Video the Vote

I’m on a mailing list for a singer/activist named Dana Lyons (it’s more for the singing part than the activist part); Dana’s family moved to Niskayuna sometime in the 70’s and he and I were in the Boy Scouts together for several years. He popped back up onto my radar screen when he released “Cows With Guns,” a spoofy little song about resisting the man. Dana was in Washington state and I was living in Vancouver, so the song got a lot of airtime, and when I spotted the CD at the music store and saw his picture on the back I confirmed that it was the same Dana Lyons.

Anyway, here is an excerpt from the email I received, explaining an activity about which I had not previously heard: video the vote.


My Fellow Americans
It’s Time to Wake Up and Smell the Corruption
In Our Voting Booths

Democracy is Fragile: Educate Thyself:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast’s article in the current
Rolling Stone: Block the Vote
(10-minute read, free)

Bill Moyers Journal on Voter Protections
(15-minute watch, free)

“Free For All” Election Documentary
Watch entertaining and well-done free documentary about election
(80 minutes with popcorn)

Howdy Friends and Family,

I have two great adventures coming up. One which I wish I didn’t feel
it necessary to do and one which is the adventure of a lifetime.

Yes, traveling to Ohio in November is always on the top of everyone’s
vacation list, and I’m heading there next week. I’m traveling to
Columbus, OH to take part in Video the Vote, a movement of citizens
who are concerned about election irregularities across the United

It’s pretty easy. I signed up as a volunteer videographer on the
website. On election day, if they receive reports of election
irregularities (malfunctioning voting machines, ridiculous lines,
harassment, etc.), they’ll give me a call and I will head out and film
it. Then I upload the video to youtube (via and
voila, the situation is documented immediately. Thousands of folks
will be videoing the vote across the US. Can you help out? They need
volunteers in all 50 states.

I know some of you may think this sounds a bit like a conspiracy
theory (how could any of the nice people like Karl Rove even think of
tampering with an election?!), so I encourage you to read Kennedy’s
article and watch the vid and Bill Moyers and decide for yourself.

For me, this isn’t just about defending democracy: It’s about my own
integrity when I speak to children in schools about working to protect
the environment in our democratic system. I have a steadfast rule when
performing at schools: I don’t lie to children. And I’m not going to
take part in upholding a facade of democracy, making believe
everything is okay, when I’ve seen enough evidence that there is
serious corruption in our election system.