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February 26, 2008

Serving as one of the Ohio investigators taught me that citizen oversight is the cure to “Election Madness,” a pandemic delusion fiercely held by half the country – that half that still votes. Let’s take our country back, by implementing an election process that models best management practices. This brief handbook offers a skeletal plan on how to do this.

A new book is coming out detailing the efforts of ordinary citizens who investigated the implausible results from the 2004 presidential election held in Ohio.  Richard Hayes Phillips promises an advance copy here.

Serving as one of the Ohio investigators taught me that citizen oversight is the cure to “Election Madness,” a pandemic delusion fiercely held by half the country – that half that still votes.  Some of the symptoms include the belief that honest elections can exist even though:

* Votes are counted in secret (inside a machine);

* The government – whose seats are being challenged – counts the public vote;

* Electoral management bodies (EMBs) repeatedly fail to maintain chain of custody;

* Exit polls that differ from reported results are explained away by corporate media which owns mass media;

* A posture of arrogance and secrecy pervades EMBs toward the public, which is the rightful owner of the election process;

* Recounts are impossible (paperless voting) or sabotaged by EMB failure to maintain secure protocols over the ballots, or conflicting results fail to overturn originally posted official results;

* Centralizing the vote count defeats a precinct-by-precinct check on official results;

* Vote by mail, early voting, and other “convenience voting” methods defeat chain of custody, providing us with no rational basis for confidence in reported results;

* Registration is used by partisans and election officials to disenfranchise voters, thru purges, “glitches” and targeted populations;

* Redistricting is used by partisans and election officials to “choose the voters” instead of the other way around;

* Through rules, rulings, and laws, citizens are presented with no significant difference between candidates offered in the dominant “two-party” system;

* Granting of “personhood” to corporations has monetarily corrupted democracy from a “one adult – one vote” proposition to “one dollar – one vote” …

Truly, this list goes on.

As more and more citizens become involved in electoral management oversight, we have a chance at reviving democracy in the U.S. 

Investigate, observe, count signatures, count ballots, and follow the chain of custody.  Video as much of the process as possible, make movies, and write books, blogs and editorials.  Where election officials fail in their duties, report this as widely as possible, in as many venues as possible.

Let’s take our country back, by implementing an election process that models best management practices.  This brief handbook offers a skeletal plan on how to do this.  A lengthier handbook is in the works.

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