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General News    H4'ed 11/10/16

Information Received by the Election Protection Command Center, Washington, DC, on Election Day 2016

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Some grassroots notes on Election Day events (Nov. 8, 2016) taken at the ELECTION PROTECTION COMMAND CENTER, a DC-based arm of the National Election Defense Coalition and the newly formed, also DC-based Transformative Justice Coalition [1]

Dixville Notch, NH, is the first precinct in the country to report election results nationwide, beginning its vote count at midnight. With a total of 6 voters, Hillary won handily with 4 votes. Further results in rural NH, gave Trump the lead at 32-2. As a result of the above, the Trump side of things declared victory prematurely, with some supporters sending out notices of a Trump victory. We feared this would discourage people from coming out to vote at all.

An overarching problem yesterday, experienced throughout the country, was the very issue targeted by President Obama in two major speeches: his acceptance speech in 2013 and the SOTU that followed. That was/is LONG LINES, which apart from inconveniencing large numbers of voters, prevents many from voting altogether because of other obligations like work or childcare of both.

Barbara Arnwine, head of the Transformative Justice Coalition as well as its founder (and also founder of ELECTION PROTECTION in 2000 as well as former head of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law ), summed up the principal problems as the long lines and broken optical scanners all over the country--in one place one spoiled ballot caused a scanner to malfunction and stop working. The scanner froze.

Other nationwide problems included flawed registration processes (see below),

Misuse of provisional ballots as official ballots,

Electronic poll books malfunctioned

and, of course, more, as detailed throughout.

Re the long lines, a study commissioned by the President; the resulting report, published a year later in January 2014, may be viewed here, , offered many practical solutions to the problem but ignored the underlying motivation--discrimination. "Not enough," said the experts. "Not enough." But, along with a report by the Brennan Center published a year later, "America's Voting Machines at Risk," , the warning had gone out that our electronic machinery was just too old to be reliable and the frequent breakdowns were no surprise. The problem was that states could not come up with the money to modernize their systems. Spare parts were ordered in some places, where attainable, to "scotch tape" some problems.

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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

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