“Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” - Josef Stalin
Bloomington Indiana City Council Passes Resolution for Voting Transparency to "recognize the importance of democratic, transparent and fair elections."
On Wednesday night 12/15/04 the Bloomington Indiana City Council passed a historic voting transparency resolution: RESOLUTION 04-26 - TO RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF DEMOCRATIC, TRANSPARENT AND FAIR ELECTIONS.
How this came about:
This resolution is sponsored by Councilmember Dave Rollo (D) and calls for fair, democratic and transparent election procedures. Toward that end, it urges the implementation of the following: standardized voting equipment, a verified paper record suitable for audit, uniform polling and reporting practices, and public access to all source codes used in voting machines. It calls for every vote to be accurately recorded and endorses the principles articulated in H.R. 2239. The resolution implores election officials to guarantee that recounts and investigations of irregularities proceed to ensure that the vote tally is accurate. The resolution calls upon county officials to safeguard the integrity of local elections and directs the City Clerk to send a copy of the resolution to State and county officials, the Indiana Congressional delegation and the President of the United States.
Over a period of just 3 weeks after the election, our small but dedicated local group, the Committee for the Preservation of Democracy, a subcommittee of the Bloomington Peace Action Coalition formed and came together to plan our efforts to get this resolution passed. Then at the 12/01/04 Bloomington City Council meeting during open public comment period, several members of our group along with Professor/Scientist Steve Hockema of the IU Progressive Faculty Coalition, urged the council to draft and pass such a resolution (the 12/1/04 council meeting is archived on CATS/Community Access TV. You can see our public comments between 22:10 and 47:05 on the streaming video clip: Bloomington City Council December 1) .
Immediately, the Democratic members of the council went into action drafting the voting transparency resolution (the Democratic council members asked the 2 Republican councilmembers 5 times to join them in a bipartisan effort to draft the resolution but they declined to participate. In fact, on the night of its passage they walked out and did not vote).
Then several of us from the Committee, including Professor Cynthia Hoffman and members of the public passionately spoke again at the Wednesday 12/15 City Council meeting urging the adoption of the draft resolution. Professor Hoffman, a member of the IU Progressive Faculty Coalition gave an indepth, 20 minute introductory presentation with overheads detailing the numerous problems with security of the electronic voting machines in general and the the irregularities and anomolies in the 2000 and 2004 elections in particular - especially in the Ohio 2004 election (see also). The 12/15/04 council meeting, is now available via streaming video at: Bloomington City Council December 15 . (Times are as follows: reading of resolution synopsis starts at 1:58:20; Councilman Dave Rollo: 1:59; Prof. Cynthia Hoffman: 2:09:10; Gretchen Clearwater-CPD: 2:40:35; David Keppel-CPD: 2:43:50; Linda Zambanini-CPD: 2:50; Cedar Spring-CPD: 3:10; Clayton Cooper-Repub. citizen: 3:05:30; Prof. Jim Hart - 3:07; Dan Combs - Local Dem. Party Chrmn: 3:13:20; Councilmembers final comments and vote: 3:21:10)
Finally, the five Democratic members of the Bloomington City Council voiced their impassioned and eloquent support of the resolution and passed it with a 5 to 0 vote.
We the members of the Committee for the Preservation of Democracy are proud to say we live in the great city of Bloomington, Indiana – a city which we believe to be only the 2nd in America, after Berkeley California (see also)to craft and pass such a voting transparency resolution. Our exuberance to see this to fruition is surpassed only by our pride in a City Council which has the forsight, good sense, courage and love of our democratic process to take such a bold but simple step.
BOLD …because they are one of the first.
SIMPLE …because what they are asking for in this resolution is nothing more than the SIMPLE protection and preservation of the most precious individual right in our democracy – the right for each citizen to cast a vote and have it counted properly - The fundamental right that MUST be upheld to sustain the legitimacy of our very democracy from which all other rights are derived.
It is our hope that our actions and the council's actions will inspire other citizens and other City Councils across America to discuss this issue and craft their own Voting Transparency Resolutions.
