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Return to Hand Counted Paper Ballots? Yes, Faster than Ever, Please!

By       Message Kathryn Smith     Permalink
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~Why were election workers in San Diego, at the last Presidential "election", ordered to take the computers home for an overnight jammy party, to their own private homes? Is this not partisanship at work?

~Should we be trusting paid-off computer programmers, only a precious few who can even read the secret election coding, or should we be relying on public transparency? As Greg Palast brilliantly wrote:

"The scenarios generated by computerized voting would make one yearn for hanging chads" (and erasures, and all the other things which the Christian Science Monitor moans about).


A) To prevent hand-counted paper ballots from being corrupted, ballot-counting should be filmed on TV and broadcasted.

B) Citizens summoned at random for the civic duty of vote counting, just like with jury duty, should do the counting. Other citizens should stand as witnesses to the counting. No citizen voter should ever be turned away from standing as witness.

C) Very important: Votes are historically stolen at the centralized levels---County, State and Federal, where there is no oversight. While at the precinct levels votes are snatched in small bits, by two or three percent here or there----it is at these central levels, where computer programmers may steal votes in good earnest, because there is no oversight.

Thus, it becomes centrally important that citizens themselves tally the centralized votes----county-wide, state-wide and nation-wide figures-----on public camera. No more paid-off computer programmers behind the curtain and broadcasting the “results” like the Wizard of Oz, please!

D) To prevent ballot boxes from being tossed out (because they often are), the thing to do is to film the entire precinct and the transporting of the boxes, from point A to point B.

At least, with paper ballots, there is visible proof when something has gone amiss. Unlike with Satellite-programmed "poufs", where not a trace remains.

E) How can this be financed? As easily as buying expensive machines, if not more so. As easily as paying jurors for jury duty. Much easier than paying for a war based on a lie. You get the picture.

If we have to even argue about whether or not we can afford to uphold one of the central pillars of democracy, namely voting, then we had better re-evaluate our priorities, and fast too.

F) I sent this proposal to Victoria Collier, who affirmed that other countries have filmed hand-counted paper ballot votes and that it really has worked: The filming does prevent cheating. Just as I had hoped.

A friend marched this proposal in to a Kucinich house party, where Kucinich was present. He said he was going to try to get it passed into law. Doubtlessly he countered all kinds of resistance, for reasons which need very little explanation. This plan would WORK, and of course, politicians don't want to be unseated by an actual, legitimate vote.

Far from intending to sound self-congratulatory, let me stress that this is all about the hope, which I in turn hope will encourage you: Because of having read one small letter in a very small newspaper, reaching only 30,000 readers (compared to millions), an election reform plan was marched in to a US Representative. That should tell you how powerful letters to the editor really can be: Who knows who YOUR letter would reach?

Who knows whether or not this still COULD catch fire IF.....We the People pass word along and, as a greater mass, insist that it be passed into law.

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This quote summarizes the nature of my concerns and the content of personal experiences which stir my activism: "Necessity is the plea for every infringement on human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves". --Paul (more...)

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