Progressive Calendar 11.03.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 18:16:06 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    11.03.08

1. Vote Amber not Betty 11.04 7am
2. Cavlan not Franken   11.04 7am
3. Stop cops at polls   11.04 7am
4. RNC/court watch      11.04 9am
5. Synthetic biology    11.04 11:30am
6. RNC CourtW/meet      11.04 6pm
7. Terrorizing Dissent  11.04 7pm
8. GP election party    11.04 7pm

9. Election talk/KFAI   11.05 11am
10. Islam               11.05 2pm/7pm
11. Vigil/prez/war      11.05 4:30pm
12. Election meaning    11.05 7pm

13. Jazz CD group

14. Boaz et al - Is the election about to be stolen in OH PA et al?

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From: Amber Garlan <agarlan [at]>
Subject: Vote Amber not Betty 11.04      [Amber Alert!]

Get the attention of 4th CD Rep. Betty McCollum on single payer health
care!  Write in Amber "Medicare for All" Garlan for 4th CD Rep.

I am dissatisfied with Congresswoman Betty McCollum's refusal to support
the national health care reform which would relieve all Americans from
worries about getting standard, medically-necessary health care. Cost, and
insurance company barriers, are real worries. I have health care insurance
now, but it does not provide me with a guarantee that my health care needs
will be paid for. It only provides me with a contract stating that some of
my health care needs will be paid for as long as I qualify for the
company's coverage. This is not acceptable to me. Nor am I content
with the glaring lack of access to health care services which many of my
fellow Americans suffer.

All Americans suffer from fears about how well our health care needs will
be met . . . I am merely more fortunate that my health care needs are
being attended to now, because I am lucky enough to have some insurance at
this time. I know, however, that I could easily lose this insurance
through no fault of my own. Therefore, I went to Congresswoman McCollum's
office in St. Paul, about two months ago, on August 19, and I brought 16
other people with me. They were all her constituents. They all wanted her
to pledge her support for the bill in Congress which would end our health
care worries immediately, HR 676. But she will not support it. She thinks
we need insurance companies to be invovled in our health care. That is
flawed thinking. Those companies are making money without guaranteeing
that Americans have standard, comprehensive health care. Those companies
are, instead, creating a mountainous tangle of confusing paperwork, and
making us pay people to push it around. Those companies are interfering
with the care and treatment decisions of my doctor and medical experts.
Those companies are using my insurance premium money to lobby
our Congresswoman that they need to be involved in my health care
decisions.  -Amber Garlan

from: Diane J. Peterson White Bear Lake, Minnesota birch7 [at]

Thank goodness my friend, Amber Garlan, has decided to send a message to
our Congresswoman in the form of votes. Amber filed at the Minnesota
Secretary of State's office as a write-in candidate for Congress on
October 23. She is the "Medicare For All" candidate. McCollum is not on
board yet with that bill, HR 676, which creates a national system of
"Medicare For All."

Amber and I won't wait until we're 65 to get the peace of mind that we
will have all our medical needs taken care of at a reasonable cost. We
won't wait for McCollum to decide that poor Americans have a right to
decent health care even if they can't afford it themselves.

We are writing in "Amber Garlan"  on our ballots for the District 4
Congressional seat. Our goal is to get these votes counted, and revisit
Congresswoman McCollum after Election Day to see what her response is to
Amber's initiative. Amber has found a way to make her policy wishes heard
in the language politicans understand: real votes cast by dissatisfied
constituents. These will be real votes tabulated by the State of
Minnesota.  I am asking you to join me by writing in "Amber Garlan." I am
also asking you to spread this initiative to your acquaintances, and
especially to people in the health care professions.

