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I believe, as do those who are fighting so hard for the integrity of our voting system, that Americans deserve nothing less than full proof that each vote is recorded,counted and reported fully and accurately ... not an approximation but hard proof. I would like to suggest that there are some basic core decisions to be made.

First, do we believe the vote is the most fundamental right of Americans .... that elections are for the purpose of expressing OUR Voice .... the ultimate freedom of speech?

If so, then does it not become incumbent upon us to ensure that every vote counts .... is counted? Not just rhetoric ....but actions to back and ensure...and present real verification.?

Just like "All men are created equal" is a great ideal which we honor and strive for..... shouldn't the ideal of every vote counts be striven for? Aren't Americans entitled to know .... entitled to proof.... that each and every vote truly is counted?

The ballot casts by each individual IS the REAL vote ..... not a "byte" or a facsimile on/from a machine.....especially when the machine can be subject to influences of its' own design, programming or operation.

Yes, the actual Vote is the REAL thing .... Yes, the "ideal" is the count of the actual ballot rather than its' machine representation....BUT machines IMO can play an important role

Ensuring voting integrity to the fullest extent requires a system of checks and balances. The machine display serves as a check for the voter that what he/she intended is properly recorded (no doubts as to intention/interpretation). The machine count should be an "unofficial" tally which satisfies need of media and people for "instant pudding" results at 8:01..... but to make it the primary rather than the check or audit, lessens the value of the actual vote itself, IMO.

Yes, we should have the actual vote counted .... every vote .... and the machine tally but serve as a way of checking that count ....for hand counts too are subject to mistake and fraud, just as machines. Let us use the marriage of technology with simple count of actual ballots.

I fully accept that people are not use to the idea of 100 percent count .... but maybe it's about time that we at least begin by re-introducing the importance of ensuring that not one single vote is missed. What cost freedom? We can develop efficient and effective processes for the count, including open viewing by citizens, at a reasonable cost. When the US government can spend $25 million to build a bridge to a just offshore island in Alaska which contains 50 residents, and other such projects elsewhere wasting billions, can we not find the money to ensure our vote?

Would we be willing to deny a single person freedom of speech? .... Would there not be a hue and cry if this were found?

What bigger denial of freedom of speech than figuring, well we're close ... we have an approximation, we think it expresses majority opinion?

Well voting is not about majority opinion ... it is about individual opinion...individual casting his/her expression of civic duty and primary RIGHT as a citizen.

The outcome is the summary of these individual expressions..... the selection of OUR representatives by the total sum of individual votes but it is the individual expression ... the casting of the individual vote ....that is the real expression .... the real purpose of elections.

Let's adopt the Principle that the actual ballot is most Precious and Deserving that all be counted .... that none be left behind.... for only then will we stand for True American Principles of Equality .... Freedom.... Right to have OUR Voice heard.

The very word "VOTE" comes from an ancient meaning of "Sacred Word". Should we not honor as well as defend the right that every single voicing of "Sacred Word" be heard?

Once we get into a view that the machine results are primary, we lose something valuable....a core American Principle.

I am not saying that we immediately demand 100 percent hand count (though I would suggest more town, counties do so as part of civic duty)..... I personally believe it would be the best thing for America and Americans....that it might restore trust in our system of government and empowerment in the hands of each voter knowing for SURE that his/her voice will be heard ... even if it be one voice in complete opposition to all others.... it will be honored and heard....it will be counted.

We can adopt this Principle of how we view the vote and then see how we can move towards its' accomplishment....continue to seek ways to prove that every single vote is counted.... beyond doubt.

Let there be no mistake, the fight relating to the Integrity of OUR Voting System is the initial battle in Waking up Americans to basic rights .... to Real American Values...to taking back America from special interests .... demanding that the elected serve the interests of the electors..... We the People!

This is not a battle about machines but of Democracy itself ... of taking Corporations, moneyed interests out of politics and having the voice of the people fully heard. Thus, we must stand for the Principle of striving to prove every vote truly counts, for every vote is counted.....even if be a single voice/vote speaking out differently that all the rest. I believe a system of checks and balances of both hand count and machine would best serve us. Of course we need changes in certification; removal of privatization; openness of the process and most of all putting citizens back in the process. The Vote belongs to US ..not to government officials to decide behind closed doors. We must have citizen/independent expert/government oversight at every level, every step of the way. Election oversight must go to the owners ... We the People.

Of course, this in turn requires that each American take responsibility to become informed, to cast his/her vote with knowledge, care and from the view of fulfilling a sacred responsibility. I believe Americans can rise to a higher level of viewing their vote when in turn their vote is viewed differently.

The Vote must be seen from a higher level ... we may choose to seek some percent "audit" for political and monetary expediency .... but we cannot let it lie at 2 ...5 ....10 percent. Is it your vote that won't be verified/counted.... it certainly will be someone's .... and that is not American.

As Proust noted: "The real act of discovery is not in finding new lands....but SEEING with new eyes" ... let us consider ways to help America view OUR Vote and the integrity of the voting process with new eyes!
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www.voiceofthevoters.org
Co-Founder of the Coalition for Voting Integrity. Host of "Voice of the Voters! Radio & Internet. Nationally recognized expert in Quality, Process improvement and Change Management. Associate of the late Dr. W, Edwards Deming. Speaker/seminars at (more...)
 

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