Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Important letter about Ron Paul and the Iowa Straw Poll.

Ron PaulI received an email in my In-Box this morning and wanted to be sure to spread the word.

We can already see the spin in action with the results of the debates Monday morning, where in spite of overwhelming support for Ron Paul and his absolute dominance of the ABC on-line poll afterward, Mitt Romney was hailed as being the strong winner and so on. Having read the actual poll data (PDF) from the ABC poll (not the on-line poll) that the article was based on, I noticed some interesting statistics. While 62 percent had previously been contacted by telephone by the candidates' campaigns, 72 percent said they'd never visited any of the candidates' websites. This further reinforces the idea that the polls are out of touch with the more "wired" or "connected" younger generation who are generally only available by mobile phone and are much more likely to have done on-line research of the candidates.

(On a related note, an obstacle for Ron Paul's campaign also comes from the fact that many other party voters, including a good portion of Democrats, are also supporting Ron Paul and are thus, because of their party affiliations, unable to participate in the early polls and primaries etc. This prohibits them from being able to support Ron Paul fully until after it may be too late unless they switch their party affiliation for this election to allow them to participate in these early stages.)

Below is an explanation of what happened and the attempts being made to prevent it from taking place at the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames on August 11th, in only 4 days. If you can, please do your part to make sure a fair and honest poll is taken in Ames! This is a poll that can make or break campaigns!

http://www.wethepeoplefoundation.org/UPDATE/Update2007-08-05.htm

That link is a must read to understand what is going on in Ames, only 4 days from now!
Dear Friends of Liberty:

Please read the following two articles and then watch the two videos.
Iowa Republicans See Romney As Straw Poll Winner

an informal survey of Iowa Republican Party leaders, conducted by Real Clear Politics, shows high expectations for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Of the 30 Republican officials - representing county parties around the state and the party's Central Committee - who responded to the survey via email, 93% picked Romney to win in Ames.
Complete article here:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/08/iowa_republicans_see_romney_as_1.html
Protecting Ron Paul, the Rest of the “2nd Tier” and America

(Thanks Bob for this valuable information.)

Now picture this:

On Tuesday, August 7, 2007, a letter is delivered to the Iowa Republican Party and the State and County Boards of Elections. The letter is signed by various good-government and election reform organizations and holders of $35 tickets that entitle them to vote in the Ames Straw Poll. The letter says that unless the following 10-point program is agreed to, a court order will be sought to enjoin and prohibit the Ames Straw Poll until the reforms are agreed to:
http://www.wethepeoplefoundation.org/UPDATE/Update2007-08-05.htm
Ron Paul Delivers the Best Moment in the GOP Debates

Please watch the video here, and then scroll down the page to Ron Paul on Fox News “Big Story”:
http://laist.com/2007/08/06/ron_paul_delive.php

This week in Ames, Iowa is critical. Any and all help will be much appreciated.

We Need Your Help!
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/events/iowa-straw-poll/

Thanks,

Joe Thornton
It's shocking to note that in the article on Real Clear Politics, Ron Paul did not register in any of the 4 different polls they did.

Not only did they make the following statement about him:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a libertarian in the truest sense of the word, did not receive a single vote in the poll. The lone anti-war voice on the GOP stage, Paul would be unlikely to earn support, or even notice, of people involved in Republican circles enough to be an elected board member.
But he was not even listed as a result in the 3 other polls:
  • Candidate with the most to lose in the straw poll
  • Candidate with the most to win in the straw poll
  • Candidate most likely to win in 2008
So according to the 30 "Iowa Republican Party leaders" that Real Clear Politics selected to poll, none of them felt that Ron Paul was even significant enough to mention.

To put that into perspective, even John Cox, who ranks the lowest out of all 2008 Republican candidates, who has not attended any of major debates and has the least donations of any 2008 Presidential candidate, was ahead of Ron Paul and was picked as more likely to win the 2008 Presidential election than John McCain, Mike Huckabee or Sam Brownback.

But Ron Paul, who has attended all of the major debates, dominated the on-line polls, has good funding and a higher ranking in the overall polls, doesn't even register a blip on the radar or even a mention in 3 out of their 4 polls.

Real Clear Politics contacted almost 300 officials from the Iowa Republican Party and these statistics were based on the responses of the 30 officials who responded.

