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05.03 Edward Snowden: ‘Governments can reduce our dignity to that of tagged animals’

05.02 People love Chris Packham because he isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers

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Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

05.04 Ocean's Oxygen Starts Running Low

05.04 Prominent Democratic Consultants Sign Up to Defeat Single Payer in Colorado [Clinton's greed for corporate donations trumps the public's interests]

05.04 This disease has killed a million trees in California, and scientists say it’s basically unstoppable [video]

05.04 Air pollution has been lost in the murk of the London mayoral campaign

05.04 Renewable energy: rapid acceleration needed to meet 2020 target

05.04 Global water shortages to deliver 'severe hit' to economies, World Bank warns

05.04 Medical error is third biggest cause of death in the US, experts say

05.03 After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

05.03 Phasing out coal, oil and gas extraction in US would drastically cut emissions

05.03 Off the hook: can a new study in the Pacific reel in unsustainable fishing?

05.02 The Astonishing Creativity of Your Genes

05.02 Armed guards at India's dams as drought grips country

05.02 The innovators: desalination unit brings clean water on wheels

News Media Matters

05.02 Crackdown in Turkey's Kurdish south-east turns journalists into 'terrorists'

Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

05.04 Just When Was America Great?

05.04 Fort McMurray: Canada wildfires force evacuation of oil sands city [video]

05.04 Bernie Sanders pulls off shock victory over Hillary Clinton in Indiana

05.03 REPUBLICANS DON’T WANT TO KNOW COSTS OF U.S. NUCLEAR ARSENAL

05.03 Raise the Minimum Wage, Reduce Crime?

05.02 Sam Brownback gutted Kansas: How America’s worst governor and an ultra-conservative ideology wrecked an entire state

05.02 Bill Moyers in Conversation: Eddie Glaude Jr. on America’s Racial ‘Value Gap’ [audio clip]

05.02 Bernie Sanders vows a contested convention despite 'tough road' ahead

05.01 Clintonism screwed the Democrats: How Bill, Hillary and the Democratic Leadership Council gutted progressivism

Justice Matters

05.02 Solitary confinement is 'no touch' torture, and it must be abolished

05.02 The movement to end mass incarceration is still too weak to win big [private prisons must be kept at near-full occupancy by contract, so...]

High Crimes?

04.30 How the car industry trumped banking for sociopathic corporate behaviour

Economics, Crony Capitalism

05.04 Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California?

05.02 Greenpeace Leak Exposes Big EU-US Rifts, US Thuggishness, in TTIP “Trade” Negotiations

05.02 TTIP Documents Revealed

05.01 Buffett Says Derivatives ‘Time Bomb’ May Elude Auditors' Reviews

International

05.04 UK's claims over Saudi bombing in Yemen 'deeply disappointing', say MPs

05.03 Saudi Arabia: Foreign Workers Burn Buses After Massive Layoffs

05.03 DNA secrets of Ice Age Europe unlocked

05.03 Ethiopia's farmers fight devastating drought with land restoration

05.02 The End of American Iraq: Poor Shiites invade Parliament over corrupt Spoils System [Like Red states only contracting business with Red contractors]

05.02 The reluctance of Joseph Kabila to cede power could push Congo to the brink

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  The best defense is a good offense, so VOTE!
Newspaper logo

OPEN LETTER:

The best defense is a good offense, so VOTE!

by BEV HARRIS, Founder of Black Box Voting
Now is not the time to retreat. Vote, and then find evidence to tell the story of what's really happening in U.S. elections.

Things may look relatively smooth on election day, but the real fun begins after the polls close. That's when we see a lot of strange things. Look for:
  • Missing memory cards -- and remember, a memory card is a BALLOT BOX. This happens every election, to weird shrugs by election officials. About 70 ballot boxes went missing in Cuyahoga County during the May primary; a bunch went missing in Detroit last spring, and they've gone missing in places like Dekalb County Georgia, and various other locations. This is nothing to shrug about.