Already, a medical doctor in my congregation who is also a member of
Physicians for a National Health Plan, has pledged to me that she will
write in "Amber Garlan."  One-on-one, we need to ask people who live
in Ramsey County (which comprises the Fourth Congressional District)
to do this.  Amber has vowed to refrain from spending even one nickel
on her campaign, freeing her from spending energy reporting into the
Federal Elections Commission.  She is relying on people power to
spread the word about her campaign.  This is a grassroots, people's
movement to throw off our health care shackles.  Defy the insurance
profiteers, who have enslaved us, and cast a vote for health care

From: John Kolstad <jkolstad [at]>

Someone needs to challenge safe district Democrats that refuse to support
real health care solutions.  If Betty McCollum had spent even one hour
since she was elected actually looking at the recommendation of those who
independently study this issue or the entire rest of the Industrialized
World, she would know and support Universal Single Payer and HF 676.  A
cynical person might think she has to know that Single Payer is the
solution, but that she is not willing to take on the Health Insurance,
Drug and Medical Industry that is so benefiting from our current bad
public policy.  I don't know which it is, but it is not getting done for
whatever reason.

It seems pretty clear that the Democrats will dominate the US House and
Senate.  It is of no possible doubt that the Republicans Policies and
control has been a fiscal disaster.  What is seriously questionable is
whether the Democrats in the overwhelming majority will actually do
something to really solve the health care disaster or propose more
bandaids.  If history is an indicator, the Democrats, if they get the
large majority, will give lip service to really solving problems, but
will ultimately serve the excessively wealthy and powerful that controll
the government now, (And give $$$ for campaigns) and they will not pass
real solutions to pressing problems. (I hope I'm wrong, but.....)

So if the Democrats fail again, like they did the last time they had total
control of the Government, the public should be persuaded that Going back
to the Republicans is not a going to solve anything.  America needs a new
alternative.  Whether Green or Brown or Blue or Inde, there needs to be an
alternative to the Digital Political System we are forced to endure;
Digital is binary, either 0 or 1.  This is an analog world.  We can handle
more that two choices.

Therefore this write-in candidate is to be applauded and thanked.

Again, assuming the Dems will win against the Repubs, who have disgraced
themselves, their party and their supporters, As soon as the election is
over, we need to start a movement to contact all Members of Congress and
the Senate and let them know that if they don't stop working for the
benefit of the very wealthy and powerful and start working for the
"Commonwealth"  then we will collectively work to replace them with
someone, whether within one of the parties or not, who will work for those
who elected them.

--------2 of 14-------

From: Michael Cavlan greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at]>
Subject: Cavlan not Franken 11.04

Congrats Amber:

I also have just officially become a write in candidate for United States
Senate. -Michael Cavlan

--------3 of 14--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: Stop cops at polls 11.04 7am


The St. Paul police federation just announced a plan to gather petition
signatures at polling places in order to garner raises.  Beyond the
question of whether they deserve raises after their conduct at the RNC,
the presence of police officers at polling places may well have a chilling
effect on people of color and poor people trying to exercise their right
to vote.  This is especially so in light of an urban myth circulated by a
certain political party that people with warrants and outstanding tickets
will be arrested if they try to vote.

CUAPB will be at selected polling places in St. Paul getting out "your
rights as a voter" flyers and observing and taping police conduct at those
sites.  Polls are open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. so we need lots of folks to
help with this effort.  If you can give even a few hours to this on
Tuesday, please email mgresist [at] with your time availability.
Folks are especially needed during the day.

Petition effort for cops' pay criticized
Polls are called wrong place for drive
By Mara H. Gottfried
mgottfried [at]

People voting in St. Paul on Election Day shouldn't have to worry about
walking past police officers seeking signatures for a petition outside
polling places, two state legislators and others said Friday.

Rep. John Lesch and Sen. Sandy Pappas, both Democrats representing St.
Paul, asked the St. Paul Police Federation to take their drive to
different places or not do it on Election Day.

"We think it's the wrong idea, it's a bad tactic, it risks potential voter
intimidation," Lesch said at a news conference Friday. "There are people
who could have unpaid parking tickets, people who have unpaid speeding
tickets who might just turn right around because it's just not worth their
time to take that risk of having to walk past a police officer in order to
exercise their constitutional right to vote."

Federation President Dave Titus said officers won't be on duty or in
uniform, will be outside exits where possible and won't be checking
anyone's identification or license plates for possible infractions.

