More on Alaska’s ‘Puzzling’ Election Results.

8 11 2008

The Anchorage Daily News has now gotten on the bandwagon casting a critical eye on Alaska’s “puzzling” voter turnout.

Did a huge chunk of Alaska voters really stay home for what was likely the most exciting election in a generation?

That’s what turnout numbers are suggesting, though absentee ballots are still arriving in the mail and, if coming from overseas, have until Nov. 19 to straggle in.

The reported turnout has prompted commentary in the progressive blogosphere questioning the validity of the results. And Anchorage pollster Ivan Moore, who usually works with Democrats, said Friday that “something smells fishy,” though he said it was premature to suggest that the conduct of the election itself was suspect.

With 81,000 uncounted absentee and questioned ballots, some of which will be disqualified, the total vote cast so far is 305,281 — 8,311 fewer than the last presidential election of 2004, which saw the largest turnout in Alaska history. That was the election where Alaska’s selection of George Bush for a second term was a foregone conclusion, though there was an unusually hot Senate race between Sen. Lisa Murkowski and former Gov. Tony Knowles.

Four years later, the lead-in for the 2008 election was extraordinary:

• Unheard of participation in the Democratic caucuses and strong Republican interest in theirs as well.

• A huge registration drive by Democrats and supporters of Barack Obama that enrolled thousands of first-time voters.

• Obama’s historic candidacy.

• Gov. Sarah Palin’s unprecedented bid for vice president as an Alaskan and a woman.

• A race in which Republican Ted Stevens, a 40-year Senate veteran, was facing voters as a recent convicted felon against Anchorage’s popular mayor, Mark Begich, a Democrat.

• A Congressional race in which Republican Don Young, in office almost as long as Stevens, was seeking re-election after a year in which he spent more than $1 million in legal fees defending against an FBI investigation of corruption involving the oil-field services company Veco Corp. Young’s opponent, Democrat Ethan Berkowitz, had been filmed on the state House floor in 2006 demanding an end to Veco’s corrupt practices weeks before the FBI investigation became known. The news clip played over and over as legislators and then Stevens were indicted and convicted, boosting Berkowitz’s status.

 

 

The full article, including reactions from pollsters, the Democratic and Republican parties, the Division of Elections, and progressive blogger, Shannyn Moore.

The fact that this is on the radar of all those mentioned above is a very good thing.  After the last eight years, it’s become more and more difficult for those ‘puzzling’ election anomalies to slip under the radar.  Mark Begich himself set up a legal team to monitor the vote counting to make sure every vote is counted.

So on it goes.  The election in Alaska is not over yet.

 

 





Steal Back Your Vote. Tomorrow is E-Day!

3 11 2008

Most progressives are feeling reasonably confident going in to this election.  The latest numbers show Obama leading in the national numbers by 7 points and in the electoral college by a fairly wide margin.  The mood is good.  But the mood was good in 2000, and it was even better in 2004.  Remember when those early exit polls had us all convinced that we were about to elect President Kerry?  And yet, we ended up with another four years of an administration that many would argue was not legally supposed to be there in the first place.

In the last presidential election over 3 million votes were cast and NEVER COUNTED.  The next president, senator or congressperson may not be chosen by counting the votes, but by blocking the voters.

Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., are on the case.  Check out the  Steal Back Your Vote website.  Learn about six ways your vote can be stolen, and seven ways you can steal it back!  They’ve put together a fun comic book that shows how to deal with problems in the polling place.  The comic book is non-partisan, so you can take it into the polling place.  Pass it on to someone else in line when you’re done, or print multiple copies for those waiting.

Are you feeling a little stealthy, Mudflatters?  Black Box Voting has some great suggestions about what you can do to expose election fraud.  Most poll locations in the US require that the paper printouts from voting machines be posted on the door of the polling place after the polls close.  If you go to the polling place and video these original tapes as they hang on the door, you capture the “official” numbers as they should be recorded. 

These votes goes through several sets of hands before the results are released to the public.  Sometimes those final numbers don’t match the ones coming out of the polling place….go figure. But, if you’ve got those original numbers on video, you can upload them to the “Video Your Vote” site and get it on the record!   Then, if there are problems, you’ve documented them and put them in the proper hands.  Here’s a video that shows the process.





