The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

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

Election Lessons


Wasserman is co-author of the books What Happened in Ohio? and As Goes Ohio. He said today: "The primary election protection lesson of the 2008 election is that the entire nation must convert to universal automatic voter registration and universal hand-counted paper ballots as soon as possible. Even with thousands of election protection volunteers in the field, there were clear efforts to disenfranchise millions of Americans and to steal vote counts. All Americans must be automatically registered when they turn 18. Electronic voting machines must be scrapped. Voting opportunities must be expanded."

Segal is the founder and executive director of the Student Association for Voter Empowerment. He said today: "Whereas in the past someone would have to physically hang flyers around campus in order to spread misinformation, we are now seeing these sinister acts conducted through mobile phones and online mechanisms -- these exponentially increase deceptive voting practices. Because campaigns and the political parties use text messaging so frequently, false statements from mobile phones look incredibly real and create massive confusion. If the statements are not repudiated in time, they might even disenfranchise people. And because young voters, who are often new voters, are sometimes unclear as to the ambiguous voting laws in their states, such messages have a disproportionately negative impact on youth."

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.