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08.29 10 Years After Katrina, New Orleans’ All-Charter School System Has Proven a Failure

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08.30 When his father had Alzheimer’s, Jonathan Kozol learned how bleak gerontological care can be: “Good god, what happens to people who don’t have the advantages we had?”

08.30 Case proven: ivory trafficking funds terrorism

08.30 5 Ways That Black Women Suffered Due To Katrina

08.29 Psychology experiments are failing the replication test – for good reason

08.29 Climate change legislation approaches pivotal showdown with oil industry

08.29 World's biggest coal port joins fossil fuel divestment push

08.28 Pesticides Killing Bees: Study Shows What 'Everybody's Suspected'

08.28 Gun Control: Where Each of the Presidential Candidates Stands [an IQ test]

08.28 The Raging Future of American Wildfires

08.28 The day we stopped Europe’s biggest polluter in its tracks

08.28 The key to water security could be lurking in a New Mexico sewage farm

08.28 Digging into big coal's climate connections

08.28 Texas teenager creates $20 water purifier to tackle toxic e-waste pollution [video]

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08.30 Why Bernie Sanders Will Win This Election—Even If He Doesn’t Win the White House

08.30 Sarah Palin showers Donald Trump with adoration in 'interview of the year' [video, have some more Jim Jones' Kool-Aid]

08.29 Donald Trump and the shadow of Europe’s far-right

08.28 America’s Great Infrastructure Stagnation

08.28 Gun violence in America, in 17 maps and charts

08.27 4 Reasons Why a Biden Run Would Help Sanders

08.27 Watch Poverty in School Districts Escalate Before Your Very Eyes [interactive map]

08.27 Why Louisiana Fought Low-Income Housing in New Orleans After Katrina

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08.29 CEOs Call for Wage Increases for Workers to Address Inequality! What’s the Catch?

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08.30 Canada government suspends scientist for folk song about prime minister [5:47 video]

08.29 Paris prepares to rid its streets of cars for one day

08.29 A manifesto for conscious cities: should streets be sensitive to our mental needs?

08.29 'Nazi gold train': deathbed confession may have revealed location

08.28 Rx for Prosperity: German Companies See Refugees as Opportunity

08.28 Vietnam to free 18,200 prisoners in amnesty, but no political activists

08.28 Japanese police bracing for gang war as Yamaguchi-gumi mafia group splits

08.28 Migrant crisis: up to 200 dead after boat carrying refugees sinks off Libya

08.28 Hungarian police arrest driver of lorry that had 71 bodies inside

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  The best defense is a good offense, so VOTE!
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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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