can’t have too many watchdogs

Here’s an update to two earlier entries on places to go to get away from the spin and find some facts, this time with a focus on electronic voting.
For the Record points to a post by Jeanne D’arc at Body and Soul about voting machines and the importance of a paper trail; if you haven’t been keeping up, those two posts are a good starting point. This is a vital issue for all Americans. (A commenter in the BaS thread recommended absentee voting as a way to force a hand-count of your vote, and I could not agree more.)
FtR also links to Verified Voting, a watchdog site concerned with “transparent, reliable, and publicly verifiable elections in the United States”. They say they have been operating for the last 8 months without funding from anyone but their core group of volunteers, but now that they are registered as a 501(c)(4) non-profit (can engage in political activity, donations not tax-deductible) they are beginning fundraising. No word on whose money they will or won’t take. Of particular note, they have a good background on the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act and accompanying Senate bill which require require a voter-verifiable audit trail on every voting system.
Verified Voting links to Votewatch, “a nonprofit non-partisan organization of citizen volunteers, statisticians, lawyers, technologists, journalists and election officials who monitor public elections in the U.S.A., analyze patterns, and make their findings public prior to the certification of the election”. It looks to be mainly exit polling plus a forum for citizen reporting on individual elections. When you follow the money, things get a bit fuzzy:

As of October 7th, 2003, Votewatch has been internally funded through the generosity of its team members and the good will of its partners. Votewatch is embarking on an external funding plan that will target foundations of all ideologies, the general public, organizations and philanthropists.

There’s also the matter of partnership with for-profit research firm Aguirre International.
While I’m on the topic, Marylaine Block’s Neat New Stuff links to the Center for Public Integrity, a “nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization” founded by Charles Lewis which “does not accept contributions from anonymous donors or from corporations, labor unions or governments” and lists donors over $500 in the last year, with a contact address for more information. The Center was founded in 1989, has a full-time staff of 40 and has “issued more than 200 investigative reports, including 12 books”, and its “findings or perspective have appeared in roughly 8,000 news media stories”. For an idea of what they do, check out this story on the windfalls of war:

More than 70 American companies and individuals have won up to $8 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two years, according to a new study by the Center for Public Integrity. Those companies donated more money to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush