Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Election integrity threat

The integrity of November's election is being threatened.

Oversight nullified

Some counties are planning to conduct “mail ballot” elections and others are planning “voting center” elections – both nullify independent oversight.

Both of these voting methods make it nearly impossible for election judges, canvass boards, and poll watchers to detect and report election problems. If left unchallenged, officials will strip powers from independent overseers and concentrate dangerous, unilateral powers in the hands of themselves.

Conflict of interest

Counties and the Secretary of State have a huge stake in the outcome of a tax increase question on November's ballot -- they alone will control the election apparatus.

Who gets to vote, whose vote is counted, does a particular vote get counted, how issues will be resolved ... all decided by one side of the contest. If left unchallenged, these decisions will be made in the back room, by the people who have the most to gain from outcome of the tax increase question.

Protect our votes

To protect our votes, these threats must be dealt with promptly.

1. Officials must include their strongest critics in oversight duties for this election.

2. Officials must fully empower citizen and political party overseers to perform their duties.

3. Officials must not use equipment or procedures unless independent overseers agree that they are secure, accurate, verifiable and transparent.

Volunteer to help protect our votes.