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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Saturday, November 19, 2005
 
Tricounty DFA Update: Vote Snafus, Voting Forum, Gillibrand events, Torture, Vote Fraud and more
Hello Everyone!

In this update:

1. Akins, Keehn Confirmed as Mayors After Vote Snafus at Board of Elections
2. Voting Technology Forum with Bo Lipari for the 30th
3. Pledges Still Needed
4. Gillibrand Events
5. Torture Petition
6. Dean Speaks
7. More Disturbing Vote Stories From Darkest Ohio

1. Akins, Keehn Confirmed as Mayors

This week the absentee ballots were counted officially confirming Democratic Mayor candidates Leroy Akins in Glens Falls and Valerie Keehn in Saratoga Springs. In initial counts on Election Day, Keehn lead incumbent Michael Lenz but election night counts had Akins losing to Republican Harold "Bud" Taylor. Taylor claimed victory, gave a local TV 8 interview as the mayor-elect and had an election night celebration.

However, checks of machines the following day revealed very serious errors occurred in four election districts in Glens Falls and three in Queensbury. Such a string of errors was unprecedented. Elections in the local area have been trouble free in the past. Initially Board of Elections officials blamed precinct election inspectors, but in today's Post Star, board of elections officials took responsibility.

The entire affairs demonstrates the critical importance of physical, material evidence of ballots. Every system human beings can contrive is vulnerable to errors. Akins victory was retrieved only because the mechanical counters in the machines still existed after Election Day and could be reexamined.

2. Voting Technology Forum with Bo Lipari for the 30th

Accordingly, our open public forum on Voting Technology featuring Bo Lipari of New York Verified Voting ( http://nyvv.org ) couldn't possibly have come at a more appropriate time. Lipari will make a presentation explaining and evaluating the various types of voting machines presently available that meet the new standards established by the Help America Vote Act. Lipari had spoken to large crowds all across New York State, and have been given credit for moving the legislature and a growing number of counties away from unreliable touch screen machines.

The forum will be held in the public room downstairs at the Crandall Public Library in downtown Glens Falls at 7pm on November 30th. For more information, go to: http://townmeetingday.blogspot.com/2005/11/press-release-democracy-for-greater.html

Space is limited at the Crandall Library meeting room. Accordingly, we are asking everyone to RSVP through DFA-Link; I've created a page for the forum at: http://tools.democracyforamerica.com/link/event.php?id=3160 Just click on the link at the top of the page where it says RVP to this event. If you have not registered yet, please click this link and to register: http://dfalink.com/register.php?c=g&id=91042f3ae603ef90&email=__EMAIL__

We would thank everyone very much for their cooperation in RSVP'ing. There appears to be tremendous interest around the Tricounty area about voting issues (the purchase of new machines will be a potentially heavy financial burden). We need to know well in advance if we are going to have a space problem. So if you think you will be coming, please hit the RSVP page. Thank you!

3. Pledges Still Needed

We are still in need of contributions to cover Bo Lipari's costs, which include lodging. We do need your help! Please contact either me at ldudley@larrydudley.com or Committee Chair Bob Rockwell at rrockwel@nycap.rr.com if you want to make a pledge.

4. Gillibrand Events

If you haven't met Congressional candidate Kirsten Gillibrand, there will be several great opportunities in the next week, including several "meet and greets" or fundraisers.

The first is a fundraiser in Hudson, NY on Saturday, November 19th hosted
by Edward and Naomi Bernstein. The event will take place at 360 Warren
Street and will run from 2pm-4pm. The suggested donation is $50, but
contributions at all levels are welcome.

The Second: Sheila and Lee Comar have been kind enough to open up their home in the
Town of Granville to Kirsten on Sunday, November 20th, from 2pm-4pm and
would love to have you join them.

The third is a fundraiser on Monday, November 21st at the Frivolous
Boutique located at 508 Broadway in Saratoga taking place from 6pm-8pm.
The suggested donation is $50, but contributions at all levels are
welcome.

The fourth upcoming event is a fundraising reception in Slingerlands, NY at
the home of Elizabeth and Douglas Rutnik, Jr. on Tuesday, November 22nd
from 5:30pm - 7:30pm. The suggested donation is $50-$250, but
contributions at all levels are welcome.

To attend or to serve as a co-host for one of these events, please RSVP by
replying to this email or by calling 518-755-4276.

Directions to the Comars:

From Albany: (approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes) I-87 N to Exit 20. Turn left at end of exit ramp at light and proceed north on US-9 (1 mile) to traffic light. Turn right onto Route 149 and travel east about 10 miles to traffic light in Fort Ann and turn left onto Route 4. Travel about 7 miles to next traffic light and turn right onto Route 22 – proceed about 9 miles (go past North Granville) until you come to a blinking light at the intersection with Route 22A. Turn left onto 22A and after ¼ mile turn right onto County Route 24 across a bridge (sign will say Granville 2 miles). Immediately after crossing the bridge take a left onto Depot Street (across from Chapman’s Store). There will be a driveway on the left after the 5th house (blue with black trim) with a Post Star box and #29 on a wooden post. The brick house can be seen after turning into the driveway behind the red barn and sheep pasture.

From the North: Take I-87 N to Exit 20, turn left at the end of the ramp and then left at the traffic light on Rte. 9. Proceed through one light and at the 2nd light turn right onto Route 149 (follow directions above).

Local from south: Take Route 22 North light just outside of Granville. Continue on Route 22 (do not go into the village) for 4 miles to a blinking light at the intersection of Route 22 and 22A turn right onto Route 22A (follow directions above).

5. Torture Petition

As you might have heard, recent news from Iraq paints a troubling picture when it comes to the treatment of detainees.
DFA Executive Director Tom Hughes is calling upon all of us to join in signing a petition against torture. We must not be among those who, like the "good" Germans of the 1930s and 1940s, are complicit through our silence: http://tools.democracyforamerica.com/petition/notorture/index.php?refid=853437be041cd267

6. Dean Speaks

Governor Dean is about and about the country again; lately in Michigan. The full effect of a Dean speech has to be experienced in person to be really appreciated, but this transcript gives some real sense of it, and above all, his vision of the leading themes for the Democratic Party and the future direction of our country.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/11/16/12051/328

7. More Disturbing Vote Stories From Darkest Ohio

Apropos the story above about the unprecedented problems on Election Day in Glens Falls, which quite remarkably, happened just as we were about to have a forum on voting issues, more disturbing stories are now circulating from Ohio. A series of propositions were on the ballot there to reform the election process. All failed, even though polls showed massive support for them just a day or two earlier. As we might imagine, questions are being raised.

Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brad-friedman/the-staggeringly-impossib_b_10589.html
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1112-21.htm

Further, Senator Kerry has now been quoted as saying he believes the 2004 election was stolen. He has tried to distance himself from this statement since he made it, but he has not repudiated it.
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1110-21.htm

On top of this is a further revelation that the Diebold votiong machine source code has been broken. Their voting machines can be hacked into. What's more disturbing, hard coded the password into the computer software itself, which means it can't be periodically changed, an essential feature of all computer security. Thanks to Drew for postings this remarkable story: http://townmeetingday.blogspot.com/2005/11/electronic-cheating.html

Thanks everyone, and remember to register and RSVP!

Larry

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