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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 4 comments

Listen, the Rodney King beating ushered in a new era of activism. Since that terrible incident, citizens across the country have utilized their video cameras to document civil wrong-doings in the hopes that hard evidence will compel lady justice to do her job, when she would ordinarily choose to turn a blind eye to the abuses of those in power. Today, that effort is made immensely easier with the advancements in cell phone technology. If you see a situation occurring, you no longer have to run in your house, pull your camcorder from under the bed, charge a battery, screw on lens...etc. Now you can simply whip out a cell phone and capture evidence in real-time. So with that in mind, why do we have to be victims on election day?

It's simple. I'm calling on all citizens with cell phones to document their occurrences at the polls. Whether you're in a state where early voting is permitted or you're venturing to the polls on Nov. 4th, you have to whip out your Treo, I-phone or Sidekick and record. I read a story today that talks about how voting machines in West Virgina are already flipping votes from the democratic candidates to republican candidates during early voting. When the voter goes to complain about it, they are told that they are the ones that made the mistake. Ironically, no one voting for McCain has reported this problem.

This is a problem that's almost impossible to fix before Nov. 4th, but if enough of us are bringing it to light with evidence, then we might be able to stop them from doing what they did in 2000 and especially what they did in 2004 with the Diebold voting machines (click here for the story).
Therefore, were calling on all of us to be reporters. When you go to the polls take out your cell phones and record the following:
  • IF YOU'RE USING A TOUCH SCREEN MACHINE, RECORD YOUR FINGERS PRESSING THE BUTTON FOR YOUR CANDIDATE AND RECORD WHAT THE MACHINE REGISTERS... In other words, if you press the button for Obama and the machine registers McCain, make sure you have that on record...Also note which specific machine it was (if there's a number then record that). All the machines in a precinct don't have to be questionable, in order for a an election to be rigged.
  • Then make sure you complain to the people working the polls and record any conversations that you have with them.
  • If someone at the polling place is denying you or someone else the right to vote because they have on an Obama (or McCain) T- shirt.
  • If you go to the voting place and your name is not on the voter rolls. Make sure you ask the right questions and get clear answers about why your name is not on the rolls and what is the proper action to correct the mistake.
  • If the lines are ridiculously or unreasonably long.
  • If there are an unreasonably limited number of voting machines.
  • If the machines breakdown.
After you've done that, we urge you to upload your video to Video Your Vote, a partner shipe between Youtube and PBS. Include an introduction with your name, voting district and voting precinct and email us too. Our goal is to chronicle and compile these occurrences and provide you with the proper recourse to ensure that you don't become a passive victim or voter suppression.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Most states do allow you to video at your polling place, but some do not. No one can stop you from videoing what you do behind the curtain (so record what happens with the machine) but please be sure to ask about the rules in your voting district. Also, be respectful of others when you're recording. If someone request not to be on camera then do not film them (unless your rights are being violated).

Written by: LAW

4 Responses so far.

  1. Catherine Bham, AL says:

    Another NO-NO when voting!! There is 15 states that allows straight-party voting,
    The machines/computers can easily get confused and may mark your vote for the other candidate (normally dem's votes changed to repubs) & or YOUR vote may not get counted at all. Though it doesn't happen with every straight-party vote, is has been PROVEN that it does happens ( and it is NOT a RISK you need to take with YOUR vote!!

    Also blackboxvoting will let you know what problems are currently occurring in YOUR STATE with the election machines (process) and what YOU can do to help!!!

  2. Tieuel Legacy says:

    Is Cathering insinuating that there's a conspiracy going on in favor of the Republicans? Hmmmmm.
    I can see how a straight party vote could lead to your vote NOT being counted at all.
    When you vote a straight party, it automatically selects the choices for you. If, during review, you happen to click on your choice for president, you could inadvertently uncheck the box. Note: Make sure that all of the proper selections are made because you don't have to vote for all of the boxes selected when you make the straight vote choice.
    If they switch your vote over, they are just cheating. Smile. Tieuel Legacy! aka Shawnre'

  3. TM in vote-by-mail Oregon says:

    This looks like remarkably bad advice. I've worked as a polling place worker in more than one California county between 1992 and 2002. The only time I ever saw a camera was from credentialed media, and the reporter asked the workers if we minded being recorded.

    I guarantee that someone will scream bloody murder if he or she sees you "whip out a cell phone" in (or within 100 feet of) a polling place.

    If you can record nothing but your own voting discretely (BTW, I've never seen a booth with curtains, so new voters should not expect that degree of privacy), by all means do so. If there's a problem with the machine, you'll have proof.

    If there's no problem with the machine and another voter feels that you're intruding on his or her privacy while voting, you will be asked to put the camera away. If you refuse, you will be asked to leave. If you refuse to leave, you will leave in handcuffs. (In California anyway.)

    This is not citizen journalism recording what is in plain view in a public place. The First Amendment is not unlimited in a polling place, otherwise there would be electioneering (free speech) and the associated chaos therein. Please consult an attorney in your state or your local elections officials to find out what the laws are in your jurisdiction.

    (Yes, I read your IMPORTANT NOTE. It lacked the above disclaimer that should accompany responsible online "legal advice".)

  4. LAW says:

    Thanks for your comment TM in vote-by-mail Oregonsaid... Once again, the IMPORTANT NOTE calls for the reader to be observant of the rules at the polling place and to respect the privacy of others by NOT recording them if they ask not to be recorded... The reason that i'm sure that this post does not offer bad advice is because it explicitly states that... Also, the Video Your Vote (the PBS/Youtube project) expresses the same sentiments, and I don't think PBS would be asking voters to video their experiences if it was, by and large illegal to do so

    .... In other words, I did a little research before I posted this... This is not a call for voters to be BELLIGERENT and disrespectful at the polls (and I think that that is what you're taking from tone of the posting)... It's calling for voters to not be victims.... There are already numerous reports of people "claiming" that their vote is LITERALLY being switched by these machines... The reason these are called "CLAIMS" is because there is no proof! The is a call for voters to have proof of their individual claim...

    This is not electioneering (which is defined as working actively for a candidate or political party)and in the very least, if they're following the advice of this post to observe the rules of the polling place and be respectful of others wishes not to be recorded, then they should be able to do this without fear of being removed from the polling site.

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