[E-voting] Zogby poll: 92% of Americans support public count and
public info on vote counting
cansbro at eircom.net
Wed Aug 23 07:07:14 IST 2006
[Posted by election attorney Paul Lehto at
*Zogby poll: 92% of Americans support public count and public info on
*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
This handout is suitable as a handout alone or in conjunction with other
>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?
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
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.
It's higher than the approval ratings of any departing President.
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
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
---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)
More information about the E-voting