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Dear Black Box Voting: How about these ideas for citizen actions? Re: parallel elections

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Black Box Voting : 1-on-1 Consulting Area: How about these ideas for citizen actions?

Posted by BL on Thursday, October 12, 2006:

There are several problems with parallel elections from an evidential
standpoint. Here are the ones that I can think of:

Unless everyone puts their name on the parallel election ballot, you
can't even possibly verify that they actually did and/or were eligible
to vote in the real election (for a court). And if you have no ability
to check people against the poll books, even with this, you still
don't know.

Unless they notarize a statement that is then stapled to their
parallel election vote, they can't witness to their ballot being
counted correctly in the parallel election (for a court). (V. Kurt B.
says you don't get to look at the poll books in a recount in PA.)

There is insufficient proof that how they remember their vote for the
parallel election is actually how they cast it(for a court).

There is insufficient proof that parallel elections will have
sufficient participation from all parts of the electorate to be
representative of the actual election (for a court).

Despite these flaws, I think that one thing a parallel election can do
is to show that certain people who intended to, and had a right to
vote were not allowed to do so. Being 100-200 feet from an elections
office and taking the time to fill out the parallel election ballot
and notarize it with the notes of why you weren't allowed to vote
should represent great evidence for charges of voter
disenfranchisement. It is no longer hearsay or a generality without
specifices anymore.

So, as long as these ballots are kept to a separate tally (not
difficult to do), and a person makes all efforts to vote by any single
method that he's finally allowed, I think Dan is wrong about this. He
is right in that you should vote the provisional ballot if that's all
you're allowed.

Black Box Voting : 'Dear Black Box ... ' -- 1-on-1 Consulting Area: How about these ideas for citizen actions?

Posted by Bev Harris on Thursday, October 12, 2006:

One thing I have seen happening from parallel elections is a very
strong increase in the number of citizens participating in oversight.
They often go on to add more activities to their plate once they have
had the opportunity to participate in parallel elections.

I think at this point we need to truly embody the "swarm" method and
do many different strategies at once, because the nature of creative
problem solving is that innovative solutions are often a mutation of
early efforts.

Posted with permission from Bev Harris, Black Box Voting
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Bev Harris is executive director of Black Box Voting, Inc. an advocacy group committed to restoring citizen oversight to elections.
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