This page contains links to key scientific studies on the vulnerability of electronic voting systems, as well as several films, books and personally written articles on the fraud of US elections. After over three years of solid research and investigations, I must agree with the conclusion that there is no rational basis to trust reported election results.
As part of the team that investigated the 2004 presidential election results in Ohio, we discovered so many anomalies as to reveal the complete fraud of Ohio’s election. Some of my own research and investigation is reproduced and/or incorporated in three books and in at least two special reports:
- Richard Hayes Phillips. Witness to a Crime: A Citizens’ Audit of an American Election, Rome, New York: Canterbury Press, 2008;
- Robert Fitrakis, Steven Rosenfeld, and Harvey Wasserman. What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election. Columbus, Ohio: Columbus Institute of Contemporary Journalism (CICJ), 2006;
- Fitrakis, Wasserman, and Rosenfeld. Did George W. Bush Steal America’s 2004 Election? Ohio’s Essential Documents. CICJ, 2005;
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Was the 2004 Election Stolen? Rolling Stones Magazine, June 2006; and
- Election Assessment Hearing, Preliminary Report of Findings: Voice of Election Customer Summaries, Sept. 2005.
That election was mostly run on punch card ballots, but some counties used optical scan systems and others used DREs – direct recording electronic machines (also known as touchscreen systems), all of which were counted by electronic software. As easy as it is to defraud an election with punch cards or even paper ballots, it can only be done at the precinct level. Now that 95% of US elections are run completely on electronic voting systems, entire states can be defrauded with a single line of fraudulent code.
Some highlights of that investigation include:
- 25 million votes for George Bush in a precinct with only 800-some registered voters;
- 4,258 votes for Bush in a precinct where only 638 votes were cast;
- Machine shortages in heavily-Democrat precincts; and
- Numerous reports of “vote switching” where a voter selected John Kerry and the machine registered Bush.
For a fully-sourced, detailed list, see Catalog of 2004 Election Anomalies in Ohio, which I prepared and submitted to the 2005 national Election Assessment Hearing (cited above).
My research into US elections has convinced me that the only valid elections are those using paper ballots, hand counted at the precinct on election night, by those who live and vote in that precinct, before all who wish to observe. We successfully ran four parallel elections this way in Ohio. A team of 8 people was able to complete the count and audit the results within 5 hours after the close of polls.
The federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 granted $3.65 billion to states for the purchase of easily hacked electronic voting systems. Several dozen research teams studied these machines for security and accuracy and found all of them lacking. Despite this, every state has since purchased those machines, making every election run on them a mere charade in democracy.
Because of this apparent corruption, and coupled with laws and judicial rulings that allow corporations to donate to political campaigns as if they are persons, US elections have been rendered meaningless. There is no rational basis to trust reported election results. For these reasons, after a lifetime of voting, I now boycott US elections and encourage others to do the same. To vote on a corruptible voting machine is to vote for it, just as voting in a corrupt system is voting for it. When enough Americans boycott fraudulent elections, and run their own parallel elections, democracy has a chance to re-emerge.
To make it easier to find past articles (which remain relevant for as long as we have computerized voting systems), I’ve segregated these pieces into categories:
Technology News & Reports
Courts and Electoral Management Bodies
Elections & Campaigns
Countering the Propaganda
Election Films & Books
Heroes, Voters & Parallel Elections
Jokes, Chants, Parodies & Flyers
Technology News & Reports
Sequoia’s Sinking Ship
September 23, 2008
“Right now, there is not a single voting system on the market or in use anywhere in the country that meets current federal voting standards, and very few people realize it.” ~ Douglas Kellner, New York State Board of Elections Commissioner.
‘Fatally Flawed’ Systems Await Voters: ‘Drastic Change Needed’
September 9, 2008
The Computer Security Group at the University of California, Santa Barbara has issued a new report and video. “All voting systems recently analyzed by independent security testers have been found to contain fatal security flaws. There is need for drastic change. The very core of our democracy is in danger.”
SysTest Labs under Fire for Shoddy Methods & Collusion with Vendors
August 15, 2008
SysTest Labs, one of four federal testing labs responsible for certifying our nation’s voting systems, is under investigation for failing to document or validate its test methods. Accused of using unqualified personnel, it also may be colluding with vendors to “ensure certification.” SysTest denies any wrongdoing.
