I’m sure most of you would agree that the best antidote to fear is organized action. Many of us fear that our voting system is in danger of slipping out of the control of the people. Paperless electronic voting puts our votes in danger of, at the very least, being swallowed in an equipment malfunction. As the mainstream media tell us little about this subject, it’s easy to fall into such despair. But strange though it may seem, the media are filtering out not only the bad news… but the good news as well. And the best news is that you can help!

The announcement sidebar at VerifiedVoting.org tells a surprisingly encouraging story: “New Jersey Says No to Paperless Voting”, “EFF Supports Disabled Voters in Fight Against Paperless E-Voting”, “Salt Lake County Balking at New Voting Machines”. Even some of the states with the most worrisome records of irregularities in the 2004 election have enacted or proposed legislation requiring paper ballots. However, this is only happening because of the dedicated workers and volunteers at Verified Voting, which educates the public and lawmakers about ways to prevent election malfunctions, tampering, and fraud.

In addition, Verified Voting Foundation has created, in cooperation with other organizations, the country’s only system to collect and analyze problems reported by voters. This system, developed and run by volunteers, was in place in November 2004, and it serves as an important source of data for journalists and members of the government. If you want to help revise and expand Verified Voting Foundation’s Election Incident Reporting System for future elections (beginning with selected states this fall), you can learn more by sending e-mail with a description of your skills to volunteer@VerifiedVoting.org. You can also donate money to Verified Voting via this web page.

I have gotten involved with Verified Voting not only because I think the work they do is crucial, but because they are friendly, well-organized, and good at putting software geeks like me to work. Of course, every organization also needs “poets” (okay, people who can write well), not to mention managers and legal experts, and Verified Voting certainly is no exception.

I hope you will join me in checking out Verified Voting — or any other verified-voting organization. Volunteering for them might save our democracy — and our sanity!

(cross-posted at Daily Kos)

(Note that I posted an earlier version of this a few nights ago, then deleted it after a few minutes when I discovered a bad link.)

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