Thursday, July 12, 2007

Eureka T-S Notes VCC Report

The Eureka Times-Standard (archive) on Thursday published an unbylined piece about the Voter Confidence Committee (VCC) Report on Election Conditions in Humboldt County (.pdf).

Voter Confidence Committee issues report on November election
The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 07/12/2007 04:14:10 AM PDT

EUREKA -- A report from an election reform advocacy group analyzing the election of November 2006 outlines several issues with the system and potential improvements.

The report by the Voter Confidence Committee, addresses its biggest beef with the county election system -- the use of Diebold ballot-counting machines, which the committee says can't be trusted.

"Under current conditions, vote counting is done in secret, using proprietary voting equipment that requires the public to accept election results with 'blind trust,'" says the report. "While a perfect voting system may not yet exist, it will be clear to readers of this report that many practical election reforms can still move us closer to the realistic idea of establishing a basis for voter confidence in election results."

More...(archive)
Overall, that intro--and the entire brief article, for that matter--uses welcome frames for presenting this report. The rest of the article mentions a variety of topics addressed with recommendations in the report.

After finding the article online this afternoon, I left a message for T-S editor Rich Sommerville, thanking him for the article and asking if he would be willing to meet with a few of the group members to discuss some of the proposals we make. The report is straightforward in offering suggestions for improved media coverage of elections, much of it previously appearing at WDNC or GuvWurld. In the coming weeks and months I look forward to setting up pow-wows with the editorial board at each of our local newspapers.

Oh, and we're active on other fronts too. Next week a few of us will be meeting with County Supervisor Bonnie Neely.

100th WDNC post

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We Do Not Consent, Volume 1 (left) and Volume 2 (right), feature essays from Dave Berman's previous blogs, GuvWurld and We Do Not Consent, respectively. Click the covers for FREE e-book versions (.pdf). As of April 2010, paperbacks are temporarily out of print. Click here for the author's bio.

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"If in the future we have vital elections, the "no basis for confidence" formulation that GuvWurld is popularizing will have been a historically important development. This is true because by implicitly insisting on verification and checks and balances instead of faith or trust in elections officials or machines as a basis for legitimacy, it encourages healthy transparent elections. It’s also rare that a political formulation approaches scientific certainty, but this formulation is backed up by scientific principles that teach that if you can’t repeat something (such as an election) and verify it by independent means, it doesn’t exist within the realm of what science will accept as established or proven truth."

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"Dave Berman has been candid and confrontational in challenging all of us to be "ruthlessly honest" in answering his question, "What would be better?" He encourages us to build consensus definitions of "better," and to match our words with actions every day, even if we do only "the least we can do." Cumulatively and collectively, our actions will bring truth to light."

— Nezzie Wade, Sociology Professor, Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods


"Dave Berman's work is quietly brilliant and powerfully utilitarian. His Voter Confidence Resolution provides a fine, flexible tool whereby any community can reclaim and affirm a right relation to its franchise as a community of voters."

— Elizabeth Ferrari, San Francisco, Green Party of California


"This is an important collection of essays with a strong unitary theme: if you can't prove that you were elected, we can't take you seriously as elected officials. Simple, logical, comprehensive. 'Management' (aka, the 'powers that be') needs to get the message. 'The machines' are not legitimizers, they're an artful dodge and a path to deception. We've had enough...and we most certainly DO NOT consent."

— Michael Collins covers the election fraud beat for "Scoop" Independent Media


"What's special about this book (and it fits because there's nothing more fundamental to Democracy than our vote) is the raising of consciousness. Someone recognizing they have no basis for trusting elections may well ask what else is being taken for granted."

— Eddie Ajamian, Los Angeles, CA


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