Ballot Stuffing Holes, Illegal USB Ports Add to Sequoia Dominion Voting System Flaws
August 12, 2008
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Whistleblower exposes ballot-stuffing hole in new $12,000 optical scan voting system. The slotted hole will allow anyone to stuff ballots directly into the locked ballot box. It also comes illegally equipped with USB ports that facilitate network, internet and wireless access, contrary to New York election law.
July 2008 Bibliography of Scientific Studies on Software Driven Voting Systems
July 21, 2008
Scientific Studies, Testimony & Comments on Software Driven Voting Systems
NYSTEC Finds NY Voting Machine Tests ‘Quite Good’ Despite Systemic Machine Failure
July 11, 2008
After receiving several complaints that state-certified voting devices failed in local testing, the New York State Board of Elections ordered an independent audit of its acceptance testing process. NYSTEC finds the State’s Acceptance Testing is quite good, but ignores Sequoia’s admission of “systemic failure.” Nassau calls it a “CYA” report.
BREAKING: NY Loves Its Levers as New Systems Fail
July 1, 2008
A cache of documents surrounding NY’s electoral system indicates justified resistance to computerized systems that fail to perform as intended, despite being certified. Some exposes deliberate info-suppression, preventing election officials from acting in the best interest of the public. Lever and legal researchers chime in, to support NY’s resistance to computerized voting systems.
Hackable Voting Machines Hacked in Ohio
March 16, 2008
Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner revealed to the Columbus Dispatch that an investigation into electronic voting machines (ES&S iVotronic), used in Franklin County last fall, found that the machines were tampered with to remove a candidate name from the ballot. Forensic investigators also found that the County failed to test the machines before use, as required by law.
Dec. 2007 Annotated Bibliography of Voting System Reports
This annotation of expert reports on computerized voting systems should be appended to my January 2007 annotation. These two annotations are combined in a PDF at Where’sThePaper.org. A strict bibliography (no annotations) can be found at Re-Media ETC in PDF form. Over three dozen experts and policy makers are cited. The bibliography also includes reports that were once posted on the web, but which have since been removed (Florida and Maryland). Together, these two documents should serve well those who seek to rid the U.S. of secret vote counting, which is anathema to democracy.
Annotated Bibliography of 15 Expert Reports on Electronic Voting Systems
January 18, 2007
Fifteen scientific reports on electronic voting and fair vote counts — summarized and sourced for your reference, and personally submitted to Jennifer Brunner, Ohio Secretary of State.
Overview of 12 Major Expert Studies on Voting Systems
January 3, 2007
12 Expert Reports summarized. This is an initial draft, which was later expanded to include 15 reports.
Diebold Memory Cards Stolen
October 7, 2006
Results from any Diebold machine now suspect for midterm elections. The Associated Press reported yesterday that several memory cards were “lost or stolen” during Cuyahoga County’s May 2006 primary, jeopardizing the November vote count of 48 of Ohio’s 88 counties that use Diebold electronic voting systems or central tabulators.
Catalog of 2004 Election Anomalies in Ohio submitted to a national Election Assessment Hearing
Chart of election incidents in Ohio’s 04 election, by county and by vendor. Published by ElectionAssessment.org in Preliminary Report of Findings: Voice of Election Customer Summaries, and also published in “What Happened in Ohio: A documentary record of theft and fraud in the 2004 election,” by Robert J. Fitrakis, Steven Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, NY: New Press, 2006, 116-123.
Courts & Electoral Management Bodies
Georgia Supreme Court Rules that Unauditable Elections are A-OK
September 28, 2009
Today, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that unauditable voting does not infringe upon the fundamental right to vote and to have that vote counted.
Does the US electoral system HAVA brain?
October 25, 2008
The Help America Vote Act is so flawed it makes the USA PATRIOT Acts look like time-out for ill behaved children. Bipartisanly passed in 2002, HAVA strips U.S. citizens of their right to know their vote is counted as cast. HAVA legalizes secret vote counting on undetectably mutable software. That bears repeating: the software can be changed and no one would know; it cannot be proven because malicious code can erase itself. HAVA took control of US elections out of the hands of election officials and gave sole control to private, for-profit corporations.
Science Friday: Who Controls the Voting Machines?
