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Killer ‘Poll Watcher’ Election Day App From AM Reviewed

This genuinely is one of those killer apps that could help revolutionize our society between our special Tuesday in 2010 and the same Tuesday in 2012… and beyond.

I’m speaking of American Majority Action’s VoterFRAUD mobile app available for download now at the link.

The Theory
The entire ‘app’ is actually composed of 2 components, both very powerful and compelling in a social networking sense.

Of course, the ‘propellant’ for the system is the mobile app which uses your mobile GPS to establish your reporting location, makes it very easy for you to capture and forward a picture + report to the central reporting server (the familiar citysourced.com).

The second component is the public citysourced.com map presentation of all voter fraud incidents reported with push-pins or badges in locations where the VoterFRAUD mobile apps are recording voter fraud incidents.  Think of it as a fraud heat map.  One that will place some local election officials in the hot seat.  American Majority has committed to report substantive abuses directly to the Secretaries of State and/or local election officials who have jurisdiction over the reported incidents.

But if you are a local election official, think of the ‘social networking’ pressure and embarrassment you’ll be under if your area of the map is peppered with dozens of fraud reports.  Now admittedly many local officials can handle that sort of pressure quite well, but I’ll address that more directly below.

Let’s talk now about how to actually get the app and make it work.

Operation
If you have an iPhone or a ‘Droid, you simply go to the app store, search on ‘Voterfraud’ and install the app.  That’s easy.  CW told me today that the ‘Berry app is not there yet, but AM promised it Real Soon Now (and my guess is this will only take a couple of days).

Run the app by touching the VoterFRAUD icon on your phone.  The splash screen comes up with a large button at the bottom: ‘Report Fraud’.  When you touch that button, your phone immediately goes into camera mode so you can snap a picture.  After you snap, you can either click ‘Done’ or go for another picture (I have not tested the ability of the app to file more than one picture).  When you click ‘Done’ you answer 2 questions with drop-downs and type a short narrative into a text box (you can add to this later in comments to your incident from your desktop).  Click or Touch ‘Submit Report’ and you are done!  Easy and slick.

Note that what you did NOT have to do (or ask your challenged friends to do) was figure out how to attach a picture to an email with your thumbs or look up the right email address for the report.  All done for you.  No trouble.  No worries.  Very slick.

When you (or anybody else) go(es) to the voterfraudapp.com web site, you can zoom in on your area of the map, find your incident and add comments to it once you are logged in.

Preliminary Use Notes
Alas my own HTC ‘Droid Eris was not able to forward pictures to the Citysourced server, but the number of pictures you see there suggests that everybody else can send pix just fine.  No problem.

What may be most disconcerting to users may be the fact that the mobile display sometimes seems to show you in the wrong location.  While testing in LA, the mobile app showed me in my hometown of Tulsa, OK and I saw a few reports of others who had a similar problem.  But take heart.  The final report as it appears on the national map at voterfraudapp.com will be in the correct location.  It got my home address and the address at TEAPAC/Colbert HQ exactly right.  We don’t need the mobile map in the field, and we know exactly where we are if we are standing in a polling place.  Ignore and use the list view if you need to look at your previous reports from the field.

A misunderstanding caused the most vexing prob I encountered next.  I noticed that at the top of the reporting screen on my phone there is what looks like a thumbnail image right next to the words ‘Your Image’.  This is *not* intended to be a thumbnail of the image you just captured, so don’t expect it to be.  After clearing caches, uninstalling/reinstalling apps and doing everything I could think of to get rid of that ‘wrong image’ I downloaded citysourced’s mainstream app and it has the exact same image in the exact same position.  It’s a fixed image, not a thumbnail of the picture you just shot.  Now you know.

The app did not seem to want to install on a Samsung 3.X Eclair ‘Droid.  Specs do say it’s for ‘Droid 1.X and 2.X.

Otherwise the app is very, very slick and smooth.  Don’t try rely on it to do stuff you don’t really need anyway, and you are good to go.

The HQ ‘Back Office’
Anytime you arrive at the VoterFRAUD web site at voterfraudapp.com (scroll down) you are presented with a map pinioned with blue badges or shields (like push-pins) on each incident reported from the field.  When you click an a badge to determine the details of an incident, you can see the photo and title of the incident in a pop-up.  If you click or touch ‘Details’ for further details, you can see all available details on the incident at the citysourced.com web site in a new tab or window.   You can join to log in, or you can login with Facebook or Twitter.

Details of each incident are anonymous and rudimentary and if you are an official who needs legal/forensic details on an incident, your only recourse may be to leave a comment with your email address requesting to be contacted with details, then hope that the reporting party gets back to you.  The social networking features are as you would expect, with provisions to share an incident on Facebook, Digg, Technorati, etc.  You can also ‘Vote up’ an incident within citysourced.com itself, although I’m not sure just where you go in citysourced.com to see the most ‘popular’ or infamous incidents.  Best of all, you can ‘follow’ an incident so perhaps you’ll  be updated when the incident is, if you’ve provided your email address upon joining.

