CORRECTION for Subject Line-- it's Jan. 11th (not 9) .RALLY! Friday, Jan 11, NOON-1PM,"International Day of Action to Shut Down Guantanamo" - In front of the San Diego Federal Bldg and Courthouse!
SORRY! RALLY IS FRIDAY JANUARY 11, 2008, 12PM-1PM!
Thursday, January 10 at 9:32 AM
RALLY! Friday, Jan 11, 2008, NOON-1PM,"International Day of Action to Shut Down Guantanamo" - In front of the San Diego Federal Bldg and Courthouse" *STACY TAYLOR IS BACK ON THR RADIO -1700AM * News from Campaigns: MIKE COPASS ~ John Lee Evans ~VICKIE BUTCHER ~ RUDY REYES** MARCH JOIN US !WASHINGTON DC MARCH 10-19 NO MORE WAR ! ARTICLES*
From: Barbara Cummings Just in time for Friday:please forward
Friday, January 11th NOON - 1pm In front of the San Diego Federal Bldg and Courthouse
880 Front Street (near Broadway)
SAN DIEGO -- Friday, January 11, 2008, marks the 6-year anniversary of the first prisoners being brought to Guantanamo by the U.S. government. Between Noon and 1pm that date, San Diegans will hold a simple vigil in front of the Federal Building and Courthouse? in solidarity with organizations and individuals across the world to observe the "International Day of Action to Shut Down Guantanamo" -- spearheaded by Witness Against Torture, Amnesty International and National Religious Campaign Against Torture with a permitted demonstration on the National Mall in Washington DC.? (See following for additional information on the national and international activities.)
On January 11th, 2002, twenty hooded and shackled men shuffled off a plane from Afghanistan, arriving at the U.S. prison at Guant?namo. In an attempt to sidestep the Geneva Convention protections for prisoners of war, the Bush administration created a new category of "enemy combatant" for these men captured in the "war on terror." Since that time, more than one thousand men and boys have been mprisoned at Guant?namo. Accounts of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment have been condemned by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and other reputable bodies. The prisoners have resorted to hunger strikes as a way of protesting their treatment. Many have attempted suicide; three men allegedly killed themselves on June 10, 2006; a fourth died on May 30, 2007. Desperation, fear and frustration mark their confinement.
Six years later, not a single prisoner has been charged, tried or convicted of terrorism. Many have been released because no evidence has been found against them, but more than 380 men remain in indefinite detention without hope of release. The United States has abandoned law and justice.
January 11th, 2008 marks six years of unjust imprisonment, isolation, beatings, interrogation and abuse for these men. We must say: no more. We must say: no longer. For our nation of laws, for our democracy, for our humanity and theirs, we demand small but essential steps to help return our nation to the best of our own traditions.
In San Diego, organizers plan to echo the Washington DC demonstration with a simple vigil around a core of "prisoners" dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods (and perhaps? blacked-out goggles and earphones, ala U.S. citizen "enemy combatant," Jose Padilla).?
Participants are being asked to wear Orange, and to take the Trolley if possible [get off at the Civic Center Station (Orange and Blue Lines) on C Street near 2nd Avenue and head west and south 2 blocks]; OR park at Horton Plaza where you can get parking validated at self-serve kiosks (enter garage from 4th Av. just south of Broadway) and head just a few blocks west.?
"Immediately close the detention center at Guant?namo Bay, Cuba,
and either release its inmates or bring them before an impartial tribunal."
? United Nations Human Rights Commission
From Barbara Cummings:
Hadi Jawad is one of the owners and founders of the Crawford Peace House
Walt Harrison made this, with Hadi Jawad reading the poems from Guantanamo inmates. http://www.youtube
. com/watch? v=Pcd7w9pn6WA
Wow - very moving.
Locals, please join us at the FEDERAL BLDG on Friday at noon to protest this abomination. If you cannot, please alert family and friends who may work downtown to come and stand in silence with us. NEEDED Volunteers:Collect Petition Signatures to Get Mike Copass on June 3rd Ballot
Staying informed has become -- for so many of us -- a moral obligation that feels like hell.
