Eric Smith on Mon, 15 Mar 2004 20:59:38 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> An Emergency Call-to-Arms

Eric A. Smith
Hot Damn! Design

(please distribute among your membership.)

An Emergency Call-to-Arms:
A Five-Step Battle Plan for YOUR Future

This is a call to arms to you -- as an American and a custodian of your =
nation's future. Please act as if your life depends on it -- it well =

We have been led down a dark, perilous road.

The journey has touched us all, from mothers and fathers burying =
children in a war over nonexistent WMD, to firefighters and policemen =
promised vital funds only to be cheated and asked to work for free. =
Millions of Americans have been cut loose as corporations exploit =
foreign workers on the cheap and CEOs gorge themselves on riches =
unprecedented in history. While Americans take second and even third =
jobs just feed their families, the Bush Administration has poured =
America's wealth into the greedy hands of defense contractors and =
tax-dodging megacorporations, notorious companies like (#1 Bush donator =
Kenneth Lay's) Enron or Cheney's wartime ripoff-artists at Halliburton.

Our environment, safety, economy, national security, labor protection =
and Constitutionally-guaranteed rights have all been gutted and left to =
die in a worker-hostile economy.


Here's what we're facing:

This November, the Bush election machine has more than three times the =
spending power of its opponenets(1)

And they are fighting dirty, just as they did in 2000, when they purged =
Florida voter rolls(2), rioted to stop recounts(3), barred citizens from =
voting (ibid) and even threatened the Vice President and his family on =
their front lawn (4).

This year, through gerrymandering, data theft from Congressional =
computers, impeachments and recess judicial appointments, they are =
trying to consolidate their unprecedented power. And they have a special =
election-season surprise in store for us as well -- as the AFL-CIO =
argued before the Supreme Court last December(5), the Bushites have MADE =
INFLUENCE THE ELECTION during the election's most critical phase:

"This blackout will become national in scope on July 31, 30 days before =
the August 30-September 2 Republican National Convention . . . and it =
will then continue without interruption throughout the remaining 60 days =
until the November 2 election. Thus, from July 31, 2004 until the =
election, it will be a crime for a union, corporation, or incorporated =
non-profit organization to pay to broadcast any 'reference' to the =
President by 'name,' 'photograph,' 'drawing' or other 'unambiguous' =
means anywhere in the United States." (6)

They are ruthless, and will not concede victory without a vicious fight. =
Expect the outlawing of gay marriage to "divide and conquer", =
marginalize opponents and consolidate support from the religious right, =
a base estimated to be 30 million strong (7). Expect the Supreme Court =
to halt recounts again. Expect a "surprise" discovery of WMD even after =
Blix, David Kay and Iraq's scientists saying they were all destroyed. =
(8) Expect the "suprise" capture or "destruction" of Bin Laden =
conveniently close to the election (9). Expect lots of scary terrorism =
warnings and perhaps even an attack.(10) General Tommy Franks has even =
suggested a second 9-11-scale attack will lead to martial law in America =

None of this should deter you; remember it was the same group (Rumsfeld, =
Cheney, Baker, Bush Sr., Perle, etc.) that armed and funded Hussein and =
Bin Laden in the first place. The blood of our dead is therefore on =
their hands.

We must not underestimate the ruthlessness of those willing to start an =
international war based on known and transparent lies -- virtually =
against the will of the entire planet. Make no mistake; they are willing =
to throw away American lives in their quest for global dominion. And if =
you rise up and oppose them, you may be bullied, harassed and =
threatened, perhaps even by the FBI.(12) YOU MUST NOT LET THIS DETER =

And here we come to the deep, dark heart of the matter:

This year 28% of the vote (and counting) will be tallied on electronic =
voting machines or scanners, which have been repeatedly hacked and can =
be used to fix an election -- all without a trace. Below you'll find a =
link to the diagrammed, step-by-step report of how e-vote activist Bev =
Harris hacked one(13). If you think this is exaggeration, please follow =
the links listed below, where everything has been well-documented and by =
the NY Times, the Washington Post, CNN, ABC, CBS, the BBC, etc. (14)

Once paperless, effortlessly hackable (10) voting machines have been =
installed, the situation will be PERMANENT -- we will never know or be =
able to prove if an election has been stolen. And if it HAS -- those who =
have stolen it CAN NEVER BE VOTED OUT. And without the fear of voter =
reprisal, whoever takes advantage of such a situation could do literally =
anything they wanted and NEVER LOSE POWER. It will mean the end of =
Democracy. And if you work for an activist group, it will certainly mean =
the end of your organization.

We have less than six months to prepare to fight the biggest power grab =
in human history.

Do your part.

Help save America.

There will not be a second chance.


