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Interesting new developments with "Invisible Ballots" DVD project!

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I never dreamed that I would do so much writing on this job. I sort of pictured myself with a pencil perched rakishly behind one ear, going through the various articles, OpEd pieces and reviews that came my way, looking studious, focused and very, very professional. But, this lending library project has taken on a life of its own, one that demands constant attention. And updates. And appeals.

I feel like shouting "BREAKING NEWS! " since the latest development happened this very afternoon. It looks quite likely that we will be able to distribute the DVD to delegates at the "Take Back America " Conference this June in Washington, DC. I mentioned previously that I will be attending the conference on a press pass. Rob Kall (my boss at OpEdNews) suggested contacting the conference to see if they might be interested in the DVD for their delegates. What a great idea! Think how much more efficient it would be: several thousand copies, neatly tucked into the welcome packets. The other option is to bring cartloads of the DVD and try giving them out at the conference: unwieldy, impractical and incredibly heavy. How would I explain my excess baggage of several hundred pounds? How would I shlep it? Who would cover my chiropractic bills?

The good news is that they 're interested. I just sent off a copy of "Invisible Ballots " for the 'go to guy ' to peruse to make sure the documentary isn 't "fascist ". Since it 's not, I 'm assuming we 're on. The bad news is that the financial burden is ours alone.

The chance to saturate this audience with the DVD is a great one. At the very least, it will get people talking about electronic voting. Optimally, it will galvanize the many activists there to focus on election reform as a pressing need. It could make a big difference. Several thousand Progressives, Democrats and elected officials under one roof ... It would be criminal to pass up the opportunity.

Again, I 'm turning to you for help. Reluctantly, because I know how annoying it can be to be constantly besieged by appeals from the earnest and well-meaning. It 's also a tad humiliating to be constantly trolling for funding. What can I do? The alternative is to walk away. I just can 't do it.

How can I illustrate what this conference means in terms of potential outreach? I started this project almost eight months ago, with three copies of the DVD. Since then, more than 250 individual and group borrowers have been enlisted, one by one. I have an opportunity to reach eight to ten times that many in the course of a three-day conference! At the rate I've been going (I had to sit down and recall that equation I learned oh, so many years ago), it would take me 64 months or more than five years to get to 2,000 borrowers. In short, this is a much more efficient, cost-effective way to spread the word.
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But, because it 's such a large order, we 're talking several thousand dollars, raised fairly fast. The conference is in mid June; I would have to place an order within the next two weeks or so. Impossible? Maybe. But how will I know if I don 't try? Who could have predicted the success that the library project has enjoyed thus far?

I don 't expect anyone to dash off one check to cover the whole shebang (although, truthfully, I wouldn 't send it back, either). While it would certainly save a lot of time and effort, this project has always been about building a community of concerned citizens who are working for change. I would much prefer that donations come from a wide range of people who share the responsibility and the burden. If each person contacts his/her own network of friends, family and colleagues to raise a portion of the funds, then, the goal is not at all out of reach.

If you think my project has merit and you see the potential of bringing "Invisible Ballots " to Washington DC, right smack in the middle of the progressive community, now is the time to act. Since March, donations have been tax deductible. Go to the International Humanities Center website and do it today. Each donation will bring us a little closer to that national debate we need in order to bring about change. You can play a crucial part by stepping up to the plate right now. (I have to admit my imagery is being affected by the White Sox/Mariners game my son is watching in the next room.)

Many thanks for believing that, together, we can make a difference, and for saying "no " to cynicism and hopelessness. Enlisting in this campaign is a positive step towards restoring and preserving free, fair and transparent elections. A lively democracy demands the active participation of its citizens. This is such an opportunity. Seize it!

Please send this out to anyone you know who cares about the direction our country is heading. Sitting helpless on the sidelines certainly won 't bring about change. What do we have to lose? I am inspired by Margaret Mead 's words: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it 's the only thing that ever does. "

for a little background, see
"Invisible Ballots" lending library project update and
Making A Difference, One DVD at a Time

Citizens for Election Reform and the "Invisible Ballots" lending library project are sponsored by International Humanities Center, a nonprofit organization under Section 501 (c)(3) of the IRS code. Contributions may be mailed to them at: International Humanities Center, PO Box 923, Malibu, CA 90265. Make sure to specify that you are contributing to Citizens for Election Reform.
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http://www.opednews.com/author/author79.html

Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
 

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