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Ideas for Making VVPB an Issue

Thanks, Matt for your posts.

You asked if anyone had ideas for making VVPB an issue. As I've seen politicians successfully steer the public agenda, I think this is a worthwhile pursuit. (Republicans have been showing for years that it can be done, that it requires widespread discipline, and that it pays off.)

Jon's Campaign can lightening rod this issue with one concept, champion the winning side with a second, and tie up loose ends with a third:

1) The Record. Be on record citing electronic voting's horrendous track record. You can pick the most eggregious ones such as lost and invented votes, and people's imagination will fill in the blanks.

2) The Heart of the Issue. To actually win people over, and get leadership points, cite the "WMD" effect. Here's a benignly provacative statement Jon can use at a press-covered event: "A single software release from a voting machine company gets mailed to thousands of machines in precincts all over the county. When that software is unstable or flawed, it becomes a Weapon of Mass Disenfranchisement." (That's a pretty unique phrase, by the way. It only Googles twice, and in one case refers to an AK47, and in another, just a mythic device... "you're welcome" '-).

The mass-effect of computer code "makes the bell go off" for many, many people, including well-intentioned poll workers who are confused as to why lever machines don't need paper but computers do... The WMD phrase makes it a sound bite that not all media will be able to resist. (I consider the latter dynamic absolutely key these days!)

3) Legal and Fair. It's worth having the Campaign make it clear that there is no conflict between voting accessibility for the sight-impared as stipulated in HAVA, and VVPB. Machines are available today that have Optical Character Recognition connected to their VVPB printers, making the harmony clear and simple, despite the money-back rants of people like Jim Dickson who seem to have the ear of Dodd and many Republicans. There is an ideal photo combining Rush Holt, James McCarthy, Director of Government Affairs for the National Federation of the Blind, and a sign commemorating the confluence of both sets of concerns. Here's the URL: http://www.holt.house.gov/display2.cfm?id=6282&type=Home. Besides the hard-won Federation, Rush's office can cite a good number of sight-impared advocacy organizations that support VVPB.

Here are key reasons this looks like a winning issue for Jon:

  • It's an issue with good resonance once voters understand it, and they'll appreciate having it brought to their attention.
  • it's not an issue that can be easily turned around by the opposition into a loser (there's a mild risk of Forrester's team citing complaints about the AG, but he can and should be brought on board by Jon), and
  • perhaps most important, it's "on-message" to an important theme, as Pam said kicking this off. VVPB is right on target the theme of reform.

Mark Fresolone
NJ DFA Voting Task Force

by Mark MyWords on July 02 at 10:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]


thanks

This is helpful.

by Matt Stoller on July 02 at 1:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]


VVPB as an issue

At least in the Princeton area, the issue of voter verified paper ballots is very hot. Every forum on the subject I've attended has been packed, and people are passionate about defending the integrity of our voting system. I don't think that I'm alone in having become radicalized by the 2000 election debacle, and our hopes for winning our country back for democracy depend on being able to trust that every vote will be counted accurately. Rush Holt has made a genuinely trustworthy ballot his signature issue, and many of his constituents are very grateful and loyal to him because of this. It seems a ready-made winning issue for Senator Corzine to embrace fully. If the Senator is strong and clear and uncompromising about this, I'm sure he will greatly enhance his standing among many of the most activist Democrats in Mercer County and beyond.

by Dan Preston on July 05 at 1:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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