Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Moving the Ball Downfield

My June 30th OpEd in the Eureka Times-Standard now appears at and also Smirking Chimp. My other June 30th OpEd, from the Eureka Reporter, inspired this very supportive column by Joe Shermis published in Tuesday's paper.

Reflections on Independence, Volume 4 has also been picked up by Perhaps more significantly, after reading this piece my father asked me if I had edited the version of the Declaration of Independence appended to the end of the essay. Of course it was the unadulterated original I had included and it served its intended purpose in awakening a reader to the frightening similarities between the colonists' grounds for revolting and our present situation.

Of greater consequence, and VoteTrustUSA continue to feed content to corporate TV. Read about and watch this amazing segment with Catherine Crier on CourtTV. Also see this for another installment of Lou Dobbs' series "Democracy at Risk" on CNN. also reported Monday that our lawyer friend Paul Lehto is in Kentucky representing seven candidates from two political parties as they challenge election conditions there. BBV links to a few documents in this case and they are worth reading too. Lehto simply has the best mind for framing arguments on election conditions:

"The Court must recall at all times that the voting here in question involves invisible electronic ballots which have not been inspected at any time by any party hereto, even the County Clerk has not counted them. Rather, the electronic ballots have been purported to be counted in secret by trade secret counting software owned by the vendors.

There is no reason at all or basis for confidence in the electronic counting until verified by the plaintiffs not only because the Clerk himself is a defendant-candidate here, but also because it is the nature of the computer to do precisely as it is told without reference to any laws, morals or ethics."
The pursuit of a hand count continues for San Diego's 50th district Congressional seat. Again it is for the latest and most comprehensive collection of stories on this subject. The fundraiser I mentioned over the weekend hit its 10k goal and I understand a lawyer has been retained. In addition, the Oregon Voter Rights Coalition and Ohio's J30 Coalition have both now chimed in with "no basis for confidence" statements.

Also making the rounds in the past few days is this transcript of a speech given last November by Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury.
"We are seeing proposals that are costly and complicated to prove that an election is as accurate as we say it is. I believe we are faced with a compelling public demand to do more than we're now doing to verify election results.

We cannot ignore our constituents. It's not enough anymore to simply tell them "just trust us."

We need to revisit our compromise, and look again at the best way to validate election results. Administrative recounts of selected precincts to verify election results would not only be appreciated by the public, it would also improve elections administration by allowing us to identify and fix systemic problems in vote counting before certification of the results.

We don't believe that there are systemic problems in vote counting, but we don't have the procedures to prove it. We believe that our elections are accurate, but we need hard evidence to show the public."
There is a theme through all of these wonderful advances. The election integrity community has picked up the stakes and relocated them, shifting the boundaries of the overall debate. Many key points are no longer approached as if they are in dispute. This greatly expands our latitude in aggressively and proactively framing our message. We are moving the ball downfield.


Posted by Dave Berman - 3:38 AM | Permalink
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