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Sheri Myers Strikes Again: Turdblossom Part 1

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Screenwriter Sherri Myers and illustrator Sophie Goldstein first graced the world of election integrity with their tragicomic book, "Cheated!"  Myers now heads a creative team of patriots at Wake Up and Save Your Country, "devoted to fair elections and activating Americans with humor."  To back up that claim, they've launched a new campaign, producing a voter's guide and this 6-minute video, Turdblossom's Insider's Guide to Swinging Election:     

   

"Our mission, with this funny little film is to educate, activate and EMPOWER millions of voters around this country to put their bodies and hearts on the front lines of the election to protect their vote on November 4th."  Part 2 of the Turdblossom lectures will address how easy it is to hack software driven voting systems.  Myers told OpEdNews that Americans need to "take ownership" of our elections; we can't leave it up to insiders and expect things will get fixed.  


Sheri Myers holding her new 17-page Voter Guide
 

WUASYC also provides this free 17-page PDF, in color or in black and white, Count Me In: A guide to making sure your vote counts, featuring graffiti artist Banksy, and graphic artists Sophie Goldstein, Joy Cobler, and Beth Byrne.  All the important ideas are mentioned: registration, absentee voting, parallel citizen polling, videoing the vote, and working as official pollworkers – in their creatively titled campaign "Give a Shift."   

One section deals with registration purging – where election officials send out mailers to registered voters to ascertain if the address is still good.  If the non-forwardable card is returned to the Elections Board, political operatives use that list to challenge those voters should they show up on Election Day.  Dozens of reports catalog this ongoing practice.  Phone numbers, websites, citizen toolkits are all provided.  

Download it.  Email the link to your friends, neighbors, coworkers and students.  

Background 

"Cheated!" illustrates "the story of the courageous citizens of Columbus, Ohio, who investigated and litigated against the massive voter suppression and fraud they experienced on Election Day, November 2, 2004."  Back atcha, sister.  My favorite pic from Cheated! is of Franklin County Board of Elections Director, Matt Damschroder.  He floats like a dirigible as he waves goodbye to president [sic] Bush at Port Columbus International Airport.  Reminded me of the pustulent corpulence in the original Dune film – Baron Von Harkonnen (Kenneth McMillan). 

Myers provides this detail into her research over the past two years.  She explores the genesis of the vendor-protective Election Assistance Commission, created by hellish HAVA – the Help America Vote Act of 2002.  Her research "eventually led to Texas in the 1980's, where a Plan was put into play to corrupt our election system and destroy our democracy.  That's why we are in such danger this November.  The Plan has come to fruition."

Even though Cassandras have been warning us of the dangers of software driven voting systems for decades, The Election Center and then NASED (National Association of State Election Directors) became wedded to vendors, switching jobs from election insider-as-official to insider-as-vendor as easily as the duopolists switch parties.  Myers writes:

"A core group from the Election Center seized control of the testing and certifying of the voting machines and spawned another private, "nonprofit" "nonpartisan" organization called NASED....  Under NASED, source code – the keys to the electronic kingdom - became proprietary.  The secret vote-counting software now belonged to the voting machine vendors who would pay for the testing and certifying of their own software and hardware." 

It is true that all the major voting system vendors fight tooth and nail to keep their software and hardware a secret, to wit:  Sequoia threatened to sue New Jersey if officials turned over their faulty machines to Princeton University for a careful review, after the machines reported totals that conflicted with their own internal memory during NJ's primary this year.   

However, it's possible "The Plan" anticipates an "open source" environment.  The vote-switching software that US Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) asked whistleblower Clint Curtis to write in 2000 came with specifications, according to Curtis' sworn affidavit: 

"(a) the program needed to be touch-screen capable, (b) the user should be able to trigger the program without any additional equipment, (c) the programming to accomplish this remain hidden even if the source code was inspected." (emphasis added) 

Indeed, computer security experts have pointed out repeatedly that knowing the source code is no assurance of security or reliability.  Software is undetectably mutable.  There is no way to assure that the source code that is examined and certified is what is used on Election Day.  Some key quotes can be found here. 

Regardless of The Plan, Myers connects master thief Karl Rove to the origins of The Election Center, and possibly to NASED, with the introduction of touch-screen voting systems in Texas in the early 1990s.  She asks: 

"Why do we have a badly broken election system in America?   I'll bet that Rove and his operatives pushed for the passage of HAVA, in order to install unreliable, hackable voting machines across the country.  And, once HAVA created the Election Assistance Commission, the same anti-democracy operatives packed the Advisory Board, the Voting Systems Standards Board and the four-person Commission." 

Not only "unreliable, hackable voting machines," but a more insidious part of The Plan no doubt includes the requirement that all voter registration databases be centralized at the state level.  That makes it easy to purge hundreds of thousands of voters in a single stroke, instead of having to pore through data county by county.  In a new report by the Brennan Center, we learn that there are few oversight protocols on the maintenance of this centralized database. Here's what they found:  

"Election officials across the country are routinely striking millions of voters from the rolls through a process that is shrouded in secrecy, prone to error, and vulnerable to manipulation.

"There really are no effective national standards to govern voter purges, and the result is an often chaotic, whimsical approach to the maintenance of voter rolls. Americans across the country lack basic protections against erroneous purges."

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In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

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Sheri Myers thinks that Rove stole or swung the el... by Mark E. Smith on Wednesday, Oct 1, 2008 at 5:06:03 AM
Mark E. Smith correctly quotes me, for the proposi... by Paul Lehto on Wednesday, Oct 1, 2008 at 8:26:38 AM
Thank you for responding to my comment, Paul. It l... by Mark E. Smith on Wednesday, Oct 1, 2008 at 4:14:30 PM
you tie everything together so well. thanks for th... by Joan Brunwasser on Wednesday, Oct 1, 2008 at 8:14:40 PM

 

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