Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Voter Confidence Movement

For a variety of converging reasons, the GuvWurld raison d'etre is evolving under the banner of the Voter Confidence Movement. An all-new Voter Confidence Resolution is making the rounds and will be the starting point for Arcata City Councilmembers Harmony Groves and Dave Meserve as they do their subcommittee work to prepare the resolution to come before the Council.

I met with Harmony this past Wednesday and she was encouraged by this new direction. She provided limited and minor input which is reflected in the published resolution referenced above. Harmony also gave me a date of June 15 to target for a public hearing. This is not the first delay the resolution has encountered. But as before, other near term events seem likely to benefit the push for support when the resolution is heard.

Most immediate is the fast approaching Town Hall Forum on Ranked Choice Voting in Eureka this Thursday, April 28 at 6pm at the Wharfinger Building on the water front. Publicity for the event picked up big time last week. I appeared with Scott Menzies as a guest on KHSU's Thursday Night Talk hosted by Rob Amerman. Scott's My Word column was also published in the Eureka Times-Standard. We also had Eureka City Councilmember and Forum co-sponsor Chris Kerrigan do an interview with Mike Dronkers on KHUM.

Chris also appeared on the cover of the Humboldt Advocate which does not publish online. In this piece and elsewhere, some prominent community members have been very vocally opposing the forum. Their noise making has only served to help raise awareness. Their attack the messenger, ignore the message style has typically backfired.

The Voter Confidence Committee is getting increasingly organized and efficient. Last Monday, with the help of Democracy Unlimited, we were able to do a dry run of much of the upcoming forum. We've also seen an increase in volunteers, though more are always needed and can contact me here for more info. At the forum we will unveil a new banner and even before that we expect to launch our new website. Voter Confidence has, by all accounts, been a smart frame for us to adopt.

It feels like the neglected front last week was the County Board of Supervisors. It is still my intention to present them with a compact yet comprehensive case both against Diebold and strongly for the Open Voting Consortium's open source electronic voting system with a paper ballot and triple redundant vote counting (see previous GuvWurld blog entry, and this rave editorial by the Mercury News calling OVC the "holy grail"). The revised goal is to have this document created by the forum so it can be presented to the community as well as the Supes.



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