Friday, January 09, 2009

Humboldt Republicans Call For Public Discussion of Proposed Voting Machine Switch

This is the second of two breaking stories from the Humboldt County, CA election integrity scene on the evening of January 8...

The county Republican Party has issued a press release, shown in full below, announcing their adoption of a resolution in support for a "public discussion process" before the Board of Supervisors votes on the proposal from Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich to switch from Diebold/Premier "election" machines to similar equipment made by Hart InterCivic.

The We Do Not Consent blog broke the news of the Registrar's proposal in a December 17 exclusive. A subsequent WDNC exclusive ran earlier this week revealing Crnich had previously divulged her plan at a public meeting of the Election Advisory Committee, requesting that attendees keep it secret.

In those articles, as well as my letters published in the Eureka Times-Standard and North Coast Journal, I have been advocating for a public process to evaluate multiple alternatives to the Diebold system currently used in Humboldt. Of course, I don't think we're going to see anyone cry or even resist giving up on Diebold. In fact, we ought to have a damn party! The way I see this unfolding situation is as a giant victory slathered in opportunity.

Parke Bostrom, who has been involved in most if not all developing Humboldt election integrity stories in recent months, authored a petition featured in my last post that outlines a specific public process for the county to consider.

The Republican resolution below stems from their Thursday night meeting, which Bostrom attended as part of a broader outreach effort to media, community groups, and local elected officials aimed at creating more support for encouraging the Board of Supervisors to take this path next Tuesday, January 13, when the Registrar's proposal is expected to appear on their agenda. If you can lend your voice, please be at the county courthouse at 5th and I Streets in Eureka at 9am. You can also scroll to the bottom of this page to find phone and e-mail info for the Supes. Let them know:

We love the idea of getting rid of Diebold but we must slow down and have a public evaluation of alternatives rather than rushing into another secret corporate vote counting system as the Registrar of Voters, Carolyn Crnich, is recommending - secretly, at that.
Bostrom is also a pivotal player in the Election Transparency Project, a volunteer citizen-developed and Registrar supported audit project that uses an off the shelf office scanner and open source software to make images of all the ballots cast in an election. An initial review of the data from this past November's election revealed that Diebold's central tabulation program, GEMS, had secretly deleted 197 ballots, causing the Registrar to certify inaccurate results. The news became a national story. The ETP has now found another discrepancy, the second of the two breaking stories...

* * *

Contact: M. Parke Bostrom, 707.733.4201,

At the January 8th meeting of the Republican Party of Humboldt County,
central committee member M. Parke Bostrom moved that the following
resolution be passed:



The Republican Party of Humboldt County calls upon the Humboldt County
Board of Supervisors to delay voting on the proposed plan to purchase
new elections equipment until there has been a reasonable period of
time for a public discussion process.


Humboldt County Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich was present at the
meeting to swear in all the committee members. Crnich stayed for and
participated in discussion with Bostrom regarding his resolution.

Prior to a vote on the resolution, party chairman Patricia Welch left
the chair and said, "As a Republican, I believe that anytime the
taxpayers' money is spent, it is important that there is an
opportunity for public discussion, and therefore I urge committee
members to vote in favor of the resolution."

The resolution passed in a nearly unanimous vote. The Republican
Party of Humboldt County is the first organization to pass a
resolution on this very important matter.

Additional contact info:
Patricia Welch
Chairman, Humboldt County Republican Party
Northwest Regional Vice Chairman, California Republican Party
707-227-6562 Cell
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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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— Elizabeth Ferrari, San Francisco, Green Party of California

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

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