From: MIKE COPASS
Subject: Call to Action: Volunteers to Collect Petition Signatures to Get Mike Copass on the June 3rd Ballot
Date: January 9,[masked]:02:03 PM PST
To: [address removed]
Cc: [address removed]
FROM: Jill Kleinman, Volunteer Co-Ordinator for Mike Copass California's 53rd District
Greetings and Happy New Year!
Either Mike, myself or other campaign staff met you at a recent local area activist event and at that time you indicated your willingness to assist with the Copass for Congress campaign. Accordingly, this is a call for volunteers to help collect the 3,000 signatures of District 53 residents required to put Mike Copass on the June 3rd Primary Ballot.
Will you help put a Fighting Progressive Democrat on the ballot for US Congress?
We'll be collecting signatures outside supermarkets at peak hours all over the District. If you are able to donate time between now and February 21st to collecting the necessary signatures, please join me and other volunteers this Saturday, January 12th, anytime between 10am-noon in Clairemont for a 5-minute training session on collecting signatures and for pick-up of petition clipboard packets. Please RSVP to this email address so that I can be sure to have enough clipboard packets and materials compiled, and so that I can provide you with the meeting address and phone number. If you would like to get involved, but cannot meet on Saturday, please let me know and we can make other arrangements.
Together we can make this happen and affect positive change in our country. Thank you!
Jill Kleinman, Volunteer Co-Ordinator for Mike Copass. California's 53rd District
From: [address removed] "So who is running against Evans for School Board?"
January 7,[masked]:53:21 PM PST
With your help we are going to change the direction of San Diego schools in 2008. The first big news is that our Republican opponent, Scott Barnett, withdrew. Then the incumbent decided to enter the race. Mitz Lee had been running for City Council for the past six months. But now she has decided that the school board "needs her" and she will seek re-election (read: My City Council race is not going well, so I want to keep my seat on the school board).
A reporter called to ask me if I am still running after Mitz decided to "stay put." I am undeterred. This campaign is about changing a dysfunctional school board and saving our public schools. Mitz's options are to quit or be fired. This direction-less board just lost one of the nation's best urban superintendents. Keeping the same school board would be like asking Bush to fix Iraq.
In 2008 we will have a new President, a new Congress ?and a new school board. We also have a great candidate for the other seat, Richard Barrera, another staunch progressive. Read about our team in Voice of San Diego. Scroll down to "School Board Candidates..." http://voiceofsandiego.com/this_just_in/
Are you ready to fight for great schools in every neighborhood of the city? We will contact you soon about our plans to mobilize. To start off the year you can help us get off to a good start with a New Years contribution of $25, $50 or $100?as long as you have not surpassed the limit of $500 for each election. Click to make this investment right now in a race that we can win for the kids of San Diego. https://www.completecampaigns.com/public.asp?name=Evans&page=1
I'm excited about what we can do with a progressive majority on the school board. In 2008 we will turn San Diego blue. Remember, public schools are the foundation of our democracy! Stand with us.
John Lee Evans
Vickie Butcher for Congress
Dear Friends of Vickie,
Thursday is our mosVickie Butcher for Congress
? Replace this text with the first item of your list
? Replace this text with the next item
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ss we need all hands on deck! The meeting will be at 7 pm at Dr. Butcher?s office, 286 Euclid St., San Diego (office is on the second story, at the top of the stairs).
Vickie has officially taken out papers from the Registrar to qualify for the ballot. Now she needs 3,000 signatures to avoid paying a filing fee of several thousand dollars. Please come sign the petition, and pick up copies to have your friends sign, too.
We also seek help for a voter registration drive and manning tables at public events, including Martin Luther King Day events, the Spring Valley swap meet, and more. It?s also time to start phone banking and organizing precinct walks. Our brochures are designed and awaiting layout approval, and we have signs, bumper stickers and buttons now on order?thanks to your generosity.
We also need more donations to take Vickie?s campaign to the next level?including advertising and hiring professionals to manage a campaign office, pay for phone lines, and more. Donations can now be made online at www.votevickiebutcher.com.
