Monday, February 18, 2008

Power To The "We the People"

By Dan Stanton

Although most nonpartisan computer engineers and academics agree that all the current systems of electronic vote counting are not to be trusted and easily subject to manipulation and fraud, our elections officials discount the evidence and continue the use this technology. Vote counting has been outsourced to private election system companies. Boards of election officials depend on these companies to run the vote counting process. When there are problems these companies send technicians who “fix” the problems. These technicians are not government officials and subject to no background checks.

As an election reform activist and member of the Ohio Election Justice Campaign it has become abundantly clear that public oversight is discouraged and increasingly excluded from the election system.

Attempts to address concerns with Ohio Representatives, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and the media have largely fallen on deaf ears.

It is understandable when you realize today’s culture is one of partisanship and polarization, where gamesmanship, fraud and corruption is the rule of the day. Morality, ethics, right and wrong is sidelined for the benefit of political partisanship.

As a result the average citizen understandably wants no actual personal involvement in the political process. With public oversight now seriously lacking, it is only natural that there is a general sense of hopelessness and powerlessness.

The first step to making Ohio and this country less polarized and more unified has to be more citizen oversight of the election process. Discovery and official public documentation of election crimes and irregularities is crucial. Law enforcement should support and encourage people to file official police reports documenting irregularities encountered not only at the polling places and the board of elections, but anywhere in the government. This puts problems on an official public record for all to see and acknowledge.

Filing official police reports will serve to give citizens a sense of empowerment and enable the law enforcement community to be more aware of citizen concerns before they become more serious public altercations.

From the psychological point of view, for a true sense of wellbeing and happiness people need have some sense of control. Until our government becomes more than just a partisan two party system, documentation of crimes is important. Maybe over time the weight of documented evidence will stimulate “the people” to overcome partisan two party politics and demand a more progressive, moral, and ethical future.

Dan Stanton

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