Of course, the best part of this interface is the ease with which you can quickly discern voter fraud hotspots by the density of incident badges in a given geographic area.  This map will quickly tell us on election day where we need to institute our own ‘Secretary of State Programs’ in opposition to Soros’.

Open
In true public spirit, AM offers publicly to grant you widgets, etc. for your own web site so your web visitors do not have to depart your web site to get a snapshot of election fraud from you on election day.  I was granted permission today to publish the VoterFRAUD map you see on their opening page on the PROCINCT and on the TEAPAC web sites.  Good on them.  The idea is to call wide attention to voter fraud.  See their FAQ for details.

Legal and Forensics
Although I’m not an attorney, I can sometimes put on a phony lawyer hat and come ‘pretty close’.  This app does not provide proper support for a full-fledged legal effort on an incident, but with some cautious use and future development it could become very supportive of a sound legal case.  The semi-forensic GPS and photo support lend a bit of authority to the record, but it would be nice to have a ‘Record’ button in the app so we could voice-record a witness statement to file with the electronic ‘evidence package’.  In the future, it may be a good idea to provide privacy to some assets in the online reports to safeguard witness privacy.  If you photograph a witness statement document to upload, be sure to compose the picture so that the witness contact information is left out of the photo.  Remember, just anybody can see these reports online.

Thinking along these lines, I prepared a document for the TEAPAC/PROCINCT/Redstate/elsewhere audience to help them file reports that might help give the best support to a real investigating authority.

If you are under party discipline as I am in LA, you should check with your local party chair to determine his/her wishes.  Trained/certified Poll Watchers in LA are required to call the county or state war room hot lines first and probably eschew the mobile joys of this app except under very, very special circumstances.

Please Note This: in the current environment where trained/certified Poll Watchers have already been accused (probably incorrectly) of voter intimidation, we have to govern ourselves carefully and avoid behavior that could get us ‘invited’ to depart our assigned polling place of official duties.   That’s just the way it is.

Ordinary citizens acting as un-deputized, casual citizen poll watchers could have much more freedom if they see something untoward as they depart after voting.  Vote FIRST however, then document!  Don’t risk being invited to leave before you vote.

That said, get this app into all the un-deputized hands you can possibly reach – some helpful resources for that are at the bottom of this post.

Currently from a legal and forensic perspective the biggest weakness may be that all app field reports are filed on an anonymous basis.  If a party, state, local, law enforcement or election official discovers a report on the VoterFRAUD map that they feel warrants investigation, their only recourse to contact the original reporter is to post a comment on the incident in question, perhaps with a phone number or email address and hope that the original reporter contacts them back.  So if you post a serious incident from the field, be sure to check back on your original report from the desktop interface at voterfraudapp.com (zoom in on the map to your indicent(s) and see if an authority is requesting you to contact them.

But please, please understand that I am stretching this way beyond what I am sure were the original use cases discussed in AM’s early meetings to make this app available to us!

I certainly don’t want the perfect to be the deadly enemy of the perfectly good.

VoterFRAUD’s potential effectiveness to embarrass and pressure local election officials toward more proper policies and behavior, I’m sure, is very, very real.  If we can develop that eventually toward real and effective legal pressure on those same officials, then VoterFRAUD’s future influence on elections will be potent indeed.

Support and Feedback
AM’s Project leader Drew Ryun and developer Austin James both got back to me within 7 hours or so of my initial contact with most of the above information.  They easily conveyed to me that they are committed and attentive.  Remember this app was just released yesterday and it supplies a critical function that will help the cause of free and fair elections.  By 2012, this will be a very, very formidable app.

I heard Ned Ryun on Sean Hannity and Rusty Humphries last night and he is committed to fairness and transparency for both sides.  That’s the right thing.

Conclusion
Get this for yourself and encourage all your friends to get it and use it if required on election day or before.   To help make widespread adoption easier, I prepared this non-branded document that is intended to be printed on both sides of a single sheet as a hand-out for Tea Party meetings, etc, or for forwarding as a link to your email buddies.   It has download and suggested use tips on the obverse side and a blank witness statement on the reverse side.  Again, if you are under party discipline, consider seriously the procedures mandated by your local party chair.

RT this: http://twitter.com/WatchCenter/status/29041727944 if you wish to get the word out to your followers/buddies via twitter.

This app, if widely adopted and used, could cause very significant and positive changes in our electoral system.  As Moe Lane has been saying, get a photo or a video!  This helps you make that happen, and very easily at that, with a central reporting site to aggregate the information and publish it back out via widgets on your own web site.

We owe American Majority and the Ryuns a major debt of gratitude for sponsoring this app.

True craftsmen love beautiful tools.  This is one.  There is no excuse now: go do it.

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