Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'm Voting Today - Who Will Protect Our Vote?

As I peruse my ballot and materials I've collected about the candidates, I pause to think about how critical general elections were affected by Republican Secretaries of State such as Katharine Harris in Florida and Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio. The course of history was changed - negatively.

I have a friend who has made election integrity her issue and I know that she recommends the candidate that NPI has endorsed, Jason Osgood . I can also listen to this KEXP interview.

For the past four decades, Washington’s Secretary of State has been a Republican. We have had some very close elections (Cantwell for Senate, Gregoire for Governor) and it is time for a change! The Secretary of State is Washington’s Chief Elections Officer and in this role is literally responsible for protecting our democracy. Before running for Secretary of State, Jason was an election integrity activist, who has been fighting for transparent and secure elections.

The incumbent, Sam Reed, promotes vote counting machines, like touch screens, that make it impossible to insure that votes are recorded and counted as cast. Respected organizations such as the Brennan Center, MIT, Princeton, and others have all shown that these machines are insecure, inaccurate, and do not meet the standards required by the Help America Vote Act.

As Secretary of State, the first thing Jason promises to do is a top-to-bottom review of the state’s voting machines, like the review conducted by the California Secretary of State Debra Bowen. Jason is also a software engineer who knows that the systems currently used in elections require technical knowledge so that election officials will not be at the mercy of private vendors. He has many years of project management experience and promotes transparent government as well as secure elections.

I was also involved in a group suit against Ralph Nader and Sam Reed was no help. I won't go into that right now, but I think I am ready now to cast my vote for Secretary of State.


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