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Sci Tech    H1'ed 1/17/10

Brad Friedman Discusses Role of Diebold in Critical MA Special Election Tuesday

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Welcome to OpEdNews, Brad. There's a lot riding on Tuesday's special election in Massachusetts for Sen. Ted Kennedy's replacement. It should have been a cakewalk for Martha Coakley. What's going on?

I'll leave the politics of the matter to those more closely involved in them. It's gonna be a tough slog this year for all Democrats, particularly in light of their "play it safe" positions on well, just about everything.

That said, on the eve of the important special election where their "filibuster-proof" majority hangs in the balance, my top concern is to make sure that the candidate who receives the most votes actually gets to WIN this time, and that the citizens of both MA and the U.S., know for a fact that that person has actually won!

That won't be easy given the easily hacked voting machines, sold and serviced by a private company with a criminal background, that will be used in the race. I detail all of that, and why both Democrats and Republicans (and even Independents) should be VERY concerned, in my report this week on all of this at the right-leaning Gouverneur Times:

To their credit, since the debacle that occurred last November in the NY-23 special election, the GT, even though they come from a decidedly right-wing angle, have figured out what I've been shouting about for years: Problems and concerns with electronic voting are not a matter of Right and Left as much as they are matter of right and wrong!

So, here we are again. Those of us who have been warning about our vulnerable elections for years have been efficiently marginalized and discounted. And, We the People are no better off than we were before. What can we citizens do at this late date, and is anyone listening out there?

Well, I'd object to your assertion that "We the People are no better off than we were before." Yes, we still face the same, uphill struggles to make folks understand what's going on and what's at stake here. But the Election Integrity movement, as rag tag and under-funded and without central leadership as we are, has had great victories against the Goliath of the e-voting industry (and its enablers in public office).

A defeatist attitude accomplishes little. So, we keep doing our best to fight the good fight, and get the word out however possible.

The fact that the Gouverneur Times -- an extremely Right-leaning news outlet in Upstate New York -- now cares about these issues, and is more than happy to have me write as a contributor there, indicates the word is getting out, and there are potentially a huge number of previously-clueless folks who may be waking up here.

As I've discussed long ago, there are no "silver bullets." The fight for democracy takes place one day at a time, and one fight at a time. But we ARE winning. As maddeningly slow as it often seems.

"What can we citizens do?" Keep fighting. Keep standing up to bullies, by sharing the independently verifiable facts with them. That's what you do, that's what I do, every day. That's all we can do. But it DOES make a difference, I believe.

We also have no control over whether anyone is listening or not. But what's become clear is that as soon as a particular candidate feels their ox has been gored (pun intended) or when there is a particularly close or dubious race, the "paper trail" (also, pun intended) that folks like you and I have left behind over so many years becomes suddenly *extremely* valuable. And so, we keep laying that trail.

Okay, let me rephrase that. What can we do about the sketchy but very important race that will be happening next Tuesday in Massachusetts?

Well, for a start, pass that article around! (Here's the URL again: since knowledge is always our best weapon and, given our lack of a corporate media voice, it WILL be up to "We, the People", one forwarded email, Tweet, DIGG, REDDIT, etc. at a time! Yes, that stuff does make a difference! I can tell you for a fact that when folks DIGG, REDDIT, Tweet stories at The BRAD BLOG, the readership rises dramatically and exponentially!

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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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