Barack Obama?s victory in Iowa proves that a strong African-American candidate CAN win even in a mostly-white, rural conservative area. A poll by Obama?s pollster of voters in the 52nd Congressional district shows that Vickie is the most viable candidate to win not only the primary, but the general election. She is now getting considerable media attention!
Positive articles on her candidacy have been published in the Poway News Chieftain, East County Californian, Progressive Post, the Monitor, and other publications. She was interviewed recently by the Rancho Bernardo Sun and will also soon be featured in the Alpine Sun.
Endorsements are rolling in ? just check the website! Vickie?s even been endorsed by the Chair of the House Ethics committee, the honorable Stephanie Tubbs Jones?which is great since our poll shows the #1 qualification voters here want to see in a candidate is honesty and integrity.
With your help, Vickie CAN win. CNN confirmed this week that Duncan Hunter is retiring, so we definitely have an open seat for the first time in 25 years. But first, we have to help Vickie win her primary race.
Please join us on Thursday and let us know how you can help!
Campaign Manager/Media Director
Vickie Butcher for Congress
RUDY REYES COMPAIGN for S.D. County BROAD OF SUPERVISORS
Friends of RUDY REYES
Join me in supporting Rudy Reyes to run for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Monday night, January 14, 7:00 pm at the Heartland Building at 1068 Broadway, El Cajon 92021. Come sign a petition to get Rudy on the ballot ? and pick up petitions to have your friends sign, too! We?ll have refreshments ? so please join us!
Rudy Reyes has been called the hero of the Cedar?s wildfires. After first getting his family out Rudy ran 100 yards through towering flames. Now he is running against Dianne Jacob?an entrenched Supervisor who repeatedly failed to protect San Diego County from the worst wildfires in California history.
Rudy is an honest, tough, courageous citizen willing to fight hard and represent interests of the people?not powerful special interests that currently control our Board of Supervisors. (Read more about Rudy: http://www.ramonajournal.com/news/2008/0101/Front_Page/004.html
San Diego County is one of the few counties in all of California that does not have a County Fire Department?or a County healthcare system. We have no County hospitals or community health clinics. Our County spends just 1/100th of what L.A. County spends on firefighting! We don?t have enough fire trucks or manpower. Supervisor Jacob voted to shut down honor camps where prisoners used to cut brush and create firebreaks countywide. She ignored experts? warnings that closure would cause devastating fires?both before and AFTER the Cedar Fire. The Board also defied state law and obstructed fire victims? rights to obtain pain relief through medical cannabis prescribed by doctors.
This Board panders to developers and paves over our agricultural lands and natural resources already strained by the fires, Worst of all, they are now approving big developments in dangerous, high-fire risk areas with no access routes for escape?creating death traps while developers pocket profits.
Now the Supervisors, in an astounding show of arrogance, have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Debra Bowen because they don?t want our votes counted accurately. Bowen ordered the County to stop using electronic voting machines in precincts and to hand count more ballots scanned on central computerized tabulators to assure accuracy, after these machines were proven hackable in state-run tests. Why isn?t San Diego doing like other jurisdictions and suing Diebold (now called Premier), maker of these faulty voting machines? We can only conclude that these Supervisors don?t WANT our votes counted. Rudy, who is half Kumeyaay Indian, will fight to have all votes counted accurately. He is also calling for polling places at reservations, so the 23 Native American tribes in our County will have their voices heard on Election Day.
These ?Supervisors for Life? operate slush funds to buy support. They believe in privatizing public sector jobs, hurting working people to help their corporate cronies. They have no plan to improve our economy or tax base. Rudy, by contrast, seeks to create ?green collar? jobs in renewable energy manufacturing and production, also making San Diego a model of sustainability.
Next up, the Supervisors will vote whether to allow Blackwater to build a private mercenary military base in Potrero?a project that Potrero residents are so against that the town recently recalled its entire planning board over this issue. Yet Jacob has refused to take a stance, claiming she can?t voice an opinion on anything she may vote upon. That didn?t stop Jacob from voicing opposition to a proposed casino in Jamul, near her own ranch, however. Rudy strongly opposes allowing Blackwater in our backyard.
