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VOTING RIGHTS - CIVIL LIBERTIES - A FREE & FAIR PRESS

 

 (Feb. 24, 2021: This website focuses mainly on "voting rights". In the coming weeks, we will add protocols for "civil liberties" and a " free and fair press". )
 

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Democracy Demands Transparency, Not Trust

Craig Donsanto

 

“If you did it right, no one would ever know,” said Craig C. Donsanto, head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Election Crimes Branch, Public Integrity Section (from 1970-2010) in a July 4,1989 Los Angeles Times article about electronic voting machines and vote fraud. 

  

 


LATEST NEWS:


VOTING: SUMMARY

Voting is the bedrock of democracy. And democracy demands transparency, not trust. Yet, there is no real transparency to the way Americans vote today. State and federal governments, under both Republican and Democratic leadership, have codified and legalized election fraud by allowing, if not mandating secret, non-transparent voting systems that prohibit direct access to a paper ballot and meaningful public oversight of the voting process. For the sake of 'convenience', we have destroyed the 'integrity' of our elections. It began over 160 years ago.

There is no transparency to our current voting system. Under the U.S. Constitution and case law, qualified citizens have two constitutional rights: 1) to vote, and 2) to have their votes counted properly.  For that right to be enforced by federal and state authorities, the voting process must be observable. 

U.S. elections are not transparent or observable. When Congress and state governments opened the door to increased voting rights, 'convenient' access, and secret ballots, they closed the door to effective transparency and meaningful oversight of the voting process. Now we have computer voting, early and mail-in voting, drop boxes, and electronic voting for the military...taken together they have destroyed any semblance of election integrity or legitimacy. Things weren't always this way. 

BEFORE the Civil War, voting was a completely transparent process.  It was only during the Civil War, as the right to vote expanded to African Americans, that the voting process itself began to recede from public view and meaningful oversight.  It started with absentee voting for soldiers in the 1860’s, secret ballots in the 1880’s, and voting machines in the 1890’s.  Today in America, more than 50% of all voting is by absentee, mail, or early, 95% of all votes are machine-processed, and 100% of all ballots are secret and anonymous. For the sake of convenience and 'alleged' voter protection, Congress has destroyed the transparency, verifiability, and integrity of America’s voting process. 

The 'secret ballot' is a 'blank check' for vote fraud. It was supposed to protect voters from harassment, but it has also had the biggest negative impact on our ability to truly verify election results. While our politicians are required to vote publicly and openly, we citizens are held to a different standard - a lower standard.  We vote remotely, privately and anonymously by machine, mail, early, drop box, and secret ballot. It's an invitation to massive and undetectable vote fraud. That is why, there should be only one standard of voting for both our political representatives and voters. All voting should be open and public - no machines, no absentee, no early voting, and no secret ballots. Secret ballots are really anonymous ballots that corrupt election officials can count any way they want. Under current circumstances, the only thing candidates and voters can do  to find out how citizens really voted is to conduct their own CITIZEN AUDITS.  

Making matters worse, our public voting system has been privatized and outsourced to a handful of domestic, foreign, and multi-national corporations. For the most part, our elections are counted by 3 major companies (ES&S, Dominion, and Hart Intercivic) whose owner(s) and/or technical staff could easily rig voting machines manually or wirelessly (either touchscreens or ballot readers); these companies and/or their subcontractors could also rig elections while inputting the candidates’ names for each new election, or simply write the software to tabulate more votes for one party over the other. See 2005 video: Danaher VP admits that they can rig an election  (FULL SUMMARY BELOW)



PROTOCOL FOR HONEST ELECTIONS


TRANSPARENT
& VERIFIABLE
 


NONTRANSPARENT
& UNVERIFIABLE

 

  • Ballot box
  • Paper ballots
  • Hand counts
  • Local polling station
  • Poll workers from all parties
  • Poll watchers from all parties
  • Updated voter registration book
  • Voters marking their paper ballots
  • Voters with state photo IDs & signature
  • Casting & counting ballots on Election Day only

 

 

  • Secret ballot
  • Early voting
  • Repair voting
  • Mail-in voting
  • Absentee voting
  • Electronic voting
  • Ballot harvesting
  • Ballot drop boxes
  • Computerized voting
  • Computerized vote counting

ADDENDUM:

  • All election days (including primary elections) should be holidays and/or time off to vote.