October 24, 2008
Science Friday interviews William Biamonte, Democratic Commissioner of Elections for Nassau County, New York
AZ Election Official Arrested for Flagging Tampered Ballots: Charged with Criminal Trespass
September 7, 2008
During Saturday’s audit of Pima County (Tuscan) ballots from Arizona’s primary election, official observer John Brakey was forcibly removed by sheriffs when he raised questions about possible ballot tampering. At least seven ballot bags arrived unlocked or lacked proper chain of custody documentation. Elections Director Brad Nelson had Brakey arrested and charged with criminal trespass.
CA Appeals Court Strikes Down Ten Percent Ballot Audit
September 2, 2008
An August 29th ruling by California’s Fourth Appellate District Court bans Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s regulation requiring a 10 percent manual tally of ballots counted by Sequoia, Hart and Premier-Diebold. California will return to a 1% manual audit, as enacted in 1965.
Texas Holdem: Provisionals, Delegates, One-Party Counties Hold Back the Public Will
March 7, 2008
Voting rules, partisan practices and faulty registration databases seem to blame for a series of “anomalies” in the March 4th Texas primary. One county provisionalized most of its voters in both the Republican and Democrat primaries, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s website. The SOS also reports a different number of precincts in 54 counties, depending on which party is voting.
Siegelman’s Iron Mask for Alleging Voting Machine Fraud
December 18, 2007
The questionable prosecution and conviction of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman (D) gains increased attention as this 2004 video interview becomes more widely known in the blogosphere. In it, Siegelman charges election officials with fraud in his 2002 race for Governor in Alabama.
US to NY: You Gotta HAVA Faulty Voting Machine
November 7, 2007
The US Dept. of Justice seeks to force New York to use faulty voting technology, while citizens still clamor for hand counted paper ballots.
Boo Who Vu? San Diego Hires Disgraced Ohio Election Official
April 13, 2007
San Diego County recently hired Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s disgraced elections official,Michael Vu, who resigned under a storm of controversy stemming from the rigged recount in 2004 and a 2006 scientific study condemning Cuyahoga’s elections. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner recently fired the entire Board of Elections.
Seize the Polls
April 6, 2007
Can you feel the anger and relief in Ohio? Hundreds and thousands are still paying attention since the 04 election. That Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner needs to take over an entire Board of Elections – and the biggest one in the state with a million registered voters – responds to our anger. This is responsive government. Cuyahoga County required it.
DREs, magic and other sleights of hand
January 4, 2007
December 2006 Recount-Audit Observations
Franklin County, Ohio
Recount and Signature Audit Observations of Franklin County, Ohio Nov. 7 2006 election. The evidence adduced during post election review of the results demonstrates unequivocally that by reason of stunning violations of Ohio law and complete disregard of mandatory election procedures established by the Ohio Secretary of State and the Ohio General Assembly… [t]he deviations are so pronounced that the results of the election are uncertain.
Meet the New Boss: Jennifer Brunner, Secretary of State
November 23, 2006
Ohio’s next Secretary of State spoke with grassroots activists and party operatives last night, repeating her campaign mantra of “free, fair, open and honest elections.” Jennifer Brunner also promised to “examine the machines.” Examine the machines? We are done examining the machines – the verdict is in.
San Diego suit’s second hearing: Judge to rule next Tuesday on constitutional and jurisdictional questions
August 25, 2006
Congress determined the winner of San Diego County’s June 6 election, three weeks prior to State officials certifying it, and despite that the election violated state and federal laws. Hearing on jurisdiction will determine if contestants have standing to dispute reported results.
PA activists sue over voting machine purchase
January 20, 2006
Three cheers to activist Mary Beth Kuznik, and others, who recently filed suit against a Pennsylvania county (Westmorland) for violating Art. VII, Sec. 6 of the PA Constitution which “requires that the use of voting machines, or other mechanical devices for registering or recording and computing votes shall be used ‘at the option of the electors of such county.”
Elections & Campaigns
Iceland to Install Lesbian Prime Minister Amid Financial Collapse, Toppled Government
January 28, 2009
Iceland’s most beloved political leader, Social Democrat Johanna Sigurdardottir, will become the world’s first openly homosexual prime minister. A minority coalition government of Social Democrats and Left-Greens has replaced the toppled conservative Independence Party, which failed to regulate its banks.
The Blackwell RICO Suit against ACORN
October 14, 2008
The Buckeye Institute, a neoliberal think tank featuring Ohio’s notorious vote suppressor, J. Kenneth Blackwell, today filed a state RICO action against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) on behalf of two Warren County, Ohio voters.
