Is anybody out there working on some sort of massively-distributed, Internet-coordinated grassroots election monitoring effort?
As the Bush administration’s edifice of lies begins to collapse around it, it’s increasingly likely that desperate Republicans will turn to dirty tricks to win the 2004 elections, just like they did in Florida in 2000.
It seems to me that somebody should be trying to coordinate thousands of volunteers to go out to polling places around the country on election day to
* Watch for violations of elections rules, people being turned away from the polls, etc.
* Document any observed problems in near-real-time (phonecams? instant messaging? web-backed databases!) so that if any suspicious patterns emerge, they can be identified and responsed to immediately.
Basically, I’m talking about a high-tech version of the election monitoring work that a number of organziations conduct in emerging democracies around the world.
If nothing else, organizing such an effort would put potential troublemakers on notice that they are being watched, and might help dissuade those who might consider trying to tip the scales of democracy.