Thursday, April 27, 2006

Public Service Announcements

I do not like going this long between GuvWurld Blog entries but sometimes life intrudes and kills my computer. Actually, it seems I had a somewhat rare experience that I'll share here in hopes of sparing others this hassle. Consider it a GuvWurld public service, followed by several other announcements that also fit the bill.

Microsoft Outlook: It is very important to use the auto archive feature of Microsoft Outlook. I was not doing that. Ultimately my outgoing mail could not move into my sent folder because I had reached the limit that the folder could hold (something like 16,350 messages). As a workaround, it is easy enough to make a new folder and move some of the messages. But I hit a second limit which was the overall size of my .pst file. That means Outlook could no longer display my e-mail, calendar or contacts, the data contained in the .pst file that only opens in Outlook. It seems different versions of Outlook can handle different size .pst files. At a little over 2 gigs, Outlook 2000 will crash and so I've "upgraded" to 2003. Using auto archive will still leave messages easily accessible while also preventing encroachment upon these limits. Of course, many will say just don't use Microsoft, and we'll let them have the last word here.

Humboldt County dismissed from election lawsuit: On Wednesday, announced through PRNewswire that Humboldt and six other counties have been dismissed from the California Voters Lawsuit (Holder v. McPherson). The press release strikes an excited and celebratory tone in noting that these seven counties will not be using Diebold touch screen "voting" machines. I too recently touted the flash of enlightenment displayed by Humboldt's election department in choosing not to use the DREs. However, virtually all of the arguments in this lawsuit apply to the optical scan technology that Humboldt will be using. I'm still seeking legal representation to take the case against interpreted code to a Humboldt Judge to request an injunction against their continued use.

Voter Confidence: With Humboldt's continued intention to use secret and illegal vote counting machines, the Voter Confidence Committee is planning another Parallel Election (PE) to double check the accuracy of the June 6 primary results. This will only work with lots of citizen volunteers. Please join us for a parallel poll worker training session on Monday, May 1, at 6pm at the Redwood Peace and Justice Center, 1040 H St. in Arcata. Fore more info:

Board of Supervisors: I wanted to mention the PE, among other things, at Tuesday's Board of supervisors meeting. Unfortunately, I misread the agenda and failed to request that the item be removed from the Consent Calendar. I understand that Tom Pinto spoke later, during the public comment, asking the Supes to add information on the mandatory 1% manual audit to the County website. Tom works in the district attorney's office and typically prefaces comments to speak only for himself. On Tuesday he also suggested that County employees be allowed as paid volunteers for the hand count. Right on.

9/11 Truth: This announcement also from Tom:
Americans have the right to ask questions about 9/11 and demand the release of the evidence that will address these questions. Don't confuse your sympathy for the victims with your beliefs about what happened that day. Join the northcoast 9/11 citizen's CSI team and let's do the job the 9/11 commission failed to do. We'll be having an organizational meeting at the Redwood Peace and Justice Center, 1040 H Street, Arcata, Saturday April 29th at 12 noon.
Police Review: Thursday, April 27, 6:30pm there is a community meeting to advance efforts to establish a citizen's police review board. This essential program should be a no-brainer for everyone who has been reading about the recent police killing of Cheri Moore

Solidarity: Mobilize for the National "“Day Without an Immigrant"” action on International Worker'’s Day
*** MONDAY MAY 1ST, 2006 ***


Don'’t go to work, cancel classes, walkout and join others in your community to build a movement to end racist violence and policies against Latin and undocumented communities. Solidarity with all migrant and undocumented workers! End the exploitation and abuse of migrant labour! Resist racist attacks on all workers and peoples of colour! Stop the militarization of the border! Stop deportations! No one is illegal!
This is happening everywhere. Humboldt: 7th and Broadway in Eureka at 10am

The New Road to Impeachment: A rule of Congress never before used has recently come to light. Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of any state legislature. Illinois state representatives are now working on House Joint Resolution 125. OpEdNews has the resolution text. California has also put this wheel in motion by completely overhauling Bill AJR39, which was about a depleted uranium moratorium. I spoke to the offices of both Senator Wes Chesbro and Assemblymember Patty Berg today and both confirmed they are receiving other calls about this from members of the Humboldt Nation. Chesbro (707-445-6508); Berg (707) 445-7014.