BREAKING: Florida Dems Told to Vote by Phone
October 14, 2008
Adding to a lengthening string of voter suppression tactics, the GOP has now been accused of telling Democrats they can call in their vote for Barack Obama.It will surprise nobody this November when the election outcome is a spoiled mess, riddled with controversy. We can already say the results-–based on the conditions–-are guaranteed to be inconclusive, unknowable and unprovable. We must challenge our industry to refuse to report as fact what cannot be proven and has not been independently verified, particularly when the only source of the information is the government itself.
Livni ‘Wins’ in Israel: 2nd Woman PM
September 19, 2008
Former Mossad agent and current Foreign Minister, 50-year-old Tzipi Livni, stunned pollsters with a claimed victory in Israel’s election yesterday, despite trailing by 10-12 percentage points in the exit polls, reported the UK’s TimesOnline. In a questionable move, Livni requested an extension of polling times due to low turnout, and was granted a half hour. Of about 431,000 ballots cast, Livni reportedly won by 431 votes. Gila Svirsky advises that this represents a fifty percent turnout for the Kadima party.
Obama Advisor’s Firm Spies on McCain, Clinton
March 23, 2008
The CEO of a company whose employee is accused of improperly looking at the passport files of presidential candidates is a consultant to the Barack Obama campaign. The State Department, thru its private contractor, breached the passport records of Obama, Clinton and McCain. Bush Sr. did this to Bill Clinton back in 1992.
Countering the Propaganda
We Do Not Consent: Open Letter To The Media from the Media
October 24, 2008
NYC Elections Board Hires Spin Doctors for $6.5 million
July 29, 2008
Today, the New York City Board of Elections announced its contract with global public relations firm Burson-Marstellar for a $6.5 million campaign to “educate” New York residents about the wholly non securable computerized voting systems NY plans to implement in 2009.
Debunking Pre-Election Testing Myths
July 19, 2008
Debunking myths can be a full time job in the election integrity world. Malware can easily defeat pre-election testing and certification processes: logic and accuracy tests cannot “prove” that software is free of malicious code.
Warning: This Product Is Hazardous to Your Freedom
July 19, 2008
Top shelf, the crème de la crème, the most succinct, in-plain-English, best quotes by computer security experts. Do we really want to vote on this “crap?”
Let’s Clear the Air
July 7, 2008
Optical scanners and DREs operate on undetectably mutable software, depriving New York voters of the accuracy and transparency we have enjoyed for more that a century. No court has ever ruled that the Help America Vote Act requires lever machines be replaced. Now let’s go to court and get a ruling that lever voting machines are HAVA-compliant, so we can continue to enjoy the security and transparency offered by our levers.
Bo Lipari’s Deceit on Voice of the Voters
July 3, 2008
Last night, Bo Lipari hosted Voice of the Voters covering the story I broke about New York’s failed certification process of “modern” voting systems. He used his platform to deceive listeners, providing disinformation that would otherwise bolster his untenable support of software driven voting systems.
Count Every Vote: Sampling v. Full Counts
June 24, 2008
Audit Sampling vs. Full Count Elections. While activists and politicians discuss different audit schemes to check the accuracy of computerized election results, the audit debate obscures the reality that most of the US has stopped reliably counting all the ballots. Whatever percent audited is the only percent of ballots that are reliably counted in the U.S., because repeated scientific studies show that software-driven voting systems provide us with no rational basis to trust reported results.
Sort and Stack Method of Hand Counting Ballots
March 9, 2008
In a single page, complete and concise instructions are provided for hand counting ballots. This method requires the use of a Reconciliation Audit Slip, a sample of which is provided here.
Real Election Madness
February 26, 2008
Serving as one of the Ohio investigators taught me that citizen oversight is the cure to “Election Madness,” a pandemic delusion fiercely held by half the country – that half that still votes. Let’s take our country back, by implementing an election process that models best management practices. This brief handbook offers a skeletal plan on how to do this.
Political Realism vs Negotiating with Our Hands
February 12, 2008
Successful tactics from around the globe inspire adoption into the hand-count elections movement. Rejection of hopeless “realism” – that politicians aren’t considering our demand for hand counts – is but a part of the overall strategy. If citizens expect accurate election results, they must run parallel polls, observe, investigate and video the vote. Power is never given; it must be asserted.
No Centralized Voter Registration Databases
January 30, 2008
Franklin County (OH) Muncipal Court is another in a long line of government organizations that violate citizens’ privacy by exposing personal information on its website. Coupling centralized, computerized voter registration databases with secret vote counting (via machine) is a perfect recipe for tyranny. Stalin must be dancing in his grave over U.S. elections.
