Computerized voting and vote-counting undermine democracy — citizen oversight of elections requires ordinary, non-technical citizens to be able to observe, understand, and attest that voting and vote-counting are proper and honest.
If HAVA had banned election observers, people would have objected. But HAVA merely offered $3 billion to replace older, observable systems with “modern” computerized systems that prevent all meaningful observation, and got away with it.
It’s easy to “explain away” election irregularities caused by electronic voting –just call them a “glitch” and then no one is responsible.
Short and Simple
Government behind closed doors is easily corrupted. For this reason, election administration needs to be conducted openly. Honest elections can occur only if citizens participate in, and observe, all preparation and procedures before an election, as well as all procedures and election materials (votes, ballots, poll books) during and after the election.
What’s the problem with computers in elections? They prevent observation. Voters cannot observe their own votes inside an electronic voting machine (the touchscreen display and the paper trail cannot guarantee that the votes inside the electronic memory are correct). No observers can witness how the votes are handled, counted, or tabulated.
Fraudo, the Fraudulent Voting Machine
The blue display below is a teaching demonstration called Fraudo, the Fraudulent Voting Machine. Please use it to run some elections, and then read the explanation below it.
The demo starts by asking you to choose a “machine test” or “real election.” Machine tests give accurate final tallies, but real elections might not! This is because, in a real election, one particular candidate is programmed to win.
Is it realistic to demonstrate a program that works two different ways? Yes! If you read the news you know that evoting systems are tested with one set of programming, but then real elections are conducted with a different set of programming. And many vendors install “patches” — more different programming — just before an election.
In Fraudo’s elections, the two candidates are John Doe and Mary Smith. Mary Smith wins all the “real elections” if any votes are cast. To see how authentic fraud can look, run a real election and enter more votes for John Doe, or give both candidates the same number of votes.
If you ran a “real election” and gave more votes to John Doe, you saw Fraudo reverse the tallies (Mary Smith got the votes intended for John Doe, and vice versa). If you gave the same number of votes to both candidates, you saw one vote subtracted from John Doe and added to Mary Smith. However, an election administrator would be 100% within their rights to say that these elections were perfect and that they saw no errors. This is because, when votes are concealed within a computer, election personnel can check only one thing — is the number of voters the same as the number of ballots?
How did YOU know the ballots and final tallies were wrong? You saw ALL the votes being cast. In real-life elections, each voter has a secret ballot (the purpose of the secret ballot is to prevent vote-selling and coercion). In real-life elections, no single person is able to watch all the votes being cast.
Innocent Mistakes vs. Malicious Tampering
If mistakes are innocent, that doesn’t “make it OK” that election results are wrong. We need to use procedures and equipment in elections that allow innocent mistakes as well as malicious tampering to be easily noticed and corrected. Computers should not be used in elections because, with computers, many mistakes and most fraud are impossible to detect and correct.
Elections are the basis of our democracy, our “government of, by, and for the people.” Elections are the mechanism by which we choose officials to whom we give power to legislate, interpret and enforce our laws. If our votes are switched by computers, and the vote tallies are wrong, and candidates whom we did not choose are declared to be winners, our democracy is destroyed. This is why we must avoid using election procedures and equipment that are too vulnerable to innocent mistakes and malicious tampering, whether by election insiders or outside hackers.
Election administrators and other officials who have selected unsuitable voting machines and tabulators are not “innocent.” They are responsible for their choices and for the mistakes made by this equipment. Saying “it was a computer glitch” does not make everything OK.
History of a Scam: The Big Introduction of DREs
Voting equipment became big news in the 2000 presidential election when Florida’s punch-card ballots weren’t punched right. Within weeks, “experts” declared that America might need to spend $3.5 billion to $9.5 billion to replace older voting technologies with new computerized voting equipment. Even when defective, however, punch-card ballots could still be read and the votes counted without difficulty. Dan Rather produced evidence in 2007 that Sequoia, the company that made the defective punch-card ballots, had intentionally used defective paper and printing methods–but no governmental body has taken follow-up action.
Since 2000 America has seen many “crises” that resulted in hasty, ill-advised and expensive action by Congress. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) is one example. HAVA authorized expenditures of $3.86 billion so states could buy new computerized voting equipment and also replace paper-based, local voter registration systems with new computerized voter registration systems that are centralized at the state level. The changes HAVA encouraged and required have caused chaos in American elections, including obviously-wrong election results and easily-accomplished illegal “purges” of valid voter registrations .
