The Coalition for Visible Ballots
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Dear bloggers and people with extensive contacts/networks/listserves:

If you could help me get the word out about this project, I would be very appreciative.  I have about a week to gather several thousand dollars in order to order copies of "Invisible Ballots" for all of the delegates at the "Take Back America" conference in Washington DC in June.  (I need that much lead time to get the order filled and get it shipped to DC.)  It's quite a daunting task.  Your help could be instrumental in overcoming this hurdle of time and money.  This is an opportunity to make a difference.  

Many thanks in advance.

Joan Brunwasser, Voting Integrity Editor, OpEdNews

Citizens for Election Reform, "Invisible Ballots" lending library project

May 3, 2006


I never dreamed that I would do so much writing on this job.  I sort of pictured
myself with a pencil perched rakishly behind one ear, going through the various
articles, OpEd pieces and reviews that came my way, looking studious, focused
and very, very professional.  But, this lending library project has taken on a
life of its own, one that demands constant attention.  And updates.  And

I feel like shouting "BREAKING NEWS!" since the latest development happened this
very afternoon. It looks quite likely that we will be able to distribute the DVD
to delegates at the "Take Back America" Conference this June in Washington, DC.  
I mentioned previously that I will be attending the conference on a press pass. 
Rob Kall (my boss at OpEdNews) suggested contacting the conference to see if
they might be interested in the DVD for their delegates.  What a great idea! 
Think how much more efficient it would be: several thousand copies, neatly
tucked into the welcome packets.  The other option is to bring cartloads of the
DVD and try giving them out at the conference:  unwieldy, impractical and
incredibly heavy.  How would I explain my excess baggage of several hundred
pounds?  How would I shlep it?  Who would cover my chiropractic bills?

The good news is that they're interested.  I just sent off a copy of "Invisible
Ballots" for the 'go to guy' to peruse to make sure the documentary isn't
"fascist".  Since it's not, I'm assuming we're on.   The bad news is that the
financial burden is ours alone.

The chance to saturate this audience with the DVD is a great one.  At the very
least, it will get people talking about electronic voting.  Optimally, it will
galvanize the many activists there to focus on election reform as a pressing
need.  It could make a big difference.  Several thousand Progressives, Democrats
and elected officials under one roof. It would be criminal to pass up the

Again, I'm turning to you for help.  Reluctantly, because I know how annoying it
can be to be constantly besieged by appeals from the earnest and well-meaning.
It's also a tad humiliating to be constantly trolling for funding.  What can I
do?  The alternative is to walk away.  I just can't do it. 

How can I illustrate what this conference means in terms of potential outreach? 
I started this project almost eight months ago, with three copies of the DVD. 
Since then, more than 250 individual and group borrowers have been enlisted, one
by one.  I have an opportunity to reach eight to ten times that many in the
course of a three-day conference!  At the rate I'm going (I had to sit down and
do that equation we learned in elementary school), it would take me 64 months or
five years and four months to get to 2,000 borrowers.  In  short, this is a much
more efficient, cost-effective way to spread the word. 

But, because it's such a large order, we're talking several thousand dollars,
raised fairly fast.  The conference is in mid June; I would have to place an
order within the next two weeks or so.  Impossible?  Maybe.  But how will I know
if I don't try?  Who could have predicted the success that the library project
has enjoyed thus far?

I don't expect anyone to dash off one check to cover the whole shebang
(although, truthfully, I wouldn't send it back, either).  While it would
certainly save a lot of time and effort, this project has always been about
building a community of concerned citizens who are working for change.  I would
much prefer that donations come from a wide range of people who share the
responsibility and the burden.  If each person contacts his/her own network of
friends, family and colleagues to raise a portion of the funds, then, the goal
is not at all out of reach.

If you think my project has merit and you see the potential of bringing
"Invisible Ballots" to Washington DC, right smack in the middle of the
progressive community, now is the time to act.  Since March, donations have been
tax deductible.  Go to
and do it today.  Each donation will bring us a little closer to that national
debate we need in order to bring about change.  You can play a crucial part by
stepping up to the plate right now.  (I have to admit my imagery is being
affected by the White Sox/Mariners game my son is watching in the next room.)

Many thanks for believing that, together, we can make a difference, and for
saying "no" to cynicism and hopelessness. Enlisting in this campaign is a
positive step towards restoring and preserving free, fair and transparent
elections. A lively democracy demands the active participation of its citizens.
This is such an opportunity.  Seize it!

Please send this out to anyone you know who cares about the direction our
country is heading.  Sitting helpless on the sidelines certainly won't bring
about change.  What do we have to lose?  I am inspired by Margaret Mead's words: 
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the
world:  indeed, it's the only thing that ever does."

For a little background, see