Ohio Secretary of State agrees with Voting Activists…
True to form, the rapidly growing audience of the nationally recognized “Voice of the Voters” radio broadcast was as interactive as ever when program host Mary Ann Gould interviewed Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer L. Brunner. This interview represents what may be the highest ranking official who is open to a candid dialogue with his/her constituents concerning voting integrity.
Secretary Brunner opened the broadcast by thanking Mary Ann for her suggestions about how to count votes at the precinct level and use that as a check against subsequent counts. Ohio’s adoption of a procedure recommended by one of the voting integrity movements leading voices is meaningful and is hopefully representative of a narrowing of the divide between them and us.
The program was filled with callers from all over the United States. Brent from San Francisco, June and Jane from Cincinnati, Dan from Columbus, Victoria from Cincinnati, and Ellen from Washington state were some of the callers asking pointed questions of the Secretary of State. To Secretary Brunner’s credit, her answers were rendered in what seemed a completely honest and open manner. Listening to Jennifer Brunner speak reveals why she has steadily climbed the political ladder. At the moment she is one of the handful of elected officials that understands that the elective process is under attack, and like her California counterpart Secretary of State Catherine Bowen, New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt, and Florida Governor Charley Christ she has the professionalism and character to invest the time, money and effort into seeking a voting mechanism that provides the obvious need for accuracy, accountability, and transparency. She wants to do the right thing.
The right thing of course being that thing which best serves to secure a transparent voting process. We need to hold her close and educate her as to why the pursuit of transparency is not simply the right thing to do as an American, but also that it will ultimately be the smart thing to do as a professional politician. To be that standard bearer known for having the character to do the right thing while many other of her peers were whistling the corrupt tune of the DRE vendor(s), will ultimately make her look like a visionary heroine.
Callers to the program were without exception polite and prepared to ask direct questions about which the Secretary would be expected to be conversational…with one exception. One caller wanted to take the conversation in a direction that was off topic…however…Secretary Brunner said that she was unsure how the callers question related to the topics of the moment and host Mary Ann Gould simply thanked the caller and moved on.
There was much information shared in both directions during the high paced hour, and the Ohio Secretary of State should also be commended for graciously extending her time on air from the agreed to twenty minutes, to over twice that, at fifty minutes duration. But even with the additional time, many callers were unable to ask their questions of the SOS directly, and many questions that had been emailed were not asked, and therefore not answered. Thus, the Ohio Secretary of States office is now accepting questions via email or US Postal service that the Secretary Brunner will review and provide answers too.
Disappointingly, and because of the Secretary of States willingness to extend her time with the “Voice of the Voters” listening audience, Paddy Shaffer, Director of the Ohio Election Justice Campaign, was unable to speak on the air, as was also the case with “Voice of the Voters” west coast correspondent John Gideon. Both will return at a later date and make up for lost time.
Closing the program Mary Ann passionately encouraged listeners to contact their elected representatives and insist (politely) that they fast track New Jersey Congressman Rush Holts, HR5036. Mary Ann is vitally concerned that Pennsylvania may be the state that falls through the cracks in the 2008 election. Please contact your PA representatives and demand (politely) that they support HR5036, and, that they actually take advantage of its offerings.
Call in such numbers as they will think that their offices have become Voting Integrity Headquarters.
For those readers in the authors area in Bucks County PA, District 8…Congressman Patrick Murphy
If you missed this action packed hour of Voice of the Voters, the pod cast is available on wwwdotVoiceoftheVotersdotcom , as well as links to other articles by the author.