Inherent Uncertainty and NH’s Primary Results
January 9, 2008
All the major pollsters, including Hillary’s and Barack’s internal polling, had Obama winning New Hampshire’s presidential primary election. Yet in a surreal recurring nightmare, official results say otherwise. Here is what hand-count advocates are saying.
Papering over OptiScam Problems
January 6, 2008
Reading the 7,800-word New York Times article on voting systems, many will walk away believing optical scans are the best choice for democratic elections. Damn the science. Damn the cost. Damn the loss of transparency and public accountability. The problems inherent in software-driven systems can all be corrected by hand-counting paper ballots at the precinct on election night, before all who wish to observe.
EVEREST Study Was Great but Brunner Recommendations Flawed
December 18, 2009
by Dan Stanton (Rady Ananda contributed to this article.) Because all five of Ohio’s voting systems have critical flaws, Secretary of State Brunner’s recommendations are flawed by keeping them. Instead, hand-counting the ballots, among several other recommendations are detailed.
A People’s Forum: Debating Among Ourselves, First
June 29, 2007
If we agree that “government IS the problem” then why do we bother even talking to them? Why debate them, why respond to them, why acknowledge them? Isn’t it long past time we withdrew our taxes, our vote, our consent? Before we can have a meeting of the minds between social justice activists and elites, we must first have a meeting of the minds among the oppressed. Let’s hear what the US Social Forum reports.
The Guvs Must Be Crazy
May 17, 2007
The problem is this; the guvs do that. Elections belong to the people, but only in theory in the U.S. Civil society has a cure – are we about to assert our inalienable right to govern ourselves? Many writers think the time is now.
Slicing thru a Gordian Knot
March 15, 2007
Let’s slice thru the knotty problem of high-tech voting systems with the sword of simplicity: hand counted paper ballots at the precinct before all who wish to observe.
HCPB Implementation Strategy 2007
January 3, 2007
While machine advocates try to justify electronic voting, even going so far as to add yet another electronic gadget (assuring us this is the magic bullet that will fix all our electronic voting system “glitches”), here’s a less expensive, common sense strategy for 2007.
Unfit for use in ANY democracy
September 20, 2006
Experts across the country, from Princeton to MIT, have found serious security flaws in these electronic voting systems forced on us by HAVA (Help American “Vendors” Act). We citizens were forced to pay private corporations $3.8 billion to privatize our elections. “Privatize” in this case means the vote count is kept secret from public observation. Electronic voting systems are unfit for use in any democracy.
Election Films & Books
The Big One: Stealing America Vote by Vote
October 21, 2008
Stealing America peers into the darkness of U.S. elections with stunning clarity, supported by deep research and significant interviews of several key investigators. More than a film, the entire project encompasses a grassroots call to immediate action.
Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story
September 29, 2008
WARNING: Graphic images included. Released on DVD and now airing on Link TV, “Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story” is the most explosive documentary produced in recent memory, involving murder, espionage, cover-up, electoral cyber fraud and a United States Member of Congress with ties to the Bush Administration.
Michael’s Brilliant Denial: A review of Slacker Uprising
September 24, 2008
This free release chronicles Michael Moore’s 62-city tour in 2004. It is his best effort, his slickest, most exciting, most inspirational film to date. It is not bent on educating us about dark truths. Instead, it’s a rousing musical-speech-video tour aimed at Getting Out The Vote, that’s pathologically silent on electoral cyber theft and Democrat wimplicity.
Election Fraud Books
August 31, 2008
Here’s a list I’ve compiled – mostly focused on software driven elections, but with some choice books covering paper ballot fraud. I strongly recommend the history books, tho – something all American voters should be required to read if they want to involve themselves in honest election administration.
Iron Jawed Angels
June 1, 2008
With a potent title like that, this film had to be worth the watch. As I settled in, to my delight I realized it was about the latter day suffragists (1914-1920). Iron Jawed Angels recreates the tenor and passion of the decade before the 19th Amendment was passed, focusing on the charismatic and radical leader, Alice Paul (Hillary Swank).
Recount: The Mighty vs. the Many
May 26, 2008
How a film about the mighty defeating the many can leave you feeling good and energized can only be ascribed to brilliant writing and direction, coupled with a perfect cast that included Kevin Spacey (Ron Klain) and Laura Dern (Katherine Harris). The film presents in rapid-fire the many ways voters are disenfranchised, and does so with humor and grit. Only one omission: the scientific study proving Gore won Florida.
