Despite the long history election fraud in American elections between 1742 and 2004 documented by Tracy Campbell in Deliver the Vote, by Andrew Gumbel in Steal This Vote, among many others including the Equal Justice Foundation, we are barraged by propaganda telling us how safe and accurate our elections are now that we've largely converted to electronic vote counting machines.
But only the deaf and blind could possibly be unaware of the innumerable problems with computer voting documented in every corner of the country since HAVA poured billions of taxpayer dollars into the coffers of companies (crooks?) like Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, Hart Intercivic, and others. Yet election officials continue to tell us these machines, about which they know next to nothing, are safe, secure, and accurate despite all evidence to the contrary. And while virtually every government agency in the country has had their computers hacked, supposedly election computers and voter registration databases have strangely been immune from such attacks.
Is it simply a coincidence then that after more than a century of using the Australian secret ballot as a voting method to ensure that a voter's choices in an election are anonymous that Colorado county clerks now claim that "secret ballot" means that only they, and their voting machine contractors of course, can actually examine the ballots? Colorado county clerks are keeping the courts busy insisting that dire events will happen if citizens are actually allowed to examine ballots after they have been cast and counted.
And a "recount" has now become, at most, a matter of simply running the ballots back through the computer-controlled optical scanner again, or asking the DRE's to print out another copy of their original vote tabulation. The very thought of citizens and the press actually conducting a hand recount of ballots is anathema to the witch doctors who pass themselves off as election officials in these trying times.
Given the innumerable "glitches" associated with these voting machines in elections all across the country over the past decade, it is clear why county clerks don't want citizens to be able to actually verify how ballots are counted. And when does a "glitch" counting ballots become election fraud? Or reveal gross incompetence of a county clerk?
We've suffered through a decade of gross mismanagement at all levels of government. Isn't it time we took our elections back? For many years now the Equal Justice Foundation has put forth the Basic Voting Principles reproduced below. Use these principles to measure how elections are run in your county or parish and publish, or allow us to publish the errors, mistakes (or fraud), and incompetence you encounter in the 2011 mid-term election now underway. It isn't too late to try and ensure honest and accurate elections in 2012.
There are fundamental and universal principles of any election espoused by the Equal Justice Foundation. No equipment, process, or jurisdiction may compromise these principles without endangering election integrity.
No election official, process, ballot, or voting equipment shall make it possible to determine or modify by any means, direct or indirect, how an individual votes in any race, on any issue, for any party, or any candidate.
All ballots for a given election, in whatever form, must be accounted for from the time they are designed, generated, or printed until the statutory limit on storage has expired, with a public audit available at any time during this entire period.
It is the responsibility of everyone involved in an election to ensure that only eligible voters are allowed to vote, and each voter is only allowed to vote in those races and on those issues they are eligible to vote for.
All poll books, ballots, testing, procedures, programs, equipment, hardware, connections, transmission facilities or methods, and storage facilities, shall be open to public inspection and review prior to and after any election.
All processes, procedures, rules, personnel, and equipment used in an election shall work to standards and tests that demonstrably ensure all votes are accurately recorded and counted. All standards, tests, counting methods, and results shall be available for and subject to public review.
All ballots shall be visibly counted by the most accurate and reliable means available and these methods shall be documented and approved by all affected parties prior to the election, including public inspection.
All individuals involved in conducting an election shall be identified, their citizenship established, their criminal history investigated, and a brief description of their role and what access they have been granted shall be documented and publicly available.
All poll books, audits, rules, methods, procedures, documents, instruction and training manuals, test methods and results, problem reports, and other pertinent election information shall be publicly available to the extent possible without violating an individual voter's privacy.
In cases where election fraud or equipment malfunctions are at issue in a court of law, no person or entity shall be entitled to claim immunity or proprietary interests as a defense, or to prevent examination of any equipment, software, components, processes, or methods thereof including any coding or processes used in the election. However, the court may mandate that anyone who examines or has access to a manufacturer's proprietary information sign a binding nondisclosure agreement.
All ballots, equipment, procedures, and processes used in an election shall be certified to appropriate public standards that ensure the equipment and processes perform the functions for which it is being used in the election in the environment where the election is being held, and the certification shall be publicly available.
An independent public audit, or canvass of the election shall be conducted by representatives of at least two major parties and such candidates and citizens who wish to participate and the results published.
An audit, or canvass must certify that the number of ballots counted does not exceed the number of ballots cast in all races and on all issues in each precinct, and that the number of ballots cast does not exceed the number of registered voters in each precinct.
Note that these principles are available as a flyer on the EJF web site, along with many others.