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Deadline nears to ensure verifiable vote

 

co-election-logo.JPGTomorrow the House State and Local Government Committee meets in Room 16, Legislative Plaza to consider the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act (HB 1256), a critical measure that could mandate voter-verified paper ballots in Tennessee will be in place for the November 2008 election.

VoteSafeTN and Gathering to Save Our Democracy are making a final push to support this measure, and are encouraging Tennessee voters to the same by doing the following:

  • Email members of the House and Senate State and Local Government committees. Tell them we still have the time to make the changes necessary to scrap unsafe, unverifiable, insecure and problem-prone DREs in Tennessee for opscan voting systems or hand-counted ballots in time for the November 2008 election.
  • Email or call your own state House and Senate representatives, even if they are not on the above committees. Tell them to support HB 1256 to take effect for November 2008. Let them know that you strongly support paper ballots that can be hand-counted or read electronically and then manually audited or recounted. Ask them to speak up for free, fair and verifiable elections – to let our votes count in ‘08.
  • Email, or call our Governor, as well as House and Senate leaders. Tell them that securing our elections by November 2008 is something that must be done. Governor Bredesen, House Speaker Naifeh and Senate Speaker Ramsey need to know that 35 other states have already figured out – voting on insecure equipment is no longer acceptable. Ask them to please use their power and influence to help us make the necessary change away from paperless DREs and to opscans or hand-counted ballots. Tell them we have the time. All we need is the will.
  • Email or call our Secretary of State Riley Darnell and State Election Coordinator Brook Thompson. These are our two public officials directly responsible for implementing this critical change from paperless, unverifiable, insecure elections, to optical scan paper ballots. Let them know that as a voter, this upcoming national election in November 2008 is too important to leave to chance… Or worse. They claim they can’t fix this problem until 2010. Let them know that this is not acceptable.

This grassroots movement calling for verifiable ballots has made important strides recently but needs to keep the momentum building through Tuesday’s vote. It is certainly not too late to restore election integrity in Tennessee.

We can’t afford another insecure election in our state. Not when the solution is achievable NOW.

Editor’s Note: This notice was submitted by Thelma Kidd of VoteSafeTN, an activist group working to ensure the implementation of verifiable voting records in the state of Tennessee.


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2 Responses to “Deadline nears to ensure verifiable vote”

  1. Beth Robinson Says:
    January 28th, 2008 at 12:44 pm
    Beth Robinson

    I am in total agreement and sent emails this morning to the TN house and senate as encouraged by http://www.votesafetn.org/ :
    “I want safe elections in Tennessee. I have a B.S. in Computer Science from TTU and have worked in this field since 1983. I can assure you that there are no computer systems I would trust 100%.

    Please support HB 1256 to take effect in Nov 2008.

    My ATM gives me a receipt for every transaction. Is this any less important than a $10 bank withdrawal?”

  2. Debbie Boen Says:
    January 28th, 2008 at 6:58 pm
    Debbie Boen

    More from Gathering to Save Our Democracy, see email and other addresses below:

    4 urgent tasks — Help needed now!

    Please help!

    ”We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. We must move past indecision to action.”
    Martin Luther King, 4/4/67

    This is a critical period to ensure that voter-verified paper ballots in Tennessee are in place for the November 2008 election. We have made significant progress but face some of our toughest hurdles yet. We need your help and the legislators really do pay attention to the emails and calls they receive. Thanks to all of you who wrote when we asked you before. Now we are asking again!

    Tuesday, January 28, 12 – 1:30 PM, the House State and Local Government Committee meets in Room 16, Legislative Plaza to consider the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act (HB 1256)

    STEP 1: Email members of the House and Senate State and Local Government committees. Tell them we still have the time to make the changes necessary to scrap unsafe, unverifiable, insecure and problem-prone DREs in Tennessee for opscan voting systems or handcounted ballots in time for the November 2008 election. Add your own words, but basically, the message is:

    The voters are counting on you to ensure that we have reliable and verifiable elections for 2008. There must be a paper ballot for every vote cast. I respectfully ask that you support legislation calling for voter verified paper ballots for 2008.

    Here are the members for the State and Local Committes. “Copy-and-paste” them into the address box of an email and write them all at once. (If you copy their addresses into the “bcc” box, all of the addressess will not appear on the email and your email might look more personal.)

