Monday, October 31, 2005

Update on Parallel Election, Portland, and More...

On Friday I posted an announcement that the Voter Confidence Committee (VCC) is organizing a Parallel Election to coincide with California's special election on Nov. 8. Download the full page flier here and the 1/4 leaflet here. Volunteer recruitment is going well, but we still need more help. We are looking for a legal adviser, a statistics expert, and since it looks like we may be able to cover multiple polling places, we'll need additional videographers to ensure we capture footage of each parallel poll opening and closing. Contact me if you can assist in any of these ways, or if you would like to work at one of our parallel polls encouraging voter participation.

Last night I was interviewed by Eileen McGee for her TV show Seeking Solutions. This episode of Seeking Solutions will air in Eureka on channel 12 at 6pm on Monday (tonight!) and again on Thursday. The first 40 minutes or so is a compilation of interviews Eileen did with random members of the community discussing the issues on the 11/8 ballot. The remainder of the show is devoted to the Parallel Election, ranked choice voting, and other broader themes of election reform.

Another note about tonight - it looks like the VCC won't have its regular Monday meeting due to Halloween. However, we will be having a special meeting this Friday, November 4 in order to train volunteers for the Parallel Election. This will likely be a 6pm gathering at the Liquid Cafe but I will confirm this later in the week. Meanwhile, recruitment will be in high gear on Wednesday. HSU students have called for a general strike in solidarity with the World Can't Wait campaign being executed all over the country. I'll be speaking at the HSU quad that morning, and perhaps at the Eureka Courthouse later in the day.

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I need to add this long overdue post-script to my recent trip to Portland, OR for the National Summit To Save Our Elections. When I returned, I posted a report called Peaceful Revolution Is The Elephant In The Room. That was a combined reference to the white paper I had recently posted called Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution, and also the experience I had in Portland where the elephant metaphor was applied to the issue of whether verifiable voting must absolutely require only hand counted paper ballots. As I have said, election reform should now be viewed as a tactic, not a goal in itself. The paper ballot issue, while important, is more a red herring than an elephant. I realize not everyone agrees with this assessment.

I'm still thinking and writing about this because in Portland, in a group strategy session attended by over 30 leading election reform advocates, I was not able to make the case that we were improperly defining the elephant. As a result, a subset of the group, led by Brad Friedman of, began working on a document that has come to be called the Declaration of Democracy (DoD). I am not able to directly quote from the still-private and developing document just yet, though I can say it was partly inspired by and includes references to the three goals identified in the Blueprint as a way to identify the existence of Democracy: conclusive election outcomes, a basis for confidence in the results reported, and an accountable government representing We The People with our Consent.

I had hoped to leave Portland with a coalition of reformers willing to work for adoption of the Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR) in their respective communities. Instead, in the coming weeks I will be working with Brad to develop a joint strategy for the VCR and DoD, likely to be promoted through (which Brad co-founded). GuvWurld is a Velvet Revolution affiliate and VR has endorsed the VCR. I'm optimistic to be working with Brad who has proven himself as one of, if not THE most important independent investigative journalist of this time.

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Finally, a plug for a great article ("Orwellian "Scenarios": Emergency Preparedness against the "Universal Adversary"") that I commented on in a separate post a few hours ago ("We Are Being Set Up: The Manchurian Nation").



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