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I’ve talked to enough of you about politics this year that I know where you’re coming from. Fine — you don’t like either Obama or Romney, Democrats or Republicans. You’re not that interested in third parties. You think the system is rigged. So there’s no point in doing anything on Election Day, right?
Even if you can’t get aroused to support or oppose one of the propositions — and there’s something for everyone in this year’s grab bag — there’s one thing that you can do to make you feel a little better: stand against those who want to keep other people from voting. That, after all, is just rude. The people who challenge the rights of people who others who do want to vote from doing so — not out of true concern for the validity of their votes, but just because they think that it helps their side win the election no matter what the collateral damage — they are your enemies. You don’t have to buy into the system to reject the idea that others should be able to decide that they want to have their votes counted — and to make it harder for jackanapes (see how hard I’m trying not to curse here?) to stop them.
You can make common cause with a group called Common Cause. From their local representative:
Common Cause is trying to find people who can help on Election Day as Poll Monitors. It occurred to me that the folks at Occupy would find this to be a perfect fit for their activities.
True the Vote is a Tea Party funded organization out of Texas that has been actively challenging large numbers of eligible voters and trying to have them removed from the polling lists. They have also organized affiliated teams in 30 or more states for the purpose of causing disturbances at polling places and intimidating voters.
Their organization here in California is called the Election Integrity Project. During the June primary, they had nearly 1,000 “poll monitors” stationed throughout the state, and some problems were seen, including in Orange County, where County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley had to personally travel to polling places to restore order.
Common Cause has been in close contact with the registrars of voters in Orange, San Diego Los Angeles, and San Bernardino counties. These registrars have assured us that their poll workers are being trained on how to deal with disruptive poll observers. Also, Common Cause and our partner organizations have set up teams of attorneys and election experts to answer hotline calls and quickly go to polling places wherever necessary to help settle disputes, But we need help.
We need eyes in the polling places across Orange County. Volunteers would not be expected to intervene or to confront anyone, but rather to call the hotline.
Sorry to melt your cynicism, but what’s wrong with THAT? If you’re in Occupy or Rebellious Truths or some other non-partisan or anti-partisan group, this is something you can do without feeling snookered. You can stand up for basic human decency. How about it? If you are interested — and you can leave a note here or on Facebook — I’ll happily put you in touch with Common Cause by phone or you can e-mail email@example.com for details.