THE LET AMERICA VOTE ACT!
CALL ON CONGRESS TO PASS ‘EMERGENCY PAPER BALLOT LEGISLATION’ NOW!
Every Registered American Voter Must Be Allowed to Vote This November!
Given this year’s primary election meltdowns and train wrecks that we’ve been reporting since March 7th of this year, in which electronic voting machines have failed to start up and thousands of American voters have been turned away from the polls when they came to vote, but couldn’t
Given VelvetRevolution’s new Princeton Diebold Virus Hack report demonstrating conclusively that electronic voting machines may be hacked in a minute’s time resulting in flipped elections without a trace left behind
Giving that American democracy and the right to vote in that democracy ought to be a beacon to the worldÅ
It is NOW time for Emergency Paper Ballot Legislation to be brought and passed immediately by both houses of the U.S. Congress, in order to at least mitigate the coming train wreck this November 7th.
Call it the Let America Vote Act (LAVA) of 2006 Let democracy flow!
The legislation can, and should be, as short as a single paragraph so that it can be read and passed quickly by every U.S. Congress member. It can apply only to this November’s general election, if that is needed to get it passed and signed quickly.
It should read something like thisÅ
LET AMERICA VOTE ACT
(EMERGENCY PAPER BALLOT MANDATE OF 2006)
Emergency paper ballots shall be made available at every voting jurisdiction in the United States during the November 7th, 2006 General Election. These paper ballots shall be available in sufficient numbers for optional use by voters who prefer to use them, and by all voters in the event of voting machine failure or unavailability. These paper ballots are not to be provisional ballots, but regular paper ballots that shall be counted immediately upon the close of polls on election night along with all other votes cast by properly registered voters.
Note: At this point, I don’t give a damn how the Emergency Paper Ballots will be counted; by hand, by optical scanner, whatever. So long as voters are not disenfranchised by the millions – as thousands have already been so far in this year’s primary elections across the country – by showing up to the polling place only to be told they can’t vote at all, or by being told they must vote provisionally (provisional ballots are not counted on election night, and frequently not at all) because the new voting machines are broken or otherwise unavailable.
States such as Texas, Arkansas and other have already had to do this this year when Secretaries of State put out emergency notices to Elections Administrators to create such Emergency Paper Ballots after the voting machine companies failed to provide programmed ballots or working machines.
All states are already required by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to have such paper ballots available at every polling place as Provisional Ballots, so those can be copied NOW if need be for use as Emergency Paper Ballots (which is better than the scraps of paper some counties reportedly have tried to use in emergency situations so far this year!)
BOTTOM LINE: With the passage of this Emergency Legislation, at least properly registered American citizens will be able to cast a vote on Election Day if they choose to!
Feel free to call it the “Hail Mary Emergency Election Protection Act” if you want. I don’t much care, so long as it’s passed by Congress in time to ensure that voters can actually vote this November!
I’ve spoken with a number of people on the Hill and within the Election Integrity movementÅ scientists, activists, politicians, in DC and around the country, and they have all been in favor of this legislation and have pledged their support.
I am attemping to find sponsorship for this bill in Congress, and I’m calling on all Election Integrity organizations and concerned citizens who may have better connections than I to help find such Congressional sponsorship immediately.
I am calling on these same people to then call on Congress to pass this legislation immediately!
I am hoping to have an official version/wording of the bill posted shortly. It will, of course, be available as a new item here at The BRAD BLOG no later than tomorrow. It will spell out, in official “bill-like” language, precisely what I’ve posted above.
Democracy is at stake. After at least two years of reporting in exhaustive details on these matters here, and at this late stage of the game, I believe the above “reform” is, unfortunately, the most we can likely hope for in time to have any real impact in mitigating a full-on train wreck during this November’s crucial excercise of the rite of democracy.
Please forward this item to everybody you know, cross-post it or link to it as you see fit (this is the URL: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=349
d please contact your Congress person and ask them to support and/or sponsor this initiative today!
January 12-14, 2007
Don’t miss out!
The National Conference for Media Reform is an event for anyone who is concerned about the state of our media and committed to working for change. Come to connect, learn, share and build the growing movement.
Please Forward Widely
Stealth Voter Disenfranchisement Labeled as “Federal Election Integrity Act”
Urgent action is needed to oppose H.R. 4844, the deceptively titled Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006.
A vote is expected in the U.S. House tomorrow or Thursday. Please act now!
Contact your Representative today to oppose H.R. 4844.
