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[liberationtech] My article, as promised. Has a lot about e-voting machines and hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections
sheilaruthparks at comcast.net
Wed Apr 27 17:31:48 PDT 2011
>Original Content at
>April 27, 2011
>Down the Rabbit Hole With Democracy and Three Urgent Pleas
>By Sheila Parks, Ed.D.
>Democracy. Who used to have it in the USA, and who has it now?
>People with white skin privilege? People who were born
>male? People with piles of money, much of it stolen from other people's labor?
>I often hear European Americans from all walks of life talking about
>democracy in the USA - how they want to reclaim it, like in the good
>old days - and I wonder about how differently from one another we
>experience this country. This is not our land; not my land nor your
>land. When European Americans arrived over 500 years ago, we
>murdered with bullets and small pox blankets - that we intentionally
>gave to them - the Indigenous people who had lived in balance here
>for thousands of years. Then we enslaved people of African descent
>to build the country's wealth, and kept women - who did not even get
>the vote until 1920 - second class citizens and the property of men
>for even longer.
>The United States government is not a shining light. We never have
>been, and we are not now. While it was never really good for too
>many people, what has changed here in the USA is that it has gotten
>worse, not better. Our own elections system is now a
>corporate-controlled charade, with big money pulling all the strings
>and using electronic voting machines to rig the elections. And as we
>pretend to spread "democracy" all over the world, what we are really
>spreading is a devastating complex of illegal, immoral wars, both
>here and abroad.
>When our children and grandchildren ask me what I am doing in this
>crucial time to stop our government from murdering people at home
>and abroad, I want to be able to tell them that I am doing
>everything I possibly can to get democracy in this country for all
>the people, for the first time ever, and to end these brutal
>behaviors everywhere. Don't you?
>Clicking and sending emails and online petitions against the myriad,
>devastating problems facing us now is fine as far as it goes. But
>half-measures avail us nothing. Pleading with the people who make
>and then carry out the murderous policies of the USA government is
>time wasting at best and ridiculous at worst. Yes, we did get to
>keep some funding for Planned Parenthood, through an Amazonian effort.
>We here in the USA need to follow and emulate the examples of the
>people in Tunisia, Egypt and Wisconsin. The people of Tunisia and
>Egypt non-violently resisted immoral and murderous governments, and
>they won. Tunisia has ruled that there must be
>numbers of women and men who are candidates in their upcoming July
>election. Egypt is still in process and we look especially to what
>they do about
>rights. Juan Cole and Shahin Cole have written a wonderful
>Arab Spring for Women".
>During the Mubarak reign of terror, Egypt used to count its ballots
>by hand, a close Egyptian friend has told me. Everyone knew those
>elections were rigged, she added. That means that when we suggest to
>the Egyptian people that they continue to hand-count their votes
>now, but with very different protocols, to safeguard the counting
>and election, we have a different job ahead of us from demanding
>that here in the USA we hand-count all the ballots.
>The Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, wrote
>recently about helping Tunisia with "free and fair elections." Part
>of OSCE's mandate is fair elections. The OSCE site has this
>final report summary on the 2004 USA presidential election that they
>were invited to observe; OSCE thought the election was fine. The
>assistance of OSCE for Tunisia might not be so helpful.
>Wisconsin must continue the magnificent uprising it has begun
>against the corrupt politicians who are attacking unions, the middle
>class, and women's rights.
>However, Wisconsonites, please take heed: Doing recalls on hackable
>electronic voting machines, the same machines that put in office
>those you are trying now to recall, is not such a good strategy (see
>more below). I have been involved in the current wave of Voting
>Rights since the 2000 presidential election in Florida. I have
>observed two hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) recounts in real
>time. I have also observed several HCPB elections in real time, and
>have written about these elections and other voting rights
>issues. These papers can be found on the web site of the non-profit
>organization I founded <http://handcountedpaperballots.org/>Center
>for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots. The site has much information on it
>about the hacking of the machines by researchers and computer
>experts, documents in favor of hand-counted paper ballots elections,
>and other related topics.
>FIRST URGENT PLEA : We here in the USA must non-violently resist our
>immoral and murderous government: with direct action, civil
>disobedience, civil resistance.
>Immoral wars abroad against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and
>supporting Israel in its wars against Gaza.
