By Perry Busby
The Westside Gazette will present Two-Minute Warning, a livestream voter education and protection series. The 4-night series is dedicated to educating voters and equipping them with the information and tools to help safeguard their ballots and ensure integrity in election results. This is a must-see event, given the uncertainty, chaos and disinformation that is already at play in the upcoming November 3rd election.
In professional football, when the two-minute warning is announced, each team huddles on the sideline to devise a strategy for the final minutes of play. A team’s inability to execute an effective strategy on offense and defense in these 120 seconds can oftentimes turn a sure victory into a heartbreaking defeat.
On offense, we have a formidable strategy. Grassroot organizations, civic groups and activist/advocacy groups are playing a significant role in improving voter registration and voter turnout in elections. Their work and involvement have proven to be the difference-maker in elections dating as far back as 2018. Groups like the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, American Civil Liberty Union, the National Bar Association and others have provided excellent frontline support. Their successful challenge in recent key Voting Rights cases advances the fight to ensure our elections are open, accessible and fair to all eligible citizens.
While running an effective two-minute offense is crucial to achieving the victory, it requires an equally effective two-minute defense to secure the victory. In other words, if our offense is implementing a strategy that is bringing more voters to the ballot box, our defense must implement a strategy to ensure their ballots counted and counted correctly, especially in this cyber-driven age of voting.
Livestream episodes will air nightly, September 8-11, beginning at 8 p.m., ET.
Two-Minute Warning brings communities of voters together, specifically those in targeted minority areas, for an open and informative dialogue about issues that could impact the outcome of our upcoming election. Listeners will hear firsthand from renowned investigative journalists, leading voter protection and election integrity advocates and technology professionals whose work led to many of these discoveries. In addition to learning about these high-tech and no-tech methods to undermine our vote, each episode will include a Question & Answer session to allow viewers an opportunity to voice their concerns to our panel of experts.
Kicking off the series is journalist and election integrity advocate, Jennifer Cohn. Cohn’s cutting-edge articles about our nation’s insecure computerized elections have appeared in the New York Review of Books, WhoWhatWhy, TYT Investigates, The Brad Blog, and Salon. Cohn’s recent WhoWhatWhy article, Touchscreen Voting Machines and the Vanishing Black Votes, takes an insightful look at the key roles electronic voting machines and ballot marking devices play in determining the outcome of an election
“Votes from predominantly black precincts have mysteriously vanished from touchscreen voting machines in both Tennessee and Georgia in recent elections,” said Cohn. “Georgia replaced the touchscreen system it had been using since 2002 with yet another controversial touchscreen system, rejecting the advice of most election security experts, who note that hand-marked paper ballots are less vulnerable to both tampering and error.”
Bennie Smith is a software developer and data analyst consultant. He also serves an Election Commissioner in Shelby County (Memphis, TN). In 2015, Smith’s work in gathering and analyzing results after a local election led to the discovery that ballot totals in four predominantly African American precincts were being undercounted by as much as forty percent. Bloomberg Businessweek highlighted Smith and his discovery in a 2016 article, The Computer Voting Revolution Is Already Crappy, Buggy, and Obsolete.
Emily Levy is the Founder and Director of Scrutineers Community, an online community that offers training for voters and poll workers. It is the place where volunteers, activists, and seasoned election experts come together to protect the US elections from interference, discrimination, and errors in 2020 and beyond.
Rounding out the series is award-winning investigative reporter and documentarian Greg Palast. Greg’s work has appeared in The Guardian, Rolling Stone and BBC. Palast is also a four-time New York Times Bestselling author; his latest book, How Trump Stole 2020, was released this past July.
In 2016, Palast released a full-length feature documentary called The Best Democracy That Money Can Buy (borrowed the title from his 2002 book with the same name) that focuses on voter suppression including the theft of the 2016 election based on his investigations. He leads a team of 15 investigators that operate through his Palast Investigative Fund, recently hired by Stacey Abrams’ organization Fair Fight to provide the expert analysis of the 16.7 million voters purged from the nation’s voter rolls in the last two years.
The stakes are too high in this election. We are dealing with an administration that will go to any length to steal a victory; we must be willing to go to equal lengths to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Let me know what you think. Email me at email@example.com. As always stay tuned to the Westside Gazette for more information about your vote.