Election Officials

The ability to accurately count the votes, and to conduct a full and accurate recount if necessary, is a hallmark of any genuine democracy. While the vast majority of election officials are competent, knowledgeable professionals, occasionally human error or even intentional fraud can mar the election process. History has shown that the details do matter- everything from how ballot bags are sealed and stored on election night, to how vote totals are sent from local clerks to county clerks, to how election agencies manage a recount, contributes to the overall integrity of the election. As such, it is vitally important that citizens engage in non-partisan monitoring of election officials to guarantee a consistently executed, transparent, and fair election.

Organize or attend a Voter Assembly in your community on November 7th!

This election is being threatened by unverifiable voting machines, voter ID laws that disenfranchise millions of eligible voters, restrictive election laws for third party candidates and voters who wish to vote early, as well as many other forms of voter suppression that we are likely to witness on November 6 and the weeks leading up to the election.

Sign the Pledge of Action!

Take the Pledge of Action!

From: 
No More Stolen Elections!
What's happening: 

Many say the 2008 election is being stolen right now. If two stolen elections are two too many, are you prepared to accept a third?

IF you haven't already, please read the important call to action from Rev. Jesse Jackson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher, Daniel Ellsberg, David Cobb, Frances Moore Lappé, Frances Piven, Holly Near, Jerome Scott, Jim Hightower, John Cavanagh, John Nichols, Manning Marable, Marcus Raskin, Maude Hurd, Medea Benjamin, Mimi Kennedy, Norman Solomon, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Robert McChesney, Starhawk, Tom Hayden, Van Jones, and many more.

Video the Vote

From: 
VideotheVote.org
What's happening: 

Take a look at this excellent video, and then, take action . . .

Organize a Voter Assembly in your community!

Date: 
November 7, 2012 - 12:00pm - 9:00pm

This election is being threatened by unverifiable voting machines, voter ID laws that disenfranchise millions of eligible voters, restrictive election laws for third party candidates and voters who wish to vote early, as well as many other forms of voter suppression that we are likely to witness on and before November 6.  Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 have taught us that our elections can be stolen if we do not act.

Event Contact
First Name: 
Jolie
Last Name: 
Lizotte
Phone: 
920-312-4246

We CAN do better

November 7, 2012
By: 
No More Stolen Elections
news photo
 
From an election protection stand point, what did we witness yesterday? 
  • We saw the culmination of the most expensive campaign season in U.S. history, with over $5.8 billion spent to influence the electoral process
     

SALON: Is the GOP Stealing Ohio?

November 5, 2012
By: 
Brad Friedman
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Last week, Bob Fitrakis and Gerry Bello at FreePress.org reported an important story concerning what they described as “uncertified ‘experimental’ software patches” being installed at the last minute on electronic vote tabulation systems in 39 Ohio counties.

FREE PRESS: Ohio's voting machines have "experimental patch" installed week before election

October 31, 2012
By: 
Bob Fitrakis and Gerry Bello
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Why did the Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted's office, in an end run around Ohio election law, have "experimental" software patches installed on vote couhttp://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2012/4766nting tabulators in up to 39 Ohio counties? Voting rights activists are concerned that these uncertified and untested software patches may alter the election results.

MOTHER JONES: Texas and Iowa threaten to arrest foreign election observers here to assess the integrity of American elections

October 31, 2012
By: 
Gavin Aronsen
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When news broke last week that the United Nations-affiliated Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was dispatching election observers from 23 nations to the United States, conservative groups went up in arms, claiming that liberal activists had sought international assistance to fight Republican-led voting reform efforts.

AMERICAN PROSPECT: Study shows that votes cast by mail are more likely to be uncounted

October 26, 2012
By: 
Abby Rapoport
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Ohio's Republican secretary of state, Jon Husted, has been under fire now for months from Democrats. They’re angry, particularly, about his moves to limit early voting hours across the state—especially those on the weekend before the election. Poor and minority voters rely on the expanded hours. Black churches have used the last Sunday before election day to bring voters to the polls; low-income voters often have inflexible work schedules and childcare demands at home. After a lengthy court battle, Husted has now authorized county election boards to offer hours in the three days before election day. But he did limit early voting hours in the weeks before, with fewer evening hours and no weekend hours.

