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Health Care & Environment

04.18 Litigation Instead Of Leadership

04.18 4 surprising reasons why clean energy is gaining on fossil fuels

04.18 Sustainable development must prioritise women's sexual health

04.18 Price on carbon key to Canada tackling global warming, say researchers

04.18 Circular economy could bring 70 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030

04.17 Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we are closer than ever to catastrophe

04.17 Supreme Court hears call to force UK government to meet air quality laws

04.17 Mary Robinson: Developing nations must move rapidly beyond fossil fuels

04.17 Paraguay activists ensure government's oil ambitions will be no walk in the park

04.16 Milk teeth of Irish famine's youngest victims reveal secrets of malnutrition

04.15 Alzheimer's study finds possible cause of disease

04.15 The $5 Billion Race to Build a Better Battery

News Media

Daily FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & Culture

04.18 “The Ron Paul of the left”: Why Bernie Sanders is the cranky socialist 2016 needs

04.18 Texas lawmakers poised to allow the open carrying of handguns

04.17 Martin O'Malley takes shot at Clinton over gay marriage and immigration

04.16 We Don’t Need Another Permanent Tax Cut For Millionaires And Billionaires [chart]

04.16 The Retro Future

04.16 John Oliver: The IRS [18:26 HBO video]

04.16 State Income Tax Brackets Charted [info graphic]

04.16 Among developed nations, Americans’ tax bills are below average [info graphic]

04.16 Do Federal Taxes Reduce Income Inequality? [3:06 Vox video]

04.16 1.4% Price Rise to Pay Wal-Mart Employees A Living Wage Gets Them Off Food Stamps, Saving Taxpayers $13 Billion Per Year [2:02 video]

04.16 Hillary Clinton evolves on gay marriage, just in time for presidential campaign

Justice Matters

04.17 Republicans show support for criminal justice reform in rare bipartisan push

04.16 World Bank breaks its own rules as 3.4 million people are forced off their land

04.16 General Motors protected from faulty ignition-switch lawsuits, judge rules

04.15 The Myth of Police Reform

High Crimes?

04.15 Turkey cannot accept Armenian genocide label, says Erdogan [Armenians must have killed and buried themselves!]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

04.18 Supply-Side Doom in Kansas

04.17 Elizabeth Warren Throws Down Gauntlet, Calls for Genuine Financial Reform [36:48 video, she begins @ 2:51]

04.17 Chris Christie: New Jersey Pension Launches Probe Of Fees to Wall Street

04.17 World Water Forum needs to be more than just a trade show for privatisation

04.16 Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?

International

04.18 We need a new Jubilee campaign to achieve equality and sustainability

04.18 The truth about property developers: how they are exploiting planning authorities and ruining our cities

04.18 Rotterdam plans a wind turbine you can live in

04.18 Here’s a bold plan, Ed Miliband – it worked for Roosevelt

04.18 Cuba has shown us that sanctions don’t work – so why keep using them?

04.17 The Vietnam War, as Seen by the Victors

04.17 Xenophobia in South Africa: 'They beat my husband with sticks and took everything'

04.16 Finland after the boom: 'Not as bad as Greece, yet, but it's only matter of time'

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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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