The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

* Election Protection Wiki * Registration Concludes in Many States


Kenny is the managing editor of the Election Protection Wiki.
He said today: "Recent presidential elections were marred by
controversies and disputes. Scores of organizations and thousands of
individuals have been working to investigate and reform U.S. elections,
issuing reports and information on topics such as electronic voting
machines, voter suppression campaigns and student voting rights.
However, this information is spread across many different websites,
news sources and databases. The Election Protection Wiki seeks to
provide a single web portal for accessing this disparate information.
The Wiki aims to enable citizens, journalists and government officials
to actively monitor the electoral process in all 50 states and the
District of Columbia. ... Its information is nonpartisan and factual;
anyone of any political persuasion will be able to access and use it to
protect every American's right to vote. ... We're not on the side of
any candidate or political party, we're on the side of the American

Slater is the executive director of Project Vote.
He said today: "Experts and election officials are predicting historic
turnout at the polls, including unprecedented numbers of first-time
voters. ... Across the country millions of so-called 'unlikely' voters
have become energized and invested. Low-income Americans, minorities,
immigrants and youth are rushing to get registered in record numbers.
... But will the polls be ready for them? Recent signs indicate that
precincts may not be prepared to deal with the numbers, and experts say
unprecedented turnout on Election Day could mean unprecedented problems
at the polling place."

Slater added: "The public and media need to be asking the right
questions now, rather than on (or after) Election Day. Questions to ask
election officials include: How many registrations have you received
this year, and how does that number compare to previous years? What
method have you used to determine how many ballots you'll need, how
many voting machines, how many staff? What are your procedures for
voter challenges, and what additional training have you provided to
poll workers to deal with new voters and unexpected problems? What are
your contingency plans for long lines, ballot shortages, machine
malfunctions, or staff shortages? Participating in an election involves
at least four discreet steps: registering to vote; casting a ballot;
having your ballot counted; and having your vote recorded. Each step
creates potential problems if regulations are vague, technology is not
working perfectly, or poll workers are ill-prepared or insufficiently

Slater concluded: "Historically, there has been a tremendous color,
age, and income gap in the electorate. According to Project Vote's
report on the 2006 election, for example, voting rates among
African-Americans and Latinos lagged behind white rates by 10 percent
and 20 percent, respectively -- a difference of more than 7.5 million
voters. Americans making over $100,000 were nearly twice as likely to
vote as those making $25,000 or less, and only half of the eligible
Americans under 30 turned out to vote."

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.