The Dangerous Fantasy of ACORN and “Vote Fraud”

18 10 2008

The Democrats know it.  The Republicans know it.  If there is a high voter turnout this election, the Republicans will lose.  Let me rephrase….If there is a high voter turnout, AND all the votes are counted properly, the Republicans will lose.  This shouldn’t be making anyone planning to cast a vote against the Republican ticket feel better.

I’ve been working on a post that elegantly ties in the escalating attacks on ACORN, vote fraud vs. election fraud, the U.S. Attorney firings, David Iglesias, the massive coordinated effort between the Bush administration, the RNC, and the McCain-Palin campaign to suppress voter turnout, and their attempt to create a monster under the bed, named “vote fraud” as their last attempt to steal this election.  It culminated by citing McCain’s over-the-top reference at the last presidential debate to the fact that ACORN and vote fraud was “a threat to the fabric of our democracy.”

Then I watched Countdown with Keith Olbermann… (I throw a metaphorical pile of papers in the air).  He said everything I wanted to say, and more.  So, here’s what I wouldhave said if I had a paid staff, a TV camera, and the on-air presence of Keith Olbermann.

I had the privilege of sitting in on a conference call with Robert Bauer, Counsel for Obama for America on Friday.  The situation, I think,  is in good hands.  And the very fact that this strategy, that we’ve seen before, was anticipated, and is not going unchallenged is a very very good thing.  Attached is a copy of the letter sent by Bauer to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey.  But, this shouldn’t make anyone planning to cast a vote against the Republican ticket feel better either.  letter-to-mukasey2

The general public, while feeling a bit isolated and distant from the inner workings of the Justice Department, is wondering what to do.  If there is one thing we have learned from this election cycle is that the following progression applies, when the information is correct, and if people think the issue is important enough.  (Imagine a set of falling dominoes)   Information > individual person > blog > bigger blog > every blog > readers pressure media for coverage > media reads blogs and gets lots and lots of email and phone calls> media covers issue > issue percolates into national awareness.  Also not to be underestimated is the nice low-tech letter to the editor.

It is the responsibility of American citizens to hold their media accountable.  We have no revered avuncular anchorman anymore to tell a generation of Americans a story that we can believe to be more or less correct.  I don’t think we ever did.  But now, in the age of instant dissemenation of knowledge, we are beginning to realize it.  

So, we watch the crowds of frantic Republicans screaming “VOTE FRAUD!!!” as they tear their hair and run around in circles, trying to convince us that somewhere out there thousands of voters will risk committing a felony, and attempt to cast their ballots under the name “Mickey Mouse” to destroy America.  And we watch, amazed,  Americans beginning to believe it.

So if this issue is important, and if Americans who are actually paying attention want the rest of America to realize that the thing that is being stolen is their fundamental right as Americans – their right to vote – then it’s up to them to take the next step, and pressure the media to start reporting on the real story of election fraud.

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Obama Campaign Files Suit Over Voter Suppression

18 09 2008

Disturbing allegations of new “caging” techniques being implemented by the Republican party have surfaced in Michigan. The Republican Party Chairman in Macomb County, Michigan, (a swing county in a swing state) is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes as a resource to block voters in the upcoming election. Lose you home, lose your vote. And, yes, most of the foreclosed homes in Michigan affect African-American families. The use of these lists is an attempt to challenge that these voters are “true residents” of the state, a requirement to vote.

While this type of Republican tactic is far from surprising, what is surprising is that the Obama campaign is filing suit. They will seek an injunction to prevent the GOP from engaging in this type of voter suppression. Here’s the statement. The Obama campaign:

…seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to challenge the “lose your home, lose your vote” vote-suppression program adopted by the Macomb County Republican Party, in concert with the Michigan Republican Party and the Republican National Committee, as well as unnamed Defendants who will implement the scheme at polling places in Macomb County and throughout the state. This “lose your home, lose your vote” program is part of a broader scheme – misnamed an “election integrity” program – to harass voters and suppress the vote throughout the State of Michigan in the upcoming election on November 4.