We Do Not Consent: I have begun sending out hard copies of my new book, We Do Not Consent. I have launched another blog at I figure this will be easier to say in media interviews so I don't have to spell out I hope it will come up in more searches. But have you ever Googled GuvWurld? I see over 26,000 hits right now. Anyway, now there is also a place for the book to get reader comments and another place where donations might originate. If you can help offset the cost of printing more hard copies, please click here or look for the PayPal button on either blog. Everyone who contributes $15 or more will receive a complimentary copy of We Do Not Consent.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

You Must See Loose Change

Loose Change is a documentary about what happened on 9/11. You can watch it in your browser and/or download it free HERE. I don't write in depth about 9/11 here at GuvWurld but I have long since read enough to conclude that the official story is full of contradictions and scientific impossibilities.

In more devout 9/11 circles, a debate continues about MIHOP (made it happen on purpose) or LIHOP (let it happen on purpose). Loose Change doesn't directly address this, in that it leaves it to the viewer to draw some conclusions. This approach may be more likely to penetrate the denial and defenses of those not versed in all that has been independently researched about 9/11.

After watching the movie last night there was definitely one thing above all else that I was grokking on. As with my comment in the second paragraph, I think about how we are more or less likely to get messages through to the other side. I imagine myself talking to various people and having them disregard my retelling of events as I've come to understand them. I imagine e-mailing people with links for their own verification, only to find that websites may have dubious credibility to them. So watch this film and be reminded of what the news networks reported as events unfolded that day.

If I tell you bombs brought down the towers you may scoff; if I point you to articles, you may dismiss them as noisy dissonance; but watch, and remember, this is what we all saw. When it happened, they told us bombs were going off. Then over the next couple of days they simply stopped reporting it and we Consented to an alternate reality. We accepted the same brainwashing with weapons of mass destruction and the 2004 "election."

Don't get me wrong. If you are new to debunking the official story of 9/11 this may challenge your worldview in other ways as you learn about the contradictions and scientific impossibilities. You may literally want to wretch. I cried. Cleanse. Now be ruthlessly honest. Who hates your freedoms and acts over and over to limit and remove them?

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Read more about 9/11 in the GuvWurld News Archive.


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Thursday, April 13, 2006

LISTEN: Thurs 7:30pm PT, GuvWurld on; Parallel Election Plans Announced

I will be interviewed Thursday night (4/13) at 7:30pm PT on "Thursday Night Talk." This radio show airs in Arcata, CA at 90.5 KHSU and streams online at

We will be discussing my new book We Do Not Consent (.pdf), including the Voter Confidence Resolution and Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution (.pdf), and the Voter Confidence Committee (VCC), which is planning to do another parallel election for the June 6 CA primary. Please call in to the show, especially if you have participated in a parallel election anywhere else. Studio phone: 707-826-4805 or toll-free 1-800-640-5911.

The book has received some local media coverage, as did the VCC in the lead up to the Demand Your Democracy Forum we held Tuesday night. I posted a collection of media briefs HERE. Not included in the list are the channel 3 TV news interview I did Tuesday morning for that day's 6pm news (I never saw this on air, please contact me if you recorded this), and the KGOE radio broadcast from Wednesday which included excerpts of comments from Tuesday's forum. I am trying to get this audio from Tom Sebourn.

The forum attendance was not what we had hoped, teaching us a lesson about scoping the accessibility of our location, especially for parking and foot traffic. By my head count we drew 35 people, though the Eureka Times-Standard (archive) reported the audience was just 20 strong. Writers from the Eureka Reporter and the Humboldt Advocate were present so I anticipate more coverage in the next few days.

The crescendo of the event was my announcement of the next parallel election, to be conducted in conjunction with the June 6 CA primary. To begin organizing and training volunteers we will be meeting on Monday, 4/17, 6pm at the Redwood Peace and Justice Center at 1040 H St. in Arcata. This is open to the public. We need dozens of volunteers to be able to set up at a large number of polling places. Please help us double check the accuracy of the official vote count done on secret and illegal Diebold optical scanners.

UPDATE 4/13 2:06am: Eureka Reporter article on Forum now online.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Media Briefs

Eureka Reporter

Local activist publishes essay collection

Local elections activist Dave Berman has published a collection of his essays, “We Do Not Consent,” dedicated to “conscientious objectors everywhere.”

