HB3 forced through in Ohio: PROTEST!

Ohio Senate Rules Committee Ignores all Citizen Input in Passing ID Requirement in H.B. 3:

CASE Warns of Increased Voter Disenfranchisement, the Dangers of Privately Run Elections, and the Unconstitutionality of Denying the Right to Challenge Election Results.

From CASE (Citizens’ Alliance for Secure Elections)

Contact:
Phil Fry (937) 362-4493
Pete Johnson (614) 846-4018
Susan Truitt (614) 270-5239

COLUMBUS, OH – The Rules Committee of the Ohio Senate approved H.B. 3 December 7, 2005, despite two days of strong opposition testimony. The four Democratic committee members refused to take part in the final vote as a protest to the Republican steamrolling the public and their colleagues as well.

HB3 requires a current, government issued ID with a current address and this requirement alone will affect several hundred of thousand voters and disenfranchise many tens of thousands of them. Students, the elderly, youth, and recently moved families will have to produce alternate forms of ID. The result will be confusion, frustration, discouragement, and possibly anger directed toward the Ohio Senators who forced this bill into law.

HB 3 makes it impossibly difficult for voting advocacy organizations to register new voters by making the process extremely slow and expensive and punishing workers who make a mistake with the threat of a felony penalty. Workers who could be working state-wide are now required to register with every Board of Elections in the state, take a test from every board, and return any registration to the board of the newly registered voter. This makes registration drives at gatherings like the Ohio State Fair and similar events impossible.

HB 3 removes a process to audit the black box machines which are prone to errors and susceptible to hacking as recognized by the recent GAO report (see below)

HB 3 has canceled our right to challenge election results.

The Ohio legislature, while focusing their efforts on prohibiting access to voting, failed to address a more serious concern: Electronic voting Machines. The General Accounting Office, (GAO) recently released a 107 page scathing report* on electronic voting machines in our country. The report supports what CASE has been claiming, that electronic voting machines are not secure, not accountable, not transparent, not accurate, and not certifiable. A bipartisan panel which included both Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Democratic Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) released a joint news release regarding this report. Most community news sources have not made these important findings widely available to the public yet.

CASE advises all Ohio voters to

* call, email, or FAX your State Senator today to tell them not to support HB 3. http://www.senate.state.oh.us/
* attend the Senate session at the Ohio Statehouse Tuesday, December 13, to sit in the gallery while the full Senate considers the passage of HB 3, at 1:30 PM.

Bob Cesca's interview with MCM

The 2004 election has receded in our memories under the weight of countless other events of the past year. But the lessons of what happened in Ohio and elsewhere should always be a point of debate in this country as they cut directly to our very basic right as citizens: the right to hold our leaders accountable with our vote.

The highly questionable results of 2004’s presidential election felt all too familiar, harking back to the 2002 midterm and, of course, the 2000 election debacle. The outcome in all three instances swayed heavily in the favor of Republicans, yet the call for fair and transparent elections shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Speaking for myself, I don’t care whether the results favored Republicans or Democrats or Greens or Libertarians. If there appears to be election theft occurring, be it via electronic voting machines without paper trails or via back-room deals with Supreme Court justices, it’s a subversion of our rights and our Constitution and the leaders elected via these illegal processes are illegitimate.

Read more.

Endangered Species Act at risk!

Dear Friends:

The Endangered Species Act is under serious attack and needs our help. A bill that would severely weaken the act was approved by the U.S. House in September. We can help prevent a similar measure from passing in the Senate. The bald eagle, California sea otter, American alligator, gray wolf, black-footed ferret, gray whale, and international species such as the African elephant are on their way back in large part due to the Endangered Species Act.

To learn more and send a free letter to your senators, go to World
Wildlife Fund’s Conservation Action Network
.

Please ask your friends to take this action also. Thanks!

How BushCo raised that dirty money

The. Biggest. Scandal. Ever! Phony Front Companies Cycle Millions Back to GOP!
by Sherlock Google
Sat Dec 10, 2005 at 09:48:20 AM PDT

Brent Wilkes & Mitchell Wade – Bagmen in the Successful Plot to Take Over the United States and Enrich GOP Officeholders

I hope you are sitting down when you read this. The Duke Cunningham scandal goes much deeper than just the $2.4 million in bribes being reported by the media. There is a lot the media is not telling you.