I. LOBBYING  (20 minutes approximately)

Tell your representatives to support Bills H.R.2239, 1986, and =
ESPECIALLY 2045 (14)

Online e-petitions:[=

Toll free: 1-800-839-5276

State elections boards

State Attorneys General

State Election Officials

Members, Natl. Assoc. of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks

Penelope Bonsall, national director of the Office of Election =
Office of Election Administration
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463
(202) 694-1095 (phone)
(202) 219-8500 (fax)

II. MEDIA BLITZ (one to three hours approximately)
Write a ltter and email or fax it to Radio & tv stations, newspapers & =
magazines in your area:

National Media Contacts:
CBS Evening News

NBC Nightly News

Peter Jennings : ABC World News Tonight
Tel : (212) 456-4025, Fax : (212) 456-2381

Washington Post :, , , , , ,

New York Times:,,,,,,,
USA Today:
Houston Chronicle:
San Francisco Chronicle:
Los Angeles Times:
Chicago Tribune:
Washington Post:
New York Daily News:

CNN HeadLine News executives :,, ,,, , , , ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

USA Today : , , , ,,

Los Angeles Times : , , , , , ,,, ,

REUTERS : , ,, , , , , ,, ,,,,, , ,

Associated Press:,, , , ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Ask your elections board (about any e-voting purchase evaluations =
meetings to be held in your district. As a member of the voting public, =
it is your legal right to attend as a witness, although, out of =
convenience, they may try to avoid giving you the information. Insist on =
your rights.

If you do attend as a witness, you may well be a victim of intimidation =
tactics. Insist on voter-verified paper ballots. Bev Harris has written =
comprehensive answers to arguments you will hear. DO NOT BACK DOWN OR BE =

>From Bev Harris, http://www.BlackBoxVoting.Org

Assertion: "Upgrading the printer already in the (Diebold) machine costs =
Fact: Diebold has stated in writing that their pre-installed internal =
printers are sufficient to generate a voter-verified paper trail.

Assertion: "The paper is very expensive"
Fact: No, thermal paper is the cheapest made. And with an estimated =
maximmum of 300 people voting at each touch screen. A LARGE precinct may =
have seven touch screens, but many have just two or three. It might cost =
$15 per precinct to print those ballots.

Assertion: "The paper won't last"
Fact: If the report to be by the machine will last the required amount =
of time, the ballots will too, if printed on the same paper. The printer =
is there to report totals at the polling place.

Assertion: "the machines will jam"
Fact: The printer is similar to models used in supermarkets and WalMart. =
Remember: the total number of transactions, will be about 300. Do =
supermarket and WalMart printers jam every 15 sales? No; They process =
thousands of printouts without jamming.

Assertion: "the ink will run out"
Fact: There is no ink in a thermal printer

Question: "If a paper ballot record doesn't match a machine record, =
which is the legal vote?"
Fact: The voter-verified paper must trump the machine unless a =
mechanical defect or fraud is shown, because it is a physical record =
seen and verified by thousands of individual voters, whereas the machine =
is bits and bytes that can be changed by a single technician!

Assertion: "Paper ballot systems have been tampered with"
Fact: Yes, and machines have been frequently wrong as well. Do not allow =
sidetracking of the discussion or assertions that you are "against =
electronic voting" -- no, we want them to put paper in a printer and use =
it for auditing.

Assertion: "Officials won't know what to do with paper ballots and new =
laws must be written."
Fact: Laws and procedures set up for optical scans are applicable.

Assertion: "A paper trail will only lead to demands for more complicated =
and stringent auditing"
Fact: Yes, it will. We're asking for that anyway, with optical scanning. =
It is still be cheap and efficient compared to many of the changes =
currently being implemented to accomodate the sales of more touchscreen =

Question: "Why use machines at all if you're demanding paper ballots?"
Fact: Voting machines are helpful for the visually impaired

Assertion: "Paper ballots prevent the visually impaired from voting"
Facts: Wheelchair-assisted voters can use a touch screen with the same =
efficiency whether or not there is a paper printout, and the =
visually-impaired are can be provided with headphones for these =
machines. Nor does a paper printout hinder their ability to vote.

Alternatives to the Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S machines (operated by =
heavily partisan CEOs, designed to operate WITHOUT a paper trail, and =
whose code and components are not allowed to be examined) exist.

Avante Systems has a machine that shows a printout through a glass =
screen. After the voter confirms it is correct, the paper ballot is =
droped into a storage box so it can be checked against the machine =
totals and the AccuPoll system has a scanner that can pass over the =
printed ballot to verify votes.

Alternative, secure e-voting machines you can suggest to your elections =

IV. VOLUNTEER ELECTIONS MONITORING (three days approximately, including =
preliminary training)
Vootewatch is organizing election monitor volunteers here:

Bev Harris has outlined a point-by-point strategy on specifically what =
to look for when monitoring electronic voting machines. It is also =
recommended that you either download her free e-book "Black Box Voting", =
or better yet, purchase it here:

>From Bev Harris, http://www.BlackBoxVoting.Org

CITIZEN WATCHDOGS: What to look for and report -- Let's get good at this =
before November!