The 20 essays have been posted on Berman’s GuvWurld blog and address U.S. involvement in Iraq, election reform and the Voter Confidence Resolution, among other things.


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Humboldt Advocate (.pdf)

GuvWurld Blogger Authors 'We Do Not Consent'

Cameron Langford
Humboldt Advocate
April 7-13, 2006

As the vote count in the 2000 presidential election ended in uncertainty and controversy, the ultimate decision passed from the hands of the American people to the nine justices of the Supreme Court. In this void of disconnect between verifiable will of the people and the verdict of the nation's highest court a fire kindled to life in the belly of Humboldt County Voter Confidence Committee co-founder Dave Berman.

MORE... (.pdf)

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Eureka Times-Standard (archive)

Article Launched: 04/09/2006 4:16 AM PDT

Democracy forum scheduled for Tuesday
The Times-Standard

EUREKA -- Voter Confidence Committee (VCC) of Humboldt County has scheduled a “Demand Your Democracy Forum” to be held Tuesday.

The forum, to be held in Founders Hall Room 118 at Humboldt State University, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Speakers will include Nathan Smith, vice president of the Humboldt Chapter of the NAACP; David Cobb, Green Party presidential candidate in 2004 and steering committee member of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County; and Dave Berman, VCC founding member and author of the just-released book, "We Do Not Consent."


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HSU Lumberjack

Flawed voting machines affect elections

Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Written by Jon Koriagin

I have never in my life seen anything so stunning as our press' inability to deal with the issues surrounding the subversion of our national elections.


A real democracy demands real participation. I would urge those who care about democracy to come to the Demand Your Democracy Forum, on Tuesday, April 11, 7 p.m. at HSU's Founder's Hall, Room 118, to find out how you can stay informed about and make a difference concerning issues surrounding democratic reform.


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Eureka Reporter

It's time for people to reclaim their rights and make their voices heard

by Larry Hourany, 4/2/2006


With the voting machines dependent on a proprietary code that Diebold refuses to allow election officials to monitor or verify, and with the presence of uncertified machines to keep us company in the voting booth, Americans are participating in a sham process. At the time of the last election it was not known that the programming was illegal. However, now it is clear, thus every official who abides this violation is in dereliction of duty.

One organization,, has filed suit against the California secretary of state, C. Crinich, Humboldt registrar of voters, and 16 other county registrars. This suit alleges that voting laws have been violated by use of the Diebold machines and that voters’ constitutional rights have been infracted.

On the local level, we are having mixed results confronting this problem. On March 21, the Elections Department proposed, and the Board of Supervisors indicated a willingness to approve, a non-electronic, low-tech assistive voting device called Vote Pad. This would satisfy the disabled voter provisions of the Help America Vote Act and presumably stop the county from buying Diebold touch-screen machines.

Despite this good news, we must still object to the optical scanners used to count all votes, including those cast on Vote Pad. The illegal interpreter code simply requires blind trust and gives no basis for confidence. A secret ballot means casting your vote in private, not counting the votes in secret.


Come to the Demand Your Democracy Forum presented by the Voter Confidence Committee on Tuesday, April 11, at 7 p.m. at HSU Founders Hall Room 119. For more information, go to


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Against These Wars

Dennis Kyne: An Uncommon American Hero

By Cathy Garger
3 April 2006


I remember some time back reading one of Dennis Kyne's articles, thinking he was my kind of person. You know the type - one way cool dude. I wrote to him, he wrote back, and since then I've followed his work, his travels (including Camp Casey) and his awesome humanitarian effort down in New Orleans after Katrina with Cindy Sheehan and friends.

A man who's definitely more action than talk, Army veteran of 15 years Dennis Kyne is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite heroes. This advocate for both vets and current military soldiers informs us on his website that to simply say we Support the Troops is not enough. Instead, Kyne maintains, we must Support the Truth.


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Eureka Times-Standard (archive)

Article Launched: 04/09/2006 4:16 AM PDT

Arkley opposes Measure T
Kimberly Wear The Times Standard the initiative.

EUREKA -- In letters to elected officials and political candidates, businessman Rob Arkley asks for their response to a ballot initiative that would ban outside corporations from donating to local races -- saying that Measure T will open the county up to a lawsuit and suppress free speech.


Arkley writes that the measure suppresses speech by attempting to limit campaign contributions -- a "hallmark of fascism."

"We do not need any form of fascism here in Humboldt County," Arkley said in the letter dated April 7.


