Threat To Democracy
Threat To Democracy
From The Teller-Woodland Green Tea Party
(Inspired by The Boston Tea Party and The Green Party)
As of 1-30-01, 280-400 bills have been introduced in at least 40 states regarding the issues of Internet voting, standardizing vote counting procedures in each state, and increasing the use of computers to count votes, according to Jennie Drage at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In a nutshell, when computers are used to count votes, poll watchers, election officials, even the Secretary of State, are not allowed to actually see the vote count. All they can see are ballots being fed into a computer, or no ballots at all, just a receipt from the computer at the end of the election day. Nor are they allowed to examine the computer software, which is what determines how the votes are counted. This amounts to an illegal secret ballot count. Only the private corporations, which are paid millions of taxpayer dollars to program the software, know whether the votes will be counted accurately. The newer computers even have modems enabling them to be accessed by other computers, telephone, satellite, or even a cell phone. The rigging of computer counted elections is essentially impossible to detect, or to prove.
Internet voting leaves no paper trail, making it impossible to have a recount. Internet voting is even more riggable, less secure and unverifiable than counting votes by computer. Another "innovation" already in use, now being considered for standardized procedure, is touch screen voting. This system is also computerized and also leaves no paper trail. The Florida vote count fiasco, especially the US Supreme Court's decision, has pressured each state to make vote counting uniform and computerized. New legislation would increase the use of computers to count votes and would move decision-making power about how votes are counted from the county and municipal level to the state level across the US.
Canada, Britain, Switzerland, India and Israel count their votes by hand. During the last election Canada counted 13 million votes in 4 hours. Forcing us to have our votes counted by unverifiable and riggable computers violates the US Constitution and the State constitutions.
For more information on computers and vote counting see the article below titled, Does Your Vote Count? Computer Voting Machines VS Hand Count, the web pages, http://www.votefraud.org, http://www.votescam.com, h http://www.votewatch.us , http://www.talion.com/election-machines.html, and http://www.nypress.com/print.cfm?content_id=3261&author_id=309, and the book, "Votescam: The Stealing of America" by James and Ken Collier.
Without an accurate and verifiable vote count no other important issues are likely to have a fair chance. This is not a partisan issue. The oligarchy, the plutocracy, the corporate dictators, and the US media oligopoly are attempting to make their control of this country even more complete. We need a grass roots uprising similar to the anti-war movement and the anti-nuclear movement. We really need to win this battle if the flame of freedom is going to continue to burn in this country. It is time for another Boston Tea Party!!
1. Call up your local state rep or senator, or visit your state's web page, and find out what bills have been introduced having to do with vote counting, election reform, and new voting technologies.
2. Provide educational materials to your rep, senator, and members of the committee each bill is in.
3. Contact others across your state, and the rest of the US, who are likely to be concerned about our vote count being accurate and verifiable: political parties, the ACLU, local boards of elections in each county and municipality, labor unions, environmental groups, magazines, consumer groups, churches, farm organizations, etc.
4. Write letters to the editor.
5. Call in or get on radio talk shows.
6. Contact independent computer experts in your state and ask them to look at these materials. We need lots of computer experts to come forward on this issue.
7. Send this letter to news organizations all over the Internet.
8. Start an initiative petition campaign to stop computerized vote counting in your community.
9. Have your local public access TV station show the Votescam Video; show it to groups.
10. Take a video camera to your local polling place on election day and demand to watch the vote count.
11. Find out what state statutes enable the use of computers in your state.
12. Have your local rep and senator introduce legislation to amend these statutes so that votes are counted by hand. (The key to a hand count is having the ballots counted at the local polling place, and having enough polling places so that each polling place has no more than 300-500 ballots to count. The current common practice of transporting the ballots to a central location jeopardizes the security of the ballots, and increases the number of ballots to be counted at one place, thus greatly increasing the time it takes to count the ballots unless done by computer.)
13. Do civil disobedience at your polling place, or in some politician's office.
14. Help us here in Woodland Park, Colorado.
15. Forward this letter all over the Internet; print hard copies and give them out.
In Woodland Park, Colorado we collected nearly 500 signatures on an initiative petition. The petition requires all vote counting be done by hand. As a result, the City Council was forced to either vote for the petition, or put it to a vote of the citizens. Woodland Park citizens will be voting on this initiative July 17, 2001.
But catch 22, the vote on this initiative is likely to be by computer!! We will be pressuring the City Council to have the votes counted by hand, however we are confident that the count will be done by computer even though counting by hand would cost much less, be verifiable, and be much harder to rig.
Woodland Park, Colorado is the only place in the US thus far where citizens have risen up and initiated an election on computer counting of votes versus hand counting of votes in an attempt to toss out the computers. The citizens of this city should be allowed to have the votes on this initiative counted out in the open by hand, where poll watchers are able to actually see the votes being counted. If the citizens of Woodland Park are not allowed a hand count of the ballots, then we will be having a demonstration including some people doing civil disobedience. Make history! Come join our demonstration! Help us throw a little tea!!
We will be meeting with the local ACLU soon. They have thus far shown much interest. However, the courts here in Colorado are often very political, corrupt, and incompetent. We need help setting up a web page. We need money for fliers, fines, and legal costs. We need legal help. We need people to contact the state reps and senators in Colorado and complain about HR 01-1135. See http://ww.state.co.us/gov_dir/stateleg.html for more details.
Make checks payable to:
The Teller-Woodland Green Tea Party
Woodland Park, CO 80866