Activism

Voting Machine Digital Ballot Images Could Let Public Recount Elections, But Many Locales Aren't Saving or Sharing This Data

Publicly verified elections are key to de-corrupting our democracy.

Photo Credit: www.google.com/search

In an “ah ha” moment, election integrity investigators realized that 40 percent of the voting machines presently in use have the built-in ability to transparently verify reported election results RIGHT NOW!

The machines that used to count hand-marked paper ballots are rapidly being replaced with technology that uses digital imagery to count scanned ballot images.  At the current rate, by the next presidential election, approximately 85 percent of the country will generate scanned ballot images.

These new digital systems scan paper ballots and create exact copies; enable trackability through each link of the chain-of-custody, reconcile ballots by precinct, and empower anyone to audit and verify election results.  

IMAGINE – We the People will be able to download ballot images by precinct, program an application and verify election results on a computer or print the ballots and hand count them if we want!

Our esteemed colleague Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting explains “The Brakey Method that puts the brakes on mystery elections once and for all.  A simple 3-step method places public elections back under public control.”

  1. Preserve and make public the “ballot images” — Modern voting systems take a picture of every ballot, called a “ballot image.”
  2. Peg the ballot image to the paper ballot using a unique ID number not connected to any voter identifier in any way, thereby maintaining voter anonymity and the “secret ballot.”
  3. Make sure ballots are a public record so that any person can arrange to inspect the actual ballots at any time.

If fully implemented, this new system can eliminate the opportunity to manipulate or change the outcome of elections with impunity—that is, zero risk of detection—that has bedeviled the old “mark sense” system.  

The bad news: The forces of Status Quo are suppressing this information, destroying the ballot images or releasing image debris instead of images in the audit-able format built into the ES&S DS series and other systems.

We know from our most recent Arizona lawsuit that the court properly recognized that images are part of the chain-of-custody, when Superior Court Judge Gordon asked the attorney for Pima County, “If you take voted ballots, take a photo copy of them and use those copies to count votes, what makes you think that you can destroy them?”  He then ruled from the bench that the images must be protected.

Hackers Can Change Vote Totals, But Not Every Ballot Image

We’ve discovered that “Fraction Magic,” uncovered by BlackBoxVoting can only change the vote tally numbers. It cannot change a complex hard copy, hand-marked paper ballot pegged to its corresponding scanned ballot image. When fully implemented, the ballot images and the audit features of these new voting machines can prevent fraudulent practices, including via fractionalized voting and other malicious programming. Link to paper: //tinyurl.com/ya62xet2

Even so-called “Logic and Accuracy tests” done before or after an election begins are subject to programmable overrides. Auditor Mickey Duniho, a master programmer retired after 37 years with the National Security Agency (NSA), testified in court: “[A] L & A test only shows that the machines are working right at that moment."

The security of electronic data can no longer be taken for granted in an age when Volkswagen,“…deliberately programmed 600,000 diesel cars distributed in the U.S. to deceive users – programming them to turn on pollution controls WHILE BEING TESTED and then turning off when on the road.”

Our goal is simple. We want elections that are transparent, trackable and publicly verified NOW! This can be done without passing any new laws.

Our linked document delivers a road map that shows in detail what activists can do to accomplish these goals in a short timeframe. We explain the problems, the equipment and the technology and offer a relatively simple solution that can be done before the next big election.  

Working together with small groups of concerned citizens and on-call experts, we can fix the problems of unreliable elections QUICKLY. Election integrity activists throughout the country could follow the AUDIT-AZ plan to force election officials to make scanned ballot images public records available to the public for auditing.

Some of these legal actions can be financially costly. To keep costs manageable, close collaboration with experts is necessary to develop cases that are simple and on point.  In many states, when activists prevail in a Mandamus Suit, the defendant (election officials and government agencies) must pay plaintiff’s costs and attorney’s fees.

Our job must be to investigate, educate and litigate by utilizing special legal actions that move fast. We have a plan. We’re doing it in Arizona and you can too. (Please study our paper).

The movement for election transparency is NOW!  It needs people who believe in what Margaret Mead said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  

For our democracy to recover, We the People must understand and address these three major issues: Election Fraud, Voter Suppression, and (hopefully, by 2020 if we prevail in these lawsuits in court, we will have won enough seats to take it on legislatively) the very serious problem of Gerrymandering.

Our paper goes into detail by giving a view of the problems and how we can take away the impunity of the Black Box to cheat by making it into a transparent box!

Be the “WE” with AUDIT-AZ, BlackBoxVoting.org, Election Defense Alliance (EDA), Trustvote.org, RecountNow.org and Clean Count Cook County (Chicago).

Join the movement and learn how we can restore public sovereignty by making our elections Publicly Verified.

(For more information on AUDIT-AZ and our work go to: //electionnightmares.com/  or contact [email protected] or [email protected])

John Brakey is a longtime election transparency activist from Arizona who has specialized in electronic voting machine security and hacking issues for nearly two decades. His group, AUDIT AZ, has filed numerous lawsuits that have challenged reported election results and shown breakdowns in verifying the vote. 

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