Sins of Our Fathers: Rebuilding with Ruthless Honesty
July 16, 2007
Ruthless honesty requires us to admit that the founders of this nation, while mouthing egalitarian principles, practiced anything but. If movement leaders hope to rally the masses behind the banner of democracy, they are better advised to quote those who practice what they preach. The spread of corporatism into our elections, and Ted Nace’s fascinating “Gangs of America” provide the backdrop to this discussion.
Occupied Elections: Review of My Country My Country
June 26, 2007
Filmmaker Laura Poitras follows the life of Iraqi activist, Dr. Riyadh, in war torn Baghdad for eight months, culminating in the military operation of the January 30, 2005 election. She films this against the backdrop of a town without water or electricity, of children being imprisoned at Abu Ghraib, of political kidnappings and ever-increasing violence. Thru her lens, we watch the indomitable human spirit resist occupation.
Spirit of Conscious Rap: Review of Letter to the President
June 17, 2007
Snoop Dogg narrates this talking-heads rap with America’s black youth. Rap and Hip Hop stars take turns discussing the history of the genre, the current state of US inner cities, the suppression of black votes in the 2004 election, and the need for a return to “conscious rap.”
Liberty Tree: Democratizing Elections
May 22, 2007
Review of “Liberty Tree,” the Journal of the Democratic Revolution, now in its second year. Building real democracy entails more than just voting issues, as this journal articulates. The real measure of revolution will be when citizens gain control of elections, removing corporations and government from what is, after all, our democracy.
Electoral Management Design Book Review
April 13, 2007
The Electoral Management Design Handbook is written for electoral administrators, electoral administration designers and other practitioners involved in building professional, sustainable and cost-effective electoral administrations that can deliver legitimate and credible free and fair elections. It offers many sound practices that are relevant to any election worker, including activists engaged in parallel elections.
Silver City film review
March 2, 2007
In “Silver City” director John Sayles uses mining, arguably one of the most environmentally toxic processes of industrialized society, as a backdrop to expose the multiple and often hidden layers of profit-driven power. Instead of a movie about election fraud, it’s about the fraud of elections.
Secret Ballot film review
January 11, 2007
Winner of several awards, including Best Director (Venice Film Festival), this 2001 film presents a delightful view into voting. With charm and comedy, director Babak Payami challenges our conceptions of the meaning and import of elections.
The Critical Issue: Stealing America vote by vote
Oct 4, 2006
In less than an hour, no doubt remains that 04 was stolen, without being bludgeoned with the mountain of evidence available. Producer Dorothy Fadiman draws the connection that across the country, electronic voting machines fail to accurately report vote totals, and coupled with that, vote suppression of Blacks, Latinos and liberal Democrats is being orchestrated.
Heroes, Voters & Parallel Elections
Video Interview of a Voter’s Hero: Stephanie Tubbs Jones, 1949-2008
August 25, 2008
The struggle for honest elections in the United States suffers tremendously with the loss of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, who showed America what it means to represent the people. In this video interview with Free Press editor Bob Fitrakis, Mrs. Jones discusses the process behind her decision to lead the historic stand opposing Ohio’s 2004 election results. List of all who stood with her is included.
Zogby Poll: 2 in 3 Voters Want None of the Above
August 20, 2008
Nearly 2 in 3 voters want someone else: 62.4% of Americans say they would like to see better choices of candidates, parties in future.
Shifting the Boxes – Warren County Lockdown
March 19, 2008
Mark Crispin Miller just wrote, What really happened: lockdown in Warren County, OH, 2004. I led the team of six activists who went into Warren County to photograph the ballots (punchcards) and signature books, after the 2004 election fiasco in Ohio.
I Am Voter Hear Me Roar: Meet the New York Amici
December 15, 2007
Hand-counted paper ballot advocates submitted a Friend of the Court brief in US vs. NY. Quoted herein are some of the gems found in their affidavits.
Parallel election midday report
November 7, 2006
Noon report from the parallel election site in Franklin County, OH: machines break down, techies refuse to ID themselves (tho voters have to), huge response in the PE.
