Chandra Friese

Chanda FrieseFrom the Story Bank:

I learned about the League at a young age. I always felt it was an organization to which I owed a lot, because it was founded by the women who were responsible for me having the right to vote. But it was electronic voting machines that provided the final impetus to get me to join.

I had become concerned about the problems that can occur when votes are counted without a paper trail and the implications for the integrity of our democratic procedures. I read articles about the issues arising from the use of these machines, and decided to get involved with local election integrity groups in San Francisco to learn more about the electoral processes and how security and integrity are preserved. A friend suggested I join the League of Women Voters to explore this area further.

I accompanied my friend to a membership tea, and she introduced me to one of the board members. As we started discussing the work of the League, she remarked how concerned she was about the introduction of the electronic voting machines. I couldn’t believe that not only had I found a group that was interested in the same problems as I was, but that they were concerned about the exact same thing that I had been working on for years. I decided to join then and there.

Almost ten years later, I’m proud to have served on the San Francisco board as a fundraiser, as Voter Services Chair and now as the Development Chair and Chair of the Elections Education Committee, which is currently conducting an important study on the integrity of voting by mail. I have made great friends and have learned a lot during this time. It’s funny to think that without electronic voting machines, it might never have happened!

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