This is a great resource that was posted recently. At the bottom are lots of links to editors and representatives, so that you can get involved and make a difference.

You can also check out my new song "Little Black Box" on this topic, and some links to the big websites that deal with this important issue.

  --Laramie


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Eric A. Smith
Hot Damn! Design
81-03-3959-5371
snowdog@juno.ocn.ne.jp
 
(please distribute among your membership.)

 
An Emergency Call-to-Arms:
A Five-Step Battle Plan for YOUR Future
 
This is a call to arms to you -- as an American and a custodian of your nation's future. Please act as if your life depends on it -- it well might.
 
We have been led down a dark, perilous road.
 
The journey has touched us all, from mothers and fathers burying children in a war over nonexistent WMD, to firefighters and policemen promised vital funds only to be cheated and asked to work for free. Millions of Americans have been cut loose as corporations exploit foreign workers on the cheap and CEOs gorge themselves on riches unprecedented in history. While Americans take second and even third jobs just feed their families, the Bush Administration has poured America's wealth into the greedy hands of defense contractors and tax-dodging megacorporations, notorious companies like (#1 Bush donator Kenneth Lay's) Enron or Cheney's wartime ripoff-artists at Halliburton.
 
Our environment, safety, economy, national security, labor protection and Constitutionally-guaranteed rights have all been gutted and left to die in a worker-hostile economy.
 
NOW WE FIGHT BACK.
 
Here's what we're facing:
 
This November, the Bush election machine has more than three times the spending power of its opponenets(1)
 
And they are fighting dirty, just as they did in 2000, when they purged Florida voter rolls(2), rioted to stop recounts(3), barred citizens from voting (ibid) and even threatened the Vice President and his family on their front lawn (4).
 
This year, through gerrymandering, data theft from Congressional computers, impeachments and recess judicial appointments, they are trying to consolidate their unprecedented power. And they have a special election-season surprise in store for us as well -- as the AFL-CIO argued before the Supreme Court last December(5), the Bushites have MADE IT A CRIME FOR THIRD PARTIES TO CRITICIZE THE PRESIDENT OR SAY THINGS TO INFLUENCE THE ELECTION during the election's most critical phase:
 
"This blackout will become national in scope on July 31, 30 days before the August 30-September 2 Republican National Convention . . . and it will then continue without interruption throughout the remaining 60 days until the November 2 election. Thus, from July 31, 2004 until the election, it will be a crime for a union, corporation, or incorporated non-profit organization to pay to broadcast any 'reference' to the President by 'name,' 'photograph,' 'drawing' or other 'unambiguous' means anywhere in the United States." (6)
 
They are ruthless, and will not concede victory without a vicious fight. Expect the outlawing of gay marriage to "divide and conquer", marginalize opponents and consolidate support from the religious right, a base estimated to be 30 million strong (7). Expect the Supreme Court to halt recounts again. Expect a "surprise" discovery of WMD even after Blix, David Kay and Iraq's scientists saying they were all destroyed. (8) Expect the "suprise" capture or "destruction" of Bin Laden conveniently close to the election (9). Expect lots of scary terrorism warnings and perhaps even an attack.(10) General Tommy Franks has even suggested a second 9-11-scale attack will lead to martial law in America (11).
 
None of this should deter you; remember it was the same group (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Baker, Bush Sr., Perle, etc.) that armed and funded Hussein and Bin Laden in the first place. The blood of our dead is therefore on their hands.
 
We must not underestimate the ruthlessness of those willing to start an international war based on known and transparent lies -- virtually against the will of the entire planet. Make no mistake; they are willing to throw away American lives in their quest for global dominion. And if you rise up and oppose them, you may be bullied, harassed and threatened, perhaps even by the FBI.(12) YOU MUST NOT LET THIS DETER YOU. WE MUST NOT BE BULLIED INTO LETTING THEM SEIZE POWER AGAIN!
 
