Welcome… back? It seems like we both survived the Pandemic. At least I (don’t) Think I Virused. Um. Yay?
But hey: I did vote, and it seems like a few of you out there did too. If you believe your eyes and ears, it was enough to get our Democracy staggering forward again for a while, despite a lot of attacks on the nation’s voting systems and other social destabilization measures by mysterious forces. Hey… did you ever ask yourself who sets the price of a gallon of dinosaur juice at your local fill-er-up? Hint: it ain’t anybody in the White House.
So, any-who… it’s been about two and a half years since I (had just barely) started the ITIV project with some friends and colleagues. It was somewhere between a dinner in December 2019 and some preliminary meetings in January 2020. For some reason, everyone disappeared a couple of months later, leaving me feeling like a marooned castaway with a mission and a platform backed by a small nonprofit but no partners. Gee thanks, COVID.
So, yeah. Everyone was a bit distracted by arguing over how best not to die. I get that. It’s nice that a few of us stayed serious and worked out a vaccine. Meanwhile, there were some pretty massive voter disinformation & discouragement campaigns (some of them, I’ll wager, aided and abetted by “foreign princes”). It all led to an election in Nov 2020 that was… well, on the one hand, competently administered, but on the other hand not supported equally by all citizens due to the aforementioned disinformation. I hope that problem gets addressed as soon as possible so we can all move forward. For example, I’m hoping our sister project The Secret Ballot Project (TSBP) can also reorganize after all these disruptions. In time, I hope the ITIV project can also recover, find new people and inject new life into working cooperatively.
TSBP is all about voting technology†, where ITIV is all about voter awareness. We all had big ideas and lofty plans to help people back in the “winter of ’19”. Now, we’re all just trying to survive and figure out how to help the People and our Democracy to survive these times.
ITIV would like to thank the nonprofit human rights foundation and its thinktank project that have done whatever they could to support this work throughout the past few difficult years. They kept on telling us to persevere, so… still tryin’ !
ITIV is looking for supporters and participants who want to help ITIV with all sorts of interesting opportunities for advancement and experience.††
Young voters and experienced ones are all welcome, regardless of party affiliation (we’re non-partisan, independent, systems-oriented voting nerds). ITIV is all about helping people to vote intelligently, complete their ballot correctly, make sure it gets into the hands of the trusted people charged with protecting and counting the ballots — and then confirming that their vote was counted correctly (most people leave off that vitally important ‘check to make sure’ detail!). ITIV is NOT about telling people who or what to vote for! (The only exception to that nonpartisan stance is that proposed and existing legislation or political statements that either improve or damage the Franchise (free and fair voting by all citizens) is subject to nonpartisan analysis). This is not, as some would say, a ‘red or blue issue, it’s an American issue’.
If you’re interested in grassroots voting activism and you want to educate voters on:
— how voting systems work internally;
— how to help other citizens volunteer to help at local polling places;
— where to find the best scientific and academic papers (peer-reviewed public research)
on the internals of ballot-counting and election administration,
then please help out! There is an old saying:
“The only way to eat an Elephant is one bite at a time”.
† TSBP… is a “non-profit effort to educate the Public about what a “secret” is and how the correct use of secrets secures democratic governance in peaceful societies” (from their website).
†† Needed Efforts (discussed by volunteers in 2020 meetings):
• NEED a Social Media presence, Awareness-building campaigns
• NEED Great “ITIV” Merchandise from a WordPress Store (WIP)
• NEED Articles by Voting Experts
• Nice-to-Have: News Feed Updates (RSS?) with links to Voting stories.
• NEED Membership & Member Forums
• NEED Statement about ITIV’s non-partisan principles (true!)
• Nice-to-Have: 50-State Live Voter Blogs by registered ITIV Election Observers (local, state & federal)
N.B. if you are interested in these kinds of efforts and can help us bring them to fruition, we are exploring how to gift this domain name to a donor for a few years of (tax-deductible!) project support.