How to Run a Parallel Election (Briefly)
A Parallel Election (PE) is one that is run by citizens, instead of public officials. The primary goal of a PE is to ascertain how a precinct voted in the official election. Every voter who leaves the polling location is asked to vote in the PE exactly as he or she officially voted.
We Count Seize the Polls: HCPBs for 08 introduced
October 18, 2006
Three Ohio conferences brought election integrity activists together from around the country to share strategies, films and books recently published. Kucinich unveiled HR 6200, a bill requiring hand-counted paper ballots for the 2008 presidential election. Includes an update on legal actions around the country.
SWARM: See What Activism Really Means
October 18 2006
Now is the time to SWARM observe the election process, run a parallel election, video the vote, or collect public records, and see what activism really means – leading a life worth living, whether we win or lose.
Parallel Election Training Manual
Hand-counting paper ballots, at the precinct, before all who wish to observe allows everyone to observe the vote count, contrasted with the vote count that occurs inside the electronic “black box.” Here’s how to do it.
May 2006 Parallel Election Report
May 17, 2006
Overall, parallel election results approximated official results. A question arises as to provisional voting, and further study by statisticians is warranted.
Nov. 2005 Parallel Election Final Report
November 14, 2005
Official reported results of Precinct 16D matched the Parallel Election results, except for Issue 1 (public funding of private research and development). Issue 1 passed in the PE but by a much smaller margin than officially reported (62% vs. 75%).
Spine, Spine, Everywhere a Spine
July 28, 2005
Columbus, Ohio: The Progressive Ohio Backbone Campaign rallied for three days before the Democratic Leadership Council, which held its annual convention in Columbus, Ohio, July 23rd-25th. Backboners wanted a voice in the DLC’s “National Conversation – It’s about the American Dream.”
Bush greeted by angry protesters, Democrats told to “Get a Spine”
July 20, 2005
COLUMBUS, OHIO Close to 75 protesters gathered by 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 8, on East 17th Avenue, within the Ohio Exposition Center complex, to send a message to President Bush and the Ohio Democratic Party.
Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community from a voter activist’s view
July 19, 2005
Cincinnati, OH. Close to fifty grassroots leaders from around Ohio showed up for a three-hour interactive seminar presented by author, Peter Block, from his Civic Engagement Series. Block is an engaging public speaker who has published six books. The free event was sponsored by independent candidate John Eastman for Secretary of State, the only candidate in any Ohio race with a strong and well-articulated election reform platform.
Jokes, Chants, Parodies & Flyers
The 11th Husband; or, Why software is bad for elections
August 5, 2008
Humor: A handsome man married a beautiful woman who had previously divorced ten husbands. On their wedding night, she told her new husband, “Please be gentle; I’m still a virgin.”
February 24, 2008
Joke making its way thru the internet.
Parody: It’s Time We Changed the World
January 26, 2008
Parody of “I’d Love to Change the World” by Ten Years After. Dave Berman had me submit this to musicians who will be parodying the original, but alas, my version didn’t win the Blue Ribbon. I still love it.
Parody: Seize the Polls (David Rovics’ Pirate Radio Song)
November 21, 2007
Another parody for use when singing protest songs in the streets, based on David Rovics’ new Pirate Radio Song, with link.
Nov. 15, 2007
Funny signs urging Hand Counted Paper Ballots, and check out the video link at the end.
E-Booklet: Election Song Parodies
July 11, 2007
Here are some sing-alongs, adapted by various voter rights activists: Suzanne Erb, Mark E. Smith, Adele Eisner , Jim March, Jonathan Simon, Judy Hess, Peggy Herr, Marj Creech, Dave Berman and yours truly. Accept as is, or amend and append, but do sing in public.
What Side You’re On
July 7, 2007
Rhyme of the times, fully sourced for high school students.
Chants for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots
June 20, 2007
With the upcoming Pride march and festivals, I thought of some chants to promote our cause.
Parody: Santeria Ballots
April 7, 2007
Much apology to Sublime and their wonderful “Santeria” but saving democracy does require us writers to take some liberties.
Parody: There’s a Kind of Hush
Jan 29, 2007
Parody on the compromise hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) advocates made, no longer demanding hand-counted paper ballots “now.” Asks, where do we go from here?
Customizable Hand Counted Paper Ballots Flyer
Colorful, 2-sided, 6-panel flyer citing expert reports on electronic voting systems, with a panel on the benefits of hand-counted paper ballots.
Democracy Will Survive flyer
Customizable flyer: How to prepare for and observe the Midterm Elections.
