Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Be A Pollwatcher for Democracy

My campaign is working with Pollworkers for Democracy to provide pollwatching opportunities in New York State to voters who are registered Green, independent or in another third party. In NYS, only registered Democrats or Republicans approved by their local party chairs can be hired as poll workers.

I encourage all registered voters to sign up with Pollworkers for Democracy as either pollworkers or pollwatchers. After you have signed up on the website, you will be contacted with pollwatching opportunities in your county, including opportunities to be a pollwatcher for my campaign.

Having a flood of informed citizens take part in running and watching elections locally will help us recover a more transparent and accountable democracy.

Pollworkers for Democracy will provide guidelines for observing the polling process, questionnaires to assist watchers in collecting key information, and a web page watchers can use to enter the data that they collect. The data gathered by watchers will be pooled so that voters can learn more about how elections are administered in various parts of New York State and in the other states of the US.

We New Yorkers are lucky that electronic voting machines are not yet widely installed in the state. But each county will have electronic voting machines in at least one polling site for disabled and other voters to use. It is particularly important to watch how these machines function. The data we collect will help counties decide what type of voting machines to purchase, and may encourage them to follow my recommendation and adopt handcounted paper ballots.

As a candidate for statewide office, I am entitled to appoint up to three pollwatchers in each polling place. Because of my concern about how the votes for the Green Party's candidates will be counted this election, I am eager to appoint enough pollwatchers to monitor as many polling places for as much of election day as possible.

It is important that the Green Party's votes are counted accurately on November 7. If Malachy McCourt, our GPNY gubernatorial candidate receives 50,000 or more votes, the Green Party will gain ballot status for the next four years. In 1998, the last time the Green Party gained ballot status, the preliminary vote count for the Green Party was only about 48,000 votes, but after Greens recounted voting machines in New York City and elsewhere around the state, that total rose to about 52,000 votes—more than enough to qualify the Green Party for ballot status.

No comments: