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There has been considerable concern over voter suppression in Ohio, as there should be. Should we also be concerned about the former Diebold (now ES&S) voting machines in Ohio, that some people think were rigged in 2004? Well, they have printers on them now, so that they can be audited, but Ohio election systems have had software patches applied at the last moment, supposedly only to report precinct-level totals to the state faster.

Some of us want to verify, not just trust. Even if you don't want to take part, would you take a look? And alert your local civics teacher to a teachable moment?

After the election, we can discuss whether Ohio's voting was clean just because, or clean because we made it known we were watching, or not clean at all, and what to do about that for next time.

On Election night a team spearheaded by the Voting Rights Task Force in
California will be helping to monitor the election results in Ohio. We will
be systematically taking and saving screenshots of the vote counts reported
by the counties from their websites every 15 minutes, and posting the
numbers in spreadsheets on this public website. What we hope to find is
that everything is correct. Historically, anomalies do happen. The number
of votes for a candidate can drop over time. Or there can be more votes
cast than registered vorers. Other things happen. If they do, we will have
a hotline to election integrity advocates in Ohio such as Gerry Bello and
Bob Fitrakis, who will immediately send certified observers to any county
where the anomalies need further checking.

Since the counts will be public, we invite everybody to monitor this
website on election night.

More details below.

If you decide to volunteer, let us know in the comments. Would anybody like to liveblog this tomorrow?

Are you free Tuesday afternoon and evening, election day, 11/6/12?

We are gathering a list of volunteers who can work from their own homes on their own computers to help us monitor the county returns in the state of Ohio. We are connected with top voting rights people in Ohio and will be working closely with them. This has never been done before because the software to do this was not available earlier, and we are very excited about it. I hope you'll consider joining us and please call me or email me back as soon as you can.

The start time would be about 4 PM California time—so early because 4 PM our time is 7 PM Ohio time. Their polls close at 7:30 PM, and some counties will start reporting some numbers at 7:15 PM–4:15 PM our time

If you would like to but are insecure about being able to do the tasks listed below, I will be glad to walk you through how to do each part. We will be updating a task list as we walk through every step very carefully ourselves in the next day.

And it's no problem if you live really far away. One of our volunteers will be working from Germany!

Yours,
Rich

Detailed info:

Citizens Publicly Recording Election Results on Election Night

On Election night a team spearheaded by the Voting Rights Task Force in
California will be helping to monitor the election results in Ohio. We will
be systematically taking and saving screenshots of the vote counts reported
by the counties from their websites every 15 minutes, and posting the
numbers in spreadsheets on this public website. What we hope to find is
that everything is correct. Historically, anomalies do happen. The number
of votes for a candidate can drop over time. Or there can be more votes
cast than registered vorers. Other things happen. If they do, we will have
a hotline to election integrity advocates in Ohio such as Gerry Bello and
Bob Fitrakis, who will immediately send certified observers to any county
where the anomalies need further checking.

Since the counts will be public, we invite everybody to monitor this
website on election night.

Volunteers

We are looking for 20 to 40 volunteers to help with this effort. Volunteers
should contact WatchTheCounties2012@gmail.com. We will not have time to
train people or answer many questions. They should be ready to:

  • Start at 7:00 PM, Ohio (Eastern) time.
  • Finish when their county closes for the night, hopefully by midnight.
  • Each volunteer will be assigned 2 selected counties. You must be able
    to use the Internet to find the web page(s) where the counties will be
    posting results.
  • You will need to set up an account with Google, as the data will be
    entered into Google Docs. You do not need to have a gmail address. You can
    use your normal one.
  • We will ask you to join a new Google group for communication purposes.
  • Every 15 minutes, you will take screenshots of the counties' Web
    pages, and immediately save them. You will then enter in the data for all
    the candidates for the races for president, senate, and 1 other Ohio
    contest (yet to be determined) into the Google Docs spreadsheets for each
    county.
  • Then, time permitting, you will upload a copy of the screenshots to
    dedicated folders on Google Docs.
  • For spreadsheet skills, you will need to enter and change results into
    the cells, and add and remove rows. You will not need to write formulas.
    You should plan on 15 minutes before Tuesday night to practice this, to get
    used to using the Google's cloudware.
  • We will have more detailed instructions soon.

You can see a sample spreadsheet which will contain data as reported by
Ohio counties every 15 minutes.

This spreadsheet is duplicated on the Web page. We will have a separate public page
on this website showing the spreadsheets for each of the counties we are
reporting.

The point of this work is that experienced political scientists and
election integrity advocates will look at this data as it comes out, see
where the anomalies are, and what needs attention first. This kind of
information has not been readily available in one place so quickly before,
and they tell us it's very valuable.

To our knowledge, this is the first time this kind of systematic,
public recording of results has ever been done, at least in the US. It's a
new, and exciting step for fully public and open elections.

For the latest information.

To volunteer, email.

--
Richard Tamm
Co-Chair of The Voting Rights Task Force
Treasurer of the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club
510-524-4608
1015 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94707

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