In Austin, TX, a “People’s Hand Count” on Election Day!

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MEDIA ADVISORY
11/1/10
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Vickie Karp
512- 775-3737
Karen Renick
512-496-7408

Hand Count Coalition rejects secret counting of votes by machines;
Conducts “The People’s Hand Count” at Austin City Hall Plaza on Election Day

WHAT: “The People’s Hand Count” – A Parallel Election using Hand-Counted Paper Ballots
WHO: The Hand Count Coalition, 14 citizen activist groups wanting fully transparent elections
WHERE: Austin City Hall Plaza, south side of City Hall, 301 W. 2nd St., Austin TX, 78701
WHEN: Election Day, Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.
WHY: To demonstrate how a fully transparent, citizen-controlled election is conducted and to gather data on different ways to hand count paper ballots

THERE IS NO WAY TO KNOW FOR CERTAIN THAT YOUR VOTE IS COUNTED AS CAST as long as we are forced to vote on computerized systems that conceal the vote counting such as the Hart Intercivic eSlate, the voting machine used here in Travis County”, warns the The Hand Count Coalition (HCC) which is based here in Travis County.

The HCC supports the immediate elimination of these machines from the public voting process and instead, advocates for elections using hand-counted paper ballots, the gold standard of public elections in democratic republics throughout the world. E-voting has been abandoned in recent years in Germany, Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands for these very same reasons.

ALL CITIZENS – BOTH YOUNG AND OLD – ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN “THE PEOPLE’S HAND COUNT” at City Hall Plaza, Tuesday, Election Day, between 7 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Great live music and good wholesome food will be on hand to help illustrate the importance of feeling connected to your neighbors in your precinct community on Election Day. The Coalition welcomes musicians and poets to come to the plaza to contribute to the festivities.

The unofficial paper ballots, marked by citizens and kept in full public view in a transparent ballot box in the plaza, will be hand counted by teams of trained volunteers who will begin soon after the close of polls at 7 p.m. Counting time data will be collected and a comparison made of the two different methods of hand counting. This important information will be issued to the public by the Hand Count Coalition and used in its efforts to bring full transparency to the voting process here in Travis County.
A more detailed history of the Hand Count Coalition and its beginnings from the 2009 Travis County Election Study Group can be found at www.handcountcoalition.blogspot.com.

In the Summer of 2010, both the state and national organizations of one of the HCC’s founding members, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) District 12, passed a “Resolution for Open and Honest Public Elections with Hand-Counted Paper Ballots”  which can be viewed at http://www.lulac.net/advocacy/resolutions/2010/rescivrig06.html .

Hand Count Coalition Members include:

Gray Panthers of Austin
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) – District 12
Travis County Green Party and
VoteRescue
Austinites Lobbying for Municipal Accountability (ALMA)
Fluoride Free Austin
Texans for Accountable Government (TAG)
Instruments for Peace
Capital Cruisers
Progressive Hispanic Democrats (PHDs)
Code Pink of Austin
Truthseekers of Austin
Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots (Boston, MA)
Election Defense Alliance (EDA) – National

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