So, I have to admit meeting and talking with Mike Hayes for this week's cover story made me think about the growing distrust people of Pima County have regarding elections. Nov. 4 is right around the corner. Today, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry issued a memo today to the Supes on all precautions taking place to prepare for Election Day. The polls show the small gap between Obama and McCain getting smaller, and McCain is sitting smug - talking about being an Underdog and all (my mother is pissed - she's a veteran - don't get her started ranting about McCain).
At the Attorney General town hall meeting last week in which Bill Risner asked Goddard to look at counting the RTA votes differently - no court order needed - election integrity activist John Brakey recommended everyone watch Bill Moyers on PBS with his interview with professor and election integrity activist Mark Crispin Miller. I taped it, watched it. While he warns that the state of elections in this country tied to electronic systems remains precarious - he was steadfast that folks could do something about it. I posted the Black Box Voting video because I'm intrigued by this idea that more citizens be involved in counting and observing the vote and the count. We continue to remain dependent on the same group of people who work as observers in both parties, when the reality is that more people need to be involved and more people need to care about the vote.
So here are a few things to check out:
First, check out Mark Crispin Miller's blog: http://markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/, he recommends getting as many people out and about on Election Day, not just to vote, but to observe the voting. He's working with these folks: http://www.videothevote.org/, an effort to organize voters across the country to video tape the process at the polls, be witnesses to machines that breakdown, to closing procedures, any long lines, provisional ballot issues, or anyone being turned away and why, as well as watching where those blue bags go from poll to tabulation center.
And then yesterday I came across two UA law school students who want to organize an effort to poll watch. See http://uanews.org/node/22084. If you're interested, why not join their Election Protection Team at the UA, e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next thing to do is to call Attorney General Terry Goddard and urge his office, as part of their criminal investigation of Pima County's Elections Division - get the ballots, count them and let's move on. AG contact information: http://www.azag.gov/contact.html
The alternative could very well be to start wearing a tin-foil hat at meetings and if you're an election observer this year, why not wear one as a sign of pride or protest, or send a tin-foil hat to Goddard.