The police union said Thursday that its members will be collecting
signatures to get an amendment to St. Paul's charter on the next ballot.
The amendment would specify that police officers be among the top five
cities for pay, compared with police in Minneapolis and metro-area suburbs
with populations of at least 25,000. St. Paul officers are currently
ranked 15th in the metro area for pay over a 30-year career, according to
the police union.

Titus said that many soliciting signatures aren't officers, but are family
members, volunteers or temporary workers.  The signature seekers will be
wearing orange shirts that say "Federation petition drive," Titus said.
Federation board members will be wearing navy sweat shirts that say
"Federation" in 2-inch print and "St. Paul Police" in half-inch print on
the left chest, Titus said. The shirts don't have badge insignia on them,
he said.

"It is very disappointing that an elected official who has sworn to uphold
the constitutional laws of this state would hold the opinion that the mere
presence of a person wearing a shirt that reads, 'Federation', the union
that represents peace officers, would be intimidating and somehow wrong,"
Titus said.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said Friday that petitions are allowed as
long as the petitioners are more than 100 feet from the polling place
door.  Titus said they would abide by that requirement.

Marvin Rouse, a retired teacher and St. Paul resident, also spoke at
Friday's news conference. "To see our country come to this point and to
have minorities being able to come and speak freely, we don't need
anything to jeopardize this," he said.

On the petition drive in general, Lesch said he supports "any union
organization wanting to ensure that they're fairly paid."

A spokesman for Mayor Chris Coleman has said St. Paul police officers are
"more than fairly compensated" and it's "bad policy to codify a city
employee's pay in the charter."

A St. Paul officer with five years of experience will make about $60,000 a
year when the 2008 wage increase is implemented. If the department were
ranked fifth for pay, that officer would make about $2,000 a year more,
according to a Pioneer Press analysis.

To get a charter amendment on next year's ballot, the union needs to
obtain signatures totaling 5 percent of St. Paul's voter turnout Tuesday.
Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Mansky estimated 7,500 signatures
would be needed. The federation is aiming for 12,000.

Jason Hoppin contributed to this report.

--------4 of 14--------

From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at]>
Subject: RNC/court watch 11.04 9am

Come support the RNC arrestees! The days of direct action are over, but
the legal support work has just begun. People are going up before the
court and the state to face their criminal charges for expressing their
dissent during the RNC. We need a strong showing of community solidarity
in the courtrooms to support our friends and provide a deterrent to
judge's behavior. Having many people present at the upcoming hearings is
an effective way of challenging the political oppression of the RNC
protesters. Come out and show your solidarity!

Food and drink are not allowed in the courtroom and all supporters will
have to pass through a metal detector (no guns, knives, or scissors are
allowed past security). While in court, supporters must remain silent and
will not be allowed to carry signs through the security station; the
strength of our collective presence will send the message we need to send.

If you are interested in doing court watches, you must contact
rnccourtwatch [at] for information you will need in order to be a
court watcher.


[This schedule will be printed this ONCE! If you want it, SAVE it! -ed]

When: Tuesday November 04, 2008
Time: 9:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse
Judge DeCourcy

When: Tuesday November 04, 2008
Time: 1:00 P.M. - 3:30 P.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse, Room 131A
Judge Marrinan

When: Wednesday November 05, 2008
Time: 9:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse
Judge Edward Wilson

When: Thursday November 06, 2008
Time: 8:30 A.M.-11:00 A.M.
Where: Public Safety Facility, Room 142
Judge Thorwarld Anderson

When: Thursday November 06, 2008
Time: 9:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse
Judge Edward Wilson

When: Thursday November 06, 2008
Time: 9:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse
Judge VanDeNorth

When: Thursday November 06, 2008
Time: 1:00 P.M.-3:30 P.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse
Judge Edward Wilson

When: Friday November 07, 2008
Time: 1:00 P.M.-3:30 P.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse Room 131A
Judge Fetsch

When: Monday November 10, 2008
Time: 9:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse
Judge Guthmann

