Verified Voting Needs Volunteers
by cos, Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 11:24:23 PM EDT
Verified Voting, founded by Professor David Dill in 2003, was the technical backbone of the massive election protection effort in 2004. I volunteered for them collecting signatures, organizing press conferences, lobbying, and in Florida on election day, taking phone calls from voters and poll watchers about voting machine problems.
Verified Voting did a lot of work to prepare for the election. Among other things, they compiled an extensive database of voting technology in 2004: Want to see which counties in Florida use touchscreens? Want to read the user manual for the voting machine used where you vote? It's all in there. They set up the Election Incident Reporting System, where you can see reports of voting problems reported to 866-OUR-VOTE.
(To find my reports, look for voting machine problems in Broward County, FL, in election year 2004 - and look for the ones with fewer typos :)
Verified Voting is now seeking volunteers for 2006! read on...
Our current major projects for 2006 include the following:
- Voting Equipment Database
In 2004, Verified Voting had the best databases of voting equipment (by county) for the U.S., but some of that information is out of date. We need volunteers to gather information from states and counties to update and extend the databases
- Election Observation
We will develop materials and methods for data collection and work with local organizations in a few selected jurisdictions to observe and document problems that arise during all phases of the 2006 elections -- from early voting to final tabulation and certification.
- Election Administration
We will work with exemplary election officials in a few selected jurisdictions to develop a set of "best practices" for election administration that can subsequently be shared with election officials throughout the United States.
In most cases, volunteers can work over the internet from home. If you like working with other people, however, we also need volunteers to work at the Verified Voting office in San Francisco and other locations including San Diego and Washington, DC. We hope most volunteers can work an average of at least ten hours per week.
Positions we hope to fill include:
- Election Observation Project Coordinator;
- Election Administration Project Writer & Editor;
- Election Equipment Data Researcher(s);
- Web Content Editor(s);
- Newsletter Assistant;
Specific tasks and skills involved include:
- using the web and telephone to collect information;
- using spreadsheet software to collect, manage, and check data;
- legal and legislative research;
- writing reports, press releases, newsletter articles, etc;
- updating and expanding our web site;
- helping create software to search and display information.
If you can help sometime in the next few months, please send us email with a brief description of (a) what projects and tasks you'd like to work on, (b) where you'd like to work, (c) a summary of your skills and experience and (d) available time (hours per week and time period). Please send it as soon as possible to
Lets make every vote count as cast!
Courtenay Strickland Bhatia
President and Chief Executive Officer
Verified Voting Foundation
If you want to learn more about the nuts and bolts of voting machines, election processes, and what we need to do to fix the problems with our elections, volunteering for Verified Voting will be both fascinating and extremely valuable experience. I highly recommend it!