Contrary to its title, the bill will undermine the integrity of our electoral process by imposing unnecessary barriers to full participation in federal elections. The bill’s requirements of proof of citizenship and photo identification as a prerequisite to voting may appear innocuous, but in reality they will disenfranchise seniors, minority voters, low income voters, students and young voters, and voters with disabilities. In addition, the implementation of H.R. 4844 places a huge burden on state governments.
This bill was designed in March of this year, and held until the last moment, to be rammed through Congress just in time for the November elections.
In fact, the bill was specifically written to take effect before November 7, 2006!
Proponents of photo identification provisions at the polls and proof of citizenship when registering to vote claim that these draconian constraints are necessary to guard against identity fraud at the nation’s polling places. But there is no credible evidence that voter impersonation or non-citizen voting is anything but an anomaly. As the United States District Court found in Common Cause v. Billups (when considering a Georgia law requiring ID at the polls), photo identification requirements amount to an unconstitutional poll tax and burden the fundamental right to vote of eligible American citizens.
To learn more about restrictive photo ID and proof of citizenship requirements, download the two PDF factsheets at:
Urge your Member of Congress to vote NO on H.R. 4844. When you take action you will be directed to the NCFE website where you can send a sample letter to your Representative or customize your letter based on our talking points and your own opinions. A fax is automatically generated and sent to the Washington, DC office of your Member of Congress. (Thanks to the National Campaign for Fair Elections (NCFE) for taking the lead on this.)
Urgent! U.S. House vote on photo ID this week Click here to act now!
Urge your Representative to vote NO on H.R. 4844, the so-called Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006, which would impose a restrictive photo ID requirement on all American voters. A vote is expected Wednesday or Thursday of this week in the U.S. House.
More information is available in downloadable PDFs at the NCEF action page (the “click here” link above).
CA.voteraction_Sig Dan Ashby
EDA mail: Dan@electiondefensealliance.org
Voicemail and Fax: 510-740-0572
Press 1 to send voicemail
Press 1 followed by 2 to send a numeric page
Or stay on the line to send a fax
All messages will be transmitted as e-mail attachments.
The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all other rights are protected.
To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery. . . Thomas Paine
COME ONE, COME ALL! COME TO THEM ALL!
1. Tonight (Tuesday), 9/19, in Bronxville, NY!
7:00 p.m. at the Village Cabin, 2 Paxton Ave.
Speaking & signing copies of Fooled Again
2. Wednesday, 9/20, at Revolution Books in NYC!
7:00 p.m. at 9 W. 19th St. (between 5th and 6th Aves.)
Take the 4, 5, 6, N, R or Q to Union Square
Speaking & signing copies of Fooled Again
3. Thursday, 9/21, at the Millennium Film Workshop in Manhattan!
8:00 p.m. at 66 E. 4th St. (between the Bowery and 2nd Ave.)
Introducing the NY premiere of Dorothy Fadima’s powerful
new documentary about the theft of the 2004 election, and
the future prospects for American democracy–
STEALING AMERICA: VOTE BY VOTE
MCM will introduce the screening
4. Friday, 9/22, at Barnes & Noble, Chelsea, NYC!
7:30 p.m. at B&N, 396 6th Ave. (@ 8th St.)
Introducing Jason Leopold, who will be reading from
and signing copies of his excellent new memoir, News Junkie
Brent Budowsky: Common Sense Against Corrupting the Next Election: If Thomas Paine Were Here, Part 2
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Tue, 09/19/2006 – 5:29am. Guest Contribution
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Let’s begin today a national letter writing campaign sending hundreds of thousands of letters to every newspaper in America, calling for front page coverage of the dangers of another Constitutional crisis from another questionable election, and editorial campaigns to prevent this travesty while there is still time.
Amazingly, incredibly, unbelievably, six years after the Florida recount of 2000 America could well be facing a historic and profound election decided weeks after the vote, by courts counting votes, after voters finish voting.
This is unconscionable. The following words came not from some conspiracy theorist, but from Paul DeGregorio, the Chairman of the federal Election Assistance Commission: “We could see that control of Congress is going to be decided by races in recount situations that might not be determined for several weeks” (Page 1, Washington Post, September 17).
Friends, I recommend this highly, not so much because of my performance (I say
little that you haven’t heard or read from me before), but primarily because Ed Rollins was so flagrantly–and tellingly–half-hearted in attempting to defend the probity of the 2004 election. Rollins is a decent guy, a genuine conservative (and, evidently, secret anti-Bushevik), and so it’s no surprise that he phoned in his side of this debate.
