Voting Rights Task Force
The VRTF has been active in the SF Bay Area working to ensure that our elections are verified. We are having an impact on the local, state, federal, and even international level.
You can find more information about the VRTF at [VRTF (History)]
For more extensive discussion and as well as alerts, please join the public VRTF discussion group by emailing the Voting Rights Task Force at: firstname.lastname@example.org or going to this page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/voting-rights/join.
Democracy advocates in the SF Bay Area can receive alerts about VRTF meetings at http://www.meetup.com/Voting-Rights-Task-Force-East-Bay/
Political conditions change from one time to the next. There is also a different mix of talent and interests at various times. So our actions changed over time. We are quite nimble, and at the same time, strategic. We ask: what are the most important things that need to be done, that can be achieved, given current conditions, and in order of priority. For us, stopping the scourge of Internet voting is the #1 top challenge. If we lose that battle in California, then election transparency will be lost across the US. In 2014, we spent a fair amount of effort trying to ensure that the next Secretary of State is good. Alex Padilla has learned well, and is doing an OK job. Finally, we try to get one or two laws introduced and passed every year. We usually don’t succeed. It takes a LOT of work, and some luck. The payoff, is that the laws and regulations get better. We try to make sure that the ones that get introduced are important, not just for California, but for the country. This means that we need to:
- do our homework
- check it again
- learn how to play the legislative game
- submit clear, well-written proposals
- craft our messaging to be concise and effective
- use visuals as much as possible
- focus on decision makers and influencers in Sacramento
- this includes many visits with legislators and staffers
- arrive in suits, be polite and well informed
- try to find the way to solve problems instead of pointing fingers at who’s fault it is.
We are delighted with what we have accomplished.
The single, by far, most important thing we should achieve in the next few years is to get states, and especially Congress, to pass a law banning the use of the Internet for the casting of ballots in official government elections. This should be easier than it sounds, as, at least what we’ve seen in Sacramento, republicans are our best allies on this issue. The House of Representatives and the US Senate are controlled by republicans. This is the time to get a ban passed. Please, contact your congressman and/or senator, and urge them to protect our elections from the threats of Internet attacks. Much more information is available [here].