I also noted the stances of some of the other Real Clear Politics editors, here are some of their other comments about Ron Paul:
"He has no chance of winning the 2008 Republican nomination." --Mark Davis
"We know one element of the comparison is already apt [Between Ron Paul and Barry Goldwater]: Paul will not be President of the United States." --Gregory Scoblete
I think it goes without saying that these mysterious 30 "Iowa Republican Party leaders" are not representative of the American people or even necessarily the Iowa Republican party constituency, representing less than %0.001 of them.

Back on the straw poll itself, just to add insult to injury, let's have a look at the system they're using for the polls. Pay special attention to the equipment they're using.
Next Saturday, from 10 am to 6 pm, more than 25,000 residents of the State of Iowa will arrive on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames. They will be 18 years of age or older. They will be there to choose one man from a list of eleven men as their choice to be the next President of the United States of America.

At one of 60 vote stations they will receive a paper ballot. They will pencil in an oval next to the candidate of their choice. They will enter the paper ballot into a machine that will scan the entire ballot and record the vote. After voting, each voter will place a thumb into a container of purple ink.

After scanning each ballot the machine will deposit the ballot into a “black box” within the Diebold machine. At 6 pm each machine and black box are transported to a centralized “tabulation” room. The door to the room will be closed to the public.

The ballots are not removed from their black boxes or counted. Instead, a button on the machine is pressed. In response, the machine ejects a slip of paper showing the number of votes recorded by that machine for each candidate. The results are tabulated. Someone then leaves the room and announces the results of the vote to the assembled media representatives. Each person casting a vote will have paid $35 to do so. The ten men on the list are all Republicans. The Iowa Republican Party is sponsoring the event, which is known as the Ames Straw Poll, also the Iowa Straw Poll.
For a little background on Diebold:
http://reddit.com/search?q=diebold
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diebold

Diebold has a notoriously bad reputation, and the use of their systems here only increases my apprehension.

2 comments:

Hardy said...

What Ron Paul supporters should do then, is to have a Black ink pad so after they dip their finger in purple, then can dip it in black to show how they voted so their vote can be counted.

Largo said...

I think that the people participating in the poll have a right to their privacy, and while they might be willing to anonymously vote, and even anonymously partake in an exit poll, I think they have the right not to have to publicly mark themselves in order to denote their support for Dr. Paul.

I think the correct course of action here is the course prescribed by "various good-government and election reform organizations and holders of $35 tickets that entitle them to vote in the Ames Straw Poll", namely:

1. From the time the voter votes to the time the results of the vote are publicly announced, all paper ballots are never out of the view of the public.

2. Instead of being deposited into a black box, each completed paper ballot is deposited into a numbered, clear-plastic, container that is in clear public view all day. The number on the container matches a number on the machine. The numbers are 4 inches high, black on white.

3. Each candidate on the ballot has the Right to have an observer present for an inspection by the County of each container. The single inspection is scheduled to take place 9:55 am at each of the 60 vote stations.

4. Surrounding each vote station at a distance of 30 feet from the numbered clear plastic container is a rope beyond which any person can quietly stand to quietly observe the clear-plastic containers and the number of voters.

5. As the voting period ends, each ballot box is set on one of two 72” cafeteria-style tables that have been set up at each of the 60 voting stations. There, the ballots are separated and hand counted.

6. Besides two members of the staff of the County or State Board of Elections, each candidate has a Right to have a representative participate in the counting process. All county and candidate Counters must agree on the candidate allocation of each vote. Once all Counters are in agreement on the allocation of all votes, the result of the count is read aloud for public consumption.

7. The paper ballots are then returned to the numbered, clear-plastic containers, which are then transported to a central location, -- never out of view of the county and candidate observers or the general public.

8. At the central location, the containers are placed inside an area that has been roped off. Within the roped off area, chairs have been set up for the county and candidate counters.

9. As each numbered container arrives at the central location, the results of the hand-counted vote is read aloud by one of the County observers and entered into a computer for projection onto a screen in the room and for posting on the County and State websites.

10. After the results of the vote from each of the 60 vote stations is read aloud, the cumulative totals from the hand-counts are agreed to by the county and candidate Counters, read aloud and entered into the computer for projection onto the screen in the room and for posting on the County and State websites. This process is continued until the results of the vote at all 60 vote stations have been read aloud and added to the prior total.