>Immoral war at home against women and our bodies. Some still think
>that other issues need all our attention now and these are "only"
>women's rights that we can attend to after all the other important
>rights are fixed. The savage attempted and successful attacks on
>women's bodies by governors and both national and local legislatures
>feel like rabid dogs relentlessly biting us. Do you read
>Feministing, Angry Black Woman, Feministe, Ms.?
>Immoral war at home against people of color. More African Americans
>are in prison now in the USA than there were in South Africa during
>all of Apartheid. See Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass
>Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. (1) Ask any of these
>inmates languishing in our vast prison complex - mostly on
>non-violent drug charges - how democracy works for them. Have you
>read Charles Ogletree, The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry
>Louis Gates, Jr. And Race, Class and Crime in America? Ogletree
>includes stories of 100 African American men and shows how "race
>trumps class". (2) Do you know that our prisons are now
>increasingly privatized, and that Dick Cheney is one of those making
>so much money on them?
>Immoral war against Native Americans. Trapped on reservations
>plagued with poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse and record levels of
>suicide; Leonard Peltier has been languishing in prison since 1977,
>with a release date of perhaps 2040.
>the Bill of Rights failed....Choke on your blue white and scarlet
>hypocrisy...." sings Buffy Sainte-Marie in My Country "Tis Of Thy
>People You're Dying.
>Immoral nuclear power plants. Building more of them is still on
>Obama's agenda, even after Fukushima, now called worse then
>Chernobyl, despite the corporate media whiteout of the radiation now
>contaminating the water, soil and air across the globe. Do you know
>that Exelon, major nuclear power plant operator, was one of the
>highest contributors to Obama, both in Illinois when he was Senator
>and when he ran for the White House? Do you know that
>Representative Edward Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts, a high
>ranking and supposedly good player about nuclear power plants, has
>asking for new, better and safer nuclear power plants, rather than
>no more nukes, no more weapons of mass destruction?
>Immoral war against the climate and the planet itself. As the
>climate crisis reaches its tipping point, the corporate government
>hides its ostrich head in the sand while cutting back on investment
>in sustainable, renewable energy, like sun and wind power.
>Immoral war against LGBT people. Many suicides by LGBT youth and
>attacks and murders of LGBT people shine a bright light on the
>homophobia and heterosexism of our society. LGBT people still cannot
>marry in most states and the armed forces saga continues. There has
>never been enough money spent for AIDS research.
>Immoral war against whistleblower
><http://couragetoresist.org/>Bradley Manning. After months of
>torture at Quantico, he is finally being moved to Leavenworth, a
>medium security prison. The army says the move had nothing to do
>pressure. Clicking and sending helped here.
>Immoral war against our food supply with Genetically Modified
>Organisms (GMO's) that are not even labeled. We have a right to
>know exactly what is in the food we eat. GMO's have known
> risks, "including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging,
>faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the
>gastrointestinal system." GMO's are also dangerous to the
>environment. "Up to 90% of U.S. soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, and
>sugar beets are now genetically engineered and routinely inserted
>into human and animal foods with no labels or safety testing." See
>Consumers Association, Millions Against Monsanto and
>Genetic Responsibility GMO Basics. And the latest crime against us:
>now moves to let Monsanto do its own studies. Eat organic.
>Immoral wars against most of its people. Now the government is at
>war with most of its people in all ways, except the ultra rich.
>If I have left out your favorite screams and/or weeps, I apologize
>in advance. These are mine; I could have gone on and on.
>SECOND URGENT PLEA: Please pay attention to those of us who
>educate, write, investigate, litigate, legislate and talk about the
>rigging of our elections by all electronic voting machines.
>The putsch with electronic voting machines is a more devious way of
>murdering us. There are two major kinds of electronic voting
>machines: Direct Recording Electronic (DRE's / Touchscreens) and
>optical scan (op scans or opti scans) voting machines. My friend and
>colleague, Lucius Chiaraviglio, has most aptly renamed then "op
>scams." All computer systems can be manipulated without detection,
>and so amount to an illegal, hidden ballot count. Do you know that
>our elections are owned and operated by a privatized voting machine industry?