But time and action is of the essence. Implementation of actions called for in this resolution and counting MUST be carried out before the next election and every vote must be counted in the 2004 election – therefore our work is not done it is only just beginning.
Since we first addressed the council 2 wks ago much has happened across the nation and especially in neighboring Ohio where allegations and evidence of voting irregulatiries and anomalies are DAILY continuing to come to light: including reports of voter intimidation, voter suppression, a multitude of electronic voting machine problems, phantom absentee ballots and alleged tampering with the central tabulator units prior to the recount. Ohio is only 2 hours from us, so we feel a very immediate and personal outrage about the chicanery there! But right here in our own state of Indiana, in nearby Franklin County (between here and Indianapolis), voting machines switched straight party Democratic votes to the Libertarian candidate allowing the Republican candidate to win - temporarily - until someone noticed the huge and suspicious vote total for the Libertarian candidate.
No state is immune to this plague on democracy.
In Washington DC the week of December 6th, a Congressional Judiciary Committee chaired by the honorable John Conyers heard testimony about voting irregularities in Ohio. Then at the urging of those who testified, the Judiciary Committee moved its investigation to Columbus Ohio and Monday 12/13 they listened to what was described as stunning, jaw-dropping new allegations of vote tampering and voter suppression in Ohio, as well as illegal interference with the recount by Ohio Sec of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and tampering with central tabulating units prior to the recount effort.
To mention just some of the testimony:
§ Last week when the Green Party and Libertarian Party officials were performing the recount In heavily minority Green Co - J. Kenneth Blackwell Ohio. Sec. of St. and Bush/Cheney co-chair for re-election, gave a directive to LOCK DOWN PUBLIC RECORDS so that the recount could not proceed according to law. The Director of the Board of Elections took away the records and stated “all voter records for the state of Ohio are “locked-down,” and they were no longer public records.”
Please be aware that according to Ohio State Law the lockdown of public election records IS prima facie election fraud!
§ Then In explosive sworn testimony, David Cobb, the unsuccessful Green Party presidential candidate, aired startling testimony alleging that a voting company representative tampered with voting equipment in Columbus just last Friday and attempted to plant false information into the Ohio recount. Cobb testified:
“A representative from Triad Systems came into this county’s Board of Election’s office unannounced, that is on this Friday. He said he was just stopping by to see if they had any questions about the upcoming recount.
“He then headed into the back room where Triad supplies tabulators, that is where the
machinethat counts the ballots, is kept. This Triad representative told them that there was problem with the system, that the system had a bad battery and it had ‘lostall its data.’
“He then took the computer apart and started swapping parts in and out of it. And in another in the room. And he had spare parts in
his coat, as one of the people remarked how very heavy it was.
“He finally reassembled everything and said it was working but not to turn it off. He then asked which precinct would be counted in the 3 percent recount test - when the answer was relayed to him he then went back and did something else to the tabulator."
Cobb asserted that such practices were “going on across the state.”
§ Also testifying under oath was ClintCurtis, a former NASA programmer and whistleblower who signed an affadavit last week stating he was asked to hack the voting machines for the 2000 election in florida by Fla. Republican Congressman Feeney and Yang Enterprises (YEI) – who Mr Curtis worked for at the time.
And Furthermore, testimony was heard about voter suppression regarding the 5…6…even 11 hour lines both in minority precincts and in liberal university areas where voting machines had been shorted in what appears to have been a deliberate attempt to supress the democratic/Democratic vote:
§ In Franklin County, where Columbus is located, the election director, Matt Damschroder, misinformed a federal court on Election Day when he testified the county had no additional voting machines – in response to a Voting Rights Act lawsuit that minority precincts were intentionally deprived of machines. It now appears as many as 81 voting machines were being held back, according to recent statements by Damschroder and Bill Anthony, the chairman of the Franklin County Board of Elections. The shortage of machines in Democratic-leaning districts lead to long lines and thousands of people leaving in frustration and not voting. Damschroder's contradictory statements now raise the possibility of perjury.
