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A 12-Step Program to Save US Democracy

A 12-Step Program to Save US Democracy


by Mark Crispin Miller
www.markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com
January 30, 2008

1. Repeal the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

This step will inevitably follow an in-depth investigation of how HAVA came to be.

2. Replace all electronic voting with hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB).

Although politicians and the press dismiss this idea as utopian, the people would support it just as overwhelmingly as national health care, strong environmental measures, US withdrawal from Iraq, and other sane ideas.

3. Get rid of computerized voter rolls.

It isn’t just the e-voting machines that are obstructing our self-government. According to USA Today, thousands of Americans have had their names mysteriously purged from the electronic databases now used nationwide as records of our registration.

4. Keep all private vendors out of our elections.

With their commercial interests, trade secrets and unaccountable proceedings, private companies should have no role in the essential process of republican self-government.

5. Make it illegal for the TV networks to declare who won before the vote-count is complete.

Certainly the corporate press will scream about its First Amendment Rights, but they don’t have the right to interfere with our elections. When they declare a winner when we don’t yet even know if the election was legitimate, they delegitimize all audits, recounts and even first counts of the vote as the mere desperate measures of “sore losers.”

6. Set up an exit polling system, publicly supported, to keep the vote-counts honest.

Only in America are exit poll results not meant to help us gauge the accuracy of the official count. Here they are meant only to allow the media to make its calls.

7. Get rid of voter registration rules, by allowing every citizen to register, at any post office, on his/her 18th birthday.

Either we believe in universal suffrage or we don’t.

8. Ban all state requirements for state-issued ID’s at the polls.

As the Supreme Court smiles on such Jim Crow devices, we need a law, or Constitutional amendment, to forbid them.

9. Put all polling places under video surveillance, to spot voter fraud, monitor election personnel, and track the turnout.

We’re under surveillance everywhere else, so why not?

10. Have Election Day declared a federal holiday,
requiring all employers to allow their workers time to vote.

No citizens of the United States should ever lose the right to vote because they have to go to work.

11. Make it illegal for Secretaries of State to co-chair political campaigns (or otherwise assist or favor them).

Katherine Harris wore both those hats in Florida in 2000, and, four years later, so did Ken Blackwell in Ohio and Jan Brewer in Arizona. Such Republicans should not have been allowed to do it, nor should any Democrats.

12. Make election fraud a major felony, with life imprisonment--and disenfranchisement--for all repeat offenders.

“Three strikes and you’re out” would certainly befit so serious a crime against democracy.

ENDS

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