What is a DRE?
Many states used HAVA funds to buy “Direct Recording Electronic” voting systems, called DREs or touchscreens. In the November, 2004, election, an estimated 25-30 percent of American voters cast their ballots on DREs.
DREs typically resemble Personal Computers and are often made from slightly-altered PCs. The big difference is that a person interacts with a DRE via a touch-screen and a few buttons on the front of the computer, instead of a keyboard and mouse.
Some people say DREs resemble ATMs, but the resemblance is only in appearance. Transactions made on ATMs are audited (verified) typically three to five times, but still ATM fraud is common. A Google search on “ATM fraud” brings up hundreds of thousands of reports. Unlike ATMs, the original DREs were designed so that no audit (verification of accuracy) was possible. In other words, these DREs were designed to prevent anyone from determining whether or not the DRE was working accurately. This alone should have been enough to alert everyone that a scam was intended.
Vendors said that everyone should “trust the computer” because DREs were “tested” in secret ways by private testing companies paid by the vendors. Moreover, ad hoc organizations then gave “certification” to machines that had passed this secret testing process.
Grassroots Beginnings of the Election Integrity Movement
Many individual Americans recognized DREs and their “certification” setup as a scam, and created the Election Integrity movement active today. For example, see the rest of this web site as well as www.VotersUnite.org and www.BlackBoxVoting.org.
Why didn’t our national good government groups recognize the scam, however, and lead these efforts? For example:
1. As of 2008, the ACLU still supports the use of DREs.
2. The League of Women Voters of the US ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4) adopted its “SARA” test (Secure, Accurate, Recountable, Accessible) in 2004 and furiously insisted that “recountable” was not a code word for a paper trail. In other words, the leadership at that time accepted a DRE reprint of the tally report as a recount. The LWVUS adopted a resolution in support for paper trails in 2006.
3. Common Cause and People for the American Way supported use of paperless, unauditable DREs until March, 2004.
4. Organizations such as AAPD (American Association of People with Disabilities) accepted funding from vendors of electronic voting and fought against voting equipment that was verifiable by claiming that persons with disabilities would not be able to use it, despite evidence to the contrary, as well as disabled voters’ interest in participating in honest elections.
And why didn’t our public officials recognize such an obvious scam? Many election officials went so far as to claim that voters “liked” DREs, but as early as September, 2004, 42% of voters said they didn’t trust them.
1. Deliver the Vote: A History of Election Fraud, an American Political Tradition-1742-2004 by Tracy Campbell offers evidence that cheating by local bosses has been tolerated in American elections for hundreds of years. If a boss controlled enough election-day workers, cops, judges, etc., to cheat effectively, that has been accepted as an alternative to obtaining the majority of votes.
This view is supported by evaluation of the election laws of many states that establish requirements without enforcement or penalties, limit citizens’ access to participate and observe preparation for elections (when the infrastructure for cheating would be put into place), limit or prohibit citizens’ access to participate and observe procedures and election materials on election day and afterward, and provide no meaningful remedies when lawlessness occurs.
2. The Powell Memo, written for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1971, laid out a plan by which business could become more prominent in America. (Here is an easily-readable copy.) Implementation of Powell’s suggestions is described in “The Revolt of the Bosses” in Gangs of America, The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy by Ted Nace.
Thom Harmann’s Unequal Protection, The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights traces the conflict between democracy and corporations in America since before the founding of our nation (Boston Tea Party, remember?). The conflict is not new. The Powell memo, however, marked the beginning of a new approach to corporate organizing efforts.
3. “Diebold, Electronic Voting and the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” by Bob Fitrakis details the history of the companies that make electronic voting systems, and should be evaluated in light of the Powell memo.
This history suggests several things:
1. The idea that someone could cheat with electronic voting equipment was not a red flag because cheating was an accepted part of American elections.
2. Corporate efforts to influence or contol our government began to be organized in a new way in the 1970s. The main objective of this effort appears to be to make America a more fertile field in which to make money. However, right-wing “Christian” money and ideologies are involved, so other objectives could lie below the surface.
3. By the time HAVA passed, individuals who would support electronic voting and turn a blind eye to its dangers were already in positions of authority in government and good government groups.
Use of DREs Changes the Kind of Cheating That Can Take Place.