Despite the fact that thousands of Michigan voters’ homes have been foreclosed, many residents are still living in them, but will nonetheless be disenfranchised, if the Republican party has its way. The good news here is that the Obama campaign is being proactive. Democrats (and the country) are still suffering from the fallout of the elections of 2000 and 2004. They’ve been burned once…twice… and are positively bristling with a “never again” attitude that will serve them well.

Seeing Obama taking a strong stand on these policies which he refers to as a “national and systematic program” is a good thing. They are taking it seriously. As much as we don’t want to imagine the scenario, Obama needs to be ready to legally challenge the vote in November if the signs of vote tampering/voter fraud rear their ugly heads. They can’t ‘blink’. (I humbly apologize for the use of that analogy)

Many of the same suspect voting machines that were in play in the last two elections still exist. There has been no significant vote reform and there’s nothing we can do about that at this point. What we can do is be the eyes and ears at the polling places.

The election watchdog group Black Box Voting, has sent out the following request. If you are not familiar with this group, you should be. The website is extensive, and there’s also a great documentary Hacking Democracy (available on Netflix) which tells the story of this organization and the amazing woman who started it all. This is possibly the single most important issue facing our country, because without preserving the integrity of the vote, we have nothing.

They also have a downloadable Tool Kit for the upcoming election on the website.

So do what you can. If you’re a blogger, post this. If you’re a tech, read below and get a job. Engaged citizen? Go to the website to learn more. Download a tool kit. Be prepared and know what to look for at your polling place.

It happens everywhere. In 2004 there were districts in Alaska that reported a voter turnout of more than 200%. I like to think we’re politically engaged, but not to the point that every registered voter makes it to the polls twice. These issues have still not been resolved. And who is heading up the division of Elections for the upcoming vote in 2008? Sarah Palin’s Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell.

***************************************************************

Widest possible distribution needed. Please do spread this in blogs, etc:http://www.votersunite.org/info/ReclaimElections.pdf

This post will no doubt produce howls of objection for the vendors that read it. Black Box Voting is encouraging all individuals with a technical background to search and apply for temporary tech ELECTION SUPPORT jobs for the November 2008 election.

Hiring is underway for temporary technicians to help with voting machines this fall. Vendor dependence is undermining the structure of US elections, as described here in the new report by VotersUnite.org:

We want to see You, the People, enter into the vendor mix directly.http://www.blackboxvoting.org/toolkit2008.pdf

HOW TO FIND TEMPORARY ELECTION TECH POSITIONS:

In a presidential election year, voting machine vendors will hire and train thousands of technicians staffed around the country. For example, anywhere that Election Systems & Software has a machine, they are under contract to provide an on-site support tech. Hart Intercivic, Premier (Diebold), and Sequoia also use Election Day support technicians.

Temporary election tech support jobs have been spotted on hotjobs.com, rollouts.com, and local tech temp firms like (in 2006) DecisionOne. The tech services firm may be a subcontractor for the big four voting machine companies. Sometimes you’ll find the positions advertised by your local county.

Sites like Rollouts.com have you register in their E-tech database. They search for techs based on skill set and area. There isn’t much in the way of a skill set needed for the election projects.

QUIETLY APPLY FOR THE JOBS

Anyone with tech skills interested in safeguarding the November election is encouraged to register at technical recruiting sites and apply for any election-related projects.

CONSIDER ASKING FOR TIME OFF ON YOUR FULL TIME JOB TO DO THIS. This November, there may be no better way to watch the behind-the-scenes process than to be a stagehand, so to speak.

It is not the vendor, and not the government, that has the right to elections information, it is the PUBLIC. Citizens have inalienable rights to sovereignty over the government they created and pay for. These rights cannot be honored without mechanisms to see all information related to elections, and ultimately, to have control processes that honor citizen sovereignty.

That said, it ain’t gonna happen this November. Therefore it is entirely appropriate, patriotic, and important, for citizens to apply for temporary positions as voting machine technicians to provide inside public oversight for the process.

There will be nondisclosure agreements, which are not appropriate at all for public elections, but it’s a reality now that vendors are trespassing on citizen right to know. There may be issues that arise which the public clearly has a right to know. When that happens, a decision must be made.

YOU WON’T BE THE FIRST

We have already been in communications with other patriotic volunteers who have successfully obtained these positions in the past, and are doing this for November.