Ever wonder why the Republicans have SO much money in every national election?

And what did the Dukester do to get his Rolls-Royce, anyway? Whose Lear Jet was he flying around in? The answers to those 3 questions turn out to be The. Biggest. Scandal. Ever!

The. Biggest. Scandal. Ever! on the flip!

Read more.

Ohio Christians protest HB3

From Kat L.:

As we approach the 5th anniversary of Bush v Gore (December 12) and remember the day they stopped the counting of votes in Florida in 2000, I think it’s important to give advocates of honest elections in Ohio like Jonathan and Kyle our time and attention. For those of you outside of Ohio, keep them in your good thoughts or contact them if you can for an interview or to send them well wishes. For those of you in Ohio, take a stand beside them for fair public elections. December 12th is the day for all of us to renew our commitment in this struggle, and we do so by demanding that power in our democracy be shared and that not one more American is disenfranchised.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Update on Hunger Strike, Prayer Vigil to Stop HB3

Contact: Jonathan Meier, (614)208-1593; Rev. John Edgar, (614)327-5468

COLUMBUS, Ohio – (December 9, 2005) – Despite the heavy snow storm and bitter temperatures, Jonathan Meier, a 23 year-old divinity student and Columbus resident, is continuing a prayer vigil and hunger strike at the Ohio Statehouse to signal his disgust and distrust with House Bill 3 – the vote reform bill proposed and supported by GOP lawmakers. Early this morning, Meier was joined by Kyle Poorman, a 25 year-old voter organizer from Columbus.

Meier says that the demonstration is his way of highlighting the injustice of House Bill 3.

“Most people don’t realize that this legislation, if passed by the senate next week, would make it virtually impossible for homeless folks to vote, would make it virtually impossible for groups to register large numbers of voters, would eliminate oversight of voting machines, and would cancel our right to challenge election results.”

Why prayer and a hunger strike? Meier says that his Christian faith calls him to “constantly pursue social justice and illuminate social ills, and, often, this call requires personal sacrifice.”

The Ohio Senate is expected to vote on House Bill 3 next week. Meier affirms that he will continue praying and fasting until that point.

“Who gains from this legislation?,” Meier asks. “Instead of addressing the long lines at the polls, instead of making it easier for people to register and to vote, Republican lawmakers put forward 424 pages of legislation that will set up roadblocks to our democracy. I, for one, do not trust a vote reform bill that is purely a partisan act.”

Filibuster the PATRIOT Act!

Emergency Petition to Filibuster PATRIOT Act!

House and Senate negotiators have struck a deal on reauthorizing the USA PATRIOT Act, leaving many of the bill’s worst provisions intact. Before leaving for recess, several senators were threatening to filibuster this legislation if it contained these provisions. Let’s call on them to go all the way to fight for our civil liberties!

Tell your senators to filibuster the USA PATRIOT Act by signing this emergency petition!

http://pfaw.kintera.org/PatriotActFilibuster

If passed:

… the Justice Department will retain the authority to investigate American citizens without judicial oversight, a power that is invoked more than 30,000 times each year.
… the government will still be able to search individuals’ private property without notifying them.
… authorities will still be able to search citizens’ library records, medical records, school records, and financial records virtually unchecked by the judiciary.

The Senate has an opportunity to take a stand for one of Americans’ most cherished traditions –the right to be free from government intrusion.

Tell your senators to filibuster the USA PATRIOT Act by signing this emergency petition!

Ohio Honest Elections Campaign

Ohio — The Crucial State In ’08
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ohio Honest Elections Campaign
Democracy For Democrats Forum

The Ohio Honest Elections Campaign will hold a forum for the candidates running for Chair of the Ohio Democratic Party.

Where: First Congregational Church
444 E. Broad Street (at 9th St.)
Columbus OH, 43215

When: Tuesday December 13th 2005
7:00 – 9:00 PM
Doors open at 6:00 PM

Click here for Google Map Link
Click Here for Yahoo! Map Link

This forum is open to the public and admittance is free of charge. We are also inviting members of the Ohio Democratic Party Executive Committee and ODP County Chairs. Parking is available behind the First Congregational Church.

