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Health Care & Environment

07.29 Baltimore City Council Moves to Endorse Statewide Fracking Ban [Water is too precious to risk]

07.29 Tony Abbott wrong on coal being ‘good for humanity’, Oxfam report finds

07.28 A RENEGADE TRAWLER, HUNTED FOR 10,000 MILES BY VIGILANTES

07.28 Gaius Publius: One Way to Ease the Worldwide Water Crisis — End Privatization

07.28 UK authorities 'lack resources' to investigate Trafigura over toxic waste

07.28 Hillary Clinton’s Plan To Combat Climate Change With Half-A-Billion Solar Panels

07.28 James Hansen Spells Out Climate Danger Of The ‘Hyper-Anthropocene’ Age

07.27 ETS would be more cost-effective than higher renewables target, analyst says

07.27 Alaskan villages imperiled by global warming need resources to relocate

News Media

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.29 Members of Congress put the onus on gun dealers to enforce safety laws

07.29 Fetal Tissue From Abortions for Research Is Traded in a Gray Zone [The Republicans war against science continues]

07.29 The 7 biggest myths about abortion

07.29 Watch Amy Schumer tackle Bill Cosby and rape culture in 120 brilliant and hilarious seconds [2:01 video]

07.29 Sarah Palin’s despicable Planned Parenthood logic: Support the Confederate flag, eliminate life-saving medical services

07.29 Peter Kiernan, a former senior partner at Goldman Sachs, discusses the middle class and his new book, "American Mojo." [20:55 video]

07.28 History and the Iran Debate: Sides and Arguments Line Up

07.28 Is the Democratic Party Abandoning Jefferson and Jackson?

07.28 The Guardian view on Donald Trump’s early lead in the race for the Republican nomination

07.27 Socialism, American-Style [Bernie Sanders wants more efficient or profitable public programs to make the U.S. competitive again]

07.27 Hillary Clinton aides' Wall Street links raise economic policy doubts

07.27 Rand Paul pushes to defund Planned Parenthood as group cites 'smear' effort

07.27 Rick Perry calls for more guns in cinemas following Lafayette shooting

Justice Matters

07.27 35 women accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault told their stories to New York Magazine

07.27 Fiat Chrysler Faces Record $105 Million Fine for Safety Issues

High Crimes?

07.29 Dentist who killed Cecil the lion faces calls for prosecution [An immoral man]

07.28 Thailand dismisses US criticism over human trafficking and slavery

Economics, Crony Capitalism

07.27 Greece rocked by reports of secret plan to raid banks for drachma return

07.27 How the Euro Turned Into a Trap [If loans are denominated in euros and dollars how would using and devaluing the drachma help?]

07.26 Puerto Rico debt crisis: austerity for residents, but tax breaks for hedge funds [another government by and for the rich, paid for by the poor]

International

07.29 Obama Takes on Entrenched African Power Structures in Speech [1:49 video]

07.28 Huckabee defends claim that Iran deal will 'march Israelis to oven door'

07.28 Goals Diverge and Perils Remain as U.S. and Turkey Take on ISIS

07.28 What’s behind Beijing’s drive to control the South China Sea? [long read]

07.27 In An Effort To Save The African Elephant, Obama Proposes Ban On Almost All U.S. Ivory Sales

07.27 Is the Ugly German Back? Flames of Hate Haunt a Nation

07.27 Who’d be young and Greek? Searching for a future after the debt crisis

07.27 Turkey agrees plan for 'Isis-free zone' along Syrian border

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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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