Dianne Jacob ran unopposed by Democrats last time and won by nearly 60% four years before, but a lot has changed. She has infuriated voters with decisions in the last two years and angered even loyal supporters. For these reasons, a host of citizens groups are willing to help Rudy. The SEIU, AFSCME, CTA, CNA, Sierra Club, Indian Tribes and firefighters all have a huge stake in seeing Rudy get a seat on the Board. Rudy owns the fire issue, has the support of Labor and teachers plus has name recognition here in the 2nd District.
In Potrero, Blackwater?s money and power were defeated by a 2 to 1 margin with 60% turnout?thanks to a massive grassroots uprising and get out the vote drive. We can win in our ?red? District by empowering a strong grassroots campaign. No high priced political consultants. Just good old boots on the ground precinct organizing. Precinct organizing increases voter turnout by 19 to 40% and voter registration by 5 to 10%. We know how many votes we need and how to get them ? the outcome is in our hands.
Every Democrat running for elective office, from President to local seats, will benefit from a grassroots campaign effort. By taking the lead in this most important race we can inspire a leadership change countywide!
Rudy Reyes for Supervisor
Goals, Strategies and Tactics
1. Drafting a Campaign Plan
2. Drafting a Field Plan
3. Timelines and Benchmarks
4. Developing our Message
5. Friends of Rudy Fundraiser
Stacy Taylor is Back!
Progressive Radio in San Diego
Will Not Be Silenced
Stacy Taylor has a new radio show on 1700AM - We need to support him and his sponsors. He seems to have no limits placed on him by the station, in terms of taking shots at the lunatic right.
This will become especially important as we enter this extremely important election year. Where else will Bob Filner, Donna Frye and other progressive politicians and candidates be able to reach their constituents? Where else will we be able to hear the progressive side of local issues? Where else will progressive events be promoted?
We should not take all this so much as a victory for Progressive Radio in San Diego, but rather as an opportunity to prove that the Progressive Movement is a market force that supports our media outlets. If the ratings for Stacy grow large enough, it will speak loudly that Clear Channel made a major mistake in flipping KLSD to Sports Talk. It will also help protect other progressive stations around the country, and perhaps will prove that conservative talk stations should try adding progressive voices to their line up.
Here's what we can do right now:
Contact Stacy and let him know you support him and welcome him back to the airways: [address removed]
Contact Mark Larson, the Program Director at 1700AM; thank him for putting Stacy on the air, and let him know that we will support Stacy and the sponsors: [address removed]
Listen to Stacy on the air live and streaming from 4:00pm to 7:00pm Monday through Friday: http://www.cash1700.com/pages/main
Pass this message to everyone you know, in the San Diego area and beyond. The station will get reports about how many people are streaming Stacy's show.
Call into Stacy's show. Be brief, funny, and intelligent (or at least two out of three):[masked]
p.s. As part of the documentary film we are working on, Drew was in the studio with Stacy to capture that historic first show. Drew Reiff, Jen Douglas, and I are nearing the completion of the filming stage, having video taped interviews with Stacy, Congressman Bob Filner, FCC Commissioner Jon Adelstein, Air America Host Jon Elliott, and Eric Klienenberg, author of Fighting for Air (which documents the history of the FCC and the disaster of Media Consolidation).
VICTORY IN DC !!!!!!!
From; BARBARA CUMMINGS:
This is a huge win! It has been happening more and more. Most of the 200 plus who were with us on this day paid bail so as not to have to return to DC but to those who refused, KUDO'S! Some of these people were gassed and treated very harshly by the police.
I only wish ( and still am bitter) that ANSWER would have allowed the full 1,000 who were laying on the grass, ready and willing to go to jail, to do so. It would have made a huge impact and I still never got a satisfactory answer about why the action was called off prematurely.
Nevertheless, this is fantastic news!
