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Thursday, July 15, 2004

NM Congressman Says Don't Let the Terrorists Win & E-Voting

Our congressional representative, here in the third district, Tom Udall (one of the few, the brave, who actually didn't vote for the freaking Patriot Act) yesterday signed a letter to Tom Ridge at Homeland Security urging him not to postpone the November election. It's going to be mailed on Friday. Udall says his offices in both NM and DC have been flooded with people opposed to delaying the election. Unsurprising; it's all anyone talked to me about yesterday, and I received numerous articles via email about the possibility, most of them titled "Here We Go."
This Saturday, July 24, from 6 to 8 pm at the Unitarian Church, the other election issue will be discussed: Electronic Voting. Numerous groups are sponsoring the event, including the League of Women Voters and the ACLU. Denise Lamb from the Secretary of State's Office is supposed to be there as well. There should be a good explanation of the Help America Vote Act, explication of the "paper trail" issue and the other concerns that the new electronic voting machines have prompted. This has been a growing hot topic around these parts—well, everywhere. You can read more at Verified Voting, or you could just read my story now located on Alternet.
All of this election postponement talk is very disconcerting. Kind of makes the paranoids look less paranoid. For me, having read so much dystopic fiction in my not-so-distant youth, I can't help think that "Here We Go" is a pretty good response. In all the books that depict futures undone by apocolypse etc., (Handmaid's Tale, He, She and It, etc), it usually starts with the US government postponing or haultinge key element of our democracy for security reasons. Then, 100 years later, we're all being sodomized by robots. OK, not exactly, but you know what I mean. Pull on one thread and the whole thing starts to fall apart. I can't think of anything more frightening than the Nov. 2 election being postponed. By the Bush administration. On the other hand, I've never seen a riot up close and personal before.