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Fri Jul 2, 2:22 AM ET
Add Politics - AFP to My Yahoo!

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Several members of the House of Representatives have requested the United Nations (news - web sites) to send observers to monitor the November 2 US presidential election to avoid a contentious vote like in 2000, when the outcome was decided by Florida.

AFP/File Photo

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Recalling the long, drawn out process in the southern state, nine lawmakers, including four blacks and one Hispanic, sent a letter Thursday to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) asking that the international body "ensure free and fair elections in America," according to a statement issued by Florida representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, who spearheaded the effort.

"As lawmakers, we must assure the people of America that our nation will not experience the nightmare of the 2000 presidential election," she said in the letter.

"This is the first step in making sure that history does not repeat itself," she added after requesting that the UN "deploy election observers across the United States" to monitor the November, 2004 election.

The lawmakers said in the letter that in a report released in June 2001, the US Commission on Civil Rights "found that the electoral process in Florida resulted in the denial of the right to vote for countless persons."

The bipartisan commission, they stressed, determined "that the 'disenfranchisement of Florida's voters fell most harshly on the shoulders of black voters' and in poor counties." Both groups vote predominantly Democratic in US elections.

The commission also concluded, the lawmakers added, that "despite promised nationwide reforms (of the voting system) ... adequate steps have not been taken to ensure that a similar situation will not arise in 2004 that arose in 2000."

Thirty-six days after the November 7, 2000 presidential election, after several state court interventions and vote recounts in numerous Florida counties, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Republican George W. Bush, awarding him all of Florida's 25 electoral votes.

The ruling tipped the balance against Democratic contender and then vice president Al Gore (news - web sites), who with 267 electoral votes lost to Bush's 271, only one more than the minimum 270 needed to clinch the presidential election.

More links from Vote Fix:
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Vote Fix pages contain links to material and resources to provide you with powerful information you can use to make your own opinion.
Links to variety election information:
Voting news from around the country electionline website current daily updates to material state by state.  Includes Issue Briefings in-depth.
Read for viewpoint Equal Vote Blog (does not support voter ids)

Results 2006 General close election in many notable cases

Pennsylvania Election Project 2006
Grab Your Video Camera and Help Make History

If you own a miniDV or hi8 camcorder you can be a part of history by volunteering to become a citizen-journalist and documenting the 2006 elections in your community.

Video shot by PEP volunteer field correspondents will be posted to this Web site and to the PEP video podcast on the Apple iTunes Music Store to create a living record of Pennsylvania's 2006 elections over the course the year.

Select video contributions may also be used in a documentary on the 2006 elections now in production by Arbour Media, the primary sponsor of the Pennsylvania Election Project.

Because Election Coverage is Too Important to Leave to the Experts

After the great pay raise debacle of 2005 Pennsylvanians are increasingly concerned about the transparency and accountability of their elected officials and government. By creating a state wide public documentary record of the 2006 elections at all levels, the Pennsylvania Election Project will help ensure a new level of transparency in the Commonwelath's election process.

If you are frustrated with news coverage of politics in your community or with the way candidates sometimes duck the hardest questions or ignore the most important issues, the Pennsylvania Election Project is your chance to draw attention to issues and conditions you think are important.

Please join this experiment to broaden Pennsylvania's democracy though citizen-driven journalism.

How to Participate in the Pennsylvania Election Project

Secretary of State Al Ater said Louisiana plans to spend $1.5 million to advertise the New Orleans election in cities where evacuees live.

They can call a toll-free number -- 1-800-883-2805 -- to get more information

...mailers will be sent to 750,000 displaced families around the country, urging them to request absentee ballots.

Misleading headline: 

Katrina evacuees lose suit on voting outside New Orleans Saturday, February 25, 2006  By Sam Quinones, Los Angeles Times

As you can see, no Louisiana voter - who is a valid registered voter in that state - and who is an evacuee living in another state, will not be denied the opportunity to obtain an absentee ballot.

An excellent forum and discussion.  Again, broadcast on C-Span.  Review in the archives.  Many extremely important questions were asked pertaining to new federal regulations.  One woman asked specifically about voter registration, and how a new voter would provide voter identification for first-time voting via mail and for absentee ballot voting.


Voter Participation: Young People
National Assn. of Secretaries of State

Voter Participation: Young People

Check out slashdot and Scoop who provided reference and link to the interview with government and industry reps to be found on the blackboxvoting site.  Rebecca Mercuri's access was obtained from the site, notablesoftware. 
Excellent introductory article
Computerized Voting Expert Discusses Possible Election Day Problems
Don't miss David Dill's Resolution efforts.  Here:
In just a short time, Dill and others have enlightened decision-makers in the state of California.  If such can happen there, it can happen elsewhere!

Secretary of State Shelley was prompted to take action in large part because of Dills recent activism. A professor of computer science at Stanford University, Dill wrote a resolution opposing electronic voting, and in less than three months, he has garnered over 940 signatures, some 600 of which are from computer scientists. He first took the resolution to Santa Clara County to persuade the election board to reconsider its decision to buy touch-screen machines that dont print out a verifiable paper ballot.

While Greg Palast also has a resolution, my reaction to his material - beware of the nauseating bias.  See my opinion. 
 Posted on Sun, Jul. 20, 2003

Secretary of State Kevin Shelley will issue directions to local officials who are buying touch-screen voting machines and other devices known as ``Direct Recording Electronic'' (DRE) equipment. If he honors the position he holds, he'll order voting officials to take many more steps to ensure voter trust in these systems than they've been willing to take so far.

Specifically, he should tell them that they must, as part of the verification process, create what's called a ``paper trail'' -- a printout that the voter can look at to verify that the ballot was recorded according to his or her wishes, a document that could later be used for recounts and audits to ensure that the machines had worked as designed.

That anyone disputes this need is astonishing. Yet some people who normally take the side of underdogs, who are passionate about voting rights and the accuracy of elections, are making a common mistake.

They're putting unwarranted trust in technology. They're believing that private companies, for the first time in recorded history, can produce perfect, tamper-proof electronic devices.

This is an epic error, and computer security specialists have been raising bloody hell about it in recent months.


Latest item from Wired News:

This article is very useful to us.  Now we know where there is a will, and a lot of noise, there is a way!

The primary difference with the prototype model is that after votes are entered, a copy of a printed ballot appears behind a clear plastic screen. A voter can look at the printed ballot and press a button to submit it or to make changes. Submitted ballots get dropped in a box at the bottom of the machine for later counting.