I believe that there is still a chance for impeachment. I believe that we ALL should hammer the members of the judiciary committee to do the right thing, including chairman Conyers. People are still being arrested every single day. The very least we can do if our own congressmember is not on this committee is to call, write and fax those who are and support congressman Wexler in his efforts.
On a personal note, I am thirlled Hilary came in third last night. In spite of the millions spent, the negative attacks on Obama and Edwards and the spector of Bill living in Iowa the last few months, she still lost!
Special kudos to those who would not submit and won --
Elliot Adams, Brian Becker, Ellen Barfield, Carla Boccella, Adam
Kokesh, Jay Gillen,
Rodney Centeno, Polly Miller, Sholom Keller, Shawn Peterson, and Rich
Sept. 15 arrestees win at trial
Government case collapses during trial -- judge dismisses all charges
An important victory was won today in the case of 11 defendants who
were arrested at the Sept. 15 March on the Capitol, which drew
100,000 anti-war protestors to Washington, DC.
Judge Henry Greene of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
dismissed all charges against the defendants, who were accused of
crossing a police line. The government's case collapsed in the early
stages of the trial during the the testimony of a witness from the
The protestors asserted that the government and the Capitol Police
had illegally and unconstitutionally sought to prevent demonstrators
from engaging in First Amendment protected speech and assembly in an
area in front of the Capitol building routinely kept open to tourists
and others. This attempt to exclude people engaging in free speech
activities could not form the basis for a lawful arrest or conviction
for "crossing a police line."
The government's case disintegrated as protestors' attorneys
demonstrated that the government had withheld key evidence from the
Under pressure from the defense, the government revealed that they
had withheld documents and material that was central to the
defendants' challenge to the government's efforts to prevent
demonstrators from exercising their First Amendment rights at
Congress under the pretext of "national security," including a
"police sensitive" document supposedly related to "terrorism." The
defense argued that the government was using this pretext to prevent
antiwar protest at a time when General David Petraeus was making the
Bush administration's case that Congress should continue to fund the
Many of the defendants represented themselves and were given pro bono
legal counsel and advice from attorneys Michael Madden, Mara
Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice, Stephanie
Snyder of the Georgetown Criminal Justice Clinic, and Harriet Adams.
The defendants, including leaders from Veterans for Peace, the
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), and Iraq
Veterans Against the War, were Elliot Adams, Brian Becker, Ellen
Barfield, Carla Boccella, Adam Kokesh, Jay Gillen, Rodney Centeno,
Polly Miller, Sholom Keller, Shawn Peterson, and Rich Reinhart.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition is organizing antiwar activities and other
actions in defense of First Amendment rights across the country. We
cannot continue this work without your help. Please make an urgently
needed donation right now by clicking this link.
San Francisco CA[masked]
JOIN US !
WASHINGTON DC MARCH 10-19
NO MORE WAR !
NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL !http://www.resistinmarch.com/http://groups.yahoo.com/group/12march2008/
Quote of the day:
"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious,
makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't
even passively take part,
and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels,
upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop!
And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who
own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from
working at all!"
Staying informed has become -- for so many of us -- a moral obligation that feels like hell.
#1. 'Media to Voters: It's Over' ..... ..Pundits rushing to end primaries and preempt voter choices 1/8/08
As the results of the Republican and Democratic primaries in New Hampshire are reported tonight, it's a good bet that many prominent pundits and journalists will declare the race for the White House all but over--long before 98 percent of voters have had any say in the matter.
The Washington Post's David Broder wrote on January 4 that "New Hampshire is poised to close down the race for the Democratic presidential nomination." Newsweek's Jonathan Alter (1/3/08) likewise declared Obama to be the new inevitable after he won the Iowa caucus:
"With his victory tonight, Barack Obama is now the strong favorite to be the Democratic nominee for president. The only one who can stop Obama from making history is Obama.... Unless he makes a terrible mistake in this weekend's WMUR debate in New Hampshire, Obama will be the strong favorite to win in the Granite State.... Should the Illinois senator win New Hampshire and South Carolina, it will be next to impossible to prevent him from becoming the nominee on February 5, Super Tuesday."