Though I’ve declined most interviews, here are two I accepted:
OpEdNews: Exclusive Interview with Investigator Rady Ananda. By Joan Brunwasser. August 31, 2008.
Columbus Free Press: J30 Election Reform Coalition. By Mark Huntress, in Journal issue March-April 2005, online March 21, 2005.
In my own words:
Much of my social justice work (2004-2008) addressed computerized voting. My research into elections began in 2004, when I first heard about how easy it was to hack computerized systems from sites like FreePress.org and BlackBoxVoting.org.
I became actively involved in the 2004 Get Out The Vote campaign. I worked on Election Day for the Democratic Party, collecting numbers from working class precincts that were mixed racially, or were predominately African American. I saw the long lines in Columbus, Ohio that November.
I also went inside a wealthy white Republican precinct that day and saw a ten-minute wait for voters. Neighbors brought home-baked goods and provided free coffee and soft drinks. This contrasted sharply with the precincts that simply did not have enough voting machines. By nightfall, in the poorer neighborhoods, people waited outside, in the rain, to vote out George Bush.
When TV reported that the vote flipped for George Bush in the wee hours of November 5, 2004, I knew in my soul this was fraud. I observed the 2004 Recount in Union County, Ohio, and became earnestly involved in the election integrity movement for the next four years. My work appears in three books:
- Richard Hayes Phillips.Witness to a Crime: A Citizens’ Audit of an American Election, Rome, New York: Canterbury Press, 2008;
- Robert Fitrakis, Steven Rosenfeld, and Harvey Wasserman.What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election. Columbus, Ohio: Columbus Institute of Contemporary Journalism (CICJ), 2006; and
- Fitrakis, Wasserman, and Rosenfeld. Did George W. Bush Steal America’s 2004 Election? Ohio’s Essential Documents. CICJ, 2005.
I’m tickled pink, too, that Rolling Stones Magazine covered our work: Robert F. Kennedy. Was the 2004 Election Stolen? June 1, 2006. This is an 18,000-word investigative report based mainly on info we uncovered in Ohio which Harvey, Bob and Richard (see above) provided to him. When this came out, we sang, “On the Cover of the Rolling Stones” and generally celebrated national exposure of our evidence.
In 2005, BlackBoxVoting hired Harri Hursti to demonstrate how easy it is to hack computerized systems – touchscreens and DREs. Thus began my serious research into computerized systems. I learned of a Congressional Research report from 2003 that warned lawmakers these systems could not be made secure. Despite that annotation, Congress passed HAVA, the Help America Vote Act.
But like most legislation passed since 2000, this is an Orwellian name. (See the Patriot Act, the Clear Skies Act, the Healthy Forests Initiative, etc.) Optical scan systems and touchscreens count the vote on software that can be changed without leaving evidence of the crime.
After Harri Hurst’s hack was made famous in the blogosphere, and among documentary filmmakers, several universities were hired to investigate our nation’s election machinery. All came out with the same warnings: the systems can be hacked without detection.
I collected as many of these reports as I could find, read through them and annotated those sections which reveal the flaws of computerized systems. I presented this information in person to Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. Despite these stunning condemnations by scientists, she and every other state elections director has purchased these machines and continue to use them to this day.
I participated in three lawsuits (election contests), serving as an investigator, an auditor, or a paralegal. Even when our investigations proved that official results were impossible, courts upheld the results.
Of course, the machinery is but a small part of elections. How elections are conducted, the transparency and accountability provided to voters, also matters. From Lynn Landes I learned about Parallel Elections. From the first one I assisted, I developed three more, where we targeted a precinct or a voting center, and ran a paper ballot election outside the polling site. Voters were asked to participate and to sign in and cast their paper ballot directly into a locked ballot box.
Parallel elections are the antidote to fraudulent ones. PEs require civic engagement. Each neighborhood counts its own paper ballots. The audit is done that night, at the precinct. Those results become the official results.
As TrainingForChange.org once asserted: we must build parallel institutions to replace the corrupt ones. This makes sense to me. This will make the transition smoother as each institution crumbles under the weight of its own corruption. People know the system is rigged – whatever system they refer to.
Much of this material has been reposted broadly and some has found its way across the globe. The annotated bibliography of scientific reports was translated into Russian. My hope is to educate the public, because in the end, it is We the People who must make the necessary changes to our society, including implementing free and fair elections.
One of the many posters I created for our rallies and protests.