  • Municipalities should provide free transportation to the polls for the disabled.

  • For those who cannot make it to the polls on Election Day due to disability, designated teams of poll workers together with poll watchers can visit places such as nursing homes on Election Day in order to conduct onsite voting and deliver the ballots to the local polling station to be counted on that same day, thereby maintaining transparency and chain-of-custody requirements.  Similarly, polls could be set up at embassies, consulates, and military bases for citizens living overseas.

  • And for those who don’t believe we can get enough people to count ballots, election officials have every right to draft citizens into service, as is done with jury duty. 

  • Registration Offices should post special Saturday hours once a month at the Voter Registration Office, plus provide IDs-On-Wheels for those who cannot make it to the Registration Office due to their disability or job.

  • Registration should be closed one month before an election in order to verify that the registrations are legitimate and the records up-to-date.

  • Develop a formula of registered voters per poll divided by the number of poll workers needed to get ballots counted on election day; the length of ballot also needs to be factored in.


PROTOCOLS FOR POLITICAL REPRESENTATION:

  • Ban "AT LARGE" town council candidates as it results in over-representation by the majority party.

  • Ban gerrymandering by using a static grid.


WHAT CAN BE DONE?

VOTERS - GO TO THE POLLS ON ELECTION DAY! DON'T VOTE EARLY, MAIL, ABSENTEE, OR PROVISIONAL BALLOT. Also, confirm your voter registration at least one month before any election and bring proof of registration (copy or card) and state or driver's license ID.

CONGRESS & STATE LEGISLATURES - PASS the "Protocol for Honest Elections", see below. Although it would be difficult to convince the public that the "secret ballot" is a very bad idea, everything else on the list will get wide public support.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - STOP the unconstitutional use of nontransparent voting systems (computers, mail-in, drop box, etc.).

STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL & CANDIDATES - SUE in court to stop the use of nontransparent voting systems, as there is no effective way to observe the voting process; although this route has, thus far, proved a failure at the U.S. Supreme Court.

CITIZEN - RUN "CITIZEN AUDITS" at polls as a check against official results

CANDIDATES - NEVER CONCEDE!  No candidate should ever concede an election, under the circumstances of nontransparent elections.




REMAINDER OF "SUMMARY"
 

Can't we detect vote fraud through exit polls?  The major news networks refuse to report on vote fraud and have been implicated in it. Exit polling is conducted by one organization, currently called the National Election Pool (NEP), that is hired by the major news networks and the Associated Press. Since they first started "projecting" election night winners in 1964, at the same time computerized ballot scanners came into use, the major news networks have never provided any 'hard' evidence that they actually conducted any exit polls, at all.  In other words, the major news corporations broadcast their own pre-election surveys based on anonymous sources, collect vote totals on Election Day, and back-up those results with their own exit polls based on more anonymous sources.  The late authors of the book, VoteScam: The Stealing of America, James M. Collier and Kenneth E. Collier, concluded that some of the major news networks, including the polling organization that they hire for election night reporting, have been complicit in vote fraud.

In America, less than 1% of votes are hand-counted-paper-ballots at the polls on Election Day. Neither government-controlled audits nor official recounts (both can occur days or even weeks after the election) provide sufficient transparency to detect widespread election fraud by voting machines companies and/or election officials.  Moreover, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ), under the 38-year reign of Craig C. Donsanto, refuses to seriously  investigate or prosecute electronic vote fraud. 

“If you did it right, no one would ever know,” said Craig C. Donsanto, head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Election Crimes Branch, Public Integrity Section (from 1970-2010) in a July 4,1989 Los Angeles Times article about electronic voting machines and vote fraud. (See DOJ & FBI complicity))At the highest levels, both political parties, the U.S. government, Big Tech, and major news media are well aware of this situation because they are complicit in it. (See Exit Polls) At the very least, election counting should be local and consist of only paper ballots and hand counts at the local polling precincts on election day - no machines, no computers, no absentee, no mail-in, and no emails. See Paper Ballots

For those who cannot make it to the polls on Election Day, designated teams of poll workers together with poll watchers should visit places such as nursing homes in order to conduct onsite elections and deliver those ballots to the local polling station to be counted on that day, Election Day, maintaining transparency and chain-of-custody requirements.  Similarly, polls could be set up at embassies, consulates, and military bases for citizens living overseas. And for those who don’t believe we can get enough people to count ballots, election officials have every right to draft citizens into service, as is done with jury duty. Hand counting isn’t rocket science. Other countries around the world do it for their elections.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: (Some of the information below is NOT up-to-date)

