The Time for Election Protection is Now (CD 50: Busby/Bilbray)
(1) Election Defense Alliance response to (2) report from DNC Voting Rights Institute (appended below)
This open letter from the Election Defense Alliance in response to the Democratic Party's plan for meaningful election protection action has been delivered to the chairs of Democratic Party assembly district and regional district committees and numerous Democratic clubs in California, and to election integrity groups, journalists, and newsmedia around the nation.
Our message is: Now--not next November-- is the time to put these expressed intentions into action in the 50th Congressional District in California.
Either the "No Concessions" policy set forth in the DNC Voting Rights Institute Summit plan means what it says, or it is an empty promise.
Dear Cheryl Lilienstein and Democratic grassroots leaders,
Congratulations to you for having impressed upon the DNC the seriousness of the electoral legitimacy crisis. The party's announced intention to finally confront these issues is good news, indeed!
Election Defense Alliance, a coordinating body for grassroots election integrity groups throughout the nation, is willing to work with the DNC -- and any party -- that exhibits the serious intent to reclaim the nation's privatized, corrupted electoral system at every level.
We implore the DNC to immediately commit all necessary resources to an emergency legal intervention in the Busby/Bilbray contest, to thoroughly scrutinize and either validate or contest that suspect election before the deadline for intervention passes.
Appalling security breaches occurred and are documented. The Diebold TSx and Accu-Vote machines--that in under two minutes in the wrong person's hands can be indetectably hacked in a way to defraud the entire election--spent days and nights in the homes, garages, and cars of pollworkers, violating the state and federal security certification requirements for legal use of those machines. Under these unsecured and illegal voting conditions, the public has zero basis for confidence in the announced outcome of that entire election.
The DNC, as its first action under this newly announced Election Protection plan, must act quickly and decisively to bring legal action challenging the outcome and the protocol of the Busby-Bilbray race, by demanding a hand count of every ballot and voter verified audit trail, with complete accounting for ballot chain of custody since the election to prove that the ballots have been properly safeguarded.
There is no time to lose. The last opportunity to intervene closes 5 days after the official canvass is announced, which is expected any day. Delay or neglect in reponding to this most hotly contested race of Primary 2006 will signal the hollowness of the Democractic Party's Election Protection efforts going forward. If the Democratic Party allows the high-profile and grossly illegitimate Busby/Bilbray election to stand unchallenged, it will be issuing an open invitation for more of the same in November -- when there will likely be as many as 40 or 50 congressional races under a similar cloud.
The California Election Protection Network has issued a statewide press release and Resolution of No Confidence in the San Diego election, calling for a hand count of the ballots as the only acceptable remedy. Velvet Revolution.us has launched a national petition calling for the same. Election Defense Alliance endorses both responses, and commends them to the Democratic Party as the corrective action necessary to demonstrate the Democratic Party's commitment to its own declared intentions.
We urge you to apply every measure of influence you have to move the DNC to immediately and effectively challenge this election as the first enactment of its announced Election Protection and No Concessions policies.
Sally Castleman, Jonathan Simon & Dan Ashby
Co-Founders, Election Defense Alliance
Ginny Ross, Bruce O'Dell, Nancy Tobi, Jerry Adams, Judy Alter, Tom Courbat, Marj Creech, Bob Wilson, Vicki Lovegren
Coordinating Council, Election Defense Alliance
Report from the DNC Voting Rights Institute Summit, June 20 2006
Recently, Cheryl Lilienstein accepted an invitation to attend the Democratic Party DNC Voting Rights Institute summit June 20 2006. This is her report.
The DNC introduced the plan for year-round election protection for every voting jurisdiction in the United States. Attending were National Lawyers Council, reps from DCCC and DSC, and various non-profits in support of fair elections.
This excellent DNC plan includes:
Training state party Chairs for year-round election protection.
This will take place at the DNC conference, Chicago, August 18.
A "NO CONCESSION until all votes are counted" candidate position,
and advocating for precinct-based optical scan equipment.
Mark Brewer, Chairman, Association of Democratic State Chairs is in charge of this.
Creating state legal teams to produce state-by-state election code guidebooks for attorney and activist teams in each county. These handbooks will include information on how to investigate voting processes, including:
voter ID laws and voter rights
pollworker training for consistency with election code
voting systems for consistency with election code
elections administration for consistency with election code
following the election through to the end of vote counting and auditing
The goals of these investigations are:
-to proactively influence the processes and procedures to produce fair elections,
-to pursue litigation where warranted,
-to accumulate data to support legislation for election integrity.
The second guidebook is for pollworker training:
the party is encouraging volunteers to become pollworkers in order to ensure that all laws are applied fairly and consistently, and that all voting systems have whatever oversight can be ensured by the pollworker. These guidebooks are supplements to the ROV training manuals.
There will be a Centralized 888 DemVote phone system for:
Automated answer to the questions: "where do I go to vote?", "am I registered?"
AND rerouting problem calls to LOCAL attorneys for immediate problem-solving/legal action related to vote suppression, issues with access or equipment, or pollworker problems. Ken Smuckler, Voterlink
Useful print materials for voter rights are available from Jack Young, National Lawyers Council, Virginia.
One of these featured a door-hanger with the precinct location, voter rights and ID requirements, and the 888 Dem Vote hotline number on one side, and "who to vote for" on the other side.
A timeline was offered by Joe Sandler, general counsel, DNC, which starts now.
Recommended immediate effort:
Compare statewide voter reg databases with last year's databases to find voters who erroneously removed from the voter rolls, contact those voters, and get them re-registered. If disenfranchisement appears along racial/ethnic lines, file lawsuits, get injunctions.
There was also information available about voting systems and provisional ballots, from Election Data Services:
what are the rates of provisionals cast and rejection rates for each state: helpful to determine the amount of attention this will require ( in other words, in states where provisional ballots are not counted, voters need to fight for the right to vote in the normal manner rather than cast provisionals.)
Also contains maps of voting system usage for every county, and trends in voting patterns.
Election Data Services, Kimball Brace, President
-presentation by Dan Wallach on the insecurity of electronic voting systems.
-presentation by Spencer Overton on voter ID, and studies that show that claims of widespread voter fraud are false.
Karl Rove's strategy:
Identify all jurisdictions that have a 2-1 margin for Reps, and make it 2 1/2 to 1, and,
Prevent the vote for those not "entitled" to vote.
We know what that means. Onslaught of voter suppression. My take; very important to have strong minority area attorney-response teams in every county.
Well, that's all for now. I have no idea when this will be officially announced, but the DSC phone banker asking me for money today was able to respond to me that there was a plan for a 50 state election protection effort. He was in Wisconsin at the DSC call center, so it seems that "the word" has been coordinated, already. This is good news... Very good news.
I guess the effort has started to bear fruit.
Please forward this email to any attorneys you know and get the volunteer minds oriented.
And, if you get a request from the DNC to fund this effort, please give.