§ In Knox County, students at largely Democratic Kenyon College, a liberal arts school, stood in line for up to 11 hours, because only one voting machine was in use. However, at nearby Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, there were ample voting machines and no lines. This suggests the GOP shorting of voting machines was a more widespread tactic than just targeting inner-city neighborhoods.
As I said these are only a FEW of the many statements heard by the Judiciary Committee in Ohio…each one of them an INDICTMENT of a democratic system in CRISIS.
Each one of them an ATTACK on the DREAM and the PROMISE of ‘America’ that brought the ancestors of most of us here.
I will conclude by making a personal statement to help explain why I find this to be such an important fight to continue:
I am the grandaughter of Italian immigrants who came here in 1901 – Both from what is NOW Northern Italy but which THEN was controlled by 2 powerful and brutal empires.
My grandmothers family came from near Torino the area then held by the Emperor Napoleon.
My Grandfather came from near Trento – then under the brutal control of The Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Emperor Franz Joseph.
As my grandfather freqently told me: They were starving – persecuted and over taxed by a ruthless emperor - many of them dying of pellegra from having nothing to eat but polenta 3 times a day. They lacked the power of democratic representation which we so take for granted.
In 1901 they fled to America so that their children and grandchildren could have a better life – they came here for the DREAM and PROMISE of America. To live under the rule of a democratically elected representative government. A country by, for, and of the people. A country created by our democratic processes and the peoples' essential right to free and fair elections.
Passing this resolution my seem to some a small step in a small town but to me it is nothing less than an attempt to restore the DREAM AND PROMISE OF AMERICA that brought my grandparents here.
So once again we commend the Bloomington Indiana City Council for their wisdom, courage and forsight in passing this resolution and for their commitment to ensuring its implementation.
Join the group:
The Committee for Preservation of Democracy meets every Tuesday night at 7pm at the Encore Cafe`in Bloomington, Indiana.
The group seeks to draw attention to voting irregularities in the Nov. 2 presidential election, and to improve voting tabulation accountability.
The Committee for the Preservation of Democracy would like to have open dialog with any group or city council working to get a similar resolution passed. We hope to soon get news of our resolution presented on DemocracyNOW by Amy Goodman and eventually put together a documentary on our efforts.
For more information, please contact:
Committee for the Preservation of Democracy - member
Committee for the Preservation of Democracy - member
Committee for the Preservation of Democracy - member
Committee for the Preservation of Democracy
Check out and distribute our Election Fraud Flyer!
Print out this election fraud cartoon!
Please see the following 2 newstories in our local paper, the Herald Times:
Fair-elections resolution passesLegislation calls for auditable voting trail
by Michael Schroeder, Herald-Times Staff WriterDecember 17, 2004
Nothing less than democracy is at stake.Passionate accounts by members of the public and the Bloomington City Council laid the groundwork for that theme late Wednesday night. And in the final hour of official council business this year (and the final hour of Wednesday), five remaining members of the council passed a resolution to "recognize the importance of democratic, transparent and fair elections..."
Questions about voting irregularities prompt resolution
Statement calls for standardized voting machines, paper trail
By Michael Schroeder, Herald-Times Staff WriterDecember 14, 2004
Punch-card tabulators didn't count 33,000 votes in Utah County, Utah. A Unilect e-voting machine lost 4,500 votes in Carteret County, North Carolina. A Danaher e-voting machine gave George W. Bush 3,893 extra votes in Franklin County, Ohio.Even closer to home, Diebold tabulators gave straight-party Democratic votes to Libertarians in nine precincts in Franklin County, Ind.These were some of the vote tabulation problems reported after the Nov. 2 elections and compiled by votersunite.org, a self-described nonpartisan national grass-roots network for fair and accurate elections.But since initial reports of irregularities, mainstream media and others have turned a blind eye to the issue, according to Gretchen Clearwater, a founding member of the Committee for Preservation of Democracy. Left largely unaddressed was also the question of a statistically significant discrepancy between exit polls and election results, Clearwater said......"
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the Truth becomes a revolutionary act."~George Orwell
"Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes - crimes that infinitely out-distance every human measure - reach the light of day?" ~The White Rose Society, The First Leaflet.