1. Local bosses lose control. Computerized voting consolidates control of elections nationwide in the hands of a small number of corporate vendors of electronic voting equipment:
Diebold (renamed “Premier” in 2007)
ES&S (Election Systems and Software)
2. Fraud becomes undetectable. Fraud with paper ballots (and other non-electronic methods of voting) has a long history, and is easily detected because the paper ballot is a tangible, visible document. It is easy to detect that a box or truckload of ballots has disappeared, or that a box of ballots is open or sealed with a piece of scotch tape instead of the legally mandated seal. Historically, corrupt judges have refused to allow ballot boxes to be opened, thus preventing evidence of cheating to be revealed. This history continues with computers but with a twist. First, electronic voting equipment is sold with contracts that prohibit the buyer from examining the software or allowing it to be examined by anyone. This means that even when there is an obvious irregularity, no one is legally allowed to examine the computerized voting or vote tabulating equipment. Second, as we said above, even if anyone were allowed to examine the equipment, cheating with a computer is difficult or impossible to detect, prove, or correct because computers can erase all records of what they have done.
DREs Compared to Computers in Other Professional Use
In other fields, computer systems achieve accuracy (sometimes called “security”) by being independently audited (verified) on a routine, continuous basis. “Auditing” is the word that will be used on this page to describe any procedure that enables one to prove that the results of normal computer operation are accurate, or to identify inaccuracies that need correction. Computer security requires more than “safety from hackers” because ordinary innocent errors cause most of the problems. Independent audits are a universally-accepted standard practice in every field where people want accurate record-keeping. Every legitimate computer system in business, industry, and government is audited on a routine, continuous basis.
The 2005 FBI Computer Crime Survey showed that 87% of computer installations had had “security incidents” in that one year alone. 64% of incidents resulted in the loss of money, which meant the incident was serious, not trivial. 44% of incidents resulted from insiders. There is no reason to expect computers used in elections to have a different set of statistics from the American average. Computer industry surveys have showed that 72% of computer projects never worked, but those were projects where system function was rigorously, continuously audited. Since DREs as originally designed did not allow anyone to determine whether they were working or not, the likelihood of them working was zero.
Audits of electronic voting systems would restore people’s ability to observe the accuracy of two things — whether votes were recorded accurately as the voter intended, and whether votes were accurately counted as cast. But what would it take to audit a DRE? And are American election administrators willing and able to audit computers that they use to record, cast, store, count, and tabulate votes?
Paper Trails, or VVPAT
The “paper trail” idea was intended to enable DREs to be used in elections. The paper trail has been called a “voter-verified paper audit trail” or VVPAT.
The VVPAT is a small computer printout of the voter’s choices for each contest on the ballot. The voter would check the printout for accuracy before casting his/her ballot. If the VVPAT was correct, it would go into a locked ballot box. If it was incorrect, the voter would go through some procedure and make the computer mark the old VVPAT as void, and then print a new VVPAT. The verification idea assumes that voters would be able to accurately verify their VVPAT.
After the election, votes recorded on the VVPAT would be “hand-to-eye” counted to determine tallies. The law would have to recognize the VVPAT as the legal ballot. In effect, the DRE would be treated as a big, expensive pencil for creating a paper ballot.
When each voter verified that his/her VVPAT–a permanent, unalterable paper ballot–was correct, this would restore public oversight of vote recording. (The votes would be recorded inside computer memory also, but anything in computer memory can be lost or changed. In fact, computers used in elections have lost hundreds of ballots, and voters have actually seen their votes switched to other candidates on the computer screen many times.)
After the election, when all the votes on VVPAT were “hand-to-eye” counted in full public view, this would restore public oversight of vote counting. The computer’s vote tallies could be used to verify that the count of votes on VVPAT were correct.
What if the VVPAT and computer tallies were different? Then a “reconciliation” would have to be done. That means an investigation to show why there are differences — mistakes and/or fraud by humans and/or computers.
The comparison of “hand-to-eye” VVPAT tallies and computer tallies (and reconciliation if needed) would have to show that each tally was 100% accurate. This is because, as a Yale study showed, if the machines used in an election cause only a single vote per machine to be switched from one candidate to another, many election outcomes can be changed.
Why the Paper Trail Idea Failed
The printing of VVPATs, by itself, does not create election integrity. In the real world the VVPAT idea failed for three reasons:
1. VVPAT printing needs to be visible and readable, but isn’t. In spite of the fact that printing technology has been perfected over the past 100 years, examination of the VVPAT in a small Ohio “audit” in 2007 revealed that 20% were unreadable. There are many reports of unreadable, blank, and otherwise defective and unusable VVPAT.
