Friday, October 24, 2008

Is "Early Voting" A Neo-Con Ploy? Mark Crispin Miller's Not Sure It Isn't

From Miller's News From Underground blog, a piece called "12 Ways You Can Safeguard Your Vote," included the following admonition:
Early voting really won't enable the protection of your vote, as you are likely to be voting on the same corrupt machinery, or to have your ballot counted by the same corrupt machinery, that's used on E-Day proper. Also, all those voters who vote early will mean that many fewer voters in the turnout on Election Day-- and we need a record-breaker, to make yet another theft that much more inexplicable.

So if you do vote early, try to turn out on Election Day as well--not to vote, of course, but just to be there to enlarge the crowd, and also to help keep an eyes on things.

(And if you have a problem with the machinery--a problem that you can perceive--be sure to report it, by calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE, or telling the election protectionpeople, or the videothevote team, assuming that they're there.)
The "12 Ways To Safeguard Your Vote" are:
1. Check your registration. Even if you think you're registered, you may not be. Check online at

2. Vote now. Check if early voting is possible in your state. If you're voting by mail, check carefully where you need to sign, how to seal the envelope, and how to mark the ballot. And note: Some ballots require extra postage.

3. Practice your vote. Electronic voting machines can be difficult to use. is preparing links to video demos of how to vote on the machine you will find at your polling station. If you'll be using a paper ballot, check out the sample included in your voter pamphlet.

4. Find out who's in charge. Make a phone list of your county and state election officials-it may save valuable time on Election Day if you need to get registration verification or other information.

5. Vote early. Avoid the frustration of long lines. Also, if you encounter problems, you'll have time to sort them out and may be able to help others.

6. Take your government-issued ID and your cell phone, if you have one. If you have problems, or see problems, call a hotline immediately (see point #9). You may not need ID to vote, but it's best to have it. If you have trouble with your registration, ask for a provisional ballot.

7. Avoid Straight Party Voting, if it's an option in your state. Vote for each race individually, even if it takes a little longer.

8. Verify your vote. If you're voting on an electronic voting machine, check the review screen to make sure it reflects your vote. If the machine produces a paper record, check as you go along that everything is working correctly. If not, speak to a polling attendant-don't leave until you're sure your vote has been properly recorded.

9. Document and report. If you encounter difficulties, or see others experiencing difficulties (excessive lines, voter harassment, malfunctioning machines, etc.), make a detailed record. Get all the facts you can-location, names, specific problem.

The best way to report problems is to call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683), which has volunteer lawyers in 15 locations standing by to provide rapid-response assistance. You can also contact your party of choice. We have more suggestions here.

10. Call your candidate. If there are questions about an election result, urge your candidate to ask for an audit. Ask how you can help.

11. Call your election officials. If you have concerns, let your county and state election officials know, and monitor their response. Ask them not to certify the election before all challenges and recounts are finished. And send a copy of your message to your local newspaper editor. If you're confident about the election result, thank the officials for a difficult job well done.

12. Work for fair, transparent elections. 66% of Americans don't trust the electronic voting machines many of us will be voting on this November. Join the movement for election reform in between elections. Use our YES! Tools to find out how.

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