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.
(please distribute among your
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
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
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
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
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
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
Tell your representatives to support Bills H.R.2239,
1986, and ESPECIALLY 2045 (14)
National Media Contacts:
Washington Post :
firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
New York Times:
Houston Chronicle: firstname.lastname@example.org
San Francisco Chronicle: email@example.com
Los Angeles Times: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicago Tribune: ctc-TribLetter@Tribune.com
Washington Post: email@example.com
CNN HeadLine News executives :
, firstname.lastname@example.org ,
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Angeles Times
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org ,
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org ,
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org ,
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org ,
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
III. WITNESS E-VOTE EVALUATIONS (one
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
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
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
Assertion: "The paper is very
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
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
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
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
Question: "Why use machines at all if you're
demanding paper ballots?"
Fact: Voting machines are helpful for the visually
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)
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
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:
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
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
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
Late poll openings: Report these immediately and we'll try
to get cameras there. This is a form of vote suppression, often occurring in
Late vote results: Report late incoming tallies. These can
be indicative of the county trying to resolve voting machine anomalies before
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
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
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
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
If your organization has the wherewithal to raise a legal
challenge on these (or other grounds) here are some resources
You are encouraged to distribute this document freely and
Contact: Eric A. Smith, Hot Damn! Design, Tokyo, Japan Åú
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