Where: Monday November 10, 2008
Time: 9:00 A.M.-11:30 A.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse
Judge Fetsch

When: Thursday November 13, 2008
Time: 8:30 A.M.-11:30 A.M.
Where: Public Safety Facility, Room 142
Judge (please contact rnccourtwatch [at] for updated info)

When: Thursday November 13, 2008
Time: 8:30 A.M.-11:00 A.M.
Where: Public Safety Facility, Room 141
Judge Hopper

When: Thursday November 13, 2008
Time: 1:15 P.M.-3:45 P.M.
Where: LEC, Room 102
Judge Gearin

When: Thursday November 13, 2008
Time: 1:30 P.M.-4:00 P.M.
Where: (please contact rnccourtwatch [at] for updated info)
Judge Nathanson

When: Monday November 17, 2008
Time: 9:00 A.M.-11:30 A.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse
Judge Clark

When: Monday November 17, 2008
Time: 1:30 P.M.-4:00 P.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse
Judge Guthmann

When: Tuesday November 18, 2008
Time: 1:30 P.M.-3:30 P.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse
Judge Monahan

When: Wednesday November 19, 2008
Time: 1:15 P.M.-3:45 P.M.
Where: LEC, Room 102
Judge Finley

When: Wednesday November 26, 2008
Time: 9:00 A.M.-11:30 A.M.
Where: Ramsey County Courthouse
Judge Awsumb

--------5 of 14--------

From: Consortium on Law & Values and JDP Program <lawvalue [at]>
Subject: Synthetic biology 11.04 11:30am

The Paradigm Shift of Synthetic Biology:  Tensions Between Innovation and

Prof. Arti Rai, JD, Duke University School of Law Tuesday, November 4,
Coffman Memorial Union Theater (1st Floor)
Arti Rai

In her lecture, Prof. Rai will discuss how synthetic biology aims to
effect a paradigm shift in biology, changing it from a relatively high
cost, centralized endeavor to one that operates through cheap DNA
synthesis and standardized parts.  The most passionate synthetic biology
proponents envision a future in which decentralized networks of small
firms and individual inventors can cheaply "hack" (i.e. improve)
standardized DNA parts in the same way that they currently hack computer
code.  The accelerated innovation potentially produced through
decentralization and standardization could be extremely important for
social welfare - end results could include, for example, low-cost,
environ-mentally friendly fuels.  On the other hand, decentralization may
increase the potential for entry by actors with nefarious motives.  The
challenge for law and policy is two-fold: first, to determine whether more
decentralized innovation will in fact increase security threats; and
second, if so, to determine how tensions between accelerating innovation
and maintaining security should be mediated.

Prof. Arti K. Rai, JD, is the Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law at Duke
University School of Law.  She is an expert in patent law, innovation
policy, and law and the biopharmaceutical industry.  Her current research,
funded by the NIH, focuses on intellectual property issues raised by
collaborative R&D in areas ranging from synthetic biology to drug

 Shaun Kennedy
 Amber Thomas
 Jordan Paradise, JD Director, National Center for Assoc.
Dir. for Education & Food Protection and Defense Research, Consortium on
Law & Values

This event is free and open to the public.
This lecture is intended for students, faculty, attorneys, researchers,
scientists, policymakers, and community members.

Continuing Education--CLE & CME
Application for 1.5 hours of general Continuing Legal Education (CLE) for
attorneys has been submitted.

The University of Minnesota is accredited by the Accreditation Council for
Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for

Application for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits has been filed with the
University of Minnesota Office of Continuing Medical Education.
Determination of credit is pending. It is the policy of the University of
Minnesota Office of Continuing Medical Education to ensure balance,
independence, objectivity and scientific rigor in all of its sponsored
educational activities.

Registration is recommended for those requesting continuing education
credit. Registration is available online at, by phone at 612-625-0055, or by email at
lawvalue [at] Please provide your name, email address and indicate if
continuing education credits are requested.

