Fw: Emergency Measures To Protect The 2004 Vote Count (EM2004)

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Thu Sep 02 2004 - 10:29:25 CDT

I see a few problems with this initiative, but I'd like to hear what others say.

1) If the initiative gains support and publicity but fails, it could end up suppressing voter turnout since it may send a message that voting with these all other systems is not reliable. That is, if people think their vote might not be counted anyway, why bother to vote?

2) While it correctly accounts for the fact that hand-counting is not practical for large ballots (only 2 or 3 federal offices would be on the paper ballot), it sends a message that the other contests are not as important. In fact, there is typically a lot at stake in local elections (billion dollar contracts may be decided by local officials) and that's where a lot of the fraud happens.

3) It is illegal in some states to count votes at the precinct level (WV, for example). Does this initiative take into account all the variations in state election code? Can a uniform procedure be imposed for this "Emergency Measure."

4) We don't know what fraud prevention measures will be in place.

Alan

----- Original Message -----
From: EarthAngelsNtwk@aol.com
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 1:38 AM
Subject: Emergency Measures To Protect The 2004 Vote Count (EM2004)

Subject: Emergency Measures To Protect The 2004 Vote Count
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To Those Concerned about the Safety of Our Nation:

Another questionable Federal election is certain to precipitate a national crisis, regardless of who is declared the winner. The remedy is within reach.
  
Hand counted paper ballots for FEDERAL offices in the 2004 election!
We need your participation to make it happen.

VotersUnite! in partnership with the National Ballot Integrity Project is asking for your active and unified participation in an effort to avert the crisis that is quickly approaching.

Recent events have made the following scenario very likely.

There will be election "anomalies". We know this; there always are. Then there will be lawsuits. Then delays, recounts, and more lawsuits when recounts can't be done on electronic machines. Then, at some point, a winner will be announced, but the country is not likely to accept a winner announced after lawsuits, delays, and who-knows-what basis for the decision. Not after 2000.

This is not conspiracy theory. It's not a statement for or against electronic voting. It's a probability based on facts: the extreme polarization in our country, the rapidly growing skepticism about electronic voting, the legions of attorneys being amassed by both major parties, and the abundance of election lawsuits that have already been filed in recent months.

Time is of the essence. We have less than two months until early voting begins for the General Election, even less time before absentee ballots start going out. Concerned citizens have been pursuing many different avenues to safeguard the November election, and these worthwhile pursuits must continue. In addition, we must ALL unite in a call for hand counted paper ballots for FEDERAL offices in the 2004 election -- to avert a national crisis.

We need your endorsement for this critical effort immediately, whether or not you contribute financially. Click Here or mailto:em2004support@votersunite.org to endorse our campaign and to receive action information as it becomes available.

In support of these Emergency Measures, the National Ballot Integrity Project Task Force is also engaged in a major fund-raising effort to implement a multi-pronged strategy to help achieve this goal. The strategy, which depends upon the active participation of all concerned citizens, organizations, and activists, includes:

- A coordinated effort with concerned Congress members for emergency Federal legislation.

- Advocating in face-to-face meetings with county leaders and state elected officials.

- Sponsoring public events on the state and national level.

- Seeking injunctions in Federal and state courts.

- Providing training DVDs for poll watchers.

- Mobilizing Election Day poll assistance within election guidelines in support of election officials.

- Airing a major media campaign, consisting of a television ad blitz in key swing states and on national cable, as well as targeted print, radio, and internet ads.

We understand that these emergency measures are not a permanent solution to our election system crisis. In fact, they are minimal, but they are the only way to protect our 2004 vote count and assure us of an unquestionable outcome. These measures are essential for November. Insisting on more or settling for less may prevent us from achieving even this.

The Emergency Measures are doable, and with little preparation.

* No pre-election changes are needed in any counties that use any type of paper ballot. In counties that use lever machines and DREs, the two or three Federal races (President, Representative, and Senator) would be removed, and a simple inexpensive paper ballot with those two or three races would be printed.

* Poll workers would stay an hour or so longer to hand count the two or three races at the precinct and post the results prominently. The many poll workers currently being organized will add to the security of this process.

* The manually-counted results will be the official counts and used for the official tally.

* If tabulation machines are used to count the ballots, this manual audit will also allow us to evaluate the accuracy of the vote-tabulating machines.

We believe these Emergency Measures are necessary to ENCOURAGE Americans to vote with the confidence that their votes will count. We believe they will increase voter turnout. Certainly they will reduce the strong probability of costly lawsuits that would otherwise delay the election results and create chaos. Thus, they will avert a national crisis. Please unite with us immediately toward this goal.

More information about the plan will be available soon. Click Here or mailto:em2004support@votersunite.org to endorse EM2004 and sign up to receive information as it becomes available.

Here are actions you can take immediately:

1) Contact Congress and urge the introduction and enactment of
the Federal Paper Ballot Emergency Act of 2004:
http://www.votersunite.org/takeaction/federalpaperballot.asp

2) Meet with your county leaders and elections officials, individually or in groups, to support hand counted paper ballots for Federal offices:
http://www.votersunite.org/takeaction/emergencymeasures.asp

3) Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper in support of this plan.

4) Forward this email to others interested in the safety of our nation.

Please let us know that we can count on your endorsement of these Emergency Measures. Click Here or mailto:em2004support@votersunite.org to respond. Thank you.
————————————————————————-
National Ballot Integrity Project Task Force - Executive Steering Committee

Joan Krawitz (IL) Co-founder, National Ballot Integrity Project
Sharona Merel (NH) Co-founder, National Ballot Integrity Project
Ellen Theisen (WA) Founder and Executive Director, VotersUnite.Org
Victoria Collier (NM) Co-founder, S.A.V.E. Democracy
Abbe Delozier (TX) Strategist and Media Consultant,
                                               Texas Coalition for Visible Ballots
Vickie Karp (TX) Board Member, Black Box Voting;
                                               National Chair, Coalition for Visible Ballots
Linda Schade (MD) Executive Director, TrueVoteMD.org
Susan Truitt (OH) Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections (CASE Ohio)
Kathleen Wynne (OH) Founding Member, National Ballot Integrity Project

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Received on Thu Sep 30 23:17:01 2004

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