  1. Don't some voters need these machines, such as non-English language voters and disabled voters?  No.  Voters who want a ballot in their own language should be able to order such a ballot in advance of any election.  Secondly, voting machines present the same violation of voting rights for disabled voters.  And contrary to popular belief, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) does not require election officials to purchase electronic voting machines.  Besides, anecdotal evidence suggests that these machines are difficult for the disabled to use.  Election officials and voting machine companies admit that it takes the sight-impaired voters ten times longer to use a touchscreen machine than able-bodied voters.  However, there is a way for the sight-impaired to vote privately and independently.  They can use tactile paper ballot with audio assistance.  Tactile ballots are used around the world and in some states such as Rhode Island.  Unfortunately, many disabled voters are unaware of these kinds of ballots.  That may not be an accident.  Two organizations for the blind, The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), are ardent supporters of paperless touchscreen voting machines.  They also have received over $1 million dollars from the voting machine industry, according to news reports.
     

  2. Can you conduct Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) using paper ballots?  First, I do not support IRV or proportional voting because they are unnecessary, complicated, and cannot be easily observed.  But, yes,  Britain, Ireland, and Australia have used paper ballots to conduct Instant Run-Off Voting.  However, some advocates of IRV are aggressively promoting the idea that voting machines are necessary. Regarding proportional voting, it is the wrong answer to the obvious problem presented by "at-large" elections where the winners take all.  Instead, political entities (such as townships) should be divided into voting districts (which many already are), thereby allowing the development of Democratic, Republican, etc. strongholds which could result in more equitable representation.
     

  3. Aren't machines faster than a hand count and isn't that important?  They should be, but often they're not.  Machines breakdown routinely, thereby taking longer to report election results.  In Maryland in the 2004 election, 9% of machines observed by a voting rights group, broke down.  Essentially, a speedy hand count is based on a sufficient number of poll workers per number of registered voters and the length of the ballot.  Canada uses 2 election officials per approximately 500 registered voters.  In addition, election officials don't need to depend on volunteers.  Citizens can be drafted to work at the polls on Election Day, as is done routinely with jury duty.  The right to direct access to a ballot and meaningful public oversight of the process supersedes the perceived convenience of voting machines. 
     

  4. What about states that have really long ballots, including initiatives and referendum?  Most countries keep their ballots brief. The initiative/referendum movement is called Direct Democracy.  However, it is really an end-run around the legislature.  Some activists think this is a good idea, but others disagree.  California's ballot has become a nightmare.  Clearly, those with the money get their issues on the ballot. And consider this.  The initiative/referendum movement allows those who control the voting machines to also control which candidates win and what legislation gets passed. 
     

  5. Aren't voting machines more accurate than a hand count?  There is no way to know. There is no way to test the accuracy of voting machines during the actual voting process on Election Day.  Citizens vote in secret.  The machines count those votes in secret.  If ballot scanners are used, then election officials can run an audit to check accuracy.  But, few states require audits.  Even with an audit, election officials decide where and when the audits occur.  Public participation and oversight is not meaningful. Any test done prior or after an election cannot ensure that during the election the machine did not manipulate votes, either by accident or design.  The accuracy of voting machines is often correlated with the number of overvotes and undervotes it records.  One could have nothing to do with the other.  There is no way to know the intention of the voter, or if a voting machine is filling in votes that the voter deliberately left blank. Although a lever and touchscreen machine can prevent overvotes, all in all, "The difference between the best performing and worst performing technologies is as much as 2 percent of ballots cast. Surprisingly, paper ballots—the oldest technology—show the best performance." This is the finding of two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) political science professors, Dr. Stephen Ansolabehere and Dr. Charles Stewart III, in a September 25, 2002 study entitled, Voting Technology and Uncounted Votes in the United States.
     

  6. Which is more expensive, voting by machine or paper?  For legitimate elections, expense can never be a consideration.  That said, paper is cheap and requires no special servicing, storage, or trained personnel, while a single voting machines can cost thousands of dollars and require servicing, storage, and trained personnel.  Furthermore, election officials never need to rely on volunteers to staff the polls.  Citizens can always be drafted as they are for jury duty, at little or no cost to the tax payer. 
     