And here we come to the deep, dark heart of the matter:
 
This year 28% of the vote (and counting) will be tallied on electronic voting machines or scanners, which have been repeatedly hacked and can be used to fix an election -- all without a trace. Below you'll find a link to the diagrammed, step-by-step report of how e-vote activist Bev Harris hacked one(13). If you think this is exaggeration, please follow the links listed below, where everything has been well-documented and by the NY Times, the Washington Post, CNN, ABC, CBS, the BBC, etc. (14)
 
Once paperless, effortlessly hackable (10) voting machines have been installed, the situation will be PERMANENT -- we will never know or be able to prove if an election has been stolen. And if it HAS -- those who have stolen it CAN NEVER BE VOTED OUT. And without the fear of voter reprisal, whoever takes advantage of such a situation could do literally anything they wanted and NEVER LOSE POWER. It will mean the end of Democracy. And if you work for an activist group, it will certainly mean the end of your organization.
 
We have less than six months to prepare to fight the biggest power grab in human history.
 
Do your part.
 
Help save America.
 
There will not be a second chance.
 
A 5-STEP BATTLE PLAN:
 
I. LOBBYING  (20 minutes approximately)
Tell your representatives to support Bills H.R.2239, 1986, and ESPECIALLY 2045 (14)
 
Online e-petitions:
http://www.truemajority.org/actionregister/
http://action.eff.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=2821
http://www.verifiedvoting.org
http://www.workingforchange.com/activism/petition.cfm?itemid=14993
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/348035553?ts=1079111375&sign[partner_userID]=304336170&sign[memberID]=304336170&sign[partnerID]=1
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/cleanvote.html
 
Congress
http://www.senate.gov/
Toll free: 1-800-839-5276
http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/
 
State elections boards
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/htdocs/dcforum/DCForumID29/47.html
 
State Attorneys General
http://www.naag.org/ag/full_ag_table.php
 
State Election Officials
http://www.nased.org/
 
Members, Natl. Assoc. of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks
http://www.nacrc.org/leadership/st_coord.htm
 
Penelope Bonsall, national director of the Office of Election Administration
Office of Election Administration
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463
vss@fec.gov
(202) 694-1095 (phone)
(202) 219-8500 (fax)
 
II. MEDIA BLITZ (one to three hours approximately)
Write a ltter and email or fax it to Radio & tv stations, newspapers & magazines in your area:
http://dmoz.org/Arts/Television/News/
http://newslink.org
http://www.cantufind.com/american_newspapers.htm
http://dmoz.org/Arts/Radio/Formats/Talk_Radio/Networks/
http://dmoz.org/Arts/Radio/Formats/Talk_Radio/Stations/
http://dmoz.org/Arts/Television/Networks/Cable/
http://dmoz.org/Arts/Television/Networks/
http://dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/Broadcasting/Information/
 
National Media Contacts:
CBS Evening News
212-975-3691
evening@cbsnews.com

NBC Nightly News
212-664-4971
nightly@nbc.com
Peter Jennings : ABC World News Tonight
Tel : (212) 456-4025, Fax : (212) 456-2381
PeterJennings@abcnews.com
Washington Post :
abramowitz@washpost.com, colemanm@washpost.com ,
letters@washpost.com , hadarm@washpost.com ,
kingc@washpost.com , milbankd@washpost.com ,

New York Times:
nytnews@nytimes.com, oped@nytimes.com,
president@nytimes.com, publisher@nytimes.com,
society@nytimes.com, washington@nytimes.com,
web-editor@nytimes.com, letters@nytimes.com
USA Today:
editor@usatoday.com
Houston Chronicle:
viewpoints@chron.com
San Francisco Chronicle:
letters@sfchronicle.com
Los Angeles Times:
letters@latimes.com
Chicago Tribune:
ctc-TribLetter@Tribune.com
Washington Post:
letters@washpost.com
Newsday: letters@newsday.com
New York Daily News:
voicers@edit.nydailynews.com
 
CNN HeadLine News executives :
cameron.baird@turner.com, dave.willis@turner.com,
bill.schneider@turner.com ,
james.broyles@turner.com, jason.evans@turner.com,
lou.dobbs@turner.com , moneyline@cnnfn.com ,
kathy.slobogin@turner.com , paul.varian@turner.com ,
judy.fortin@turner.com, bill.galvin@turner.com,
susan.jalali@turner.com, kurt.kasting@turner.com,
tim.mallon@turner.com, wade.mckinney@turner.com,
jerry.mihoch@turner.com, stephanie.minter@turner.com,
dennis.newman@turner.com, alan.schrack@turner.com,
rolando.santos@turner.com, steve.shusman@turner.com,
jennifer.c.thomas@turner.com,

