an explicit "election integrity" tag and post a comment inviting people to:

       * join our group
       * visit the dKosopedia Voting Rights page (more on that later)
       * visit the dKosopedia Serving as an election official page and consider serving as an election official
       * visit the dKosopedia List of election integrity organizations and join at least one

    The results of the "loose" approach have been mixed, but so far there's been no one with the energy and organizational skill to pull things together. I have been focusing my efforts on building up the dKosopedia EI pages, and working on a diary (not yet posted) that would give an intro to the EI landscape. But these are admittedly not very far-reaching measures.

    Within the DK world, the subject of EI tends to attract more argument, less expert opinion, and more reinvention of the wheel than the subject of energy policy. I'm wishing that we had more of your success, though in place of drafting a policy, I would be content with simply coaxing a fraction of the site's large readership toward:

       * educating themselves on EI
       * trying to store some of the transient information presented in diaries and comments into a more permanent form (which is where the dKosopedia comes in), and
       * joining EI organizations

    But it's hard to tell how much success we may have in that area. A couple of days ago, I started keeping track of dKosopedia EI page hits, which is at least one metric.

    There are some who would argue that EI needs the same front-page and Yearly Kos attention that energy policy gets. But one could also argue that this is impossible without someone analogous to Jerome a Paris in the field of EI.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. Glad the energy policy group has been so successful, and I hope its success translates well into other areas.

    Read up on election integrity on the dKosopedia: Overview + Timeline

    by AlanF on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 05:37:10 PM PST

    •  So to elaborate on that comment (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think that we can accomplish anything here on Daily Kos without at least one person willing to invest lots of energy and time. If we have someone who's willing to do that, fine. Otherwise, I would be extremely happy if people who were interested in EI educated themselves on their own and joined existing organizations, or founded them, if they are as energetic as zappini.

      I think that steady low-level contribution to an existing organization is less seductive but more productive than arguing strategy here -- unless that discussion takes on a critical mass and organization as the Energize America group has done.

      By the way, Jerome a Paris's diary can be found here:

      but you may need to look at the cached version as I did. I suspect that the administrators have taken down access to the archive until the site traffic decreases.

      Read up on election integrity on the dKosopedia: Overview + Timeline

      by AlanF on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 05:45:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nobody Here But Us Chickens (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's taken us since April to get 64 people but I think some of the contacts in that group have been useful and certainly your work on dkosopedia is a great resource.  

      Keep on passing relevent information through the same node and those who pay attention at least learn something.  If the right combination of people know something and act on it then anything can happen.

      Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at

      by gmoke on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 08:25:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, let's keep on keepin' on. (0+ / 0-)

        I will continue to update the dKosopedia and post to the group. We should also think about having some kind of conference where we all talk together in real time (perhaps via some kind of instant messenger). And those of us who live near each other should meet in person. Now that we have less election work ahead of us, we have some more time, at least until the holidays get a little closer.

        Read up on election integrity on the dKosopedia: Overview + Timeline

        by AlanF on Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 05:59:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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