  7.  If someone wins by a large enough margin, isn't that a sign that the election wasn't rigged?  No. It only stands to reason that if someone is going to rig an election, it will be done by a sufficient number of votes to avoid triggering a recount. Otherwise, this could happen: In August of 2002, in Clay county Kansas, Jerry Mayo lost a close race for county commissioner, garnering 48% of the vote, but a hand recount revealed May won by a landslide, earning 76% of the vote.
     

  8. If the voting machines are being used at my polling precinct, is it better to vote by absentee?   Most absentee ballots are not counted by hand, but instead scanned by computers. The same corporations that dominate the touchscreen market, also control the ballot scanners.  In addition, some counties, like King County Washington, have even outsourced the mailing of their absentee ballots to private industry. 
     

  9. Doesn't the federal government regulate the voting machine industry?  No. There is no federal agency charged with regulatory oversight of the elections industry. There are no restrictions on who can count our votes. Anyone from anywhere can count our votes.
     

  10. Can a voting machine company be owned by foreigners and run by felons? (This information may be out of date) Yes. Sequoia is the third largest voting machine company in America and was or is owned by a British-based company, De La Rue. Diebold is the second largest voting machine company in the country. It counts about 35% of all votes in America.  Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as senior managers and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states. Jeff Dean, Diebold's Senior Vice-President and senior programmer on Diebold's central compiler code, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree. Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years. see: fraud & irregularities
     

  11. Isn't that a threat to national security? Yes.
     

  12. What was the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) all about? It established the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to distribute billions of dollars to the states to upgrade their voting systems, but failed to mandate any meaningful standards.  http://www.eac.gov/law_ext.asp 
     

  13. Doesn't the federal government certify the voting machines?  No. The federal government has a loose set of technical guidelines for voting machines that are voluntary and may be actually harmful.  The Federal Voting Systems Standards (FVSS) used by the three NASED's approved Independent Test Authorities (ITA) to "certify" companies are outmoded guidelines and voluntary, and not all states have adopted them.  According to industry observers, the FVSS guidelines allow one in ten machines to fail.  There is no enforcement of these guidelines, such as they are. 
     

  14. Who, then, certifies the nation's voting machines? (This information may be out of date) The FEC coordinates with the industry-funded National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), a private non-profit group, to have machines inspected certified by industry-funded private contractors.  NASED selects and approves the testing laboratories. Only prototypes of the machines and software are available for a very superficial inspection.  The inspection is conducted by three private companies who are not themselves subject to any regulation.  Technical Issues & Standards  "An unelected person named R. Doug Lewis runs a private non-profit organization called "The Electio

17. But, wouldn't it take a vast number of people to rig an election?  Not with today's technology.  One programmer working at either ES&S or Diebold could write code that could manipulate votes across the country.  If a voting machine has computer components, it can be rigged or accessed through the firmware, software, wireless, modem, telephone, and simple electricity.  Main tabulating computers can be rigged in a similar fashion. Lever voting machine are also easily rigged, although it would be more labor intensive. Still, anyone with the keys to the county warehouse where the machines are stored could rig the machines. Labels can be switched, gears shaved, odometers preset, or printouts preprinted.

18. Can't we detect vote fraud through exit polls?  Exit polling is conducted by one organization that is hired by the major news networks and the Associated Press.  Since they first started "projecting" election night winners in 1964, the major news networks have never provided any 'hard' evidence that they actually conducted any exit polls, at all.  The late authors of the book, VoteScam: The Stealing of America, concluded that some of the major news networks, including the polling organization that they hire for election night reporting, have been complicit in vote fraud. see: exit polls

19. If someone wins by a large enough margin, isn't that a sign that the election wasn't rigged?  No. It only stands to reason that if someone is going to rig an election, it will be done by a sufficient number of votes to avoid triggering a recount. Otherwise, this could happen: In August of 2002, in Clay county Kansas, Jerry Mayo lost a close race for county commissioner, garnering 48% of the vote, but a hand recount revealed May won by a landslide, earning 76% of the vote. http://www.ecotalk.org/BevHarrisBook2.pdf (page 45)

20. Aren't you just a conspiracy theorist?  No. I'm a conspiracy expert. Election officials have outsourced and privatized a uniquely public function. Corporations have gained total control over the process of voting. Corporations also control the process of reporting exit polls.   Both processes are completely non-transparent. 


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