[E-voting] Zogby poll: 92% of Americans support public count and public info on vote counting

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Wed Aug 23 07:07:14 IST 2006


[Posted by election attorney Paul Lehto at 
http://www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/show.cgi?tpc=8&post=27491#POST27491]

*Zogby poll: 92% of Americans support public count and public info on 
vote counting

*To be released overnight to the mainstream media is a new Zogby poll, 
showing extremely high levels of public support for election 
transparency and access to vote counting information. It represents a 
fount of political power that is extremely high across all political and 
demographic groups measured, coming in at 92% support, with 3% 
undecided. See the Great graphic for the Zogby poll at bradblog. see 
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3276
This handout is suitable as a handout alone or in conjunction with other 
information.

>From the official Zogby report, here's the Q&A asked of 1018 telephone 
respondents August 11-15 in a nationwide random sample:
***************************************

18. In some states, members of the public have the right to view the 
counting of votes and verify how that process is working. In other 
states, citizens are in effect barred from viewing vote counting even if 
they would like to view the process. Which of the following two 
statements are you more likely to agree with – A or B?

Table 1.
Statement A: Citizens have the right to view and obtain information 
about how election officials count votes. 92%

Statement B: Citizens do not have the right to view and obtain 
information about how elections officials count votes. 6%
Neither/Not sure 2+%

Most all likely voters (92%) agree that citizens have the right to view 
and obtain information about how election officials count votes 
(Statement A). Just 6% feel citizens do not have this right (Statement B).

Eighty-six percent or more of people within every demographic group 
agrees with Statement A. This includes overwhelming majorities of 
Democrats (93%), Republicans (87%), and independents (97%). Furthermore, 
no more than 10% of people in any sub-group – with the sole exception of 
18-29 year-olds (13%) – agree more with Statement B.

**************************************

Typical questions come up to rain on our parade for transparency and 
argue that this somehow does not represent a confirmation that this 
movement has powerful ways in which it may proceed, namely by asserting 
continually the public's right to view vote counting and to obtain 
information about it, along with the converse position against secret 
vote counting.

Political momentum is all about sharing info with undecideds and 
reinforcing your own, so in order to have political momentum it's 
virtually required that your supporters have belief/confidence/courage 
to talk to others. Sometimes, transparency folks don't seem confident. 
In contrast, the elections officials around the country KNOW it's about 
confidence, they even use the word confidence all the time, and they 
talk up the machines all the time. The problem is, the truth and the 
numbers are on OUR side, not on the side of secret vote counting. The 
further problem is that confidence is a codeword for trust in elections, 
which is not part of our constitutional system, checks and balances is.

With that understanding, here's how I explain the wondering questions or 
deal with the deluded or the complicit who don't understand FULLY how 
important 92% is.

First, I put it IN CONTEXT. It's one of the highest political values 
ever measured. Pretty much the ONLY way we can come up with anything 
more popular is to go to something about which there is NO SUBSTANTIAL 
CONTROVERSY. But with the ability to view vote counting and obtain 
information on it, THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS RAPIDLY MOVING TO ELIMINATE 
THIS WIDELY HELD AND BELIEVED VALUE ABOUT THE FOUNDATIONS OF DEMOCRACY.

WHAT DOES 92% MEAN? IT MEANS WINNING IF YOU KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE

It's way higher than people who wouldn't mind a free tax cut.

It's Higher than Bush's approval rating after 9-11. 
http://www.hist.umn.edu/~ruggles/Approval.htm 
<http://www.hist.umn.edu/%7Eruggles/Approval.htm>

It's higher than the approval ratings of any departing President. 
http://uspolitics.about.com/library/bl_historical_appro...

I'll bet it's higher than the approval ratings of Pres. Lincoln and 
Pres. Washington TODAY, if they exist. Though i'm willing to be proven 
wrong on that. Anyone?

It's higher than the approval rating of any senator, governor or 
President since WWII, at any time. See, e.g., 
<http://www.surveyusa.com/50governorsrated051005.htm> others at main link.

It's higher than the 87% thinking oil companies are gouging consumers 
these days. <http://alternet.org/wiretap/29788>

And, it's also higher than the percentage of people who can get a basic 
math long division problem right.

And so, if you can find it in your courage quotient to mention the high 
price of gas benefiting the oil companies, notch that up at least 
another 5% to get at how much easier it is to comment against secret 
vote counting and in favor of public involvement and rights to get 
information about vote counting...

Ok, now that you know more about the scope, breadth and depth of the 
political power that's on our side, here are the FAQ on some approaches 
to deal with questions or responses that already appear to repreat 
sometimes:

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

1. What about the 8% that seemingly don't agree with this? ANSWER: 
There's no such thing as an 8% opposition. The 8% figure is arrived at 
by subtracting the transparency total of 92% from 100% and assuming the 
difference is the opposition to transparency, but this is not so. A big 
chunk of the voters outside the 92% (about 2.3%) is undecided or unsure 
or didn't understand the question, and specifically answered the 
question in the NS column. Outside of that, I'm sure (but don't have 
numbers) that some are just contrarians, some confused, others perhaps 
are highly trusting persons who perhaps know a reputable pollworker and 
simply "trust" them but don't realize our system is based on checks and 
balances, not trust. By no means should we focus on the few percent in 
the negative when we have one of the strongest political values ever 
measured ON OUR SIDE.