NYT: Ohio Secretary of State discovers that all of Ohio's voting systems are easily corrupted

October 26, 2012
By: 
Bob Driehaus
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Originally published on December 15, 2007

 

CINCINNATI — All five voting systems used in Ohio, a state whose electoral votes narrowly swung two elections toward President Bush, have critical flaws that could undermine the integrity of the 2008 general election, a report commissioned by the state’s top elections official has found.

THINK PROGRESS: Ohio Secretary of State determined to limit early voting despite federal court order

October 18, 2012
By: 
Ian Millhiser
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Two federal courts said that the Ohio Republican Party’s effort to reduce opportunities to vote early must not go into effect. And the Supreme Court rejected an attempt by Ohio Republican officials to reinstate a GOP-backed law taking away three days of early voting just this week.

COMMON DREAMS: Bain Capital owns electronic voting machines that will count many of Ohio's ballots

October 14, 2012
By: 
Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
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Electronic voting machines owned by Mitt Romney's business buddies and set to count the votes in Cincinnati could decide the 2012 election.

The narrative is already being hyped by the corporate media. As Kelly O'Donnell reported for NBC's Today Show on Monday, October 8, Ohio's Hamilton County is "ground zero" for deciding who holds the White House come January, 2013.

O'Donnell pointed out that no candidate has won the White House without carrying Ohio since John Kennedy did it in 1960. No Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio's electoral votes.

THE REVIEW: 15 states back Ohio in early voting case

October 13, 2012
By: 
Associated Press
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Fifteen states and several military organizations announced their support for Ohio's elections chief on Friday in a dispute over early voting in the presidential battleground, which is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has appealed a lower court ruling that reinstates early voting on the three days before Election Day and returns discretion to local boards of elections. The Republican also has asked the Supreme Court to delay the lower court's decision while it decides whether to take the case.

NATION: Ohio's Secretary of State Subverts Voting Rights

October 9, 2012
By: 
Ari Berman
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Once again, political experts are predicting that the 2012 presidential election could be decided in the battleground state of Ohio, like it was in 2004.

BRAD BLOG: Gubernatorial Recall Ballots Saved from Destruction in Waukesha County, WI - For Now...

August 13, 2012
By: 
Brad Friedman

The ballots cast in Waukesha County during the June 5th Gubernatorial recall in Wisconsin appear to be safe from destruction at the hands of one of the nation's most notorious election officials.

For now.

BRAD BLOG: Infamous Waukesha, WI Election Clerk Threatens to 'Destroy' Historic Walker Recall Ballots Amid Statewide Public Hand Count Effort

August 13, 2012
By: 
Brad Friedman
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[LATE UPDATE:The recall ballots from Waukesha County have been saved from destruction, for now. Full details posted in our follow-up now here...]

One of the most notorious election officials in the nation may be mercifully retiring at the end of this year, but that hasn't stopped her from attempting to block citizens hoping to oversee the accuracy of their own elections in one of the most right-leaning counties in Wisconsin, following one of the most contentious elections of the year and certainly in state history.

The ISTHMUS covers Hand Count Votes Now!

July 19, 2012
By: 
Judith Davidoff
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In a few weeks, a group of volunteers will don latex gloves, huddle around a table in downtown Madison under the watchful eyes of election clerks and start counting — by hand — a select group of ballots cast in the June 5 recall elections.

Mary Magnuson, an electoral reform activist, submitted an open records request to the Madison city clerk on June 14 asking to inspect "any and all ballots," including optical scanned ballots and absentee ballots, that were cast in Wards 16, 19, 39, 40 and 100 in the recall election against Gov. Scott Walker. She also asked to inspect the tapes used in the scanners and any inspectors' reports prepared by poll workers.

MJS: More reports surface from Waukesha that Kathy Nickolaus is still in charge

June 5, 2012

While Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas and his chief of staff insisted both Monday and Tuesday that County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus is not the one in charge of election duties this recall election, her actions say otherwise.

While Nickolaus has refused to respond to this reporter's questions in her office, turning her back and closing her office door while the reporter waited at a service counter, her deputy, Kelly Yaeger, hasn't responded, either.

Nickolaus has been observed passing out election supplies to local clerks leading up to Tuesday's election, and she's the one who's fielded questions Tuesday from the field, said Gina Kozlik, Waukesha's deputy clerk-treasurer.