Optical-scan systems and absentee ballots: We have information that all =
systems recognize carbon-containing marks (soft lead pencil). Some DO =
NOT recognize all inks. You may want to bring a soft lead pencil to the =
polling place with you to mark your optical-scan ballots.

All Diebold counties (AccuVote and AccuTouch are Diebold brands) -- Ask =
that the poll workers print a report and post a copy at the polling =
place at the end of the day, whether they are required to or not. All =
Diebold machines, both touch-screen and optical-scan, contain internal =
printers and have the ability to print a polling place results report. =
This takes 60 seconds and costs nothing, and is an important check and =
balance to compare with the county results from the GEMS system, which =
we believe to contain security flaws. Votes should not change from the =
polling place to the county.

Report any instance of mismatched polling place/county tabulations here. =
Do NOT accept the excuse that they won't match because early votes, =
absentee, provisional, or challenge votes were added into the polling =
place totals. That is called "co-mingling" the data and is not an =
acceptable record-keeping practice. Additional categories of votes must =
be accounted for as separate line items.

Sequoia touch-screens do not have an internal printer. A printer can =
easily be hooked up with a serial port. If you see printers, demand a =
polling place report.

Watch for any "wandering vote tallies" on election night, especially if =
any votes go DOWN. (Yes, this has been known to happen).

Late poll openings: Report these immediately and we'll try to get =
cameras there. This is a form of vote suppression, often occurring in =
minority areas.

Late vote results: Report late incoming tallies. These can be indicative =
of the county trying to resolve voting machine anomalies before filing =

Observe how many cords come in and out of the voting machines. Report =
any evidence of networking the machines together. Report any time you =
see more than a simple power cord plugged in while the election is in =

Wardrive election sites. See if you can pick up wireless signals either =
during or after the election. Wireless communication is not permitted. =
Also, report any use of cell phones for vote transfers, which is also =
not permitted.

Election workers: Report the procedures used for training if they seem =
insecure. For example, we have already had reports that in Georgia, some =
poll workers were told to take voting machines home after training; =
Georgia flag artwork was uploaded right before the election; and other =
unwise and insecure procedures were followed.

Go visit the polling place at the end of the day and see how secure it =
is. We had reports recently of machines left in the polling place =

Felony watch: In some states, IT IS A FELONY for technicians who are not =
sworn elections officials to touch the vote database in any way, shape =
or form after votes have been cast. In fact, if you look at Chapter 13 =
of Black Box Voting, the San Luis Obispo incident was probably illegal =
(Diebold tech Sophia Lee was tied to a live vote database that appeared =
on the Internet five hours before the polls closed).

Watch for statistical anomalies. Look at everything. Time is of the =
essence, as these analyses take some time and there are only a few days =
before the election is certified.

V. LEGAL CHALLENGES (indeterminate)

Author Lynn Landes has questioned the constitutionality of voting =

If your organization has the wherewithal to raise a legal challenge on =
these (or other grounds) here are some resources below:

Election campaign and civil rights lawyers listed for every city:

Institute for Justice:

Center for Indiviual Rights:

Class actions:

Southeastern Legal Foundation:

Electronic Frontier Foundation attorneys:

Other challenges:

Pax Christi is also organizing an international group of elections =
monitors. More information here:


1 (GOP:$115,667,827 ; Dems:$44,175,502).

2. Greg Palast, Harper's Magazine "The Great Florida Ex-Con Game"

3 a."Unprecedented" -- internet preview of the film

3 b. Lynn Landes: "Mission Impossible - Federal Observers & Voting =

4. Barabara Walters interview"The Note":

5.McConnell vs the Federal Election Commission


7. "Bush Assures Evangelicals of Commitment to Marriage Amendment"

8a. Online Journal: "Wag the Osama"

8b.NewsNet5: "Ridge Sidesteps Question On Bin Laden's Capture"

9. U.S. Unloading WMD in Iraq

10. "Purported Al Qaida Statement"

11. NewsMax: "Tommy Franks: 'Martial Law Will Replace Constitution After =
Next Terror Attack'"

12. The New McCarthyism, the Progressive:

13. Scoop: "Inside a US Election Vote Counting Program"

14a. NY Times: "Hack the Vote"

b. CBS: "Electronic Voting Causing Concern"

c. UK Independent: "All the President's Votes?"

d. Salon: "Will the Election be Hacked?"

e. BBC: "Concerns over US Computer Voting"

f. ABC News: "Avoiding Another Florida Fiasco"

g. "Comparison of Senate Bills 1980, 1986, and 2045"

You are encouraged to distribute this document freely and widely.

Contact: Eric A. Smith, Hot Damn! Design, Tokyo, Japan =E2=97=8F =
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