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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-07-28 - 10:29 p.m.

Hope Is On The Way

Day 3 of the Democratic Convention seemed a bit more scripted than yesterday, but I watched most of it anyway. Highlights for me included the Nevada Senator, who said his father was a miner, who had taught him the difference between Fool’s gold and the real thing. He told of a hanging in his mother’s living room with the saying, “We can, We will, We must,” which became the theme of his talk. He alluded to President Bush’s claim to be “a compassionate conservative, a uniter not a divider” as Fool’s Gold… with “John Kerry the real deal.”

Al Sharpton and Kucinich from Ohio, perhaps the most strident of all the speakers, accused the Bush administration of distortion and misrepresentation – the true weapons of mass destruction being poverty, joblessness, and racism at home.

Edwards repeated the theme “Hope is on the way!” effectively as he drove home the “stronger at home and more respected in the world” message that has been repeated throughout the convention.

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Our Worst Fears

Every vote must be counted. Never again can we have black and Latino voters disenfranchised.Other news today came from a coalition of election groups, who are asking for an audit to be done in Florida during live election, since the records of votes from 2002 election have been lost. Although Florida law says ballot records for state and local offices must be kept for a year and federal for 22 months, due to some malfunction, the ones from 2002 were not kept.

“You can test machines in the laboratory all you want but the only way you can know for real if these machines work is to use real, live machines, and have voters cast a test ballot on Election Day," a coalition leader said.

State officials balked.

"We have full confidence in the certified equipment that worked flawlessly in the 2002 elections and in hundreds of successful elections around the state since then," said Alia Faraj, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Glenda Hood. "There is no reason to suggest that they will not perform just as well in November."

The erasure of the Miami-Dade information violated Florida law, which says ballot records for state and local offices must be kept for a year. The records for federal races must be kept for 22 months.

"There's a very distinct difference between votes being lost and data that they are required to retain for 22 months being lost due to a procedural failure," Faraj said.

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We another procedureal failure – something about hanging chads – Remember in 2000? Let’s not run the risk of another fiasco – just do the audit!! Leave a paper trail. Do something to assure the country that Jeb Bush country isn’t going to pollute the election yet again.

Vote or Die

In an attempt to get young people to vote, Citizen Change is offering “Vote or Die” t-shirts and encouraging candidates of both parties to speak to the issues of interest to young people. Doesn’t exactly seem like a positive message. I’ll be interested to hear their justification for it.

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