Please check the Ohio Honest Elections Campaign website for additional information – including organizational endorsements.

Many thanks to the First Congregational Church for hosting this forum.

You can visit the First Congregational Church on the World Wide Web at www.first-church.org

To register and all media inquiries please e- mail
rsvp@ohiohonestelections.org

NY event, 12/14

How Can We Restore the Integrity of Our Electoral System?
Let’s Talk About the Bottom Line

What: “A Call for Honest Elections: How Electronic Voting Threatens Democracy and What We Can Do About It”

Where: The Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist, 40 E. 35th Street, New York

When: Wednesday, December 14th at 6:30 p.m.

The most basic step toward building the type of America we want is putting people in office who share our vision. If the way we cast and count votes is broken, nothing else can get fixed.

From lost votes to hackable software, the electoral system is broken. Noted authors and activists are coming to New York to talk about what can be done. Can you join in?

The event is called “A Call for Honest Elections: How Computerized Voting Threatens Democracy and What We Can Do About It”, and it’s on Wednesday, December 14th at 6:30 p.m. The program will feature musical satire, illuminating discussion, and activist networking and action.

This event, which will be a launching pad for effective action, will be held at The Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist, 40 E. 35th Street, New York, NY. Tickets are $15, $10 for seniors/students/fixed or low income. (Your money can have more impact for a $50 or $100 ticket – you’ll receive a signed copy of Mark Crispin Miller’s recent book and you’ll be contributing to the great work of New Yorkers for Verified Voting and TrueMajority’s SpeakEZ.)

Click for details.

The discussion will be led by panelists who are well-known advocates of electoral reform:

Mark Crispin Miller, author of FOOLED AGAIN: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election Why They’ll Steal the Next One, Too (Unless We Stop Them)
Rachel Maddow, Host of Air America’s “The Rachel Maddow Show”
Robert Fitrakis, co-author of How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election and Is Rigging 2008
Bo Lipari, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Verifiable Voting

We also need dedicated volunteers to help at the event, including seating, admission, tabling, sign-ups, etc. If you can help, please write to SpeakEZ@truemajority.org and include your name, the date and times you are available, and any task preferences.

This is a 501(c)(3) event sponsored by New Yorkers for Verified Voting, TrueMajority’s SpeakEZ, and Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities (BLSP).

Reserve your seat now for this important event! Your participation will help spread the word and create critical mass to make this an issue not to be ignored! Meet like-minded folks and make a difference for all of us.

Many thanks,

Diane Jones
SpeakEZ Coordinator

What went down today in Bucks County

Words, UnLtd.
8 December 2005
The DRE Museum: Part 2

Just because we have a democracy doesn’t mean it’s perfect. A few of the guards will commit torture.

–Condoleezza Rice, in Europe, quoted by NPR 12/8/05

ON LESS THAN TWO DAYS’ NOTICE, the crowds in front of the board of elections (and voter registration) office in Doylestown, the county seat of Bucks County, PA, milled around a display of two DREs. Notice had been so short that the other two manufacturers, Danaher and ES&S (the only certified PBOS manufacturer so far, as in New York; the only one willing to sell PBOS because they cost less than DREs; the largest manufacturer of its kind in this country), couldn’t be there.

Though the display was open to the public, those who attended, around thirty to forty when I was there in the morning for about an hour and a half, were all activists, all vociferously opposed to paperless DREs that so far are running ahead of other options here. All asked bladed questions to the hapless displayers, undoubtedly hired because of their sang froid, though the displayer I spoke to the most rubbed up against me pleadingly, sensing a kind heart behind my kind smile, mumbling under her breath in exasperation at one point that she didn’t make these machines. The manufacturer in this case was Advanced Voting, a company I hadn’t heard of previously.

I spoke at length also with Councilman Jim Crawley, who told me to call him Jim, the only member of the council present. A juror/officer of elections in a red dress came up to us briefly to voice her disappointment at the small number of people present, but scurried off before I could get her name or be refused this information.

Read more.