    House of Representatives:

    rep.ulysses.jones@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.eddie.yokley@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.gary.moore@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.robert.bibb@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.jim.coley@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.vince.dean@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.jimmy.eldridge@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.joey.hensley@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.curtis.johnson@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.john.litz@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.jimmy.matlock@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.steve.mcmanus@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.larry.miller@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.joe.pitts@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.mary.pruitt@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.randy.rinks@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.park.strader@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.harry.tindall@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.curry.todd@legislature.state.tn.us, rep.ben.west@legislature.state.tn.us

    Senate:

    sen.bill.ketron@legislature.state.tn.us, sen.lowe.finney@legislature.state.tn.us, sen.bo.watson@legislature.state.tn.us, sen.tim.burchett@legislature.state.tn.us, sen.thelma.harper@legislature.state.tn.us, sen.joe.haynes@legislature.state.tn.us, sen.mark.norris@legislature.state.tn.us, sen.steve.roller@legislature.state.tn.us, sen.jim.tracy@legislature.state.tn.us

    —————————————————————————————————————————

    STEP 2: Email or call your own state House and Senate representatives, even if they are not on the above committees. Tell them to support HB 1256 to take effect for November 2008. Let them know that you strongly support paper ballots that can be handcounted or read electronically and cthen manually audited or recounted. Ask them to speak up for free, fair and verifiable elections – to let our votes count in ‘08.

    Ask them – as your elected voice in government – to support the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act, insuring that every Tennessean is allowed to vote on verifiable paper ballots beginning with the November 2008 election.

    If you don’t know who your state Representative and Senator are, go to http://www.vote-smart.org. You can enter your zip code at that web-site and get a page listing all your representatives. (The web-site asks for a nine digit zip-code. If you only know five digits, just enter “-0000″ and it will give you the correct information.)

    STEP 3: Email, or call our Governor, as well as House and Senate leaders. Tell them that securing our elections by November 2008 is something that must be done. Governor Bredesen, House Speaker Naifeh and Senate Speaker Ramsey need to know that 35 other states have already figured out – voting on insecure equipment is no longer acceptable. Ask them to please use their power and influence to help us make the necessary change away from paperless DREs and to opscans or handcounted ballots. Tell them we have the time. All we need is the will.

    Governor Phil Bredesen
    Phone: (615) 741-2001
    Fax: (615) 532-9711
    Governor’s Office
    TN State Capital
    Nashville, TN 37243-0001

    Lieutenant Governor & Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey
    Phone: (615) 741-4524
    Fax: (615) 253-0197
    1 Legislative Plaza
    Nashville, TN 37243

    House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh
    Phone: (615) 741-3774
    Fax: (615) 741-0944
    19 Legislative Plaza
    Nashville, TN 37243

    STEP 4: Email or call both Representative Gary Moore and Senator Joe Haynes, the House and Senate sponsors of the TN Voter Confidence Act. Thank these two leaders for carrying this important, history-making bill to the brink of passage, for taking this issue seriously and for demanding safe, secure and verifiable elections here in Tennessee. Ask them to please keep a November 2008 implementation date as the preferred outcome of their bill and to know that you and many Tennesseans are behind them and applaud their efforts. We do have the time and we’ll soon have the money to scrap DREs for opscans to let our votes count in ‘08. Remind them …. there is also the option of having handcounted paper ballots.

    Representative Gary Moore

    Senator Joe Haynes

    OPTIONAL (for extra credit): Email or call our Secretary of State Riley Darnell and State Election Coordinator Brook Thompson. These are our two public officials directly responsible for implementing this critical change from paperless, unverifiable, insecure elections, to optical scan paper ballots. Let them know that as a voter, this upcoming national election in November 2008 is too important to leave to chance… Or worse. They claim they can’t fix this problem until 2010. Let them know that this is not acceptable.

    Secretary of State: Riley Darnell
    Phone: (615) 741-2078
    312 8th Ave. North, 8th Floor
    Nashville, TN 37243

    Elections and State Election Commission: Brook Thompson
    Phone: (615) 741-7956
    312 8th Ave., North
    Nashville, TN 37243

    We have made important strides recently and we need to keep building the momentum for reform NOW.

    It is certainly not too late to restore election integrity in Tennessee, but we must act NOW.

    We can’t afford another insecure election in our state. Not when the solution is achievable NOW.

    Let our votes count in 2008.

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