The more votes cast and the larger the margin of victory in any race, the harder it is to manipulate outcomes. Vote and encourage others to vote. Vote as a way to honor those who struggled for the right to vote. We must not abandon our legacy.
We are still in serious trouble. Most of the dangers from 2004 and 2006 are still in place. Some progress has been made but there are not nearly enough of us working on these issues. Many of our elected officials have benefitted from the system and are reluctant to effect real change. The involvement of every person who becomes aware of the situation is needed.
We don’t know the answer. We do know that we must raise our voices and demand accountability. Call them. Write to them. Make appointments to see them.
Write letters to newspapers and send copies to our elected officials, boards of elections, City or Town Clerks and Secretaries of State. They need to hear our concerns--and give us answers about what they are doing. They work for us. You can find contact information for public officials, newspapers, political parties and more by going to Project Vote Smart and selecting your state.
The media also needs to hear from us; especially those we think are the ‘liberal media.’ They sometimes report on overt disenfranchisement, but not the hidden, covert, computerized fraud. We need to write and call them. “Why don’t you know about this? If you know, why aren’t you reporting it? The public needs to know.”
We need to demand citizen participation and observation. The gold standard is hand-counting paper ballots, at least for the federal races (President, U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senator) on Election Night at the precinct level. We need:
1. Voter-marked paper ballots;
2. Ballots counted by hand. While this is an ideal method, currently most paper ballots are counted by optical scanners. Where ballots are counted electronically, we also need election-night verification or audits with 99% statistical confidence level that outcomes are correct;
3. Citizen observation of the ‘chain of custody’ of ballots and memory cards beginning Election Night and until the election is certified.
This website suggests a wide range of actions people can take between now and November that can make a real difference. Some are small and simple, others more involved. There is something every one of us can do. Many of us can take several actions. Browse the site for ideas, or go to Help Me Choose An Action. We recommend that you start by verifying that you, your family, friends, and co-workers are registered to vote.
Some of the action items listed on the website are designed to prevent problems with this year's election, while others are designed to detect, document and respond to problems. Wherever possible, choose actions first that may prevent problems. What is most important varies with where you are and possibly even whether you can travel for Election Day. Important: on Election Day, if it is legal in your state, take your camera, especially a video camera, to the polls with you and videotape everything (except people’s secret ballot selections!). Videos are valuable in resolving disputes later about what happened.
It is critical this year to run Citizen Exit Polls (Election Verification Polling) to validate announced outcomes or flag them as needing investigation. Several thousand volunteers are needed in key states. We urge you to read more and sign up. To sign up by phone, call 510-233-2144.
Some things can be done as an individual, others require a group. See our links page to find local groups or a national group you may wish to work with. Our Help Me Choose An Action page lists projects you can do alone or with friends, without an organized group.
Election integrity groups need financial assistance. They are struggling on small budgets while committed people volunteer hundreds and thousands of hours. Many are listed on the website.
We cannot afford to ‘roll over’ again in 2008. Sign up now for action alerts. We must demand immediate investigations. Contingency plans for protests are underway now.
Many of us grew up believing that America was truly a democracy and that our government or our party would bring us honest elections. As the narrator says at the end of the film, “It‘s time to wake up…And together we can take our country back.” WE need to take action. WE need to hold our elected officials and our media accountable. We all need to get busy.
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