--------6 of 14--------

From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at]>
Subject: RNC CourtW/meet 11.04 6pm

RNC Court Watchers are in need of participants to help with organizing
court information, documentation and etc.  RNC Court Watchers Meetings are
every Tuesday, 6 P.M. at Caffeto's. Below is announcement for our

Preemptive raids, over 800 people arrested, police brutality on the
streets and torture in Ramsey County Jail. Police have indiscriminately
used rubber bullets, concussion grenades, tasers and chemical irritants to
disperse crowds and incapacitate peaceful, nonviolent protesters. The
RNC-8 and others are facing felonies and years in jail. We must fight this
intimidation, harassment and abuse!

Join the RNC Court Solidarity Meeting this coming Tuesday at Caffetto's to
find out how you can make a difference in the lives of many innocent

Caffetto's Coffeehouse and Gallery (612)872-0911 708 W 22nd Street,
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Every Tuesday @ 6:00 P.M to 7:00 P.M
participate and help organize RNC court solidarity.
For more information, please contact: rnccourtwatch [at]

--------7 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Terrorizing Dissent 11.04 7pm

Tuesday, 11/4, 7 pm, free screening of RNC documentary "Terrorizing
Dissent," (2 hours), Arise Books, 2441 Lyndale Ave S, Mpls.

--------8 of 14--------

From: Amber Garlan
Subject: GP election party 11.04 7pm

On November 4th there will be an election night party for the Green Party
at "Casablanca".  "Casablanca" is at 2630 University Ave. Minneapolis
55414.  "Casablanca" is an independent small business very connected to
the Somali community.

The party starts at 7:00!  Decorating starts between 5:00 and 5:30.
Decorating volunteers would be greatly appreciated and adored.

See everyone on election night for food, fun and democracy!

--------9 of 14--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at]>
Subject: Election talk/KFAI 11.05 11am


It's Over!! No matter the result - it's over Tuesday night for the time
being, and with the end of the interminable elction season comes relief -
win, lose, or draw.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN will bring to this hour the
results, the cheering of wins, the weeping and gnashing of losses, and
some analysis of who and what made the differences in the outcome of this
historic exercise in democracy after what is likely the most rancorous
raft of contests ever to hit the political stage. Will we have elected
this nation's first African-American president? Will the state's
first-term incumbent US senator be unseated by a comedian whose serious
side surprised many? Will Minnesota help tip the Congressional balance
more heavily to Democrats than once possible or expected? What about the
State House? The School referenda? The Constitutional Amendment? The
Judicial races?

We'll have interviews from Election Night parties and reports from KFAI's
field correspondents.

 TOM O'CONNELL - Metro State Political Science Professor - and lifeline to
several grassroots organizations who will give us their take on the
 MIKE DEAN - Director of Common Cause Minnesota
 MARK HALVORSON - Common Cause Minnesota
 JIM LEINFELDER - Free-lance Network Media/News Producer - and OTHERS

KFAI Radio, 90.3 Minneapolis /106.7 St. Paul / Streamed @ A
CivicMedia/Minnesota production Podcasts are available for all Truth to
Tell shows: <> RSS Feed:

--------10 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Islam 11.05 2pm/7pm

Wednesday, 11/5, 2 to 3:30 pm, Gallup Organization senior analyst Dalia
Mogahed speaks on "Who Speaks for Islam?  What a Billion Muslims Really
Think," 3M Auditorium, Carlson School. U of M West Bank, 321 - 19th Ave S,
Mpls.  mccoy019 [at] or 612-624-7346.

Wednesday, 11/5, 7 pm, Gallup Organization senior analyst Dalia Mogahed
speaks on "Who Speaks for Islam?  What a Billion Muslims Really Think,"
Owens Science Hall, U of St Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave, St Paul.
mcdc [at] or 651-962-5650.

--------11 of 14--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Vigil/prez/war 11.05 4:30pm

Vigil: Tell the President-Elect, TROOPS HOME NOW!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Lake Street/Marshall Avenue
Bridge spanning the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Join us the day following the elections to tell the new president-elect
that we want an end to war and occupation and to bring the troops home
now! Please note that the weekly Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge vigil
has switched to winter hours (4:30 to 5:30 p.m.). Sponsored by: WAMM. FFI:
Call 612-827-5364.

