tvnl's person of the year award

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    At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper. . . .
    Author: Gilbert Keith Chesterton

    If nothing else, Bev Harris represents the great divide that is America. In most of cyberspace, she’s a household word. In much of the real world, she’s largely unknown. In the blue states, Bev Harris is a standard bearer, a pioneer, and a patriot. In the red states, many who know her believe that Bev Harris is a conspiracy nut, a rabble rouser, and an agitator.

    In fact, Bev Harris is far more than the poster woman for a polarized nation. Rather, she is a symbol of perseverance and commitment to democracy in a time of doubt and suspicion. She is a model of unyielding focus and determination in a time of uncertainty and disillusion. And she is an inspiring example of how one person – just one single person - can make a real difference.

    It is for her ceaseless, non-partisan efforts to uncover and expose the flaws and fraud connected to electronic voting machines that has chosen Bev Harris as our 2004 Person of the Year!

    For nearly two years, Bev Harris has been a one-woman whirlwind, trying to draw attention to the pitfalls of the computerized election process that promises to become standard in much of the nation. Her relentless crusade hoisted red flags about missing paper trails and questionable security standards for the machines. Her tireless investigations raised equally significant questions about the integrity of Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia – the three major manufacturers of the electronic machines.

    Because of her important work, Bev Harris’ web site,, has become the quintessential election watchdog on the Internet. Much in the same way, her book, Black Box Voting, has kept the problems of electronic voting in the public conscience and has laid the groundwork for the kind of surveillance and oversight that will determine the accuracy of future elections. How fortunate for us all that Bev Harris chose to champion our rights as Americans, and that Bev Harris refused to back down against torrents of criticism and harassment along the way.

    Bev Harris’ work is not over simply because the election is over. She continues to use her PR skills and experience to convince Americans that their votes must be protected from machine defects or political corruption. We thank her for her dedication to a cause so vital to the preservation of our democracy, and for staying the course where others might wearily have abandoned it. And we thank Bev Harris for bringing electronic voting issues to the forefront, and for reminding us that our right to vote is precious and must exist without compromise.

    In these distressing times, when the fragility of our rights as Americans hangs by a tenuous thread, we are comforted by knowing that Bev Harris is out there fighting for what is right and never giving an inch to her detractors.
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