Protecting the Foundation of Democracy
In a modern democracy, the people's will must be able to be freely expressed through fair and honest voting systems. We all know the stories of Ken Blackwell in Ohio and Katherine Harris in Florida. Because of their malfeasance, the true intent of their state's voters will never be known.
Out in the West, we sense a growing demand for honesty and integrity in elections. Arizona has a clean money system for finance, New Mexico has a mandated paper trail for all its ballots and Oregon, with their vote-by-mail, sets a great western standard for civic participation (turnout in 2004 was 70.9%) and strengthening democratic ideals.
Enter the Secretary of State Project:
The Secretary of State Project was created by concerned citizens to provide an easy-to-use, low-cost vehicle for online donations to key Secretary of State races.
The Secretary of State Project evaluates candidates based on their positions on election issues - primarily support for a voter-verifed paper trail and transparency of the voting process, strict enforcement of laws preventing voter intimidation, opposition to any and all barriers to voting by and registration of citizens, and a committment to increasing voter turnout rather than suppressing the votes of traditionally disenfranchised groups. While a progressive enterprise at its heart, the Secretary of State Project does not screen candidates for issue positions unrelated to the duties of the office of Secretary of State, including but not limited to the war in Iraq, gay marriage, a woman's right to choose, or U.S. trade policy.
Money spent in these races will go much, much, much farther than money spent elsewher due to the nature of their usual competition and media markets. It's great to see organizations like this making the move and organizing off to the sides where it matters quite a bit.
Under the gun to meet tight election-day deadlines, the Secretary of State's office certified a kind of voting machine for Jefferson and Mesa Counties that does not meet state requirements.
The information comes from the deposition of John Gardner - the man appointed by Gigi Dennis as an expert and charged with certifying the machines.
But Gardner testified he is not an expert in the areas required by state law. He also admitted that the Secretary of State's office was under pressure to certify the voting machines because counties had already purchased them.
Democratic candidate for Secretary of State and state Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon issued a release today criticizing Dennis.
"I call on Secretary Dennis to immediately hire competent staff and perform adequate and thorough testing, as the law requires her to do," Gordon said in the release. "There must be a competent examination of these computerized voting machines before the election. There are critical decisions for Colorado to make this November. We cannot have trust in the results on election night if serious doubts surround our computerized voting machines."
Though Congress is definately the dog and pony show of 2006, down-ballot races such as these will make all the difference in the world. If you believe the battle for Congress is key to the future elections, how can we count on elections when we can't count our votes?
Support The Secretary of State Project.
Your Personal Note:
Worth noting that of the seven states in play over at the SOS Project, three are in the west: Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado.
Posted by: Kari Chisholm | Sep 14, 2006 11:58:55 PM
Tom Vilsack's (the next President of the United States) PAC is particularly devoted to electing Secretaries of State as well as Governors. You may want to check it out:
Posted by: WyoBlueDog | Sep 15, 2006 7:57:52 AM
Ads by Google
(and yes, we know that sometimes they're very, very wrong. Other times, they're right on.)