Sunday, December 26, 2004

Wherefore Art Thou, Ohio: Election Reform is the New Black

I spent my 37 seconds searching for news on the Ohio election activities today and found… Nothing.

I admit that I took my eye off of this ball, focusing more on Washington State, but still…

There should be something about Ohio out there, right?

Media bias = Silence.

Although I did find this interesting article on

Third World Democracy: The real problem with the American election system isn't fraud, it's good old-fashioned incompetence. And that's something we can fix -- if we have the will.

Big quote from the article:

But it can be fixed ... especially if activists take on the challenge. Before the election, many people -- people like Lockshin -- felt irrelevant with respect to politics in America. Now, after the election, many Americans are distressed by the results. Why not channel this despair into something productive for the future? ... Why not work to reform the abysmal American electoral system?


Unfortunately, in the past couple of weeks, while the Internet has been consumed by theories of a stolen election, the efforts of activists like Rodriguez-Taseff and of all the volunteers who manned the polls on Election Day have largely been overlooked. Focusing on the long-term reform of the system is not sexy, Rodriguez-Taseff concedes; it doesn't promise the kind of excitement you get from looking into ways that might overturn Nov. 2's results.


There should have been a big push for comprehensive election reform after the 2000 election in the United States, but that didn't happen. "Other things cut in line -- September 11, gay marriage, the war, you name it," Chapin says. Now, Chapin hopes, election reform will creep back onto the agenda.

Yet it's likely that the only way lawmakers will fix our elections is if citizens press for it -- and only if they press for it constantly, in a nonpartisan manner, as part of a broad effort to remake the way we vote rather than to reverse the results of the last election.

And for all the people who were so passionately involved in that election, what better way to spend the next four years than to dedicate your efforts to remaking our democracy? If you think the American system is broken, if you've felt alienated and abused by recent political affairs, doing the good, honest, hard work of fixing things may feel quite refreshing, activists say. Lockshin, the Berkeley student, offers this testimonial: "Now that I've worked on this with Election Protection, I'm sure I'll be doing it again. I'll be doing it every year, till they stop needing me."

I think I may have linked to this article before, but I am too lazy to review all of my posts this morning to check.

But I agree, election reform is the new black...

In the Salon article, I did find this link...

On this site, I found the following tidbit on Ohio...

The Ohio legislature passed a law that requires that ALL DREs in Ohio have a voter-verified paper audit trail (V-VPAT) by January 2006. Citizens' Alliance for Secure Elections is planning to file a lawsuit to stop the purchase of any DREs in 2004 that do not have a V-VPAT.

Sexy stuff, this election reform jihad... But necessary.
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