>in Wisconsin now for the Supreme Court election has once again put
>vote counting and our elections in the spotlight. My friend and
>colleague, Victoria Collier, has published a significant paper on
>the subject at <http://www.votescam.org/>www.votescam.org. (Again,
>see below for more information.)
>Rigging, tinkering with or manipulating elections is a bi-partisan
>equal opportunity. Republicans and Democrats are involved:
>- Florida, 2000. Kathleen Harris, Secretary of State, with strong
>ties to the Republican party. See The Brooks Brothers Riot, where
>paid Republican operatives, pretending to be ordinary voters,
><http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji_k0iORUZg;>tried to stop the
>recount in Florida.
>- Florida, 2000. See David Barstow and Don Van Nata, Jr.,
>Bush Took Florida: Mining the Overseas Absentee Vote. (3)
>- Georgia, 2002. Paraplegic liberal and popular Democratic Senator
>Max Cleland loses in an "upset victory" to conservative Republican
>Saxby Chambliss, as reported by Bev Harris in
><http://www.blackboxvoting.org/>Black Box Voting, noting that there
>were six Georgia contests in which Republicans
>- Ohio, 2004. Kenneth Blackwell, Secretary of State, with strong
>ties to the Republican Party, promises to deliver Ohio to Bush. See
>John Conyers, What Went Wrong in Ohio. (4) Conyers argues that many
>of the problems in Ohio involved Blackwell taking a major role in
>misconduct and illegal behavior."
>- Wisconsin, 2011. The election for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme
>Court was won by Republican incumbent Justice David Prosser by 7,316
>votes. The difference is small enough between Prosser and challenger
>JoAnne Kloppenburg, to allow a recount. On April 19, 2011, the
>who lost, asked for a
>recount. She asked for a hand-count of ballots only in some
>districts, to be determined by working with the Government
>Accountability Board (G.A.B.) Brad Blog has noted that
>protocol in Wisconsin allows only for a recount by the same machines
>that were used in the election, unless there is a court order for a
>hand-counted recount. Because some of the jurisdictions would have
>required erasing the memory cards from the election in order to make
>room for the data from the recount, Dane County Circuit Judge
>Richard Niess ordered a hand-recount in
>counties, including another 14 municipalities in Milwaukee County
>and 34 municipalities in Waukesha County. Both Prosser and
>Kloppenburg went along with this.
>an interesting description of what the recount will look like. From
>Voting News, there is more information about the Wisconsin Recount,
>and <http://www.startribune.com/local/120615709.html>here. Recount
>begins 4/27, 9AM.
>A huge standing ovation to Kloppenburg for her courage, for standing
>strong and for her refusal to cede and cave a la Gore, Kerry, and
>Coakley in Massachusetts. And some possible perils: By now there is
>no secure chain of custody of the ballots and ballot boxes (if there
>ever was one) and that will present very serious problems for an
>honest recount. Not only must she do a statewide recount, but also
>she must use the same methods for the recount across the whole state
>(which is not going to happen, alas), or she could perhaps be in the
>same fix as Al Gore was in Florida, 2000. See
><http://supreme.justia.com/us/531/98/case.html>Bush, et al. vs.
>Gore, et al. (5) and
>Lehto, J.D. on Bush v. Gore . And the entire recount must be done
>by hand, (which both sides have already agreed not to do, another
>alas), or else the ballots will be passed through the same op scan
>machines that were used the first time and could have been rigged
>then, and could be rigged in the recount. Then there are the DRE's
>that cannot be recounted, just the same results printed again from
>the same machines. I hope she will have her team take pictures of
>each and every ballot, whether recounted by hand or op scans. Of
>course there are no ballots for the DRE's, so there can be no
>pictures. You can send an email to the Kloppenburg Campaign:
>Campaign at Kloppenburg for justice dot com. From Voting News, more
>information about the Wisconsin recount here and here.
>- Why did Al Gore not protest the Supreme Court appointment of
>George W. Bush as the next president? As he rolled over without a
>stated, ""And tonight, for the sake of our unity of the people and
>the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession".". What unity?
>What democracy? With an appointment to the presidency in a political
>vote by the Supreme Court of the United States? See also Jeffrey
>Toobin, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. (6)
>- Why did Obama, in his
>speech in Chicago, proudly talk about the elder woman, a former
>slave of African descent, who put her finger out and touched the
>screen for his name? He knew the dangers thereof; he has been
>contacted by scores of voting rights activists, as has Clinton, et
>al. "".And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a
>screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America,
>through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how
>America can change"."