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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Humboldt Supervisors Approve Limited Vote-PAD Pilot Project

As the first order of business on this morning's agenda, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors heard a revised report from Carolyn Crnich, Recorder/Clerk-Registrar of Voters. As noted in GuvWurld's Sunday dispatch, the plan now calls for deploying Vote-PAD at only the elections department for the June 6 primary. This was approved unanimously by the Supes.

For my part, as indicated on Sunday, I pointed out the "alternatives to staff recommendations" that Crnich included with her proposal (.pdf) because they indicate her preference for blowing off the Help America Vote Act rather than falling back upon purchasing Diebold touch screen machines. Today's approval would have made this a moot point had I not brought it up. Chairman Woolley thanked me for offering this perspective which I called a welcome willingness to consider "municipal civil disobedience" (.pdf).

In addition to bringing recognition to that important position shift at the elections department, I requested that the topic of vote counting and election security be added to the next Supervisors' agenda so that we may "report out of committee" what is discussed at the meeting coming up this Thursday for the Election Advisory Committee (6:30pm at the Courthouse in Eureka; open to the public). Elections Manager Lindsey McWilliams requested that the Supes delay hearing the item due to Fortuna's local election next Tuesday and so the matter is now slated for April 25. Altogether, I think we got what we needed this morning.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

GuvWurld 2nd Anniversary Post

Last year on April 3, I wrote the GuvWurld 1st anniversary post, paying homage to the first-ever GuvWurld post, and linking to some of the highlights of the first year. Another year later and one of the biggest highlights yet occurred one week ago. That's when I launched We Do Not Consent (.pdf), a free online book containing the essential GuvWurld Blog posts of the past two years. While a tad early, consider the homage to be more robust this year. We will look back on 2006 as an even better vintage still.

Together, this set of complete essays portrays advocacy journalism in action. The GuvWurld Blog was conceived for writing in this style, as I've noted many times. Yet now that this material has been assembled this way the advocacy journalism concept requires increased emphasis. Hence the Introduction and Epilogue, both written specifically for the book, and of course the press release. Everything written here is meant to advance the Movement for a peaceful revolution (.pdf).
GuvWurld is advocacy journalism. That means I often write about the work I do for change in the world and I write in a way that promotes these efforts. To judge whether my advocacy journalism is successful, I consider only whether my intended real-world results are produced. What better way to be the media than to create my own account of what I'm doing?

--Introduction, We Do Not Consent (.pdf)
For evidence of how this approach works, read the book. There will be a slight version change in the next few days before we print the first batch of hard copies. The only difference will be the quotes added to the inside of the back cover. Here are a few of those kind words:
"I urge everyone to read "We Do Not Consent", and distribute it as widely as possible."

--B Robert Franza MD, Seattle, WA

"What's special about this book (and it fits because there's nothing more fundamental to Democracy than our vote) is the raising of consciousness. Someone recognizing they have no basis for trusting elections may well ask what else is being taken for granted."

--Eddie Ajamian, Los Angeles, CA

"If in the future we have vital elections, the "no basis for confidence" formulation that GuvWurld is popularizing will have been a historically important development. This is true because by implicitly insisting on verification and checks and balances instead of faith or trust in elections officials or machines as a basis for legitimacy, it encourages healthy transparent elections. It's also rare that a political formulation approaches scientific certainty, but this formulation is backed up by scientific principles that teach that if you can't repeat something (such as an election) and verify it by independent means, it doesn't exist within the realm of what science will accept as established or proven truth."

--Paul Lehto, Attorney at Law, Everett, WA
All of these, and other quotes I've received, are very flattering and encouraging. But Paul's quote is something else. Historical importance will require quite a bit more reinforcement of the "no basis for confidence" message than I can hope to convey by myself. Fortunately, I know and work with people like Larry Hourany. See his Eureka Reporter opinion column from Sunday for a great piece on current election conditions in Humboldt County. Larry has also put up $100 toward book printing costs, bringing us to 32% of the goal, which is $500.

If you would like to support GuvWurld brand advocacy journalism, withdrawing the Consent of the Governed, and creating a peaceful revolution, please help get this message out to a larger audience by making a small donation using the PayPal button at the top left of the GuvWurld blog or by clicking here. All monies collected will go toward printing copies of We Do Not Consent (.pdf).

