By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2010, 7:44pm PT  

On Election eve, amidst the usual, absurd and evidence-free caterwauling about imaginary "VOTER FRAUD!!!!" (and, man, am I happy to see that there are now tons of other folks in the media finally out there covering that particular scam so I don't have to) a reminder of what real Election Integrity looks like...

This is a short clip from one section of "Das Vote", Dan Rather's investigative report on e-voting which aired last week on HDNet, highlighting the work of South Carolina's Frank Heindel who began a quiet and tenacious effort for transparency following Alvin Greene's "win" last June on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems in the state's Democratic U.S. Senate primary. Heindel's public records request campaign has succeeded in bringing light to thousands of errors on the state's voting systems in that election, evidence that is likely to be even more important in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. (You can review much of what Heindel has learned via his website)...


Then there's Riverside County, CA's long-time, indefatigable champion of Election Integrity Tom Courbat of SAVE R VOTE who, after years of being overlooked by by too-many EI documentarians, finally receives a very few minutes of the bright spotlight he deserves in this short video profile released last week, courtesy of filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman (creator of 2008's feature documentary Stealing America: Vote by Vote). There is no small irony in the fact that Tom was once the Financial Manager for the county whose Board of Supervisors and County Registrar (one of the worst in the nation), he now must regularly take on. That he has done so much of his work while undergoing years-long chemotherapy treatments, only adds to the awe I hold for him...


And finally, our very best wishes to Arizona's great Election Integrity hero John Brakey of AUDITAZ who recently suffered a mild heart attack but seems to be recuperating well and, if my phone call with him the day before yesterday was any indication, is still filled with the passionate fire to keep up the fight --- step by step, ballot by ballot, legal battle by legal battle --- to assure that every vote in the state, of any party or no party at all, is counted and counted accurately and transparently. You can watch John in action via J.T. Waldron's new documentary, Fatally Flawed: The pursuit of Justice in a Suspicious Election highlighting the years-long fight for transparency and explanations in Pima County, AZ's still-questionable 2006 election (which The BRAD BLOG has covered many times over the years, most recently here.) John is seen below at the center of the film's poster, and you can see more in the clips available at the film's website...

Rest up, but get well soon, John! We need you, and all the other true Election Integrity heroes (and there are many, many, many, many more) out there to continue the long fight for transparent democracy in these United States!

Like the fights for womens' suffrage and access to the polls for African-Americans against all odds, there are no silver bullets or quick fixes in this fight. It's a long one, and the road will always be filled with new anti-democracy charlatans, old scam artists and new ones, as well as disheartening setbacks and absurd new obstacles.

But as far as fights go, I can think of none more important than this one, and in support of all that this nation is meant to stand for. And like just like the fights for the right for women or African-Americans to vote, if it takes decades for real reform of our system, it will have been worth every day and every dollar and every speech and records request and public hearing and lawsuit and key-stroke to help see that happen.

Thanks again to all of you who fight that fight every day. And Good luck to all of us tomorrow and in the long fight to come thereafter...

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