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General News    H3'ed 2/26/17

Philadelphia Conference on Voting Justice and Democratizing Elections, Feb. 24-26, Friends Meeting House

By       (Page 1 of 7 pages)   No comments, In Series: Election Integrity

Johnathan Simon leading workshop on EI activism
Johnathan Simon leading workshop on EI activism
(Image by Marta Steele)
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"Voters have integrity. The system doesn't."--Yahne' Ndgo

" I want us all to be okay."--Yahne' Ndgo

The theme of Election 2016, said Green Party Presidential nominee Jill Stein, was totally negative, a question of whom do we hate the most. A ranked-choice voting system would allow for many candidates. There would be no fear/smear campaigning. We must rid ourselves of the Electoral College. 80 percent of voters are disgusted by the election and 90 percent are disgusted with the whole political system.

We need an election system we can trust.

A large group of activists crowded the assembly room of the Friends Meeting House for this nonpartisan conference on Voting Justice and Democratizing Elections.

Instead of recounts, like the disastrous one held recently in the Quaker State, which almost entirely votes on DRE, with its unauditable election systems, we need something like the instant replay systems they use in athletic events, said Stein. A form of quality assurance.

I thought of the public school system I was forced to pull my daughter from, with athletics as its main focus, a department well equipped with state of the art computerization, while the program for gifted students had been gutted. Distinguished athletes had graduated from this school, its pride and joy. My daughter was a cheerleader.

We have the right to bear arms but not to vote, said activist Ilaan Mattel.

Voter ID blocks equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment [oh has that Amendment been mangled since Bush v. Gore]. In Pennsylvania, a statewide recount is impossible: all 9,158 electoral districts must request it, with each county having a different system. One petition from each district, plus a $50-$100 bond, which adds up to $millions.

He quoted Teddy Roosevelt: "Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. ""

So few people turn out to vote because of lack of trust in the system, said Yahne' Ndgo, a dynamic Green Party activist. Our society is built on death and destruction. We must create a different reality. Enough voters in this country agree that this sort of suffering should end.


Empowered by this first plenary, the group split up for the morning's workshops.

I chose the one focused on Maryland's recent electoral history that has finally culminated in the acquisition of opscans after 14 years of affliction as one of the first states to panic after Election 2000 and purchase the useless DRE systems, even before the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was passed late in 2002.

This workshop was led by Rebecca Wilson, head of the EI organization, and Susan Greenhalgh of Verified Voting, who focused on the perils of Internet voting (IV).

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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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