Larry's use of the "no basis for confidence" angle, Paul's high praise for "the formulation," fantastic news coverage from sources like the Lone Star Iconoclast and New Zealand's Scoop, and recent endorsements of the Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR) from the Human Relations Commission of Palo Alto, CA (.pdf) and Progressive Democratic caucuses in Washington state - these are essentially the day to day signs of progress for advocacy journalism. The next stage, in addition to gaining even more widespread adoption of the VCR, is to prompt other writers to take up this organizing style and other organizers to take up this writing style.

A few other things on the horizon: a long awaited re-vamp and re-launch of the Reinventing Activism program, the original source for my advocacy journalism concepts; first-hand courtroom reporting on the lawsuit (.pdf) from GuvWurld correspondent Jane Allen in San Francisco; development of a media and speaking appearances history to reference available interviews and articles in a single place; expanding upon that list with many new media appearances in support of We Do Not Consent (.pdf) (Hi Tom Sebourn, I'm ready for Thom Hartmann's call!); and more collaborative efforts with,,, California Election Protection Network, and Study California Ballots, among others.

So after two years I think it is fair to say that the GuvWurld blog has stayed on track and true to its purpose. Tangible progress has been made with both immediate impact and long-term big picture implications. Though I don't update GuvWurld every day, 320 posts, the VCR, the Blueprint (.pdf), and We Do Not Consent (.pdf), plus more than a dozen published letters and essays all show I've met a personal goal of being more prolific. What will be the highlights of the GuvWurld 3rd anniversary post? Keep your mind open...the future's coming.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Humboldt Registrar Downgrades Vote-PAD to 'Pilot Project', Prefers HAVA Non-compliance to Diebold Touch Screens

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will meet once again this Tuesday, April 4, at 9am. The agenda begins with this financial request from Recorder/County Clerk-Registrar Carolyn Crnich. The Supes are now expected to approve just $3730, a much smaller allocation than previously mentioned, for the purchase of two Vote-PAD packages comprised of 20 booklets and 10 extra ballot sheaths. The Elections Department would serve as the only polling place offering the low-tech, non-electronic assistive voting device. According to Crnich, Vote-PAD, designed to allow disabled voters to vote privately and independently, will also "demonstrate good faith efforts to meet HAVA [Help America Vote Act] requirements."

As noted previously at GuvWurld, Crnich recently appeared before the Supes to request substantially more funding (.pdf), which would have made Vote-PAD more widely available throughout Humboldt County. The revised plan downgrades the Vote-PAD implementation to a "pilot project" and calls for spending less than 2% of the original projection. The primary reason for the change is the lack of time required for elections department staff to manually prepare the six hundred Vote-PAD booklets that were to have been put in use for the June 6 primary.

Crnich cites assurances from Secretary of State Bruce McPherson's office that the limited outlay will be reimbursed by HAVA funds, even as she acknowledges the uncertainty of the Secretary's approval for use. This is about par for the course for McPherson who knowingly certified election machines that do not comply with state or federal law. recently filed a lawsuit (.pdf) against McPherson, Crnich, and 17 other CA county registrars.

In this week's submission to the Supes, Crnich mentions the lawsuit. The reference is part of the second of two "alternatives to staff recommendations." I interpret this to mean that if the Supes don't want to go along with the minimal use of Vote-PAD, the next idea is to be non-compliant with HAVA. If that is not acceptable, purchasing Diebold TSx machines is not off the table, despite the lawsuit.

I don't think there is much question that the Supes will approve the Vote-PAD plan. But to Crnich's credit, it is a strong statement for her to put on the record that she would rather not comply with HAVA than use Diebold TSx machines. I have to admit, I take exception with Crnich for several things but this is totally right on. It suggests the glimpse of optimism I flashed five weeks ago might have been justified:
In a previous meeting I attended with Crnich and Vets For Peace Secretary Jim Sorter, I encouraged Crnich to consider municipal civil disobedience. She reacted quite negatively. However, yesterday we discussed what an untenable position she is in and it seemed like maybe, perhaps, I hope I'm not just wishing that she began to get the idea that being controlled by others is not a suitable excuse to offer after everything has gone to pot and people are seeking accountability.
Another important part of this story is simply the topic getting an official hearing again on Tuesday's Supervisors' agenda. This is an opportunity we should not pass up. Last time, Chairman Woolley curtailed my public comment when I expanded the topic to include vote counting. How can we have any serious conversation about a new vote casting method and not also discuss how the votes are counted?