>- Was Obama'a statement a prelude to Hillary Clinton
>India to help newly born Egypt with its elections? India uses
>paperless Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the worst possible
>technology, though an
>Commission is now calling for a "paper trail of votes cast."
>THIRD URGENT PLEA: We need secure hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB)
>That each of our votes is counted as cast is the bedrock of
>democracy. Voting rights are the rights that all our other rights
>stand on. We need more organizations to take a stand for totally
>transparent, secure hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections,
>where we are not asked to "trust" the results.
><http://www.handcountedpaperballots.org/>At The Center For
>Hand-Counted Paper Ballots, you can learn how several jurisdictions
>in the United States
>their votes. These are observations I made in real time of
>hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections. Scroll especially down
>to Acton, Maine. This could be a model for the whole country.
><http://voterescue.org/>Vote Rescue, in Texas, founded by Vickie
>Karp and Karen Renick, is the only other organization dedicated
>solely to hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections, with no fall
>back position or compromise they are willing to make for political motives.
>The following are some necessary elements of secure hand-counted
>paper ballots (HCPB) elections:
>- Hand-counting is done for all races and initiatives, not only federal.
>- The hand-counting process will be easily understood by a fifth
>- No precinct is larger than 1000 registered voters.
>- Hand-counting is done at each precinct, immediately after the polls close.
>- Poll books of voters checking in and poll books of voters checking
>out must exactly match.
>- Get rid of all e-poll books.
>- The number of ballots counted must exactly match the number of
>ballots distributed. .
>- The number of ballots printed must match the number of ballots
>distributed, voted, and not voted
>- No absentee ballots will be allowed, except for people in dire
>need and these ballots must be accounted for, managed, and counted
>in a procedure that is yet to be written.
>- Hand-counting is done by teams of opposing parties on the ballot, chosen by
>the parties themselves.
>- Other smaller parties can also be on hand-counting teams, in
>addition to those opposing parties on the ballots - e.g. Greens.
>- Hand-counting is done by new people coming in to count, not those
>who have been working at the polls all day.
>- Hand-counters are paid a very good hourly rate. This not only pays
>for one of the most important jobs in a democracy, but also keeps
>the money in the community and is far less expensive than buying,
>maintaining, upgrading and storing electronic voting machines.
>- Hand-counting is done in full view of the public.
>-Hand-counting is done twice and the results must match.
>- Hand-counting is videotaped by any member of the public who want
>to do so, while it is being done and also by official
>videographers, one from each opposing parties on the ballot.
>- Hand-counting results are posted at the precinct, in the windows,
>after the counting
>so that all can see easily after polls close.
>- No electronic voting machines, computers, or modems of any kind
>are allowed in any part of the hand-count with one exception.
>- The exception is that one electronic voting machine will be
>allowed in each precinct, e.g. an Automark, for people with
>disabilities to use. Under no circumstances whatsoever will any
>other voters be allowed to use this especially designated machine.
>- The hand-count, which has been done twice, will be the official
>count of the election from each precinct.
>- This section on chain of custody and security of the ballots and
>ballot boxes is a work in progress.
>- Ballot and Ballot Box Transportation & Ballot Storage (last two
>sections) by <http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/voting/paper.html>Doug
>Jones gives many details of how to secure the ballots and their boxes
>- See more details of security of ballots and their boxes by
>Parks. Scroll down to third paragraph from the end
>- Ballot boxes will be of clear plastic with a lock on each of the
>four corners. These boxes will be kept in full view of the election
>officials and the public at all times, from before the official
>opening time of the polls until the official election results are
>posted in the windows of each precinct.
>- The locks on the ballot boxes will have two keys only, that is,
>one key will open two of the locks and another key will open the
>other two locks.
>- There will be only one key for each of the two keys above. There
>will be no copies of keys.
>- A Republican election official will hold one key and a Democrat
>election official will hold the other key.
>- The ballot boxes will not be opened until all votes have been cast
>and the polls are
>- The ballot boxes will be opened in full view of the public.
>- After the votes are hand-counted, the ballots will be placed in
>steel containers with seals on them.