USA Today :
editor@usatoday.com , fanklam@usatoday.com ,
jbacon@usatoday.com , lbranson@usatoday.com ,
dcolton@usatoday.com,

Los Angeles Times :
dean.baquet@latimes.com , op-ed@latimes.com ,
john.carroll@latimes.com , janet.clayton@latimes.com ,
letters@latimes.com , latmag@latimes.com ,
marjorie.miller@latimes.com, john.puerner@latimes.com
james.rainey@latimes.com, bill.stall@latimes.com ,

REUTERS :
michel.gelbart@reuters.com , eddie.evans@reuters.com ,
editor.reuters@reuters.com, daniel.grebler@reuters.com ,
stephen.jukes@reuters.com , reshma.kapadia@reuters.com ,
andrew.mitchell@reuters.com , dick.satran@reuters.com ,
david.schlesinger@reuters.com, eddie.evans@reuters.com ,
washington.daybook.newsroom@reuters.com,
miami.newsroom@reuters.com, michel.gelbart@reuters.com,
boston.newsroom@reuters.com, toronto.newsroom@reuters.com ,
mexicocity.newsroom@reuters.com ,

Associated Press:
info@ap.org, msilverman@ap.org,
gjohnson@ap.org , hjung@ap.org
tkorte@ap.org , sthomsen@ap.org
etompson@ap.org , ntrott@ap.org
rtanner@ap.org, mtighe@ap.org,
kathleen.carroll@ap.org, dcrary@ap.org,
adinnocenzio@ap.org, jaffleck@ap.org,
mfeldman@ap.org, paula.froke@ap.org,
tfuentez@ap.org, kgazlay@ap.org,
chanley@ap.org, bharpaz@ap.org,
lheinzerling@ap.org, rherschaft@ap.org,
hitalie@ap.org, sjacobsen@ap.org,
ajesdanun@ap.org, tkent@ap.org
 
 
III. WITNESS E-VOTE EVALUATIONS (one afternoon)
Ask your elections board (about any e-voting purchase evaluations meetings to be held in your district. As a member of the voting public, it is your legal right to attend as a witness, although, out of convenience, they may try to avoid giving you the information. Insist on your rights.
 
If you do attend as a witness, you may well be a victim of intimidation tactics. Insist on voter-verified paper ballots. Bev Harris has written comprehensive answers to arguments you will hear. DO NOT BACK DOWN OR BE INTIMIDATED BY CIVIL SERVANTS -- they are your EMPLOYEES, paid by YOUR TAXES:
 
From Bev Harris, http://www.BlackBoxVoting.Org
 
Assertion: "Upgrading the printer already in the (Diebold) machine costs money"
Fact: Diebold has stated in writing that their pre-installed internal printers are sufficient to generate a voter-verified paper trail.
 
Assertion: "The paper is very expensive"
Fact: No, thermal paper is the cheapest made. And with an estimated maximmum of 300 people voting at each touch screen. A LARGE precinct may have seven touch screens, but many have just two or three. It might cost $15 per precinct to print those ballots.
 
Assertion: "The paper won't last"
Fact: If the report to be by the machine will last the required amount of time, the ballots will too, if printed on the same paper. The printer is there to report totals at the polling place.
 
Assertion: "the machines will jam"
Fact: The printer is similar to models used in supermarkets and WalMart. Remember: the total number of transactions, will be about 300. Do supermarket and WalMart printers jam every 15 sales? No; They process thousands of printouts without jamming.
 
Assertion: "the ink will run out"
Fact: There is no ink in a thermal printer
 
Question: "If a paper ballot record doesn't match a machine record, which is the legal vote?"
Fact: The voter-verified paper must trump the machine unless a mechanical defect or fraud is shown, because it is a physical record seen and verified by thousands of individual voters, whereas the machine is bits and bytes that can be changed by a single technician!
 
Assertion: "Paper ballot systems have been tampered with"
Fact: Yes, and machines have been frequently wrong as well. Do not allow sidetracking of the discussion or assertions that you are "against electronic voting" -- no, we want them to put paper in a printer and use it for auditing.
 
