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Life Arts    H4'ed 2/19/17

Pedal Power Passion

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In 2004, I was hired by Snohomish County, WA, to work in the hand recounting of ballots in the close Governor's race. We saw the implicit bias of the machines, especially the DREs, which can't be recounted, but also the optical scanners used to count paper ballots. These machines have proprietary software only made by companies that have questionable ethics.

JB: And it's been proven numerous times that the scanners can produce written "results" that are at variance with the actual votes. I'm with you there, Vernon. So, how can we promote a progressive agenda in a repressive time amidst election dysfunction? And can pedal power catch on in a big way in the near future?

VH: I decided a long time ago, Joan, that I couldn't base my actions upon "winnability." I have to proclaim my truth and act in the most responsible manner I can find, while remaining open to the truths of others and accepting the potential of failure. Ultimately, all that matters is that I die having done my best.

I believe free and fair elections are a valid form of nonviolent conflict resolution. While I vote every election, I hold very little hope for progressive change coming through national elections. Statewide elections, even in a progressive state, also seem fairly hopeless. We can have the most impact on the local level, so I believe each of us must act to build the foundations of a multiparty democracy from the ground up.

It all begins when we commit to learning to grow our own food, pedal our own bikes, and care for our neighbors.

Michele Darr pulling her twin daughters with Vernon Huffman on the Oregon coast.
Michele Darr pulling her twin daughters with Vernon Huffman on the Oregon coast.
(Image by courtesy of Vernon Huffman)
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JB: What a lovely sentiment, and well-said. Anything else you'd like to leave our readers with before we wrap this up? Or would you like your last answer to stand on its own?

VH: Thank you, Joan. I'll be looking forward to future conversations. La lucha continua!

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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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