THERE ARE ALWAYS WAYS TO DEAL WITH IMPORTANT ISSUES IF THEY ENDANGER THE PUBLIC GOOD. You, the People, are needed on the inside of the elections industry this November.

This is a public service bulletin from Black Box Voting.

Black Box Voting Tool Kit 2008 – free download here:

Empower more election watchdog actions:
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/donate.html
Black Box Voting
330 SW 43rd St Suite K
PMB 547
Renton WA 98057





Patriotic Techs – All Hands On Deck!!

24 08 2008

The election watchdog group Black Box Voting, has sent out the following request.  If you are not familiar with this group, you should be.  The website is extensive, and there’s also a great documentary Hacking Democracy  (available on Netflix) which tells the story of this organization and the amazing woman who started it all.  This is possibly the single most important issue facing our country, because without preserving the integrity of the vote, we have nothing

They also have a downloadable Tool Kit for the upcoming election on the website.

So do what you can.  If you’re a blogger, post this.  If you’re a tech, read below to see what you can do.  Engaged citizen?  Go to the website to learn more.  Download a tool kit.  Be prepared and know what to look for at your polling place.  Keep your power and take back the vote.

Widest possible distribution needed. Please do spread this in blogs, etc:http://www.votersunite.org/info/ReclaimElections.pdf

This post will no doubt produce howls of objection for the vendors that read it. Black Box Voting is encouraging all individuals with a technical background to search and apply for temporary tech ELECTION SUPPORT jobs for the November 2008 election.

Hiring is underway for temporary technicians to help with voting machines this fall. Vendor dependence is undermining the structure of US elections, as described here in the new report by VotersUnite.org:

 

We want to see You, the People, enter into the vendor mix directly.http://www.blackboxvoting.org/toolkit2008.pdf

HOW TO FIND TEMPORARY ELECTION TECH POSITIONS:

In a presidential election year, voting machine vendors will hire and train thousands of technicians staffed around the country. For example, anywhere that Election Systems & Software has a machine, they are under contract to provide an on-site support tech. Hart Intercivic, Premier (Diebold), and Sequoia also use Election Day support technicians.

Temporary election tech support jobs have been spotted on hotjobs.com, rollouts.com, and local tech temp firms like (in 2006) DecisionOne. The tech services firm may be a subcontractor for the big four voting machine companies. Sometimes you’ll find the positions advertised by your local county.

Sites like Rollouts.com have you register in their E-tech database. They search for techs based on skill set and area. There isn’t much in the way of a skill set needed for the election projects.

QUIETLY APPLY FOR THE JOBS

Anyone with tech skills interested in safeguarding the November election is encouraged to register at technical recruiting sites and apply for any election-related projects.

CONSIDER ASKING FOR TIME OFF ON YOUR FULL TIME JOB TO DO THIS.  This November, there may be no better way to watch the behind-the-scenes process than to be a stagehand, so to speak.

It is not the vendor, and not the government, that has the right to elections information, it is the PUBLIC. Citizens have inalienable rights to sovereignty over the government they created and pay for. These rights cannot be honored without mechanisms to see all information related to elections, and ultimately, to have control processes that honor citizen sovereignty.

That said, it ain’t gonna happen this November. Therefore it is entirely appropriate, patriotic, and important, for citizens to apply for temporary positions as voting machine technicians to provide inside public oversight for the process.

There will be nondisclosure agreements, which are not appropriate at all for public elections, but it’s a reality now that vendors are trespassing on citizen right to know. There may be issues that arise which the public clearly has a right to know. When that happens, a decision must be made.

YOU WON’T BE THE FIRST

We have already been in communications with other patriotic volunteers who have successfully obtained these positions in the past, and are doing this for November.

THERE ARE ALWAYS WAYS TO DEAL WITH IMPORTANT ISSUES IF THEY ENDANGER THE PUBLIC GOOD. You, the People, are needed on the inside of the elections industry this November.

This is a public service bulletin from Black Box Voting.

Black Box Voting Tool Kit 2008 – free download here:

Empower more election watchdog actions:
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/donate.html
Black Box Voting
330 SW 43rd St Suite K
PMB 547
Renton WA 98057