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Life Arts    H1'ed 4/12/15

CODE RED: Jonathan Simon's Hail-Mary for Democracy

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We have found out the hard way that we can't begin with the political or journalistic establishments seeing the light and making this change of their own accord. By definition any officeholder voting on such reform has been elected--the electoral system has worked for him or her so, from their standpoint, if it ain't broke, why fix it? And this certainly holds for the Democrats, as it has not yet occurred to the latter-day minority that the political pendulum may be in the grip of an invisible hand such that they are almost certainly destined to be a permanent minority. For a variety of practical and psychological reasons hardly anyone with a seat at or near the power table, including the media itself, has shown any willingness to make an issue over the way votes are counted, and that is unlikely to change absent a change in the public itself.

CODE RED is all about bringing that change to be. There are specific ways of pressuring legislators and election administrators which I present in the book. But the overarching call to action is simply that we all start communicating--writing, texting, emailing, or just talking to others about this issue, about CODE RED, about what we are facing and about what we can do.

Because I hold the conviction that CODE RED itself can be a difference-maker--perhaps the difference-maker--in our quest, I am doing all I can to bring it to a broad readership, starting with a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for advertising and promotion. The link to this campaign is Meeting our funding goal, the deadline for which is April 20th, would be a big step along the communication path I've been talking about. A viral CODE RED would be a very powerful tool.

CODE RED supplies the facts and analyses needed to become informed, to have something constructive and persuasive to say--it is then up to all of us to go to work building the foundation of public awareness and determination that will be needed to force a chronically uninterested political system to respond. We need to show that we take our democracy seriously, that we are available to count votes, observe the counting of votes, audit the counting of votes--even more, that we demand to be so deputized, to fulfill this duty to our democracy. And ultimately, if the political system remains unresponsive, we must back that demand with civil action, exercise our freedom of assembly, and take a stand to reclaim our right to fair, open, and honest elections.

JB: Anything you'd like to add before we wrap this up?

JS: Just this: the situation we're in is grave; the evidence shows that we are in the midst of a rolling coup and that, for all the illusion of business as usual, our democracy itself is in the ICU on life support. Yet, as I conclude in CODE RED, "the basic counting of votes, in an observable way that ensures the legitimacy of our elections, . . . is an easy assignment. We need only to break a spell that has been cast on us--a spell of convenience, passivity, helplessness. We need only remember that democracy is not something that we watch, it is something that we do."

JB: Good luck on your kickstarter campaign, Jonathan. CODE RED is an important, if not a fun, read. And it sure beats sticking our heads in the sand. Thanks so much for talking with me.


CODE RED Kickstarter Campaign link which ends April 20, 2015.

Election Defense Alliance website: [from the website] Election Defense Alliance (EDA) is a participatory organization of citizens collaborating at the local, state, and national levels to defend against electoral theft, establish transparent vote counting, and ensure that governments accountable to the people are legitimately elected.

Election Defense Alliance's Jonathan Simon with the Timely Lowdown on Our Elections 10/27/2010

Part two of my interview with Jonathan 10/28/2010

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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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