MOTHER JONES: Kathy Nickolaus may remain in charge of Waukesha Co elections on June 5th

May 31, 2012
By: 
Andy Kroll
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Republican Kathy Nickolaus may be the only county clerk known by name across Wisconsin—and not for a good reason.

Last year, Nickolaus, the top election official in Waukesha County, a solidly Republican suburb outside of Milwaukee, blamed "human error" for the late discovery of more than 14,000 missing votes in a bruising state Supreme Court race. Those votes erased liberal favorite JoAnne Kloppenburg's lead in the race, handed victory to conservative incumbent David Prosser, and later led to an expensive recount. This April, Nickolaus resorted to posting election results on strips of grocery-receipt-like paper after the county's reporting system failed on election night.

More Info: 

Take Action to Protect the Recall Elections: www.wisconsinwave.org/nmse

NEWSWEEK: Serious doubts remain about the 2000 Florida recount's legitimacy

May 13, 2012
By: 
Michael Isikoff
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(originally published on November 18th, 2001)

After spending nearly $1 million, a consortium of big news organizations last week rendered what it once thought would be final word on last year's bitterly contested Florida recount.

The decision: a split verdict.

Scott Walker and the Secret "John Doe" Investigation Explained

February 7, 2012
By: 
Andy Kroll

 

A dark cloud hangs over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

A "John Doe" investigation launched in May 2010 has embroiled former Walker staffers and appointees from his time as Milwaukee County executive, his job before winning the governorship in November 2010. The investigation, led by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, has led to home raids targeting former staffers with close ties to Walker and numerous felony charges for election law violations,embezzlement, and misconduct in office. 

NYT: North Carolina's election machine blunder

January 18, 2005
By: 
Adam Cohen
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The November election may feel like ancient history, but it is still going on in North Carolina. The state has been unable to swear in an agriculture commissioner because a single malfunctioning electronic voting machine lost more ballots than the number of votes that separate the two candidates. The State Board of Elections, the candidates and the public are sharply divided on how to proceed. The mess North Carolina finds itself in is a cautionary tale about the perils of relying on electronic voting that does not produce a paper record.

NATION: How the 2004 election could be stolen

August 16, 2004
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On November 2 millions of Americans will cast their votes for President in computerized voting systems that can be rigged by corporate or local-election insiders. Some 98 million citizens, five out of every six of the roughly 115 million who will go to the polls, will consign their votes into computers that unidentified computer programmers, working in the main for four private corporations and the officials of 10,500 election jurisdictions, could program to invisibly falsify the outcomes.

Prospects for Participatory Democracy in the U.S.A

December 1, 2008
Ben Manski

Location: Barcelona, Spain Presented at the International Seminar on Participatory Democracy "Participatory Democracy. Political Actors and Social Movements" Abstract Diagnosing Democratic Collapse The U.S. political system suffers from a potentially fatal condition, a malady that can be diagnosed as "Democratic Collapse." The causes of this collapse are known: First, the consolidation of corporate control of the establishment political parties. Second, the sacrilegious enshrinement of corporations as persons under law, entitled to constitutional protections against citizens and governments.

Additional Information: 

Ben Manski is a Fellow with the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution in its Local Democracy and Democratizing Education program areas. He served as Co-Chair of the Green Party of the United States from 2001 through 2004, and was active in the U.S. student, labor, peace, and environmental movements throughout the 1990s. Ben has a degree in law from the University of Wisconsin, and has written on the corporatization of higher education in the United States.

NICHOLS: Special Report on the 2008 Elections

November 5, 2008
John Nichols

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change.
And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. ~ Barack Obama
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~ NOVEMBER 5, 2008 ~

Additional Information: 

John Nichols is the Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine.
He is also a member of the Liberty Tree Board of Directors.

Voter Bill of Rights

September 26, 2009

From unreliable electronic voting machines and millions of uncounted ballots, to partisan election officials and 10-hour waits at the polls, it is clear that our electoral system is in dire need of an overhaul. To build a more just, secure, and robust democracy, please support the following 10-point Voter Bill of Rights:

1. Pass a Constitutional Amendment Confirming the Right to Vote

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