--------12 of 14--------

From: MN Socialist Alternative <mn [at]>
Subject: Election meaning 11.05 7pm

Nov.5 Forum: After the Elections, What Next? Join Socialist Alternative
for a discussion on what the elections will mean.

You're invited to this  week's Socialist Alternative Forum
Wednesday, Nov. 5th, 7pm, Coffman Board Room (U of M)

What Will The Elections Mean For Workers, Young People and Social

Millions have been excited and politicized by Barack Obama's calls for
hope and change.  If elected on Nov. 4, will he follow through with his
promises for changing Washington politics in the interests of ordinary
people?  Will he bring an end to the war in Iraq?  What if McCain wins?
Will this mean four more years of assaults on our civil liberties, living
standards, alongside a Bush-esque neo-con foreign policy? What is the
significance of Nader's vote?  What are the prospects for building a new
party for working people?

Join Socialist Alternative after the election for a talk and discussion of
the results, and how the new president, be it Obama or McCain, will impact
our lives and social movements.

Wednesday, November 5th
University of Minnesota
Coffman Board Room (3rd floor)

--------13 of 14--------

From: ed
Subject: Jazz CD group

For some years a small group of chronically jazz-addicted fans have met
Sunday nights in a local coffeehouse to listen to jazz CDs and talk about
them and whatever else. One of them has way more CDs than brains, so is a
good resource. If you might like maybe to join us some time or other you
might reply to shove001 [at] and say "I might like maybe to join you
some time or other" and you will be notified of further details. -Dave S

--------14 of 14--------

Is the election about to be stolen in Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere?
by: Cynthia Boaz, Ange-Marie Hancock, David McCuan, Mark Crispin Miller
and Michael Nagler, t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 03 November 2008

Last Friday, a federal court judge in Cleveland, Ohio, ordered Michael
Connell, an information-technology consultant to the McCain '08 campaign,
to give a deposition in a court proceeding. Mr. Connell, whose firm,
GovTech Solutions, built Ohio's 2004 election results computer network,
was in a position to have knowledge about the alleged manipulation of
electronic voting results in that presidential contest (a technique known
as "flipping") in order to switch the winner in Ohio from Sen. John Kerry
to President Bush. The deposition is scheduled to take place today,
November 3, one day before the 2008 general election.

Connell is a former associate of Karl Rove, who is believed by those
familiar with the events in question to have engaged in witness
intimidation to prevent testimony about what happened in Ohio in 2004.
They also believe that IT companies associated with the Republican Party
have redeveloped the capacity to manipulate electronic voting results in
Tuesday's election, both within Ohio and outside, including Pennsylvania
and other key battleground states such as Colorado and New Mexico. One
such firm, Triad GSI, is managing voter registration databases in 55 of
Ohio's 88 counties and is hosting 25 of those databases.

All this has led to speculation that the McCain campaign's insistence that
they can win Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other states, despite being (in some
places, significantly) behind in most of the polls, could be prompted by
having been informed about planned cyber interference with electronic
voting results. The reality is that a successful cyber attack only
requires a few skilled IT experts with an in-depth understanding of
digital security. Election returns in many states are presently emailed
from local databases for statewide consolidation, without even the
standard safeguards routinely used by banks and corporations. In other
words, voting data can be relatively easily hacked.

The lawsuit in Ohio is being pursued as a violation of voting rights laws,
and it claims that Connell witnessed a "kingpin" cyber attack on
electronic voting results in several Ohio counties, the consequence of
which was to give the 2004 national election to Bush (had Kerry won Ohio,
he would have won the election). Serious statistical anomalies in several
Ohio counties' election returns, as well as a shocking disconnect between
exit polls and actual results in '04 in Ohio, have never been explained.
Despite being urged by his running mate John Edwards to do so, Kerry
declined to take legal action in Ohio.