    Remember when a single ballot box was missing in Florida in the 2000 election? Everyone was going crazy, but now, you have dozens and dozens of these memory cards, cartridges, and "PEBs" -- all are small digital ballots boxes -- they are going missing. Very troubling. Watch for it. See if you can spot it. Report it!

  • Phantom votes -- this is when you have more votes than voters. There were about 100,000 more votes than voters in Tarrant County Texas during the primary, and more votes than voters in Ohio locations in 2004.

    What to look for: Do a quick check of the number of registered voters and compare with the number of votes that show up. Bizarre anomalies appear almost every election.

    Stage 2 is comparing the number of sign-ins in the pollbook with the number of votes that show up.

  • Sometimes you see disappearing votes. The number of votes goes DOWN while the number of precincts counted goes UP. This happened in Mohave County Arizona in the 2004 primary, and in Memphis in the Aug. 2006 primary. Alert watchers of county Web results often spot this and capture it in screen saves.

    What to do: Assign someone to capture screen shots each time the totals are updated and check for disappearing votes.

  • Obstructed vote counting -- we often see obstructions to being able to see the vote counting, even beyond the obstruction of counting inside a black box. In San Diego in 2005, a member of the Black Box Voting board of directors, Jim March, was arrested for trying to view the vote counting. I myself was surrounded by six members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department when I had the audacity to ask if I could view the vote counting there, which was taking place in a room no one could see. We expect to get many reports from citizens who are not allowed to view vote counting.

    If you are obstructed from viewing the central tally process, report it.

  • In the 10 days following the election, you can expect to see many unusual things pop up in the public records that are obtained by candidates.

    Of particular interest are the "event logs" that you get from Microsoft Windows, which runs most of the tallying software. This can show extra programs being run.

    Also of great interest are the voting machine event logs, which can show crazy voting dates -- like in Palm Beach County in 2004, where more than 4 dozen voting machines had votes time and date-stamped weeks before the election, sometimes in the middle of the night, and Volusia County Florida in the same election, where a machine had votes date-stamped more than 10,000 years in the future. In San Diego in the June 2006 primary, the voting system event log shows that it dialed out to Diebold at 9:31 pm during the middle of its counting.

  • We also anticipate many peculiarities with provisional votes, extra optional paper ballot votes, absentee votes and various obstructions to voting around the country.

  • Another thing we look for is strange statistical patterns, like voting machines from one manufacturer giving results different from all the others, or one type of machine giving discrepant results, as happened in New Mexico in 2004. We saw three candidates in a row get 18,181 votes in Comal County Texas and one district in Minnesota had all the minor party candidates get the same vote percentage -- despite very big differences in how well known the candidates were.
On election day itself, we'll see vote-flipping, where people vote for one candidate and another one's name pops up. And we'll see many other unusual things.

I expect surprising new problems, like the new electronic poll books having problems finding themselves, and voting machines that don't match themselves (for example, having different results on their paper tape than they do on their screens).

Document. Think photos, videos, and most of all, cleverly constructed requests for documents. You have the right to obtain a copy of just about any document you can think of, as long as it exists. Go hunting. See what you find.

When you find important information, propagate it. Don't just call it into one place, but e-mail it, send it to bloggers, give it to reporters, provide it to public officials.

We want to improve elections, but first we need to make a solid, indisputable case. And to do that, we all need to get into action.

Use your own common sense. Document. Propagate. Then push solutions through for true citizen oversight. Now is your chance to take back your electoral process!

* * * * *

Be very clear about your job as a citizen right now: It is to reverse the swing of the pendulum. It's been swinging away from citizen control -- your job is to take back your government. Start at the local level.

You own your government -- not the other way around. It is time to get out of your chair, step away from the Internet, and get involved in citizen oversight.

We salute the extraordinary citizens who are taking back America.

Bev Harris
Founder
Black Box Voting
Black Box Voting is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501c(3) elections watchdog group supported entirely by citizen donations. We refuse funds from any vendor or vested interest.

To support Black Box Voting: click here to donate or send to:

Black Box Voting
330 SW 43rd St Suite K
PMB 547
Renton WA 98055


Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on November 7, 2006.
 


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