Many of us have been concerned with the ability of our revamped voting machines and requirements under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to accurately and honestly count the votes of Americans casting their ballots in all types of elections across the country. Although the results of the past election have assuaged the concerns of many, there are still serious outstanding issues about the integrity of our voting system.
Fortunately here in California we elected Debra Bowen as our Secretary of State. She is committed to correcting these problems but her jurisdiction does not extend beyond our great state. More must be done to insure that our national elections are protected from the kinds of fraud and abuse that are abundantly possible unless we act now.
Katy Dopp of National Election Data Archive has written this blog which we are posting for your information---and consideration as we see an imminent need to correct the flaws that have put the integrity of our elections at serious risk:
"We have one year to pass legislation to fix our voting systems in time to prevent vote tampering and fraud prior to the November 2008 election.
The National Election Data Archive is a 501(c)(3) so we cannot do lobbying, so it is up to other groups to implement legislative measures that are based on the new methods we derived for ensuring election outcome integrity.
At least for high profile US Congressional races, election fraudsters may have taken a short substantial vacation due to all the heat provided by recent mainstream media coverage of voting system security flaws and the plethora of election activists in numerous states who (unbeknownest to most Americans):
1. checked the precinct vote counts to ensure no tampering occurred at the central county tabulators, and
2. conducted public exit polls in a few key places, and
3. were poised to use open records requests to obtain detailed data for forensic election analysis, and
4. arranged systems for voters to report problems, and
5. provided methods for citizens to evaluate the transparency of their election process.
The majority of state legislative races had little public scrutiny, no opinion polls, and state legislators control election laws in every state. The media consortium kept all exit polling data secret this year, adjusting the exit poll data to within one tenth of one percent of the official election results prior to releasing it - so we have no exit poll data to detect suspicious election outcomes any longer.
Right now, there are several key races, one in Ohio and two in Florida with highly suspicious vote counts that are currently being investigated, contested, and protested and there is no reason to have confidence in election results in races without opinion polls that could be used to guage the likelihood of the outcome.
Unaudited U.S. election results obtained from secretly counted invisible e-ballots provide no confidence. US election systems are set up to commit the perfect crime, leaving no evidence.
If someone robs a bank, they are not put in charge of the bank afterwards. However, the winners of rigged elections are afterwards put in charge of securing the system, and winners tend to believe that a system which elected them must be adequate.
If we don't fix our election systems within the next year, election fraud could return with a vengeance in November 2008, and never provide us with another opportunity to right it.
To Moderize and Repair US Election Systems, we need:
1. sufficient manual independent audits of electronic vote counts
See http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/paper-audits/ElectionIntegrityAudit.pdf and
2. routine release of detailed vote counts and detailed election records to allow for independent forensic statistical analysis to detect the patterns that miscounts, machine malfunctions, and fraud create, See
http://electionarchive.org/ucvinfo/US/WeCount2pdf and see this report that showed that 10% of the votes overall disagreed between the voter verifiable and the electronic records of vote counts: http://bocc.cuyahogacounty.us/GSC/pdf/esi_cuyahoga_final.pdf
3. public exit poll data.
We must push for reforms within the next year that make U.S. election outcomes transparently verifiably accurate because we have possibly the worst election systems in U.S. history still."
For further information, please contact:
National Election Data Archive
Dedicated to Accurately Counting Elections