At the press conference, Jill Stein (whose name was at the top of the ballot in my DC precinct, while Romney/Ryan's was at the bottom!), Green Party candidate for president, said that our standard should be one person-one vote, not one-dollar-one vote. She spoke of the difficulties getting on the ballot for all but the Democratic Republicans--I have fused the two in this context in memory of the political party started by Tom Jefferson back in the early days of our republic.
She said that other parties, though "legal," are locked out of media coverage and presidential debates.
She came out strongly in favor of universal registration at age 18, our right to vote made explicit in the Constitution through an Amendment, abolition of the Electoral College and electronic voting, and full transparency of the entire election process short of the actual act of voting, unless there's a snafu.
In his presentation, Harvey Wasserman reminded us of the fifty-six out of eight-eight counties in Ohio that destroyed all of their ballot evidence before it could be impounded for a recount. What may be worse, no prosecutions have resulted from this violation.
He also reminded us of the close family relationship between the Romneys and Hart InterCivic, which voters will use in Ohio and Colorado, among other states. All voting machine companies in this country are owned by strongly partisan and politicized Republicans.
"Millions and millions of Americans will be denied a comprehensive vote count," he continued. Only the hardware, not the software of voting machines are owned by the public.
In Germany, the discrepancy between the hand count and exit polls is all of one percent, he said. Sweden, Japan, Switzerland, and Ireland (just recently), among other countries, use hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) successfully.
Sarah Mansky spoke of the post-election voter assemblies her group the Liberty Tree Foundation, umbrella site for nomorestolenelections.org, has conducted since the Florida 2000 debacle. Such assemblies brought about the recount of the recall votes in the Wisconsin special election last June.
If today's election is stolen, Mansky recommended post-election assemblies to discuss the difficulties and arrange reactive measures. She also advocated increasing the demand for HCPB in all elections. All fraud discovered should be reported to nomorestolenelections.org, she said.
A petition at her site nomorestolenelections.org signed by Noam Chomsky, Thom Hartmann, Medea Benjamin, and Tom Hayden, among others, reads: "IF NECESSARY, WE PLEDGE to join nationwide pro-democracy protests starting on the next day, either in my community, in key states where fraud occurred, or in Washington, D.C., and if necessary, to demand a recount, investigation, and criminal prosecutions of those responsible." All are exhorted to sign.
Clint Curtis recounted his life-altering experience designing a computer program for Florida's then speaker of the assembly Tom Feeney (since then a three-term congressional representative of the Sunshine State), who was interested in flipping votes but not stopping the program, as Curtis thought would be necessary in an ethical venue. It involved the simple action of touching a key on the keyboard.
His story is the focus of the Patty Sharaf's award-winning documentary Murder, Spies, and Voting Lies (September 2008).
Curtis was also the authoritative "elder statesman" in the context of several computer-relevant questions that came up in the course of the discussions--a "geek," he joked, referring to that word in the title of my GGPP.
Laurie Grace, director of the Institute for Electoral and Democratic Integrity, detailed her background with EI via Verified Voting and Blackbox voting and quickly turned to the statistically impossible coincidence that George W. Bush received the exact same number of votes in California as did the Democratic senator Barbara Boxer.
Recalling Bob and Harvey's connection with former Representative the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first member of Congress to stand up against the Electoral College in two hundred years.