2. Voters need to be able to verify the VVPAT accurately, but can’t. Studies have shown what every writer knows–the number of people who can accurately proofread is very small. For example, a study at Rice University revealed that over 60% of voters did not notice if the votes shown on the review screen were different than the choices they had selected. In another study, test voters found only 3 of 106 errors in the VVPAT.
3. Votes on the VVPAT have to be counted in a manner that enables observers to see and understand the counting procedure, sufficient to attest that the procedure is honest and the tallies are accurate, but there has never been a count of all the votes on VVPAT in any election. Election administrators nationwide have made clear that they will rely on their DREs’ tallies, regardless of whether there is a VVPAT. They do not have the mandate, interest, will, time after elections, funding, skill, or staffing to use the VVPAT to independently confirm that their DREs are working accurately. See Doug Lewis Testimony to House Administration Committee, March 20, 2007.
Voter-Marked Paper Ballots and Optical Scanner Vote-Counting Machines
Optical scanners have a much higher success rate than DREs and have many advantages over DREs. Voters directly mark their paper ballot, which means that there is an authentic and accurate record of the voters’ intent. Yet optical scanners are computers and subject to the same problems as all computers.
Tallies produced by optical scanners need to be audited to confirm that the scanner worked accurately and that the ballot programming was correct. Again, most Election Boards don’t want to audit. Citizen observers need to watch the entire chain of custody of the paper ballots to prevent tampering, but WheresThePaper is not aware of any Election Board that allows observation of election materials after the close of polls on election day.
Fraud and tampering with paper ballots has a long history, and this is a good thing. It shows that problems with paper ballots are detectable and preventable, unlike problems with the invisible electronic ballots inside DREs. But the process of ensuring honesty requires citizens to be involved, audits to be done, and observer access to watch voted ballots to be facilitated by election administrators and required by law, regulations, and local procedures.
If you support the use of voter-marked paper ballots and optical scanners, please become active in the efforts to
1. activate local citizens to participate in observation of elections,
2. change your state’s laws, regulations, and local procedures so meaningful audits are done
3. change your state’s laws, regulations, and local procedures to enable your election procedures to be appropriately observed by citizens.
Elections are about determining the “will of the people” and NOT about being modern or old-fashioned. Nevertheless some people say we should use computers in our elections because computers are modern. At the same time, the use of modern technology in the form of surveillance cameras to guard voted paper ballots has been almost universally ignored or condemned.
The Problem is Political
Even gas pumps print paper receipts! Yet, most DREs in use today cannot print a paper trail while the voter is in the voting booth to verify it.
In spite of years of warnings about the limitations of computers our federal government has refused to require computers used in elections be verifiable, and that verification audits be performed. Some state and local governments have required verifiability, but none have required routine verification audits of computer accuracy, or that the public be allowed to observe the continuous chain of custody of ballots and other election day materials.
Some vendors still say that their systems are “secure” because after an election is over, their systems can print complete marked ballots that have been stored in the computer’s memory, as well as log reports of the day’s events. But printouts made after an election is over can’t provide proof of accuracy — because voters are no longer present to confirm that the printouts are correct. (If this is not clear to you, please scroll up and run some more elections with Fraudo.) Unless voting system programmers are incompetent, end-of-day printouts should agree with a system’s final vote tallies–whether those tallies are correct or wrong. This is because end-of-day printouts would be created from the same electronic data in the computer’s memory, and that data can be correct or wrong.
At this time, no Election Board or legislature wants to require that computers used in elections be used according to professional computer standards. No law requires that routine, independent audits of any computerized election be performed. Legislation that requires VVPAT requires, at best, only spot-checks of the VVPAT from a small number of voting precincts. That is not an audit.
Why does our law hold our Election Boards to such low standards?
In many states, full recounts are triggered only by a “close election.” The concept of a “close election” is related to paper ballot or mechanical “lever” voting systems where fraud requires a lot of work by a large number of people in a large number of polling places or at the central count location. This goes back to the acceptance of fraud by local bosses if they control large numbers of election workers. With computerized fraud, in contrast, the idea of a “close election” is meaningless, because one person can falsify the results of every machine in an entire state in a matter of seconds and provide any margin of victory he/she wishes.