Assertion: "Officials won't know what to do with paper ballots and new laws must be written."
Fact: Laws and procedures set up for optical scans are applicable.
 
Assertion: "A paper trail will only lead to demands for more complicated and stringent auditing"
Fact: Yes, it will. We're asking for that anyway, with optical scanning. It is still be cheap and efficient compared to many of the changes currently being implemented to accomodate the sales of more touchscreen machines.
 
Question: "Why use machines at all if you're demanding paper ballots?"
Fact: Voting machines are helpful for the visually impaired
 
Assertion: "Paper ballots prevent the visually impaired from voting"
Facts: Wheelchair-assisted voters can use a touch screen with the same efficiency whether or not there is a paper printout, and the visually-impaired are can be provided with headphones for these machines. Nor does a paper printout hinder their ability to vote.
 
Alternatives to the Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S machines (operated by heavily partisan CEOs, designed to operate WITHOUT a paper trail, and whose code and components are not allowed to be examined) exist.
 
Avante Systems has a machine that shows a printout through a glass screen. After the voter confirms it is correct, the paper ballot is droped into a storage box so it can be checked against the machine totals and the AccuPoll system has a scanner that can pass over the printed ballot to verify votes.
 
Alternative, secure e-voting machines you can suggest to your elections officials:
http://www.accupoll.com/
http://www.aitechnology.com/avantetech/home.html
 
IV. VOLUNTEER ELECTIONS MONITORING (three days approximately, including preliminary training)
Vootewatch is organizing election monitor volunteers here:
http://www.votewatch.us/forum/register.php?
 
Bev Harris has outlined a point-by-point strategy on specifically what to look for when monitoring electronic voting machines. It is also recommended that you either download her free e-book "Black Box Voting", or better yet, purchase it here:
http://www.blackboxvoting.org
 
From Bev Harris, http://www.BlackBoxVoting.Org
 
CITIZEN WATCHDOGS: What to look for and report -- Let's get good at this before November!
 
Optical-scan systems and absentee ballots: We have information that all systems recognize carbon-containing marks (soft lead pencil). Some DO NOT recognize all inks. You may want to bring a soft lead pencil to the polling place with you to mark your optical-scan ballots.
 
All Diebold counties (AccuVote and AccuTouch are Diebold brands) -- Ask that the poll workers print a report and post a copy at the polling place at the end of the day, whether they are required to or not. All Diebold machines, both touch-screen and optical-scan, contain internal printers and have the ability to print a polling place results report. This takes 60 seconds and costs nothing, and is an important check and balance to compare with the county results from the GEMS system, which we believe to contain security flaws. Votes should not change from the polling place to the county.
 
Report any instance of mismatched polling place/county tabulations here. Do NOT accept the excuse that they won't match because early votes, absentee, provisional, or challenge votes were added into the polling place totals. That is called "co-mingling" the data and is not an acceptable record-keeping practice. Additional categories of votes must be accounted for as separate line items.
 
Sequoia touch-screens do not have an internal printer. A printer can easily be hooked up with a serial port. If you see printers, demand a polling place report.
 
Watch for any "wandering vote tallies" on election night, especially if any votes go DOWN. (Yes, this has been known to happen).
 
Late poll openings: Report these immediately and we'll try to get cameras there. This is a form of vote suppression, often occurring in minority areas.
 
Late vote results: Report late incoming tallies. These can be indicative of the county trying to resolve voting machine anomalies before filing reports.
 
Observe how many cords come in and out of the voting machines. Report any evidence of networking the machines together. Report any time you see more than a simple power cord plugged in while the election is in progress.
 
Wardrive election sites. See if you can pick up wireless signals either during or after the election. Wireless communication is not permitted. Also, report any use of cell phones for vote transfers, which is also not permitted.
 
Election workers: Report the procedures used for training if they seem insecure. For example, we have already had reports that in Georgia, some poll workers were told to take voting machines home after training; Georgia flag artwork was uploaded right before the election; and other unwise and insecure procedures were followed.
 
Go visit the polling place at the end of the day and see how secure it is. We had reports recently of machines left in the polling place unattended.
 
Felony watch: In some states, IT IS A FELONY for technicians who are not sworn elections officials to touch the vote database in any way, shape or form after votes have been cast. In fact, if you look at Chapter 13 of Black Box Voting, the San Luis Obispo incident was probably illegal (Diebold tech Sophia Lee was tied to a live vote database that appeared on the Internet five hours before the polls closed).
 
