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Verified Voting

November 6, 2006

(Audio Archive)
Guest: Courtenay Strickland Bhatia, President of
It’s not all bad news out there. 35 states have a verified-voter paper trail now and 13 have that trail audited. It’s far from sufficient but real democracy in America is growing. The hope that one day, we can have virtually hacker-proof elections is not at all out of the question.
A look today at how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go.
And the best way to have YOUR vote counted tomorrow on November 7.

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  • Lady Liberty November 2, 2006 10:13 am

    Election day, coming up on Tuesday, November 7th, is one of our greatest civic rituals. I urge you to vote – and get everyone you know to vote.
    Millions of people will be voting on new machines and some concerns have been raised about their accuracy. Here is what we can do to make sure that our vote is counted accurately:
    1) CHECK NOW TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE, even if you think you are (some people have been knocked off the rolls due to recent computer changes). Also find the current address of your polling location since many polling locations have changed. For many states, you can find this information at, or call your county election office.
    2) VOTE! Use a paper ballot wherever possible which is better than the touch screen machines. Voting by absentee ballot guarantees you’ll vote on a paper ballot, if you have that opportunity. (Note to those voting on an electronic voting machines: if the machine has a paper trail printer, confirm that your vote is recorded accurately on the paper record. If there is a problem, notify the poll worker before casting your vote.)
    3) BRING IDENTIFICATION and proof of residence when you vote.
    4) IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEM VOTING, CALL immediately 1-866-OurVote (1-866-687-8683) for English or 1-888-VeyVota (1-888-839-8682 para la ayuda en espanol). Call from the polling site so people can help you right away.
    5) HELP MONITOR THE ELECTIONS. If you can give 3 hours or more on Election Day, we need you to monitor the election. For more info, visit
    Please spread this message far and wide.
    If you want more information, contact the following citizen groups working to protect our democracy:
    • Velvet Revolution is a network of progressive organizations demanding progressive change including action to ensure accurate US elections,
    • VoteTrust USA has excellent info on the integrity of our voting system AND supports groups working at the local and state level (a good way to connect with people in your area),
    • Common Cause gathers info on voting problems, works for election reforms through state and federal government,
    • People for the American Way organizes volunteers to safeguard our voting through Election Protection teams,
    • The Advancement Project works with communities to build a fair and just multi-racial democracy in America, helps to ensure universal opportunity, equity and access,
    Remember to vote on Tuesday, November 7th. Let our voices be heard

  • Skip November 1, 2006 12:35 pm

    Pretty soon we will need a passport to vote.

  • mark Levine October 31, 2006 10:54 pm

    If the polls offer same-day registration and no cost to the voter for the photo ID, I have no problem with requiring photo ID for voting.
    Anyone that doesn’t have a photo ID, the poll workers can just take that person’s photograph that very day and get his/her name, address, and signature and then allow the person to vote provisionally, with the vote to count upon standard verification procedures.
    In such a circumstance (and with the same requirement for absentee voters–see below), I have no problem with the photo ID. Without that circumstance, I have a big problem with it.
    You would also have to require all absentee voters to physically show up at a voting booth — or have poll workers come to their residence — and show a photo ID as well. Military people too.
    Otherwise you’d have to abolish absentee voting. How would you feel about that, Vicky? Because I’m against that. I think people should be able to vote absentee. And if absentee voters do not or cannot show a photo ID, it is unfair and unequal (and likely illegal) to ask anyone that goes to the polls to fulfill any more requirements than whan an absentee voter has to do.
    Most Republicans want an unequal standard: no photo ID for absentee voters (who, on average, include a greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats) and a photo ID for people who go to the polls (a greater percentage of Democrats). This crass political calculus makes no sense to me legally or morally, but I understand why they want it.
    Either all voting Americans must show photo ID or all don’t have to, with other reputable forms of identification. Equality under the law.

  • Vicky October 31, 2006 9:33 pm

    Shouldn’t we require photo ID for voting?