Courts have repeatedly looked at small errors in election tallies, such as a few hundred or thousand ballots lost or switched to the wrong candidate, and said that these irregularities don’t make any difference because “the election outcome would not be changed” by those ballots. Yet the Yale study showed that if an election is run with software that switches only a single vote per machine from one candidate to another, many election outcomes can be changed without having a close election.
What is tyranny? What is democracy?
History teaches us that whoever conducts an election and counts the votes can also control the outcome. Tyrants have long used the ritual of elections to give a facade of legitimacy to their governments, and have bragged about it–
Josef Stalin: “It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes!”
Anastasio Samoza: “You won the vote, but I won the count.”
Boss Tweed: “As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?”
DREs are computers that create invisible ballots, which are invisibly cast, and then invisibly stored, handled, counted, and tabulated. Optical scanners are computers that invisibly count votes. It is obvious that whoever makes these computers and programs the ballots for them would have control of the elections in which they are used. If this is not obvious to you, please scroll up and run some more elections with Fraudo.
Honest elections and avoiding fraud requires an openly-observed process. If all parties participate and observe, we have the greatest possibility that our election outcomes will express the will of the people.
In our November, 2008 election, most voters used unverifiable and/or unverified electronic systems. All states and counties prevented observers from observing the continuous chain of custody of ballots and other election materials, and the counting of votes. Were these unobserved and invisible procedures accurate?
Widespread charges of fraud are still circulating on the internet and more recently in the major media about our last four national elections.
Suspicions are reasonable, given the intentional use of unverifiable computerized election systems, especially after the problems with such systems have been widely publicized and dozens of studies have confirmed the unfortunate details.
Suspicions are realistic, given the widespread secrecy surrounding election operations in many counties and states. Secrecy suggests that something is being hidden. In many counties, tally sheets are not required to be posted in the precinct at the close of voting, ballots and precinct tally sheets are not guarded under multipartisan observation after the close of polls on election day, and counties have refused to comply with FOIL requests in an open and prompt manner.
When institutions hide what they do, it is reasonable to suspect that fraud is taking place. Public servants should be honest, and should avoid the appearance of dishonesty. This idea is not new.
When no evidence can support or refute charges of fraud, or resolve suspicions about our elections, this is chaos, not democracy. An election and a democratic government have only as much legitimacy as the open observation of its elections.
Elections are not a court of law where a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. Elections deal with a broader issue, the legitimacy and credibility of representative democratic government. Secrecy in the procedures of elections, especially in recording, casting, storing, counting and tabulating votes, is common when a system of tyranny poses as democracy by holding sham elections.
Election directors and Secretaries of State have responded to warnings about unverifiable computerized voting by saying “I will comply with legal requirements.” This reduces a democracy argument (democracy requires observation of elections) to a legal argument (the law doesn’t require observation).
William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, said (in 1682) that if the people are good, the government will be good. If the people are bad, no form of government will save them from their own evil. He meant that if those in power make laws that are just (tend toward equal opportunity, equal protection, and due process; allow observation and participation in governmental procedures and decisions), the people will thrive. If those in power make laws that are unjust, they can use the exact same governmental structures and rituals, such as elections, to support tyranny.
1. Computerized voting should not be used! Supporters of computerized voting claim that voters with disabilities or non-English languages need computerized voting. This is false. Computerized ballot-marking machines with assistive attachments can enable voters with disabilities or non-English languages to mark and verify paper ballots. All ballots, including absentee and provisional ballots, can be the same, thus simplifying the counting procedures. Counting can be done by hand and hand-counts can be verified by optical scanners.
2. If we are forced to use computers to record and count our votes, these computers should give us at least the same level of security (verified accuracy) and reliable ease-of-use that we get from computerized cash registers in our local supermarket. This means that Election Boards must perform the appropriate audits before multipartisan observers.
Also, it means that if the computers fail, voters and pollworkers should not be blamed. In the professional world, computer systems to be used by nontechnical people are designed to prevent and handle all problems that could occur. We now have years of experience with the failures of computerized voting systems, and these failures should not continue to be excused as “glitches.”
Instead, Election Boards must be held responsible for conducting elections with equipment that is unreliable and unsuitable. If an election worker “lost” hundreds of paper ballots, he or she would be held responsible. If an Election Director persists in using computer equipment that does the same thing, the Election Director should be held responsible and the election should be run again.
3. Computer accuracy is not “free” — it is achieved by continuous audits, reconciliations, and correction of errors. If this work is not done, the computer’s results should be assumed to be inaccurate. Computers only give us speed of processing; audits give us accuracy.