Watch for statistical anomalies. Look at everything. Time is of the essence, as these analyses take some time and there are only a few days before the election is certified.
 
V. LEGAL CHALLENGES (indeterminate)
 
Author Lynn Landes has questioned the constitutionality of voting machines.
http://www.ecotalk.org/VotingMachinesUnconstitutional.htm
 
If your organization has the wherewithal to raise a legal challenge on these (or other grounds) here are some resources below:
 
Election campaign and civil rights lawyers listed for every city:
http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/Election%20Campaign%20&%20Political%20Law
http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/Civil%20Rights
 
Institute for Justice:
http://www.ij.org/index.shtml
 
Center for Indiviual Rights:
http://www.cir-usa.org/intake.html
 
Class actions:
http://www.bigclassaction.com/civil_rights.html
 
Southeastern Legal Foundation:
http://southeasternlegal.org/
 
Electronic Frontier Foundation attorneys:
gwen@eff.org
jason@eff.org
owlswan@eff.org
wendy@eff.org
tien@eff.org
fred@eff.org
 
Other challenges:
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/auto/epaper/editions/tuesday/local_news_04d49255058760a400d8.html
http://www.electionguardians.org/actions.htm
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/dieboldlawsuit.pdf
 
Pax Christi is also organizing an international group of elections monitors. More information here:
http://www.paxchristiusa.org/news_events_more.asp?id=887
 
REFERENCES
 
1 (GOP:$115,667,827 ; Dems:$44,175,502).
http://www.opensecrets.org/parties/index.asp
 
2. Greg Palast, Harper's Magazine "The Great Florida Ex-Con Game" 
http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=122&row=2
 
3 a."Unprecedented" -- internet preview of the film
http://www.unprecedented.org/UnprecedentedPreview.htm
 
3 b. Lynn Landes: "Mission Impossible - Federal Observers & Voting Machines"
http://www.ecotalk.org/FederalObservers.htm
 
4. Barabara Walters interview"The Note":
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/791744/posts
 
5.McConnell vs the Federal Election Commission
http://www.oyez.org/oyez/resource/case/1637/
 
6. http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0404/hentoff.php
 
7. "Bush Assures Evangelicals of Commitment to Marriage Amendment"
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/12/politics/12EVAN.html?pagewanted=print&position
 
8a. Online Journal: "Wag the Osama"
http://www.onlinejournal.com/Commentary/031004Burns/031004burns.html
 
8b.NewsNet5: "Ridge Sidesteps Question On Bin Laden's Capture"
http://www.newsnet5.com/news/2917298/detail.html
 
9. U.S. Unloading WMD in Iraq
http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=3/13/2004&Cat=4&Num=011
 
10. Aljazeera.net: "Purported Al Qaida Statement"
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/2CDD53D6-7AF7-40C7-AF88-32A16072F81B.htm
 
11. NewsMax: "Tommy Franks: 'Martial Law Will Replace Constitution After Next Terror Attack'"
http://infowars.com/print/ps/franks_martial.htm
 
12. The New McCarthyism, the Progressive:
http://www.progressive.org/0901/roth0102.html
 
13. Scoop: "Inside a US Election Vote Counting Program"
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0307/S00065.htm
 
14a. NY Times: "Hack the Vote"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/120303A.shtml
 
b. CBS: "Electronic Voting Causing Concern"
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/03/eveningnews/main591185.shtml
 
c. UK Independent: "All the President's Votes?"
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1013-01.htm
 
d. Salon: "Will the Election be Hacked?"
http://archive.salon.com/tech/feature/2004/02/09/voting_machines/index_np.html
 
e. BBC: "Concerns over US Computer Voting"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3489877.stm
 
f. ABC News: "Avoiding Another Florida Fiasco"
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/SciTech/Voting_machines_040305-1.html
 
g. "Comparison of Senate Bills 1980, 1986, and 2045"
http://www.verifiedvoting.org/senate_bill_comparison.asp
 
You are encouraged to distribute this document freely and widely.
 
Contact: Eric A. Smith, Hot Damn! Design, Tokyo, Japan 81-03-3959-5371
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