The suspicions by some Democratic operatives about impending Republican
interference with electronic voting in 2008 have been further fueled by
the sustained bellicosity of Republican spokespeople about voter
registration errors by ACORN, believing that exaggerations of the ACORN
problem have been encouraged by those involved in the Republicans' own
covert e-voting fraud in order to distract the media from recent news
about the possibility of this far graver threat to the integrity of
American elections.

The general news media are doing a serious disservice to the cause of
vigilance about honest elections by having, so far, neglected the case
involving one of the McCain campaign's consultants on digital technology.
It would be a travesty of historic proportions if Sen. Barack Obama won
the national popular vote for president by a large margin, but lost the
Electoral College narrowly because of electronic voting manipulation in
two or three states.

The current legal action will obviously not be resolved in time to
determine the possible extent of any effort to manipulate electronic
voting in 2008. But poll workers, campaign activists and local supporters
of Senator Obama can do a number of practical things in order to identify
and compile evidence of anomalies which may signal digital manipulation of
election returns:

1. Local activists and lawyers in any state where the vote appears close
should demand that county voting officials where electronic voting systems
are used should, if possible, unplug their servers from the Internet and
phone in their results, and otherwise never permit external IT consultants
to have unsupervised physical access to hard drives after vote counting

2. Screen captures of all television-reported exit poll numbers on all
networks should be obtained for every state for which they are reported,
to later compare them to actual vote tallies when they are reported - and
the networks should assign a staff person to perform such checks. Any
significant deviations from statewide exit polls in counties that don't
have demographic factors to account for such differences should be flagged
for later investigation.

3. Vote totals for presidential and down-ballot candidates should be
compared, precinct-by-precinct and county-by-county, to see if there are
strange disparities. In 2004, a Democratic candidate for a judgeship in
Ohio mysteriously received tens of thousands more votes than John Kerry
(even though many voters never bother to vote for down-ballot candidates).
This was a statistical improbability of enormous magnitude (no disrespect
meant to the judge).

4. Vote totals in safe Republican counties should be compared to the past
two election cycles, to see whether any sky-high turnout is historically
unprecedented and therefore cause for suspicion. That is what happened in
several Republican-dominated counties in Florida in 2004.  Election
monitors should also watch the traffic at the polling places in Republican
precincts, and maintain careful records, as a way to gauge the honesty of
later claims about the turnout there.

These steps are necessary to facilitate the discovery of any
circumstantial or direct evidence of possible manipulation of
electronic-voting returns, which would be sufficient to enable immediate
legal action to prevent certification of election results. In turn, that
would permit time for a full forensic investigation. Additionally, many
citizens' groups are preparing calls to action should legal remedies to
any attempted vote interference falter or be obstructed.

There is ample cause for general alarm and for the measures we've
recommended, in what has emerged from the ongoing court action in Ohio. If
evidence of electronic-voting manipulation follows the election tomorrow,
it must be pursued regardless of who wins. And if the campaigns involved
do not challenge the results where this evidence emerges, or if local and
state authorities do not cooperate to resolve these questions, it is
certain that a tidal wave of protest will develop. Nonviolent resistance
was used successfully by African-Americans to win their civil rights in
the 1960s, and earlier by American women to win the right to vote.
Millions would not hesitate to use it again, if there is evidence of a
stolen presidential election.

The first Democratic president, Thomas Jefferson, said that "eternal
vigilance is the price of liberty." The failure of the Bush administration
to permit systematic reform of this nation's elections infrastructure so
as to make it impossible for these manipulations to occur is bad enough.
Even worse would be to refuse to take seriously the possibility that these
abuses could alter or adulterate the results of what may well be the most
important presidential election of our lifetimes.

For more information on electronic voter interference and the above-cited
legal action see:

Cynthia Boaz is assistant professor of political science at Sonoma State
University. Ange-Marie Hancock is associate professor of political science
at University of Southern California. David McCuan is associate professor
of political science at Sonoma State University. Mark Crispin Miller is
professor of media studies at New York University. Michael Nagler is
professor emeritus at University of California at Berkeley.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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