June 25, 2006

League of Women Voters supports voter-verified paper ballot/record, routine audits

The League of Women Voters, at their national gathering in Minneapolis, June 9-13, voted to adopt a resolution offered by the LWV of Minnesota to support "only voting systems that are designed so that:
1. they employ a voter-verifiable paper ballot or other paper record, said paper being the official record of the voter's intent; and
2. the voter can verify, either by eye or with the aid of suitable devices for those who have impaired vision, that the paper ballot/record accurately reflects his or her intent; and
3. such verification takes place while the voter is still in the process of voting; and
4. the paper ballot/record is used for audits and recounts; and
5. the vote totals can be verified by an independent hand count of the paper ballot/record; and
6. routine audits of the paper ballot/record in randomly selected precincts can be conducted in every election, and the results published by the jurisdiction."

RFK Jr. re the 2004 election--stolen?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. asks, Did Bush Steal the 2004 Election? How 350,000 Votes Disappeared in Ohio in Rolling Stone, June 15, 2006. For commentary and key excerpts, see the indispensable BradBlog.com.

June 23, 2006

Election Reform Report by Common Cause

Common Cause published Malfunction and Malfeasance: A Report on the Electronic Voting Machine Debacle on June 22, 2006. Pennsylvania is among the states whose voter risk assessment is rated high (page 19).

Clean Money Day

June 27 is Clean Money Day, sponsored by Common Cause, which has joined with Public Citizen, Public Campaign Action Fund, and U.S. PIRG to ask that every candidate for Congress sign the Voters First Pledge, committing to real reform. House parties will be screening Robert Greenwald's The Big Buy: Tom Delay's Stolen Congress.

June 11, 2006

More re proposed changes to BCDC bylaws

Here's my response to a suggestion at BucksforChange that the solution to the objection to being required to support an endorsed candidate would be to resign--"What's the big deal?"
Please let me explain why I feel this is a big deal. As the bylaws currently stand, we have the freedom to choose which candidates to support in the primaries. If the proposed change is adopted, we will lose that freedom. And if I have to resign to follow my conscience, I will lose my vote in party meetings like today's [June 10]. And since I just got elected, I'm not sure when my next chance for election would come around, or how soon I might have to resign again. And then my Plumstead precinct would have only one committeeperson, like a couple of other Plumstead precincts, because there aren't enough Democrats in the township who want to volunteer for this job. And I'm not sure how many other committeepersons would feel just as alienated from the party as I would. So how much would the party gain by adopting this change? Would it be worth the pain and damage it would cause?

June 08, 2006

Proposed changes to BCDC bylaws

Re some of the proposed changes to Bucks County Democratic Committee bylaws:

I've come to view the fight for endorsements as a blood sport that leaves us wounded and weakened. Primary battles are bruising enough; adding endorsement contests is like shooting ourselves in both feet.

Maybe the rationale used to be that we in the inner circle were better acquainted with the candidates and so more qualified to judge who would have the best chance with the voters at large, but I can't say I buy that at this point. Wouldn't voters be more engaged if we used our website to provide detailed information about all the candidates and let them decide?

If we must have endorsements, some of the damage could be minimized if all the candidates' names were on the goldenrod with an asterisk after the endorsed candidate's name. And let's allow all the candidates to distribute their signs, literature, etc. from party headquarters. And if we must have endorsements, by all means increase the threshold from 50 percent + 1.

The proposed change to the bylaws that would require committeepersons to support endorsed candidates would be intolerable to the hardworking, engaged individuals who do these jobs, and would discourage others from ever volunteering to take them on. Not a good idea.