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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Instant Runoff Voting Guru attacks election integrity activist - then disappears post

Our criticism of instant runoff voting must be making an impact to warrant a vicious personal attack by Rob Richie, Director of the national pro IRV non profit FairVote. Criticize IRV and expect to have your character or motives attacked. Consider what happened to David Lee, head of the Chinese Voter Education Committee of San Francisco. What happened to him is documented in "Smearing for IRV" Asian Week, Sept 18, 2003. Stephen Hill, another IRV advocate went after California Secretary of State Debra Bowen because she issued security measures that slowed down the counting of an IRV election. See S.F. supervisors blamed for blocking new voting system San Francisco Chronicle Friday, September 21, 2007

Notice the irony, Richie cries McCarthyism, but does so with inferences, innuendos and no facts, i.e McCarthyism. Whereas, my blogs/websites use documentation and citations. See Rob Richie's blog, before he erased it after Brad Friedman of BradBlog emailed Richie saying RR owed me an apology.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Joyce McCloy and McCarthyism: Her Latest Distortions

NC Voter's Joyce McCloy is at it again. It's fine to be against instant runoff voting, but Ms. McCloy unfortunately seems ready to oppose it in a matter I associate with Joseph McCarthy -- distortions, innuendo and even outright lies, as detailed earlier this week.

It's hard to pick a "lowlight" from her litany of attacks on us and other backers of instant runoff voting, but I suspect it was her effort in the wake of verified voting champion John Gideon's death last year to spread the allegation among his friends that I was seeking to use his death to promote instant runoff voting. I received tearful communications asking me how I could do this, given his neutrality on the subject when iin fact
my blog post featuring a tribue to him was entirely focused on a subject he and I regularly had discussed at our conferences he attended and by email: public ownership of voting equipment.

Now in a
post at several of her blogs she is distorting a comment on a news article by FairVote's board chair Krist Novoselic where he was defending IRV against typical over-the-top attacks from Ms. McCloy. The context of Krist's comment was that reformers have a lot to do in different areas of the electoral process, but in no way was he suggesting that seeking secure elections wasn't important. But once again I've already heard from some of our reform allies concerned that we don't take issues like manual audits and transparent elections seriously.

That's of course not true. We were the first national group to propose establishing an affirmative
right to vote in the Constitution, highlighting a full range of federal, state and local laws and practices undermining suffrage rights. For years, we have helped lead the call for public interest voting equipment, with open source software and removal of profiteering from elections -- for instance, see this excerpt from a commentary in 2004;

"Public Interest" voting equipment. Currently voting equipment is suspect, undermining confidence in our elections. The proprietary software and hardware are created by shadowy companies with partisan ties who sell equipment by wining and dining election administrators with little knowledge of voting technology. The government should oversee the development of publicly-owned software and hardware, contracting with the sharpest minds in the private sector. And then that open-source voting equipment should be deployed throughout the nation to ensure that every county -- and every voter -- is using the best equipment.

We've proposeed
procedures for auditing ranked choice voting elections and periodicaly highlight our views in communications to our members, like this November 2009 Innovative Analysis. Here also is a link to our statement on election security and audits overall.

But Ms. McCloy charges that we don't care about secure elections and suggests that our "outside money" is why so many people in her state support instant runoff voting. The fact is that the two staffers we had in NC for parts of 2007-2009 were funded by an in-state foundation in the wake of a new state law establishing an IRV pilot program, and we were in a support role to such influential reform groups as the League of Women Voters NC, Common Cause NC and Democracy NC, all of which continue to support IRV. Other in-state backers include several of the state's leading newspapers, as reflected by recent editorials in the
Rocky Mount Telegram, Charlotte Observer, and Southern Pines Pilot -- and so do most voters in the two communities in the state that have had a chance to use IRV.

Before long we'll have more on North Carolina and Ms. McCloy's attacks on the procedures developed by the State Board of Elections for implementing it. For the moment, let me end with the famous quote from Joseph Welch, head counsel for the United States Army while it was under investigation by Joseph McCarthy's Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for Communist activities in the 1950s:

"Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. ... You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
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