FYI, Digital Age will air on WNYE/Ch. 25, Sunday, September 24 at 5:00 PM: “Did the GOP Steal the 2004 Elections?” with Mark Crispin Miller and Edward Rollins.
Program is also posted on google video:
Mary Kiraly to Liz Rich:
We are about to see a lot of finger pointing in
Maryland. The Montgomery County Council president is
threatening to force the firing of people at the local
Board of Elections. The Governor is pointing at
(Democratic appointee) State Elections Administrator
Linda Lamone. The Democrats are pointing at the local
elections boards that have a majority of Republicans
(since the Governor is a Republican). And Ms. Lamone
is blaming the civil servants who work for the Boards
for failing to properly train judges.
The poor folks who do the work of the local boards
have no time to defend themselves. They are busy
plowing through the stacks of- as yet- uncounted
absentee and provisional ballots, and have no voice in
the system if the State Administrator fails to be
I am having none of it. First of all, the local
Boards have no say in which election system the voters
use. Our Diebold paperless touchscreen system was
purchased by the Legislature under the guidance of
Ms. Lamone. Second, they never asked to have Diebold
e-poll books for voter check in. That deal was done
by the Legislature and is a very interesting window on
the whole process.
Democratic State Senate leaders were determined to
institute Early Voting in Maryland this year. The
Republicans immediately charged that the system would
lead to voter fraud. Enter Ms. Lamone with another
Diebold product to quell Republican fears: Diebold
E-Poll Books, interfacing with the statewide voter
registration data base, for voter check in. The
Governor, supportive of a leased optical scan system
for fall, appropriated the funds for that purpose.
The Legislature took those funds and bought Diebold
E-Poll Books instead.
Irony of ironies this summer: Early Voting was ruled
unconstitutional and went away; but Diebold E-poll
books remained. The smart cards, used with the Diebold
E-Poll Books, are the starting point in the voting
process. When the cards were not distributed in
Montgomery Co., and were defective in many places, the
whole system was affected.
I attended enough Board of Elections meetings to know
that the local Boards were overburdened with the new
technologies, and the demands of HAVA. They were
repeatedly stymied, in efforts to prepare for the
election, by the flaws in the statewide voter
registration data base, “MD Voters.” The State also
delayed in providing the training manuals the local
boards required for training election judges. It was
not a case of the Boards receiving too little
oversight from the State Administrator. On the
contrary, the State Board was failing to accomplish
the basic tasks that underwrite everything else that
is done locally.
And let me tell you about the unsung heroes in the
voting process: Election Judges. In Montgomery Co.,
they spent Monday evening going through the rigorous
procedures to set up the Diebold AccuVote TS voting
machines. They arrived at the polls on Tuesday by
6:00 a.m. When the doors opened to voters at 7:00
a.m., many precincts had no smart cards to begin the
voting process, and no procedures for proceeding.
Most precincts provided provisional ballots, some did
not think to do that and sent voters away. There were
a lot of angry voters in the County that day and they
took it out on the election judges. Then, the normal
voting hours were extended by court order, to
accommodate voters who could not vote in the morning.
Election Judges did not get to close the polls until
9:00 p.m. They had had (as is normal) no breaks for
lunch or dinner. They began to attempt to tally the
voting results, with varying degrees of success at
9:00. When that was done, they had to disassemble and
box the voting components, package the election data
in special zipper bags, and deliver all of this to the
Board office. For many, the day ended at midnight.
The next morning the reporting on the election began
and the people who had worked the hardest, and had had
the least to say in the development of the election
process, were faulted.
Does this sound like the best way to run a democracy?
I ASKED MARY K. WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MISSING SMART CARDS. HER ANSWER:
Still to be determined who failed to add the smart
cards to the packets that went with the e-poll books.
The Wash Post reported yesterday that the cards
remained in a box, at the Board’s warehouse when
machines were delivered.
But, having attended enough Board Meetings to be
cynical, I wonder whether the State BoE was late in
getting the cards to the county, or Diebold late in
delivering the cards.
The local Board will probably pay for this with a big
shake up; but I feel protective of the civil servants
there (not the appointed Board). I wish I could go to
the County Council meeting to testify in their behalf
but the Board begins (what promises to be the VERY
interesting) provisional ballot canvas that morning.
So many reasons to pull one’s hair out… so little