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New problems identified with Iowa caucuses

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This affects every one of you in the 49 states that are "not Iowa" because what happens in Iowa will play a major role in which presidential candidates you get to vote for.

Please distribute this to every single person you know in Iowa. Black Box Voting does not have many Iowa members, and needs your help to get this information where it needs to go.

PROBLEMS AND ISSUES WITH THE IOWA CAUCUSES - AND WHAT EVERY IOWAN CAN DO

Black Box Voting needs live IOWA CITIZEN REPORTS on Jan. 3. Note that the Iowa caucuses must allow observers and must allow both video and photography, as long as you do not disrupt the proceedings. You do not need to be a member of the party to observe or videotape (but you must be registered for that party if you want to participate in the caucus).

In some locations, there will be a Republican caucus AND a Democratic caucus in the same building, giving observers the opportunity to capture evidence in both parties' caucuses.

Below is an update on election integrity problems with both Republican and Democratic caucuses, in addition to info on how to find your local caucuses.

REPUBLICAN CAUCUS PROBLEMS AND ISSUES:

The Republicans are running such an opaque dog and pony show that, unless they correct procedural issues, citizens nationwide should demand that Iowa lose its "first in the nation" status. Here are the issues for Republican caucuses:

1) Black Box Voting has received unofficial reports that political operatives have urged citizens NOT to ask too many questions and NOT to take photos or video of precinct caucus results, warning them that only "conspiracy theorists" would want to independently confirm the announced results.

It is your DUTY as a citizen to oversee your governmental processes. Because Iowa caucus procedures lack basic checks and balances, such as posting the precinct caucus results at the precinct caucus location for the public to examine, it is actually very important for members of the public to take video and photographs and share them.

WHAT TO DO: If you see or hear anyone ridiculing, name calling, or implying that citizen oversight actions will cause "blowback" on their candidate, please REPORT THIS to Black Box Voting, via e-mail or online, live-time forum reports in the IOWA FORUMS section at Black Box Voting.

2) The Iowa Republicans have NOT publicly agreed to promptly release precinct results for the Jan. 3 caucus. Instead, we are seeing bait and switch tactics, as they emphasize to caucus participants that the counting will be done in public at the precinct. While they keep your eye focused on the front end, a switch can take place at the back end. When they release a total result to the media without releasing the individual precinct results at the same time, there is no way at all for citizens to confirm that their precinct results added up to the announced total.

Please CONTACT both the Iowa Republican Party and the Iowa Secretary of State to tell them you expect to see those precinct results published at the SAME time they announce the statewide total. Iowa Republican Party: (515) 282-8105 Iowa Secretary of State: 515-281-0145 515-281-7142 (Fax)
sos@sos.state.ia.us

(But aren't caucuses "owned" by the parties and not the Secretary of State? It's like this: If Iowa wants to position itself as the first in the nation for caucuses, perhaps the ONLY possible influx of mass tourist dollars in January in Iowa, they need to run transparent caucuses with proper checks and balances. If they don't citizens nationwide should recommend dropping the Iowa First in the Nation concept).

3) One thing the Republican Party of Iowa has done RIGHT is making caucus locations transparent. All you have to do is go to
http://www.iowagop.org and click the map to find every Republican caucus location in a county. Not so for the Democrats, who are making it harder to get a complete listing!

4) We have received conflicting reports as to the procedures at the Republican caucus. A spokesman for the Republican Party of Iowa told Black Box Voting that the votes would be written on paper and counted in front of candidate representatives and observers, then signed off on by precinct captains or whoever they've got in charge. WHAT TO DO: If that's the case, get a photo of the signed results and e-mail it to Black Box Voting - or upload it directly to the IOWA FORUM section of this Web site.

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http://www.blackboxvoting.org
Bev Harris is executive director of Black Box Voting, Inc. an advocacy group committed to restoring citizen oversight to elections.

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