We need more citizens present this Tuesday to speak out for hand counted paper ballots. Perhaps an upshot here is that the Election Advisory Committee is meeting this Thursday, April 6, at 6:30pm at the Courthouse in Eureka. The main topic is scheduled to be election security and we need lots of citizens to show for that too. If they're not willing to hear about it at Tuesday's Supervisors' meeting, we should recommend strongly that their next agenda have an item "to report out of committee" about Thursday's election security discussion.

In his regular Friday afternoon guest slot, Brad Friedman of recently interviewed (.mp3) Crnich on the Peter B. Collins radio show originating in Monterey, CA on KRXA and aired in Humboldt on KGOE. A few interesting, but disappointing comments from Crnich:
(Collins): What is your level of confidence in the Diebold optical scan?

(Crnich): Well Humboldt County is considerably smaller than some of the counties that you may be broadcasting into or from. Um, but, we have through our audits in the past, we have not had any reason to, uh, any reason for concern over the security of the ballots this point in time, our 1%, or 1%-plus actually, uh, manual recount of those ballots has verified that the, uh, the results we have received have been accurate.


(Collins): Do you ever permit poll workers or precinct directors, whatever title you give them, to take a machine home overnight and then take it to the polling place in the morning or are the machines under your control at all times?

(Crnich): They, uh, the poll workers do have them at their homes and deliver them to the polling place. Before they receive them, the memory cards are sealed in them.


(Friedman): 1% certainly isn't sufficient to catch problems because you're going to miss them 99% of the time, essentially. But, um, as she [Crnich] says, when those machines go home at night with the poll workers, anything can happen to those machines, because they--my understanding is--they can be networked, they can be accessed through all kinds of ways and information can be put onto those memory cards even if the memory cards are locked in the machine and that's a very serious concern because that code can then be programmed to essentially delete itself the next day before anybody gets to see what has actually happened to that code.

(Collins): Carolyn, a comment?

(Crnich): Um, you know, I don't have any comment to that. I, uh, um, I have heard that comment before and I've, you know, I've not been able to address it and prove it or disprove it.
So let's review. Friedman is correctly asserting, according to the Berkeley/VSTAAB report (.pdf), that the memory cards can be altered even when "sealed" in the machines. By allowing the machines and cards out of their control, by definition, the elections department cannot vouch for the condition of the equipment when deployed at the precincts. And to validate the accuracy of the vote count, 99 out of 100 possible discrepancies are disregarded without consideration. Is it any wonder this approach has not revealed any problems in the past? Perhaps there were none, but how would we know? It is easier to miss what you are not looking for than what you are looking for.

What I'm looking for is a rational basis for confidence. I want to see a reason why I should accept the results that will be reported by an elections department that speaks for its equipment by announcing that they can't really speak for their equipment because others get it at the last minute. I want conclusive election results delivered by an elections department that can prove, over and over, that the final numbers they report match the will of the people. I'm looking for an elections department so committed to instilling confidence in the system (.pdf) that they themselves apply this rational basis for confidence criteria when approaching the challenges of preparing for an election.
(Crnich): Um, you know, I don't have any comment to that. I, uh, um, I have heard that comment before and I've, you know, I've not been able to address it and prove it or disprove it.
Crnich is uncertain, and understandably so. As I wrote in Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution (.pdf), these conditions have been created intentionally to cause inherent uncertainty. The Voter Confidence Resolution proves unequivocally that current election conditions ensure inconclusive results. While Crnich is uncertain, she also seems unable or unwilling to recognize the systemic source of her uncertainty. She is willing to plod ahead with the optical scanners, denying that she is perpetuating the conditions ensuring the uncertainty, and believing she is serving her community by making the best of a bad situation. How Manchurian.

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If you dig this writing, and understand that we must use our access to media, including blogs, to further the work we do for social change, please support We Do Not Consent, my new e-book. It is a free .pdf that you can download and forward. Or just send this link: If you'd like to see this material get more national media exposure, please consider making a PayPal donation through the button at the top left of the GuvWurld Blog or just click here. I'm hoping to raise just enough money to print a small run of hard copies to be sent to progressive broadcasters and writers. One dollar is not too little. It is a personal account and none of it will be syphoned off by fees for PayPal. What is the least you can do?

