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Our duty to keep the Voting Process Honest

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posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 10:10 PM
Hi all,

I just finished reading about the voting fraud in Iowa, and it reminded of something I've experienced, and thought I'd share.

A few years ago, my city was trying to pass a bond for the 4th time. In past elections it had lost by a very small amount, and seemed by the third time to be a sure thing (according to rumored sentiment). As I said, we were now on our 4th try, so of course 3 was not a charm.

Many citizens were very frustrated by this and I must say, suspicous. So we decided to do something about it. We looked into the laws of our polling places in our state and found out that anyone can "Observe". So that is what we did, we got a bunch of caring citizens in our city to sit all day and until after close to just observe the process.

I will tell you it was uncomfortable, but worth it. The people that worked at our polling place, (actually there were two polling places at one site where I observed), were older, and a majority had all worked together for many years at this. They seemed to have never been asked if someone could observe and some of them were downright nasty about it. They seemed to feel like we were spying on them, and I guess we were, if you want to look at it that way. But it was our right. Anyway, we sat all day out of the way and just watched. The volunteers working were cordial to me, but I heard others were not so lucky. A friend of mine was at the site next to me, and was talked rudely to, by two older male volunteers, and although I forget now what was said, I know I might have caved and left. Fortunately she didn't.

We, the observers, all stayed until close and watched as the ballots were counted (again, our right to do so) to make sure they matched up to the amount that had signed the book and also the counting of absentee ballots. This area of the voting process leaves a lot of room for error. I could see with a little coordination, that certain ballots could be pulled from the pile, and even though the ballots are punch marked, it is not hard to read them if you know which spots are for what candidate or measure. At the end, the ballots had to be counted several times, I watched it all, and they came up a few short of what was expected according to the signature books. The polling manager, finally said, that the numbers would have to do, and was very annoyed at having to count them all several times. She seemed rushed, and flustered, to me. (It could have been that she was nervous that I was there and nothing else.) She commented that it is not unusual for the number of ballots compared to signatures to be off by a little. Ours were off by 2, or some small number, can't exactly remember, but in the other room at the other polling place that my friend was at, they were off by 15, as I recall. The experiences were very similar at all the different polling places in our city, after we all sat down and spoke of our experiences.

Our bond passed! It was still a fairly close contest, but it passed. I can not say that observing made any difference and I'd like to believe it did not and all volunteers are honest, but I don't think this is the case.

Personally, I saw that some of the polling volunteers had a strong political opinion, since they actually spouted it here and there, and so I am not sure this is the kind of volunteer that belongs in the polling place. I don't know what the answer is to that, since we all have opinions, but integrity is essential in this position.

I do think it is now our duty to start Observing, I mean seriously, not just in the worldly way, but literally start observing our polling places.

We did it and coincidence or not, we feel it made a difference.

We can talk about what is happening around us until the cows come home, but unless we get off our butts, we are in trouble.

Please add your opinions and stories if you've done this.

posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 10:20 PM
reply to post by SunnyDee
Nice story.

Thanks for sharing. Imagine if we all did this on national elections. I really like the idea.

Would you be allowed to video the process as well?

posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 10:23 PM
reply to post by beezzer

I honest can't remember if that is allowed or not, that would even be better, but that would have been even more uncomfortable.

This needs to be mainstream practice so discomfort is unnecessary, that's for sure.

edit on 22-1-2012 by SunnyDee because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 11:51 PM
reply to post by SunnyDee

Funny thing and timely too.

Source; Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast

I have just all but finished the two latest books by Greg Palast and I was thinking the same thing. For those who don't know, Greg Palast is the American investigative journalist who discovered the voter fraud of 2000 in Florida - from London. In 2002 he began working on the voter fraud of 2004, eventually Robert F. Kennedy Jr. joined up with him.

We all know about the uncounted black votes of Florida in 2000. Well in 2004 the same method was rolled out in several States, such as Ohio, Colorado, and New Mexico, but there were newer methods as well.

Provisional Ballots were a new wrinkle in which a new law provided for and made these readily available. Indeed African American soldiers in Iraq were using Provisional Ballots. They filled them out as they dodged the IEDs and sent the ballots in. Soldiers would have a natural interest in getting their vote in, but white soldiers weren't sending Provisional Ballots in. It wasn't that they weren't interested, they filled theirs out alright, it's just that theirs weren't considered provisional. Once back in the States the Provisional Votes were disregarded. The law said that they had to be available, it just didn't say they would be counted.

In New Mexico Native Americans received the same treatment. In this case the Tribals knew their vote wouldn't be counted, but they showed up to the man and woman anyway and voted.

This time around we have something new already, the lack of primaries. My State, Washington will not be having one in order to save money. Our Governor has done such a bad job as a Governor and is so unpopular with the citizenry for making such moronic decisions that she is not even going to try. Now that she has made herself a lame duck we fear we are in for even worse.

Things are getting very tricky these days. Who is going to pick the delegates and who they vote for Republican Party nominee? Certainly not the people of the State. To me this sounds like a second "electoral college" when we don't need or want the first one anymore. Or at least we shouldn't if we care about the value of our votes.

Your story was interesting and I applaud you, but I assume you are referring to national elections as well, and that's where it get's very tricky. Watching the votes is good. However in many places in 2004 the dubious voting machines were replaced with paper ballots, but in many ethnic precincts the easy to manipulate, impossible to trace voting machines remained.

I guess my question is what do we do about the behind the scenes shenanigans that are going on, the stuff that can't be watched?


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