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Election Countdown 2006 - Democracy Needs You!

Election Countdown 2006 - Democracy Needs You!

Dear Friends,

Just under a week to go until that great peaceful passing of the torch - the midterm elections.

By this time, you've no doubt heard about potential Election Day pitfalls and problems. But there is something you can do to safeguard our democracy - get out and vote, and get out and observe!

This letter is filled with updates and announcements - after all, we're only a week away! - so here's your quick guide:

• Watch and listen to Verified Voting on CNN, MSNBC, and more
• Get the latest on the Election Transparency Project - new observation tools have been posted, and it's not too late to get involved
• Join the "Watch The Vote" discussion list and talk with project participants from around the country
• If you're a Working Assets member, vote for Verified Voting on the Working Assets Donations Ballot
• Read about Voter Action's "Watch the Vote" National Outreach Campaign!
• Learn about additional volunteer positions

Verified Voting... In the News!

Verified Voting's message about the importance of transparency and observation to election integrity is spreading. Verified Voting Founder and Stanford University Computer Science Professor Dr. David Dill appeared on CNN's October 29th Lou Dobbs Tonight, as part of the show's "Democracy At Risk" series. Dill noted the importance of gathering data on how elections are actually run on the ground, and encouraged citizens to get involved in collecting that information through observation this November. To read the transcript from the October 29 Lou Dobbs segment, go to: Check back at for the video clip, which we hope to post shortly.

Verified Voting's President, Courtenay Strickland Bhatia, appeared in a live interview on MSNBC on October 25, to discuss potential problems that can be expected this November and to encourage voters to monitor the process. Bhatia's interview is available at

Pamela Smith, Verified Voting's Nationwide Coordinator, was a featured guest on the October 24th "Access Unlimited" program, which airs on radio station KPFK in Southern California. "Access Unlimited" covers news, issues and events concerning the disabled community, and is hosted by disability rights activist Shawn Casey O'Brien, Henry Slucki, and Jolie Mason. The October 24th show discussed Verified Voting's Election Transparency Project and how voters with disabilities can get involved and provide valuable data and personal reports. You can listen here:

So what's all this talk about? Keep reading about how you can get involved in Verified Voting's Election Transparency Project!

Election Transparency Project Update

Verified Voting needs your help in collecting baseline data in this first federal election since the full implementation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). HAVA has had unintended consequences - stakeholders need to know what worked and what didn't in this election. Citizens must engage now, since assessments of how this election was run should not come just from election officials, voting machine vendors, and political pundits. The goal is to promote end-to-end transparency in our elections.

Verified Voting is offering focused surveys for six stages of the voting process, with a web interface so you can enter your observations online. One way to get involved right now is to fill out one of our Election Transparency Scorecards for your state and/or county. We'd like to get one of these scorecards in for every state and county in the nation! You can fill out the scorecards NOW, often from your own home, and in so doing, you'll be providing the foundation for analyzing problems that occur on Election Day. (Let us know at which one you can do.)

Special note: Verified Voting is pleased to make available the "Voting Process Accessibility Survey" - made possible through the combined efforts of people in the access and verified voting communities. By taking this survey with you on Election Day and answering the questions, you can help us assess the level of access that persons with disabilities have to the electoral process. Since we should not accept a voting process that offers less than full access to the ballot, privacy and independence in casting it, and an accurate count of the ballot - this survey is a must! (This survey is available in plain and large-print text, as a web-form and now as an audio mp3 file, and will be available in Braille sometime this week. See for details.)

Verified Voting's Election Transparency Project is an opportunity for you to play a key role in improving America's electoral process. You can read more about the project at The questionnaires described above and more, including new ones just recently released, are available at

WatchTheVote Discussion List

Verified Voting is happy to announce our new Election Transparency Project discussion list, If you're participating - or plan to participate - in the Election Transparency Project or any other form of citizen observation in this election, please consider joining this nonpartisan list. By signing up, you'll be able to communicate easily with other Election Transparency Project volunteers and citizen observers from all over the country. You're not alone - the movement for free and fair elections is vibrant and alive and growing! Join the WatchTheVote list to connect with other concerned voters.

To subscribe to the WatchTheVote discussion list, go to:

Nonpartisan posts related to voting and watching the elections are welcome!

Voter Action Announces "Watch the Vote" National Outreach Campaign

Verified Voting is thrilled to be a part of Voter Action's recently announced "Watch the Vote" campaign. Voter Action is encouraging people to get involved in Verified Voting's Election Transparency Project, as well as in other programs such as Election Protection, Pollworkers For Democracy, and Video the Vote (the Election Transparency Project is specifically designed to complement, rather than duplicate, these additional efforts!).

Voter Action will be offering legal support to project participants for DRE-related voting machine problems before, on, and after Election Day via its toll-free number -- 1-888-SAV-VOTE. Voter Action's legal teams will also lend their legal eye to the information that we gather through this project. Verified Voting is grateful to have Voter Action's legal support, and happy that Voter Action is encouraging people to get out and observe through its recently announced Watch The Vote national outreach campaign.

Working Assets members: Vote for Verified Voting on the Working Assets Donations Ballot!

Help fund Verified Voting by voting for us on the 2006 Donations Ballot! Go to

The more votes you give us, the more money we get. It's that simple.

Working Assets offers long distance, wireless and credit card services that donate a portion of customers' charges to progressive organizations, at no extra cost. Since 1985, Working Assets has raised over $50 million for worthy groups like ours.

Remember, November 2006 is only the beginning. Once we receive data gathered by on-the-ground observers like you, we'll need to analyze that data and turn it into concrete recommendations for how our elections can be improved going forward. And then we'll need to work to get those recommendations implemented prior to the 2008 election! To do all this, we need your donations and support. Vote for us on your Working Assets Donations Ballot!


We have an immediate need for volunteers to help with several urgent tasks, including:

- Implementing changes to our public web pages (with easy to use editing tools);
- Programming with php and MySQL;
- Editing and putting together digital audio and video files;
- Helping research, write and edit text documents;
- Helping recruit, support and manage other volunteers; and
- Assisting with administrative tasks in our San Francisco office.

Democracy Needs Action (DNA)! Here's hoping that you will join Verified Voting's Election Transparency Project, and use Verified Voting's observation tools to help map American's electoral DNA -- from contract to canvass. Please spread the word to everyone you know. Together, we can strengthen our democracy!

Should you have any questions or comments about the Election Transparency Project, please write to us at observer@verifiedvoting or call our office at 415-487-2255.


The Verified Voting Team
Verified Voting Foundation
1550 Bryant St., Suite 855
San Francisco, CA 94103

415-487-2255 telephone
940-403-2255 fax

Your contributions make our work possible. The Verified Voting Foundation
is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation; your contributions to the Foundation
are tax-deductible to the extent provided by U.S. tax law. To donate
online, visit -- or if you prefer to mail
a check, please send to Verified Voting at the address shown above.

Special thanks go to the Threshold Foundation for its support of the
Election Transparency Project.

© Scoop Media

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