Occupy Your Elections!
In America we have over 8,000 election jurisdictions with their own election processes and voting technology - operating in each state, with their own election laws.
(The US Constitution sets some parameters for the election of federal officials, but state law regulates most of the elections. This includes primaries, eligibility of voters, each state's electoral college, as well as the administration of federal, state and local elections).
Because of the investigations into Russian influence into our elections, the Feds have just sent $380 Million through the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to the states for election integrity upgrades. More info about these HAVA funds can be found HERE
Now is the time for activists to create groups in every county, (election jurisdiction), across America, to advocate for directing that money towards:
1) voter verified paper ballots, (get rid of those hackable DREs with or without flimsy paper trails),
2) newer digital scanners that create ballot images,
3) verifiable, transparent audits, such as Risk Limiting Audits.
An ideal election system would involve:
- Voter marked and verified paper ballots,
- Digital ballot scanners that create ballot images, and then crowd source the vote counts by publishing the ballot images,
- Risk Limiting Audits, where the actual paper ballots are recounted, (the paper ballots should be chosen by random from a pool of all of the various kinds of ballots; Early Voting, Vote By Mail, Election Day, and Provisional, adding a check to see that those paper ballots correspond to the published ballots). These audits should be open to the public - more eyes on the elections act as a deterrent to election fraud.
At present approximately 50% of the over 8,000 election jurisdictions have the digital ballot scanners that create the ballot images, so now is the time to advocate for them.
More citizen involvement leads to CLEANER ELECTIONS
Clean Count Cook County asks that citizens:
1) Gather in your counties, (election jurisdictions).
2) Get informed about your election technology, processes and some of your election laws.
3) Attempt to contact potential allies such as: Common Cause, Indivisible, the League of Women Voters and Public Citizen.
4) Ask for a meeting with your election officials to see if they are purchasing new election technology, or otherwise utilizing the new HAVA funds.
5) Advocate for moving towards a system with voter verified paper ballots and newer digital scanners that create ballot images.
6) Ask how your group can participate in the audits as observers, or even as official election workers, or judges. Inform yourselves about Risk Limiting Audits, and discuss pilot projects for the implementation of these audits.
Your "Election Protection" group could develop election protection plans for your county which could include: training and organizing poll watching, audit monitoring, and as discussed above, advocating for new technology and reforms at the city, county and state.
(A note from seasoned election integrity activists; some election officials are transparent and honest, and some of them act like political operatives. You will not know who is who until you start investigating within your election jurisdiction.)
Important resources that describe the problem:
1) Code Red by Jonathon Simon: www.codered2014.com "lays out the case that election fraud has been occurring via the targeting and manipulation of computerized voting equipment across America."
3) A great short video of Dr. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan testifying to Congress about "Cybersecurity Threats to U.S. Elections" - it is one of the best! Click HERE
Information that every local group will need:
1) What type of electronic voting machines or scanners does your county use? See www.verifiedvoting.org/verifier/
2) Do you have post-election audits in your county? See www.verifiedvoting.org/resources/post-election-audits
3) Are your county's audits adequate? See www.blackboxvoting.org/audits-or-fraudits.
4) How can you advocate for Risk Limiting Audits in your county? Check out a recent article about Risk Limiting Audits in The Atlantic: “How Applied Mathematics Could Improve the Democratic Process - A low-tech solution to America’s voting problems” click HERE
5) Public Citizen, Common Cause and Verified Voting have come together to form SecureOurVote.us. They have a simple message - "wherever you are and whatever voting systems your state has, you can immediately start advocating for more secure elections".
SecureOurVote Post-Election Audit FAQs will give you some great talking points to raise with election officials. Other resources from SecureOurVote.us can be found here: https://secureourvote.us/learn-more/resources/
6) The Brakey Method: www.blackboxvoting.org/the-brakey-method/
A. Publish the “ballot images” that get produced by all modern ballot scanners (only utilized by 50% of all the election jurisdictions).
B. Peg the ballot image to the actual ballot using a unique number that does not identify the voter.
C. Make sure ballots are a public record so that anyone can freely arrange to inspect the actual ballots.
Ballot images can be released electronically, either upon request or—better—openly on the Web. Each image can be authenticated by checking its unique ID number against that printed on the original ballot.
For more information on John Brakey's work, (John is an Arizona election integrity activist), please watch this VIDEO (Mimi Kennedy - Progressive Democrats of America - is interviewed on the Thom Hartmann Radio Show about John Brakey's recent Ohio court case against the illegal destruction of ballot images. Ballot images could be used to crowd source the vote counts - we need advocates for the publishing of these images county by county, in every state).
If you live in Chicago or Suburban Cook County
please join us at Clean Count Cook County HERE
We welcome new volunteers at our bi-weekly meetings,
and are grateful for all donations.
Our flawed democracy is hanging on by only a thread,
thank you for Occupying Your Elections!