2. Are we sure that the polling question is worded fairly? ANSWER: It 
simply doesn't matter, though the question is worded by the 
professionals at Zogby to be nonmisleading and fair. That being said, 
the point is that if you word it in this "unfair" or "slanted" way, 
essentially EVERYONE AGREES WITH IT. So, we're looking for a successful 
way to present what we believe, and this works and gets extremely high 
levels of acceptance: public witnessing of vote counting and public 
rights to get information about vote counting.

3. Can politicians run on numbers like 92%? ANSWER: This question should 
answer itself. Even a bad campaign could benefit.

4. Won't the other side be able to lower these numbers? ANSWER: If they 
dare to attack transparency, they might make a dent in 92% but in 
democracy remember that 50.1% is all it takes to win, so there's a huge 
margin. But they would also pay a high price for attacking public 
transparency and the public's right to know, so they will hesitate to do 
so in the first place.

5. Does it matter that in some or even many states these public rights 
on vote counting are not the law on the books or are being negatively 
impacted by invisible electronic voting? ANSWER: This is the debate, but 
what we are measuring are NORMATIVE political values about what should 
be, or what the public prefers or agrees with. We can then use those 
normative values to show how particular situations or public "servants" 
are out of touch with the public's views and mood.

6. What is the key to handling other objections to this? ANSWER: Don't 
let anyone, even a friend, let you get your eyes off of this prize: the 
power of the 92%. The numbers are real, but even if they weren't, the 
momentum and shot in the arm that the public will get from re-asserting 
its rights in our democracy is so valuable that it is ALWAYS a strategic 
mistake to focus on the negative when the positive is so much better to 
focus on AND propels us forward.... Anyone who, in effect, wants to 
focus on the negative is really saying that so long as there is ANYBODY 
in opposition to public transparency, we should all sit on our hands or 
otherwise feel bad, feel powerless, and feel impotent. That will be the 
most promising line of attack for folks like Ken Blackwell. Don't let 
the b'tards get you, or democracy, down. It's time to celebrate victory 
that occurs when everyone knows that we have this powerful commonality 
here with all political persuasions. It's one of the things that it 
means to be a citizen in American democracy. Nontransparency therefore 
can not, and will not, stand.

7. What can I/we do to reinforce this poll? ANSWER: Talk it up, email to 
listservs, point out in your own words the tidal wave trend toward 
nontransparent and invisible and secret vote counting in contrast, call 
radio shows, suggest to columnists, bloggers and oped writers that they 
write on this or interview folks on this such as attorney Paul Lehto ( 
lehtolawyer at gmail.com <mailto:lehtolawyer at gmail.com> 425-422-1387 
(cell)) who commissioned the poll with help from Democracy for New 
Hampshire and Michael Collins of electionfraudnews.com . Read the links 
that are in the bradblog article http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3276

8. Should I bother to vote? Doesn't that encourage them?? ANSWER: We 
actually measured REASONS for non-voting in the same Zogby poll, instead 
of the usual routine of hanging up on people who are not registered to 
vote (or say they are not registered, at least).

AMONG NONVOTERS, only 5% stated (even though it was choice #1) that they 
were nonvoters OR not likely to vote because they don't trust the 
counting or the elections process. So, the prevalence of this view is 
not extremely high, but it is there.

My answer would be that if they don't vote at all (and make them steal 
the vote, at least potentially) then there's nothing wrong in terms of a 
crime or fraud, there's only the continuing nontransparency.... I'd 
encourage them to vote and use it as a chance to register a complaint or 
concern with the pollworkers and talk about the process.

In the end, if you don't vote you may lose not only your vote but your 
right to state an opinion. Pollsters hang up usually on nonvoters 
because they don't matter to politicians,and if elections aren't real 
then politicians don't listen to "voters" either. That's the consequence 
of a stolen election then, ZERO possibility of government listening to 
You. But by not voting, you've made sure the chance of government 
listening to you is Zero, and you've done that voluntarily yourself. 
You're a citizen-suicide, so to speak, but it doesn't send any kind of 
message or solve any kind of problem, it doesn't even end the pain.

So please vote, don't hand back in what many worked for centuries to 
achieve. Use your knowledge and doubts about the process to educate and 
protest so that your participation in the system is a recognition of the 
fact that it is YOUR INALIENABLE VOTE that can never be taken away, it 
can only be temporarily non-recognized. But that non-recognition of your 
vote, provided you *force* them to take it from you, is to the enternal 
democratic shame of anyone who took it away.

If you believe in democracy, Christmas, Hanukuh, Kwanzaa or the 
Solstice, you still celebrate it even if it's been commercialized or 
demeaned or eviscerated, and you work to restore it to what it really 
means.

---Paul R Lehto, lehtolawyer at gmail.com 425-422-1387 (cell) PO Box 254, 
Everett, WA 98206

(Message edited by Paul_Lehto on August 22, 2006)




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