February 16, 2009

TONIGHT: Building the election reform movement Meetup

TONIGHT: Building the election reform movement Meetup

7 PM Monday 2/16/09


Location Saigonese Restaurant
11232 Grandview Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20902
(301) 946-8002

RSVP: jenkarius@gmail.com

Decided to make it a casual snack or dinner because of the MD rsvp's.
It's very close to the Wheaton metro. please call if you need directions.
Jennifer: http://electionreform.meetup.com/176/members/5211291/

Dear DC Metro Election Reform meetup members:

Here are the long-awaited minutes below.

Please forward comments. Mike has suggested Eleanor Norton Holmes as a
potential speaker for the Meetup, and I plan to take up contact with her
and someone from Verified Voting and Vote Trust, as those were names
brought up by Carol last meeting.

Yours, jennifer

Minutes/Notes from the December 4th Building the Election Reform Meetup
Attendees: chair Jennifer Karius, Mike Hersh, Dan Barnett, George Ripley,
Guest speaker: Carol Waser

A round of introductions is made by participants to explain reasons for
interest in the meetup and potential skills they may bring to the meetup.

Some of the priorities for election reform from the Dec. 4th group:

• The importance of raising public attention to electoral reform, as one
key system relevant to a successful democracy
• Election security concerns including:
• The need to ban DRE voting machinery (with MD as an example)
• The need for election oversight/ audits standards/ systems and laws
for (also being developed by Shelly Fudge of SaveOurVotesMaryland)
• The need for DC representation: symbolic for problems nationwide (see
speaker synopsis below)
• The role of the Democratic Party in advocating election reform;
creating a platform for the issue
• Seeking broader bipartisan grounds for election reform
• Creating a broader collaboration between election reform groups toward
affecting legislation and the mainstreaming of public attention toward
the cause

Some of the skill sets possessed by the Dec. 4th group:

• Concrete successes in community organizing
• Lobbying background (local, state, federal)
• Writing, also, esp. on election reform issues
• Contacts with election reform advocates/ groups/ legislative staff

Carol Waser is a DC election integrity activist, who is very up-to-date
on the recent difficulties in the DC primaries regarding voting
machinery. Carol attended DC Board of Election meetings, and after
following the issue, is an advocate for ending the use of DRE machines.
Instead, she advocates manual procedures in conjunction with opti-scan
machinery. A special investigation committee discovered a glitch in the
central tabulator is believed to be the problem with the vote count
during the DC primaries.

The general discussion around Carol's presentation of the DC election
situation is that election officials are too little informed on the
issue, or the need for greater attention on election reform. There is
not enough unified effort toward addressing the shortcomings of
machinery. Also, election administration processes, featuring the
election officials charged with the responsibility of maintaining,
improving, and troubleshooting election administration, appear to be a
large part of the problem. Lacking continuity on the part of DC
officials in following up with problems during the primaries appears to
have obstructed the resolution of the problems.

Meetup action points:
• Meetup members will attend the Public Meeting at the U.S. Election
Assistance Commission on December 8th
• Minutes will be distributed for the next meeting in order to aid
priority setting for the Meetup