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“Voting Registration” at the Avaaz United to Stop Trump, at the Brandenburg Gate on Friday, September 23rd

This is the text I posted on their facebook site:

I was there for most of the event. The “Stop Trump Wall” was an impressive piece of art; lots of volunteers in “Vote to Stop Trump” T-shirts, a saxophone player (like at the walls of Jericho), and finally knocking down the wall. The press loved the photo op.

I mainly wanted to see how voter registration was handled. That turned out to be practically a failure. On Facebook, Avaaz said to bring a photocopy of your passport. This is definitely not required legally, so I wanted to ask someone what this was all about. Did manage to ask one guy, who admitted such a copy actually is not required, but he was told it might help. I think this is silly, because such a measure just complicates things, makes the absentee voter even more insecure about getting everything right when registering or applying for a ballot.

Anyway, I think there were about a half dozen people or so waiting to register. There was a small printer and a tablet computer to be used. Rather late, about quarter to 12 (official start was at 11:30) one registrar started entering the data of the first young lady in line. I asked another person standing in line if they had a copy of their passport along as they expected here. She hadn’t, but I assured her that officially she shouldn’t need it in any case. Minutes passed and the first lady was still being registered; she had her smartphone out, checking some details. I walked back and forth a bit. Had a small Vote from Abroad sign along as well as postcards and calling cards. Two other people asked me about registration. I provided information, gave them several cards, and said loud enough that applying for an absentee ballot on the VfA website just takes five minutes. After twenty-some minutes, I overheard lady number one saying she has to go back to work. Seems like voter registration wasn’t working; in the meantime, I has advising another young family. I considered myself not a rival but a supporter for voter registration today.

About ten past noon, someone announced that they would knock down the Wall after voter registration was done. The press howled and protested, so they did commence knocking out single blocks (cardboard boxes) and then suddenly the whole wall toppled over rather suddenly. One guy was getting into a rage there smashing a couple boxes with his rubber mallet. But he was stopped by one of his friends; I suppose because they still had some plans for the blocks. The failure of this announced voter registration was that it was concentrated on only one electronic device. If there is a hitch, it holds up everything. Nothing like the good old-fashion application form on clipboards along with the voter guide in the hands of a team of volunteers. Hope Avaaz learns from this.

PS.: I don't think "114 went" - maybe half; the rest was press.

More Avaaz photos of the event on their facebook site

Some reports on this event in the press:
The Local

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