4. It is simpler, more accurate, and less costly to conduct an election using hand-marked, hand-counted paper ballots than to use a computer system and then audit the computer. Everyone understands the use of paper, but only a few people understand the use of computers and how to audit them.
5. Democracy is not “free” and no one will serve it to us on a silver platter. There is no “right” to election integrity, it is a result of citizen participation. If we are serious about our democracy, we must do much more than simply vote. We must participate in preparing for, running and observing our own elections.
6. The technology we use for voting should not arouse the massive outcry, controversy, and lack of voter confidence that electronic voting systems have generated. To ensure confidence in our elections we should not use unverifiable or unverified computers.
Avoid Computers in Elections – Better ways to vote
Let’s get rid of computers in elections. They prevent people from observing. Election Boards do not have the resources and expertise to manage them securely and verify the computers’ work.
We don’t need computers to run elections, we need people — not just to vote, but to do the work and observe — everything from registering voters and to the final certification of winners.
Paper Ballots. Studies show that elections conducted with hand-marked hand-counted paper ballots are the most accurate. National and provincial elections in Canada use hand-marked, hand-counted paper ballots, and Canadians expect (and get) precise counts of voters, votes, and ballots with no discrepancies.
Optical Scanners. If Americans find hand-counting too difficult or burdensome, optical scanners can be used (along with proper manual recounts to detect errors in the optical scanner programming). Optical scanners in the polling place (“precinct-count optical scanners”) can check paper ballots for correct marking. If a ballot is marked correctly, the optical scanner can count the votes and then drop the ballot into a sealed ballot box.
Proper security at the end of the election day means that a tally sheet printout from the optical scanner must be signed by the poll workers and posted publicly. Also each poll worker and observer must receive a duplicate signed printout. For each optical scanner, all ballots and another signed tally sheet printout must be stored together in a sealed bag so that recounts can be done scanner by scanner. The sealed bag of ballots and other records must be observed (guarded) at all times until the election is certified. Observers must include representatives from every party or candidate campaign or issue campaign. The contents of each bag of ballots from each optical scanner should not be mixed with the contents of any other bag.
Accessibility. Federal law now requires one accessible device per polling place so that voters with disabilities can enjoy a private and independent voting experience. An accessible computerized ballot-marking machine can enable such voters to mark their paper ballots. Accessible computerized ballot-printing machines are also available.
Mechanical Lever Machines are old and many have not been maintained well. If they are repaired, they can continue to serve most voters. Voters with disabilities who cannot use the lever machines would have to use an accessible ballot-marking or ballot-printing device.
Punch Card Ballots have been discredited in the media, but when the ballot is designed clearly (as it should be) and when the mechanisms for holding and punching the card are working properly (as they should be), punch cards have one big advantage over computerized voting — a human being can examine the punch card and determine the intent of the voter.
Elections using computerized voting machines must be 100% accurate because if the master copy of the original software causes only a single vote per machine to be changed, many election outcomes can be changed.
If the recount of voter-verified paper ballots differs from the computer tally, a “reconciliation” must be done (an investigation to show why there are differences — mistakes and/or fraud by humans and/or computers, followed by correction of all errors).
Take action now!
1. Several web sites have lists of what to do.
Stealing America: Vote By Vote, web site with list of actions
2. “Politics is the way a free people govern themselves.” –(Bernard Crick)
Revive democracy in America by tithing your free time to civic engagement.
3. Join your local political club or good government organization. If your party or organization does not represent you, explain to the members why it should change, and work to change it.
4. Read daily, or subscribe to the Voting News Blog to learn about voting machine and election administration problems across the country.
5. For those who can write letters complaining about media lies and slanted polls, go to MediaMatters.org and sign up for alerts.
6. Challenge good government organizations that are not advocating citizen access to observe all election procedures and the continuous chain of custody of ballots and other materials, as well as election procedures and equipment that enable ordinary citizens to observe (and understand what they observe) well enough to attest that procedures were proper and honest.
7. Talk with family, friends, neighbors – No one will “give us” a fair election and an honest government. It is up to us citizens to keep track of what our public servants are doing and to know the issues. We need to “Work the Vote” as poll workers and “Watch the Vote” as observers.
8. Send donations of money to independent citizen activist organizations, especially VotersUnite.org and BlackBoxVoting.org. Send gifts of money to independent citizen activists.