“In 2000 and 2004, problems plagued the polls in different parts of the country: long lines, eligible voters turned away, voter intimidation, misallocation and malfunctioning of voting equipment. They were underreported on Election Day. Days and weeks later, a more complete picture of voter disenfranchisement emerged–but it was too late. The elections were over and the media had moved on. Starting this election, citizen journalists — people like you and I — will document problems as they occur. We’ll play them online, spread word through blogs and partner websites, doing our part to make sure the full story of our elections is told.” -Video the Vote.
There are many things you and I can do:
Be Video Journalists or Incident Reporters
Visit VideotheVote.org to see the guidelines for video recording the elections process and sign up to become a video journalist. (First, find the rules for elections observers in your state. In many states you need permission to be an observer. If you gain permission to observe and record the counting process at county election offices
If you see an incident that seems illegal, report it to People for the American Way (PFAW) or Lawyers Committee of Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL). The Hotline number for incidents is 1-866-OUR VOTE (1-866-687-8683).
You are also encouraged to report incidents to the Verified Voting Foundation’s Transparency Project and the Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS). Submit incidents that could be prosecuted to the Velvet Revolution for a possible $250,000 reward!
Be Precinct Results Reporters
Print this form to collect precinct data and then go back to the Web page ( www.electiondefense.net/form/) to report the data online. This will allow a comparison of results, machine by machine, with results that have been summarized by software programs. This will allow independent verification of results.
Be WiFi Investigators
Bring a WiFi locator, such as the Hawking HWL1 802.11b/g WiFi Locator, near the location where the votes are being counted to see if the machines counting the votes are connected to WiFi. Before doing this, get permission from the election officials. Some states may consider this action illegal. If the machines are connected to WiFi, it provides a doubt regarding the security of the voting process. If you find that votes are being counted from election machines that are actively connected to WiFi, then report your finding to the Hotline 1-866-OUR VOTE (1-866-687-8683).
Democracy, Worth the Wait Campaign
Encourage candidates in your state to wait until all of the votes have been counted before conceding or declaring victory.
Emergency Paper Ballots Campaign
Encourage your county election officials to make emergency paper ballots available in sufficient quantities in all precincts so that in case of machine problems all who came to vote can vote within a reasonable time.
Hold “Trust-But Verify” Vigils
Sign up for solidarity vigils for “Trust- But Verify” to combat violations of election laws– insist that independent verification of results be implemented. Bring your video camera, flashlight, and water.
NEW! Sign up for the cell phone reporting system of Working Assets to participate in a “call to action” on election day in your area. You can also sign up for cell phone alerts through the Ruckus Society. NetrootsNetwork also provides cell phone alerts for those signed up for them. With NetrootsNetwork, you can also follow along with reports of irregularities on their NetrootsNetwork map .
An alternative is to find a local election integrity group in your area by checking with your state’s listings at our Home page.
Election fraud and irregularities will not diminish with just legal suits after the elections. Old modes of fraud will be caught and stopped, only to be replaced by new methods and new perpetrators. In order to have fair and open elections, we must have oversight over our elections as they occur. We must observe and record how our votes are handled. We must insist that all valid votes are counted before the elections are completed. We must insist that results from machines are independently verified by a sample of paper ballots, exit polls, or other scientific means.
Election machines have proven unreliable. We have not been validating the results of elections against actual paper ballots in order to know who actually won. We must contest this. We must show solidarity on election day with “TRUST-BUT VERIFY” demonstrations, demanding that the machine-based results be validated independently.
(In alphabetical order, by organization. For more, go to individual states on our Home page.)
Lawyers Committee of Civil Rights Under Law
- Scientists Hack a Voting Machine
“Analysis of the machine, in light of real election procedures, shows that it is vulnerable to extremely serious attacks. For example, an attacker who gets physical access to a machine or its removable memory card for as little as one minute could install malicious code….”
Velvet Revolution Election Strike Force
Brad Friedman speaks to reporters on why “sleepovers” by election machines are no good for our nation.
- VideotheVote Demonstration
Provides a short video clip from American Blackout, also by Guerilla News Network.
Important Election Day Information
Recount information available by state.
Mandatory audit requirements available by state.
Provisional ballots information available by state.
What is needed is “eternal vigilance” and oversight of elections by us, the citizens.