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The Voter Confidence Committee is presenting the Demand Your Democracy Forum on Tuesday, April 11 at 7pm at Humboldt State University's Founders Hall Room 118. Click here for the press release. If you can help promote the event, there are links to downloadable leaflets and posters below.

Demand Your Democracy Forum leaflets (.pdf, 6 to a page)

Demand Your Democracy Forum poster (.pdf, 8.5 x 11, b&w)

Demand Your Democracy Forum poster (.pdf, 8.5 x 11, color)

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Press Release: VCC Presents "Demand Your Democracy" Forum On 4/11


FROM: Jack McCurdy, the Voter Confidence Committee,

CONTACT: Dave Berman, 707-845-3749 or


March 31, 2006--Is Humboldt County heading for a possible vote count disaster on June 6? What can be done to prevent the use of illegal and untrustworthy optical scan machines to count votes? How can the community organize to demand the use of reliable hand-counted paper ballots?

Those questions--and an even bigger one: will your vote count on June 6?--will be explored, debated and answered at the "Demand Your Democracy Forum" beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11, sponsored by the Voter Confidence Committee (VCC) of Humboldt County, which is dedicated to ensuring electoral integrity in our community. The Forum will be held in Founders Hall Room 118 at Humboldt State University. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

Outstanding speakers and their topics will be:

• Nathan Smith, NAACP Humboldt Chapter Vice President, the historical struggle for the franchise.

• David Cobb, Green Party presidential candidate in 2004 and steering committee member of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County, the recount in Ohio during 2004, which is still subject to pending litigation.

• Dave Berman, VCC founding member and author of the just-released book, "We Do Not Consent," the reliability of election conditions in Humboldt County.

A fourth speaker may be added to the program.

The Forum is aimed at explaining just why the VCC and other groups around the state and nation are so alarmed about not only how even local elections have been corrupted but how that may continue to occur if the optical scan machines continue to be used. These machines, including those manufactured by Diebold, which County officials intend to deploy, use secret codes that are expressly forbidden by 2002 Federal standards that must be complied with by California and other states.

Paul Lehto, an Everett, Washington, attorney, who has sued and won removal of similar machines manufactured by Sequoia, wrote this in his Foreword to Berman's new book:

"...whenever secret vote counting is used, there is no rational basis for confidence in the reported election results. This is so because nobody saw the count, nobody can verify it, and nobody can independently repeat it. Such conditions violate all of the basic principles of science necessary to have a basis for confidence in the reported election results. That's no way to run a system of elections if you're serious about defending democracy."

The Forum will provide an opportunity to review the purpose and importance of the lawsuit filed on March 21 seeking to prevent the use and purchase of Diebold machines in California. It was filed in San Francisco by attorney Lowell Finley and and named as defendants California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, Humboldt Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich, and 17 other California registrars. It alleges that McPherson did not follow proper procedures in certifying Diebold voting machines for use in California, that Diebold's equipment fails to comply with the law, and that voters' constitutional rights are being violated.

Following widespread expressions of concern, including an almost daily onslaught of news about problems with election machines, the county has seemingly abandoned its plans to buy new Diebold machines for use in the June 6 election. Instead, it plans to use the Vote-PAD system to satisfy legal requirements for disabled voters, but votes cast with Vote-PAD will still be counted on the illegal and secret optical scanners, leaving the accuracy of vote counts at risk.

What makes the use of these machines so objectionable, Berman said, is that the corporations that make them "are all claiming proprietary privilege to keep their computer programming from being scrutinized by the public, or even by the election officials on the county level." Thus, the public is kept from being able to have a transparent view of how it works. The state of Maryland has abandoned such machines, which also have been rejected by several Florida communities and the state of North Carolina.

The only good alternative is the use of hand-counted paper ballots, Berman said. "Hand counting paper ballots represents a transparent, secure and verifiably accurate voting system. In a county the size of Humboldt, this is practical, logistically-feasible and cost-effective when compared to the cost of more litigation."

The blueprint for bringing integrity to our voting process is found in the Voter Confidence Resolution, which is at The Resolution was adopted by the Arcata City Council last July with a platform of election reforms aimed at creating a new basis for confidence in election results. The Demand Your Democracy Forum will be a reminder to community members of the civic role we share for overseeing the transfer of power from We The People to those who must then represent us.


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