Actually, it's easy to imagine at least three Democratic candidates still having substantial support on February 5, meaning that Super Tuesday could produce no clear winner. The Republican race has much the same dynamic; though it hasn't happened in decades, one or both of the major parties could go into their conventions not knowing who their nominee is.
By any reasonable standard, then, the race for either major party's presidential nomination is far from settled. But Broder nonetheless argued that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's campaign was virtually finished: "A second Romney loss would effectively end the former Massachusetts governor's candidacy."
NBC anchor Tim Russert sounded a similar alarm (1/4/08): "Bottom line, Brian, only McCain or Romney can come out of New Hampshire to fight for another day in South Carolina, only one. One stays behind. It is make or break for McCain or Romney in New Hampshire."
Why are the media rushing to end the primary season just as it's begun? It's sometimes difficult to follow the logic. Consider a USA Today report from January 7:
"The Democratic contest is a two-person race, dominated by Clinton and Obama. That leaves Edwards, a former North Carolina senator who is a close third, and Richardson, New Mexico's governor who is a distant fourth, waiting for a stumble or a political earthquake to create an opening for them."
How are four candidates participating in a "two-person race"--especially given that one of the lesser candidates--John Edwards--finished ahead of Hillary Clinton? Similarly, the New York Times' Adam Nagourney (1/5/08) argued that "the results in Iowa...suggested that the Democratic and Republican contests were to a considerable extent two-way races: Mrs. Clinton and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois for the Democrats, and Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney for the Republicans." How Mike Huckabee coming in first in his race and Edwards coming in second "suggested" that their candidacies should be dismissed, Nagourney didn't explain.
The press has been more harshly critical of Edwards' campaign, so it could be the case that many in the media would be happy to see him out of the picture. (See Action Alert, 12/21/07.) Indeed, much of the conventional wisdom after Edwards' second-place finish in Iowa suggested that his campaign for the White House was all but over. As New York Times columnist David Brooks (New York Times, 1/4/08) boldly pronounced, "Edwards's political career is probably over." David Gergen agreed (CNN, 1/3/08): "John Edwards I think has nowhere to go now...even with a second-place win, because he has no money."
In an interview with Edwards, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann (1/4/08) expressed bewilderment:
"I didn't understand the conventional wisdom last night.... If you finish second in Iowa with more support from the previous national front-runner, who dropped from first to third, many of the pundits, many of the so-called experts, are describing you as being in trouble, rather than Senator Clinton. Do you know why that is?"
It'd be nice if more in the media asked such questions about what passes for conventional wisdom in their election coverage. Indeed, some articles have noted that winning early primaries isn't necessary to winning the nomination; in 1992, Bill Clinton lost the first five contests, but somehow managed to win the White House nonetheless. This very recent history would suggest that, at a very minimum, campaign reporters refrain from handicapping the outcome of the nominating process in early January. After all, it's voters, not the news media, who are supposed to elect the next president.
#2 "A Paper Trail for Voting Machines" By WILLIAM POUNDSTONE
PARANOIA over electronic voting is the new American consensus. The Democrats who will vote in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday aren?t worried that Hillary Clinton will steal the election from Barack Obama or John Edwards, but a good chunk of them would probably confess to dark fears about a Republican plot in November, even if Karl Rove won?t be involved.
Last month, Colorado?s secretary of state, Mike Coffman, a Republican, decertified the state?s electronic voting machines, after the alarming finding that one model could be disabled with a magnet and others were scandalously inaccurate. He left voters to draw their own conclusions about what this meant for the state?s most recent elections. The California secretary of state, Debra Bowen, a Democrat, took office last year after running on a don?t-trust-electronic-voting platform, and in August she pulled the plug on the state?s voting machines.
But what other options are there? Paper ballots aren?t perfect. Ballot boxes can be stuffed or lost. Indeed, because of Florida?s paper-ballot mess in 2000, electronic voting is probably here to stay.
