Thursday, March 20, 2008

Activists chanted for voter confidence

I've got a lot of stray threads to pull together here so let's start with this great quote from the Eureka Reporter's coverage of Saturday's Peace March in Eureka, CA:

Hundreds gather to march in peace rally
By ASHLEY BAILEY, The Eureka Reporter
Published: Mar 15 2008, 11:57 PM · Updated: Mar 16 2008, 12:00 AM
Category: Local News
Topic: Community

Hundreds of Humboldt County residents united in a peace march from the Eureka Municipal Auditorium to the Old Town Gazebo on Saturday.

It wasn't just about being against the Iraq War or being against the military's recruitment of minors — nothing seemed to be off limits.

Activists chanted for voter confidence, increased public monitoring of police, and promoting peace and ending violence. (emphasis added)


You take the good with the bad sometimes. The Reporter's e-paper from Monday March 10 (published only online, see page A2) contained a barely edited version of the Vets For Peace Chapter 56 press release announcing their support for hand-counting paper ballots. The edits attributed factual statements to me, rather than sourcing the basis for considering the claims factual, thus making the facts appear to be matters of opinion. This is a known pet peeve of mine.

So, I submitted a letter to the editor about this, which spawned quite an e-mail exchange with Reporter Managing Editor Glenn Franco Simmons. Typically he requests such exchanges be kept off the record (out of the blogosphere), though this time he did not. I won't post all that now, but perhaps later. I'm told to expect the letter in the paper, and will post that here at WDNC once it has been published.

At the Peace March on Saturday, I shared a moment on stage with John Mulloy from VFP-56. I believe this was what inspired the "chanting" for voter confidence. Mulloy has a cameo in the WDNC Photo Gallery from the March, tucked into the top right corner of the photo of the VCC table at the Gazebo. Here's one where he's the star:
The full collection of my Peace March photos can be found here. I also cross-posted the WDNC Gallery at

At the Peace March we got a little over 100 people signed up for the willing hand-counter list that now hovers around 350. A VCC e-mail newsletter went out to the newly expanded subscriber list, encouraging letters to the editor, and also the introduction of hand-counting as a campaign issue in the three County Supervisor races on the June ballot.

One last note about the March. I posted a photo of Peter Aronson, captioned with a reference to his tremendous dedication to the topic of depleted uranium. I have since added to the GuvWurld News Archive a January 10 interview (.mp3) Aronson did on the Peter B. Collins show. The dude knows his stuff!

There is a lot of new content over at GuvWurld. In particular, I have been posting a lot of grim economic news, primarily because there isn't any other kind right now. I also want to direct your attention to a recording (.mp3) from last Thursday night. It begins with my presentation to the Humboldt Republican Party, followed by Humboldt Registrar Carolyn Crnich making a presentation of comparable length, and then about 20 minutes of discussion (43:33 total).

To summarize, citing from the VCC Report on Election Conditions in Humboldt County, I ran through historical problems with Diebold locally and around the country. I also brought in two new reports: the NH Primary recount study I've previously mentioned by the We The People Foundation; and last week's release from the University of CT, in which the Department of Computer Science announces more and new ways to tamper with memory cards (the same ones used here in Humboldt), including what they described as a "time-bomb" attack.

I spoke about efforts to build support for hand-counting paper ballots, but I didn't have time to get into a lot of detail about our work around forecasting cost, time and labor needs. Despite my preparation, I didn't at all get to preemptively address concerns about the Humboldt Transparency Project, which I knew the Registrar was there to promote. Fortunately, I did speak to this briefly during the discussion.

Perhaps most worthy of note, the Registrar misstated an important aspect of the VCC's position on how hand-counting would be done here in Humboldt. As stated in the VCC's Report on Election Conditions in Humboldt County, and in direct communication with the Registrar on multiple occasions, the VCC advocates fresh voters be brought in to count, relieving the poll workers who have been working since before dawn. The Registrar went out of her way to suggest that hand-counting is not favorable because tired people have already worked a long day that would be even longer.

There's a bit more to say about this but I'll hold it back for the day down the line when I'll publish the follow-up letter I sent thanking Patricia Welch, Humboldt Republican Party Chairman, for enabling me to share information with the group.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted by Dave Berman - 9:40 AM | Permalink
Comments (0 So Far) | Top of Page | WDNC Main Page
As shown on
Dave's new blog,
Manifest Positivity

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.

Back Page Quotes

"Give a damn about the world you live in? Give a damn about what you and I both know is one of the most shameful and destructive periods in American history? If so, do something about it. You can start by reading We Do Not Consent."

— Brad Friedman, Creator/Editor,; Co-Founder,

"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."

— Paul Lehto, Attorney at Law, Everett, WA

"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

"I urge everyone to read "We Do Not Consent", and distribute it as widely as possible."

— B Robert Franza MD, author of We the People ... Have No Clothes: A Pamphlet for every American