This message was oroginally posted on July 19, 2007 over on the "Vote In Sunshine" blog.
The new movie, "Sunshine", opens in theaters tomorrow on July 20, 2007:
"IF THE SUN DIES, SO DO WE..."
Dear Congressman Paul,
I have been asked to hand deliver this written request to you.
Many of your supporters are planning to be in force at Ames, Iowa to try and make sure that the Iowa GOP conducts a fair count for you, for us, -- and for everyone else -- that day. At present the Iowa GOP is planning to use the discredited Diebold computer machines. These machines “eat” the ballots after the voter votes and feeds the ballot into a slot, and then provide a totally unverifiable ticker tape “count” at the end of the voting.
Such machines were used in 1999 and in 1995 at the Iowa Straw Poll, when the highly suspicious “tie” between Senator Dole and Senator Graham was announced, after Iowa GOP officials spent two hours behind locked doors without explanation for the delay. There was widespread suspicion on the part of Buchanan supporters in 1995 that Buchanan’s real vote at the Iowa straw poll had been suppressed. Robert Novak of CNN suggested the straw vote had been cooked on a Sunday morning news show the next day.
As we all know, we would not have to worry about the vote count if everything was done in the open – like our Founding Fathers did it, and like America did it basically until the 1970s.
Hundreds of your supporters are hoping you will agree to hold a brief press conference early in the day at the Ames Straw Poll. We hope you will address the subject of an open and fair count at the Straw Poll, at the Iowa Caucus, in the New Hampshire Primary, and in all the primaries which follow. Paper ballots, counted by citizens before observers from all camps, with the results posted at the polling place before the ballots disappear from public sight – this is the way American used to do it, and the way that ½ of New Hampshire still does it.
Hundreds – maybe thousands – of your supporters want to stand behind you at this press conference. We want to hold signs which say something like, “We want An Open and Fair Vote Count.” If this is announced in advance, it may get a lot of press coverage. In any case, we want to film it ourselves and put it up on the internet and YouTube. Millions across the political spectrum will be grateful that a public official finally spoke out clearly on this issue.
Two documentaries have been made which effectively deal with this subject: “Hacking Democracy” which was shown on HBO about 15 times last October and November (2006); and “The Right to Count” from www.TheRightToCount.com.
We hope you won’t feel it is presumptuous, but, in case it would be of help, we have prepared a few lines which you might choose to rework and use at this proposed Press Conference.
Proposed press conference talking points:
Many of my supporters – as you can see – have wanted me to address the issue of a secure ballot box. Citizens across the nation are calling for open elections – for paper ballots counted immediately in the open – before the ballots leave the public sight.
The Supreme Count ruled TWICE not so many years ago, that the right to vote includes the right to know that your vote is counted honestly. (Reynolds v Sims, 1964; and -- United States v. Mosley, 1915;).
The 2001 MIT/CalTech study found that paper ballots have a lower error rate than any other method.
Therefore, since this is the first major publicized contest, I thought it was appropriate to call here for an open and honest count at all the election contests that will take place in the 2008 Presidential election.
Remember the quote attributed to Communist Tyrant Joseph Stalin: “Those who CAST the votes decide nothing; those who COUNT the votes decide everything.”
Millions of our fellow Americans have fought, and bled, and died over the last 231 years to secure your right, and my right to cast a ballot that COUNTS – a ballot that is counted openly and honestly.
We must strive to honor the sacrifice of these brave soldiers and patriots during this 2008 Presidential election.
(End of proposed lines or “talking points” for the proposed Ames Iowa press conference.)
If you would like a briefing on handling any questions about this subject -- there are people supporting you who have worked in this field for decades who would be eager to talk to you about it.
With thousands of supporters standing behind you, Congressman Paul, we would altogether create a stunning visual image. If we can announce this press conference in advance – we believe it will bring thousands of people out to vote for you at Ames that would not have otherwise attended.
I guess what we are saying is: we need you to take the lead on this all important election year issue, as you have already taken the lead on so many other vital issues for all of us already.
Steve Harris, North Carolina
Fred Smart, Chicago/Evanston
Walter Reddy, Connecticut
Jim Condit Jr., Ohio