Fortunately, there is an elegant solution that lets us use modern technology while assuaging the growing fears about voter fraud. Ronald L. Rivest, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer scientist, and Warren D. Smith, a mathematician and voting reform advocate, have proposed an ingenious method that would combine paper ballots and a Web site to achieve greater ballot security than is possible with paper or software alone.
Their basic idea is to allow each voter to take home a photocopy of a randomly selected ballot cast by someone else.
The scheme is low-tech. Paper ballots would be tallied by optical scanners or even by hand. The results would be then posted on a Web site. Using a serial number assigned to each ballot, voters could check the site to make sure that their random ballots were posted and had not been altered or misread.
To discourage vote buying, voters would not receive copies of their own ballots. My receipt would be someone else?s ballot, so I would have no way of proving to a bribe-wielding politician whom I voted for. (There are no voter names on secret ballots, of course, so the random receipts would not compromise the privacy of the voting booth.)
Yet another opportunity for fraud, perhaps more likely than outright vote buying, would be created if voters were given paper records of their own ballots. Many voters would ditch their receipts in the first trash can they see. Then, crooked election workers could retrieve the discarded receipts and change the corresponding electronic votes, confident that there would be no evidence of their fraud.
But under the system proposed by Professor Rivest and Dr. Smith, should corrupt poll workers ?forget? to count some ballots, people would notice and complain. And because the receipts are copies of ballots chosen at random each time, a few ballots would be copied twice or more. Finding a discarded receipt would not guarantee that it is ?safe? to change the corresponding vote ? there might be other copies of the same ballot floating around, and some watchful citizen might be checking them.
The Web site would also publish the names of everyone who voted. This would prevent someone from undetectably adding fake votes from names copied off, say, tombstones.
Perhaps best of all, because a public Web site would post the complete information from every ballot, anyone could check that every single vote has been counted accurately.
Too much trouble, you say? Don?t bother, then. All that matters is that some concerned citizens check. The news media, the political parties, activists and bloggers would be checking so that the rest of us don?t have to. Indeed, Professor Rivest and Dr. Smith demonstrate mathematically that it takes only a tiny number of people checking the Web site to catch any substantial fraud with near certainty. For instance, to have 95 percent assurance of detecting a fraud involving 6 percent of ballots, only 50 voters would have to check, and this is true no matter how large the electorate. If the margin of victory is less than 6 percent, then more people would surely check.
The virtue of the system is its simplicity. The only technology that would be required is a Web site and a scanning printer that could produce a copy of a random ballot for each voter at the press of a button. That wouldn?t be hard to devise.
As YouTube demonstrates, the Internet is a leveling force, allowing people to assume roles formerly left to professionals. The Rivest-Smith scheme would make ensuring fair elections everyone?s business.
William Poundstone is the author of the forthcoming ?Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren?t Fair (and What We Can Do About It).
#3. "Joined in Sanity"
By TOBIN HARSHAW - TAGS: BILL CLINTON, RON PAUL, SEPT. 11
What would it take to get Bill Clinton and Mark Steyn, the right wing?s most venomous pen, to join forces? Ron Paul, that?s what.
NBC?s First Read reports that a Paul backer who had been following the ex-president around Keene, N.H., ?interrupted and shouted that the Sept. 11 attacks were an inside job, and that the U.S. didn?t need to be in Iraq and Afghanistan ? ?You wanna know what I think?? Clinton said. ?You guys who think 9/11 was an inside job are crazy as hell. My wife was the senator from New York when that happened. I was down at Ground Zero. I saw the victims? families. You?re nuts.? ?
?Too true,? adds Steyn at The Corner. ?Many of my friends and neighbors are supporting Ron Paul. He has by far the largest number of lawn signs (or snowbank signs) of any GOP candidate in New Hampshire?s three northern counties. And when the votes are all counted he may yet push Giuliani into fifth place ? Anti-war? Fine. Isolationist? Cool. But ?inside job?? Clinton?s right. (And good for him for saying it: John Edwards would have nodded thoughtfully and promised to get back to the guy.)?
Next thing you know, they?ll be telling us that Mitt Romney supporters are getting on the Obama bandwagon. Oh, wait ?.