A post to start out with...

From: Ginny Ross <Ginnypdx_at_comcast_dot_net>
Date: Wed Nov 29 2006 - 07:20:10 CST

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Below is a post concerning the approach and theme of this list. While
it may start out seeming like some sort of anti-HR 550 list, we must
resist that framing. That is not the point. What we need is a
*specific debate on the merits of any and all proposed legislation and
thorough discussion of the practical aspects* of effecting any proposed
electoral reform solution in the next Congress.

For example, this is a link
<http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=203&topic_id=460763&mesg_id=460763>
from Paul Lehto's forum post in DU today about how to approach the
pressure building for passage of HR 550. Below are two snips from the
post. The post points out the supermajority mobilizing power of tapping
into the "real" issue about voting citizens care about, which is
"transparency". Understanding this key motivator and using it is the
key, rather than settling for a "realistic" stance toward legislation,
which says that we need to immediately pass a version of HR 550 as a
first step in order to get on a path toward better elections by
requiring paper trails and audits for counting the DRE votes. Here are
a few points:
*
Snip #1*
In contrast, the Electronic Voting regimes to be further
institutionalized by bills like HR550 (the Holt bill) will never allow
the public to witness the vote counting or obtain information about it.
(they can only get information on 2 or slightly more percent of the
secondary paper trails). So how can the Holt bill, or an amended Holt
bill, be the only "realistic" option, and how in the world can
"representatives" DICTATE to the People of the United States what is
"realistic" in terms of checks and balances on the elections of these
same Congresspeople? Excuse me??

*Snip #2*
*///*T*///*he theft of public supervision and oversight on elections
must be restored, because we have absolutely no real assurance of
democracy until it is restored. So begins, this Roll Call for Democracy.
Stand up and be counted. It will be VERY interesting, because NO ONE
really wants to be seen as being on the other side [against HR 550 or
against some movement toward reforming HAVA?]

I am posting these snips because 1) this is an important debate and we
should not shy away from it or "sush" the advocates for this position,
and 2) I wanted to demonstrate that it is helpful to have short,
specific statements and arguments. What is missing here is a statement
as to what ACTION one believes we should plan to take. Paul did not
include it in his DU post but perhaps he will here. That is: *what are
the proposed specific steps and citizen action plans?* In other words,
it only took about 2 sentences for me to understand your point that
transparency concerning the handover of "power to represent" is a key
and operative value in our system. And let's assume everyone in this
room agrees completely with that premise. Your platitudes at the end
are inspiring and true. /But in here,/ I propose that we focus on and
develop some discipline about specific action plans. _What is the
"*Snip #3*" that states WHAT we are going to do to promote this value of
transparency in the Cong. 110?_

I hope for this list to be highly practical. Come here to post links to
discussion forum posts you have made that hold the bulk of one's
argument and ask for or offer specific ideas and plans here on this
list. Since I know Paul and his arguments well, I will take the
liberty of moving into the likely Snip #3 that he would have written,
which is, we must form a lobby primarily to stop HR 550 from any further
consideration. Or, Paul, please extend your comments here if you wish.
What is involved in your proposal? Who is going to lead the effort? Is
there more consolidation of resources needed? It is one thing to write
and inspire, but we need to move beyond that toward debating actual
tactical strategies. And we need to do so in a big hurry.

(If you recieved this twice, please excuse ---- once I'm sure everyone
who wants to subscribe is subscribed, we can all just use the single
address "EILeg@lists.sonic.net")

Thanks and please add your voice.

Ginny Ross
Portland, OR

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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:16 2006

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