>- A secure chain of custody for the ballots and ballot boxes must be
>written from the precinct level to where they will be stored.
>Furthermore, there are several problems with our voting process, not
>only that our votes are not counted as cast, because of the fraud
>and error associated with all electronic voting machines, but also,
>that even if these problems were all fixed, the electronic voting
>machines would continue to rig our elections. And even if we had
>secure hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections, the problems
>listed below would still exist. Our voting system is a hydra-headed
>weapon of mass destruction:
>- Suppression of the votes of students, low income people, African
>Americans, Latinas, elders.
>- A whiteout of the news from any candidates the corporate media
>does not want to be elected.
>- A whiteout of the news from the corporate media of any of the
>fraud and rigging that voting rights activists have been pointing
>out and writing about at least since Florida 2000 presidential race.
>- Corrupt election officials who run our elections and have strong
>past and present ties to the right wing of the Republican Party.
>- Corrupt and/or incompetent voting election officials from both
>Democratic and Republican parties, and most likely all the other parties too.
>- Endless corporate money into coffers of candidates.
>- Requiring of voter ID photos, which are issued only by the state,
>e.g., Department of Motor Vehicles, in order to vote.
>- Absentee ballots, with both parties increasingly calling for more.
>- Mail-in voting
>- The election of two senators from each state means, e.g., that the
>voters in North Dakota and Vermont have an influence that is hugely
>disproportionate to voters in California.
>April 15, 2011, as the House passed the brutal
>Budget Resolution on Friday, April "".During the debate, nine
>protesters were removed from the House gallery. Sitting in various
>parts of the visitors' chambers, the protesters, mostly young men
>and women, would stand up one-by-one and ad lib lyrics to the "Star
>Spangled Banner" and "We Shall Overcome"."
>April 21, 2011 at a breakfast with Obama, some of his donors sang a
>song to him about Bradley Manning, before they were ushered out.
>April 2011. The arrest of young, pregnant women and young mothers,
>students at Catherine Ferguson School in Detroit, Michigan. The
>students and one teacher were arrested for protesting the closing of
>their school, as they were sitting in the library and refusing to
>leave the building. The police were not gentle. The direct action
>takes part toward the end of the whole segment, but the entire
>video, by Rachel Maddow, is well worth watching.
>April 27, 2011 at Hancock Air Base near Syracuse, NY,
>arrested as they protest use of Drones.
>Imagine if we were to go to all the legislatures, local and
>national, all events where officials gather, and wherever there is
>injustice - and let the gangsters and mobsters there who are robbing
>and murdering not only us, but also at least seven generations after
>us, know that we are there not only watching them but also resisting
>in real time. We must heal our country and our beloved and
>beautiful planet Earth.
>1 The New Press, New York and London, 2010.
>2 Palgrave MacMillan, 2010.
>3 The New York Times, pp. A1, A17, A18, July 15, 2001.
>4 What Went Wrong in Ohio: The Conyers Report on the 2004
>Presidential Election. Paper. Academy Chicago Publishers.
>5 531 U.S. 98 (2000).
>6 Anchor Books, A Division of Random House, Inc., New York, paper,
>2008. Prologue, pp 1-9; PART TWO, Chapters 11, 12, 13, pp. 165-208.
>Sheila Parks, Ed.D.
>Founder, Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots
>Thanks to Bev Harris, Jean Weber, Lucius Chiaraviglio, Marguerite
>Rosenthal, Michael Collins, Paul Lehto, Victoria Collier.
>The author is totally responsible for the text as well as any errors in it.
>This article may be reproduced in whole or part with attribution of
>authorship and a link to this article. Copyright April 27, 2011, Sheila Parks.
>Author's Website: http://www.handcountedpaperballots.org
>Author's Bio: Sheila Parks, Ed.D.,is the Founder of the Center for
>Hand-Counted Paper Ballots. Parks is a researcher, writer, and
>fundraiser who lives in Belmont, MA. She is a long time feminist and
>peace & justice activist/organizer on many issues and has been
>involved in the current wave of voting rights for a very long time.
>She is an advocate for hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) now.
Sheila Parks, Ed.D.
Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots
Belmont, MA 02478
DEMOCRACY IN OUR HANDS
sheila at handcountedpaperballots.org
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