Disturbing allegations of new “caging” techniques being implemented by the Republican party have surfaced in Michigan. The Republican Party Chairman in Macomb County, Michigan, (a swing county in a swing state) is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes as a resource to block voters in the upcoming election. Lose you home, lose your vote. And, yes, most of the foreclosed homes in Michigan affect African-American families. The use of these lists is an attempt to challenge that these voters are “true residents” of the state, a requirement to vote.
While this type of Republican tactic is far from surprising, what is surprising is that the Obama campaign is filing suit. They will seek an injunction to prevent the GOP from engaging in this type of voter suppression. Here’s the statement. The Obama campaign:
…seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to challenge the “lose your home, lose your vote” vote-suppression program adopted by the Macomb County Republican Party, in concert with the Michigan Republican Party and the Republican National Committee, as well as unnamed Defendants who will implement the scheme at polling places in Macomb County and throughout the state. This “lose your home, lose your vote” program is part of a broader scheme - misnamed an “election integrity” program - to harass voters and suppress the vote throughout the State of Michigan in the upcoming election on November 4.
Despite the fact that thousands of Michigan voters’ homes have been foreclosed, many residents are still living in them, but will nonetheless be disenfranchised, if the Republican party has its way. The good news here is that the Obama campaign is being proactive. Democrats (and the country) are still suffering from the fallout of the elections of 2000 and 2004. They’ve been burned once…twice… and are positively bristling with a “never again” attitude that will serve them well.
Seeing Obama taking a strong stand on these policies which he refers to as a “national and systematic program” is a good thing. They are taking it seriously. As much as we don’t want to imagine the scenario, Obama needs to be ready to legally challenge the vote in November if the signs of vote tampering/voter fraud rear their ugly heads. They can’t ‘blink’. (I humbly apologize for the use of that analogy)
Many of the same suspect voting machines that were in play in the last two elections still exist. There has been no significant vote reform and there’s nothing we can do about that at this point. What we can do is be the eyes and ears at the polling places.
The election watchdog group Black Box Voting, has sent out the following request. If you are not familiar with this group, you should be. The website is extensive, and there’s also a great documentary Hacking Democracy (available on Netflix) which tells the story of this organization and the amazing woman who started it all. This is possibly the single most important issue facing our country, because without preserving the integrity of the vote, we have nothing.
They also have a downloadable Tool Kit for the upcoming election on the website.
So do what you can. If you’re a blogger, post this. If you’re a tech, read below and get a job. Engaged citizen? Go to the website to learn more. Download a tool kit. Be prepared and know what to look for at your polling place.
It happens everywhere. In 2004 there were districts in Alaska that reported a voter turnout of more than 200%. I like to think we’re politically engaged, but not to the point that every registered voter makes it to the polls twice. These issues have still not been resolved. And who is heading up the division of Elections for the upcoming vote in 2008? Sarah Palin’s Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell.
Widest possible distribution needed. Please do spread this in blogs, etc:http://www.votersunite.org/info/ReclaimElections.pdf
This post will no doubt produce howls of objection for the vendors that read it. Black Box Voting is encouraging all individuals with a technical background to search and apply for temporary tech ELECTION SUPPORT jobs for the November 2008 election.
Hiring is underway for temporary technicians to help with voting machines this fall. Vendor dependence is undermining the structure of US elections, as described here in the new report by VotersUnite.org:
We want to see You, the People, enter into the vendor mix directly.http://www.blackboxvoting.org/toolkit2008.pdf
HOW TO FIND TEMPORARY ELECTION TECH POSITIONS:
In a presidential election year, voting machine vendors will hire and train thousands of technicians staffed around the country. For example, anywhere that Election Systems & Software has a machine, they are under contract to provide an on-site support tech. Hart Intercivic, Premier (Diebold), and Sequoia also use Election Day support technicians.
Temporary election tech support jobs have been spotted on hotjobs.com, rollouts.com, and local tech temp firms like (in 2006) DecisionOne. The tech services firm may be a subcontractor for the big four voting machine companies. Sometimes you’ll find the positions advertised by your local county.
Sites like Rollouts.com have you register in their E-tech database. They search for techs based on skill set and area. There isn’t much in the way of a skill set needed for the election projects.
QUIETLY APPLY FOR THE JOBS
Anyone with tech skills interested in safeguarding the November election is encouraged to register at technical recruiting sites and apply for any election-related projects.
CONSIDER ASKING FOR TIME OFF ON YOUR FULL TIME JOB TO DO THIS. This November, there may be no better way to watch the behind-the-scenes process than to be a stagehand, so to speak.
It is not the vendor, and not the government, that has the right to elections information, it is the PUBLIC. Citizens have inalienable rights to sovereignty over the government they created and pay for. These rights cannot be honored without mechanisms to see all information related to elections, and ultimately, to have control processes that honor citizen sovereignty.
That said, it ain’t gonna happen this November. Therefore it is entirely appropriate, patriotic, and important, for citizens to apply for temporary positions as voting machine technicians to provide inside public oversight for the process.
There will be nondisclosure agreements, which are not appropriate at all for public elections, but it’s a reality now that vendors are trespassing on citizen right to know. There may be issues that arise which the public clearly has a right to know. When that happens, a decision must be made.
YOU WON’T BE THE FIRST
We have already been in communications with other patriotic volunteers who have successfully obtained these positions in the past, and are doing this for November.
THERE ARE ALWAYS WAYS TO DEAL WITH IMPORTANT ISSUES IF THEY ENDANGER THE PUBLIC GOOD. You, the People, are needed on the inside of the elections industry this November.
This is a public service bulletin from Black Box Voting.
Black Box Voting Tool Kit 2008 - free download here:
Empower more election watchdog actions:
Black Box Voting
330 SW 43rd St Suite K
Renton WA 98057