We as citizens and voters have the right to reclaim the duty to count our votes. If a dozen voters encircled an optical scanner with their ballots inside at the close of voting and refused to move until the opscan was opened, the ballots removed, and a public counting process undertaken, I believe it would be broadly perceived as very much within our core rights as citizens and people would finally begin en masse to ask why we have forfeited those rights to a few private and secretive corporations.
I don't see it as impossible to organize a hundred or so such "Opscan Parties" for November. It's really neither capital- nor labor-intensive and it couldn't be more simple, justifiable, and low-tech. Ask Tim Robbins and a few other well-known advocates to participate for added coverage and visibility. And link it to a call for state and federal HCPB (hand-counted paper ballot) legislation, such as Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson's bill calling for an observable counting process.
I am so very tired of sitting back and looking at the parade of smelly numbers and knowing that a few bad actors are warping history and ruining this planet, or at least accelerating the process of its ruination, all in our name under the cloak of supposed public sovereignty. Real bravery in resistance has been part of our history and we see it still in other parts of the world, but it seems to have run dry in 21st Century America.
We are an old democracy, self-satisfied and increasingly sclerotic. I don't think many of the elites, right and left, deep-down trust the public (whom they tend to regard, rightly or wrongly, as ignorant, football- and Reality TV-obsessed, sheep) enough to care all that much about protecting its votes and its sovereignty. At least they haven't acted as if they care. I think it will be very much up to the public to step up and reclaim that sovereignty, beginning with the simplest and most directly consequential fix of all: restoration of the observable counting of its votes.
JB: I agree wholeheartedly that restoring transparent elections with observable vote counting is the key to turning around this big mess we find ourselves in. Thanks for talking with me again, Jonathan. I always learn a lot even if it's not always a very upbeat experience.
Prior interviews with Jonathan:
CODE RED: Jonathan Simon's Hail-Mary for Democracy 4.12.2015
Part two of my interview with Jonathan 10/28/2010