Clean Election Reform: Research Materials

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Jun 21, 2006, 9:00:47 AM6/21/06
While I was at YearlyKos, I passed by a couple of panels where the subject of "clean leection reform" was discussed.  I was bugged that I could not hang around to find out what people were talking about, but resolved to learn more.

I'm pretty busy right now, and so I have not been able to dig in and research this stuff, but I still got some educational links and wanted to share them with the Roots Project membership.

As cos at MyDD points out  a lot of dicussion about election reform takes on this weird defeatist dynamic, when we have the tools at our disposal to promote change.  It would help a lot of people in the Roots Project simply volunteered to monitor local polling areas come election time, but even more, let's all get educated.  Toward that end, I offer you all the following links:

Poke around those sites.  Let's develop some local expertise.  The first link offers some policy ideas for candidates, so some groups may want to bring them to the attention of their representatives.  You can even become a state contact for clean elections

There's a lot here.  This is from the front page at

"A new kind of politics is taking root in America called Clean Money, Clean Elections (CMCE) campaign finance reform. CMCE reduces the influence of special interest money and provides a level playing field by offering qualified candidates a limited and equal amount of public funds. It's a bold, new experiment in campaign finance reform, seeking to restore democracy and the principle of one person, one vote.

If you're looking for real solutions to clean up the campaign finance mess in this country, you've come to the right place. We can show you what's wrong with the system and how you can help fix it. Please browse the site and dig into the information."

Good stuff.  Anyway, I wanted to offer these links to anyone who is interested.


Jun 21, 2006, 9:32:26 AM6/21/06
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Pach and all,
One thing we're stressing in our county party is that we need to be known by our Supervisor of Elections and his staff.  We encourage all precinct captains to visit the office regularly to pick up their own supplies.  On election day, if there are problems at polling places, the staff is much more likely to respond quickly to people they know.
I'm not sure how it works in other states and counties, but our canvassing board meets monthly and their meetings are open to the public.  Representatives of the Democratic Party need to be present at these meetings.  These are the people (in our county, the board is comprised of a county judge, chair of the county commission, and SOE) who test the voting machines, determine the validity of absentee ballots, etc.  THEY HAVE A VITAL ROLE IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS!  We need to let them know they are being monitored by our side.
I also had an idea after reading about Ohio (and I know it happened here in Hillsborough County, Florida), that maybe we could make a pre-emptive strike to be sure we have enough voting machines in heavily Democratic precincts.  Perhaps we could do our own study of polling places and area demographics and demand in writing the number of voting machines we expect to see at the polling stations on election day.  We should also let the press know about this in advance.
I realize none of these things will keep someone from coding the machines to help the Republicans win, but I think these small steps at the local level will make other kinds of corruption less likely.
Susan Smith

Robert M

Jun 21, 2006, 11:00:10 AM6/21/06
Good morning everyone,
County Supervisors of Elections and their methods need to be watched
closely. The busby/bilbray(CA-50) election is a perfect example of this
kind of clueless arrogance on the behalf of irresponsible SoE's. If
anyone has news of Florida election problems, Republican fraud,
scandals, etc., please let me know so I can post it.

Robert M. wrote:
> Pach and all,

Audrey Yoeckel

Jun 21, 2006, 12:03:21 PM6/21/06
Brilliant! This is exactly what the netroots is all about!
I might add that representatives of the Democratic party (Repubs are always there) need to be present at the polling places as well.
To be an observer, sign up here:
(This is the same link provided by Black Box Voting to volunteer to do hand counts--but you can sign up for multiple actions there.)
I almost want to say this isn't political activism as much as responsible citizenship.
Can I forward this to my other groups?

Jun 21, 2006, 12:09:29 PM6/21/06
Sure, you may forward it.
Susan Smith


Jun 21, 2006, 12:09:58 PM6/21/06
already done.


Michelle and Jon Kenoyer

Jun 21, 2006, 12:33:58 PM6/21/06
Awesome, Audrey--thanks! I should also mention that the SOE in Hillsborough County is actively recruiting poll watchers; and even though a Republican heads the SOE here, the Hills. SOE requires an equal number of Dems and Republicans working the polls (in theory, anyway). Let's make that theory a reality.
Contact info for the Hillsborough Co. SOE in case you want to be a poll watcher--Diana says she needs LOADS of them, so would appreciate any and all volunteers. Her name is Diana Jones, and her e-mail is - and her phone number is 813-744-5900. Feel free to contact her if you're interested.
Also, in case you didn't hear the news, this is yet another reason to work for clean election reform and be a poll watcher. It's enough to make your head explode:

Audrey Yoeckel <> wrote:

Yahoo! Groups gets better. Check out the new email design. Plus there’s much more to come.


Jun 21, 2006, 5:48:14 PM6/21/06
In case anyone missed it, David Sirota has a diary at dkos showing that large bipartisan majorities support public campaign financing.

Remember, you can encourage local candidates to sign on to the clean elections agenda you can find at .

There's often a narrative of despair around election reform, but I'm confident we can turn this into a national issue that creates a narrative of hope for the future.  It only requires faith in each other and consistent grass roots action.

Thanks to everyone who's been sinking their teeth into this stuff since I sent it out this morning.



Jun 30, 2006, 11:19:12 AM6/30/06
Here's a neat idea for anyone to take action on this over the July 4th holiday:

Everyone loves a parade. That's especially true of politicians. Candidates for Congress will attend Fourth of July parades - and other Independence Day events - in cities and towns all over the country in the next few days.

Public Campaign Action Fund announced Operation Declare Independence yesterday -- a simple, easy way to begin to put Congress on notice that Americans want to declare independence from big money and lobbyists controlling Washington.

As candidates glad-hand down the parade route, we're asking people to yell out this question:

Have you signed the Voters First Pledge?

Operation Declare Independence will take 15 seconds of your time. It also takes a little gumption. But politicians need to be put on the spot. Multiply your impact by encouraging friends to ask the same question.

If candidates are asked about the Voters First Pledge by enough people, they will have to give an answer.

Here's some background:

Last week, Public Campaign Action Fund, Common Cause, U.S.PIRG, and Public Citizen mailed a letter to every congressional candidate in the country asking them to support legislation to make elections fair, restore accountability and protect voters' right-to-know. This platform, called the Voters First Pledge, goes beyond what members of Congress have debated in the wake of the Abramoff-Cunningham-DeLay web of scandals.

Politicians like to say that they haven't addressed political reform because they don't think anyone cares about the issue.

They're wrong, and your participation in Operation Declare Independence can help to prove that. When you're at a local parade, barbeque, or fireworks, and a politician comes by, use your voice and ask if they've signed the Voters First Pledge.

Let's put them on record. Let's declare independence from big money and lobbyists.

On 6/21/06, Pachacutec <> wrote:
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