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Reply #7: Nation: From Count Paper Ballots & Many Others on Carter-Baker [View All]

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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
7. Nation: From Count Paper Ballots & Many Others on Carter-Baker
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 11:46 PM by autorank
************ PRESS RELEASE *************************************



Citizens Disagree Vehemently With the Findings of the Baker-Carter Commission Final Election Report



Release from: Phyllis A. Huster | Executive Director | Count Paper Ballots | (w) 770.432.0199 | www.countpaperballots.com

Count Paper Ballots a nationwide nonpartisan citizen election reform group focused on fair and transparent elections finds reports conclusions are dangerous for democracy and guarantees a status quo of fraudulent, corporate controlled elections.

With all due respect to Dr. Robert Pastor, Former President Jimmy Carter and Mr. James Baker and the members of the Election Commision, the citizens vehemently disagree with the findings of the Baker-Carter Commission Final Election Report. Speaking on behalf of Count Paper Ballots, a Georgia based citizen election reform group, executive director Phyllis Huster says this report is dangerous for democracy because it encourages using even more technology for the counting of our votes when the clear citizen cry is no more electronic voting. Worse the report encourages the status quo of privatized, corporate controlled elections when we advocate returning elections back to the citizens where they belong. Without fixing the problem of HAVA giving $3.6 billion in taxpayer monies to 2 companies ES&S and Diebold who control 80% of the voting machine market we will never fix elections with the bandaids proposed in this report. Its time to walk away from HAVA. Diebold & ES&S have documented GOP ownership increasing the risk that one man, in this case Chuck Hagel because of his interest in the McCarthy Group which has interests in both Diebold and ES&S will control who wins the next election. This existing problem is totally unacceptable to the citizens of the US and the Baker-Carter report completely missed addressing this key problem.

Over 70% of the 150 US based citizen election reform groups vehemently disagree with a conclusion that touchscreen or optical scan capturing and counting our votes will ever result in honest elections or that privatized vendor control will produce anything other than rigged elections. The philosophy and spirit of the Baker-Carter Commision is that the system while broken can be fixed. Contrarily, citizen opinion is that we need to wipe the slate clean and design a uniform, nationwide, hand counted paper ballots, citizen counted on election night (not later with audits) election system. We are not opposed to electronic capture of the vote, only electronic counting of the votes such as is currently the case with central tabulators that have been shown to malfunction or are be easily reprogrammed realtime on election night. Both Optiscans and Touchscreen technologies use electronic counting of our votes by using central tabulators that have been proven easy to hack by the famous are we having fun yet? Harri Hursti exercise in Leon County Florida by Black Box Voting (www.blackboxvoting.org ). We also feel strongly that legislation is missing for proper audits to occur and that audits are after the fact and each day after the election, ballot integrity is compromised. Further, the costs of electronic capture do not outweigh their benefits. Therefore, CPB pushes for nationwide, standardized hand counted paper ballot systems, counted election night and permission to be videotaped by citizens with full citizen access to ballots free of cost anytime after the election.

Citizen groups tried to warn this panel for months and were ignored along with providing volumes of emails and CDs provided containing very real and powerful trench data from the 2004 election. This data was collected by citizens such as CPB Count Paper Ballots, the Houston Citizen Hearing, and earlier outlined in detail by the John Conyers report were largely ignored by the report. Citizen groups were not even references, nor the fact that every state has on average 3 citizen election reform groups so worried are citizens with the current state of elections. This raw data, cost thousands of dollars paid for by citizen groups and most of these 2004 election open records requests were never fully complied with in Georgia and Ohio. (CPB paid over $10k for open recs) (visit http://www.countpaperballots.com/cox-terrorist-response... for an example of how citizens cannot access electronic ballots). The results of the citizens audited data was ignored even though it was absolute proof that privatized elections do not work for America and only ensured that machine failures caused vendor specialists to run our elections instead of county election directors. The Baker-Carter Commission essentially advocates technology for the counting of the votes and even more technology for the auditing of the paper receipts. Wouldnt it be cheaper to just print a paper ballot and use free citizen labor to count these ballots?


Cynthia McKinney in a July 18th press conference proved that Diebold technicians ran the 2002 Georgia election and that an entire shipment of machines were stolen and never recovered putting all Diebold systems (optiscan and touchscreen) at a severe security risk. See http://www.countpaperballots.com/Cynthia-SpeakingTransc... More importantly, Baker-Carter call for an auditable backup on paper this time, but we recognize the possibility of alternative technologies to audit those machines in the future. The fallacy in this argument is that elections are about counting the votes weeks if not months after the election, we feel the goal is counting the votes on paper on election night, by hand with 3 or 4 humans counting and double counting every vote. The people power for this can come from jury duty like requirements as it is every citizens duty to participate in elections. The other fallacy of machines counting machine based paper is that a. the paper must be more than the current Diebold cash register receipt which fades with heat, and b. it guarantees privatized elections, that is US citizens depending on corporations and software that can be modified without trace and remotely on election night to help administer our elections. Paper once marked cannot be modified, software can always be modified without trace. That is why software cannot manage our elections.

This report continues to endorse election technology vendors play a key role in administering US elections mostly because several of the members on the Baker Carter Commission such as Ralph Munroe operates an election technology company. There was additional conflict of interest in this panel from the outset including James Baker who was Bushs lawyer in the 2000 election challenge that went all the way to the Supreme court where judges essentially decided who would be our President. Huster asserts, those of us in Georgia have known that we have unelected officials in our state house and senate, and that 132 years of democratic leadership was handed to GOP leaders in 2002 when Diebold entered the state and that many of our current officials were never elected by the we the people. Finally, we do not feel that ballot integrity may be insured by prosecutors as the report insists to improve ballot integrity we propose that federal, state and local prosecutors issue public reports on their investigations of election fraud. State, local and federal prosecutors, partisan in nature failed the citizens of Ohio. Thomas Moyer, the Ohio State Republican supreme court judge, shut down the Greens/Libertarian recount efforts. Julia Bates, the Lucas county prosecutor, appointed by Bernadette Noes father, a powerful democrat in the state, and Noe the wife of embroiled Coingate scandal Republican Tom Noe, is still sitting comfortably in her $2M mansion in Florida while Julia Bates enables the FBI to confiscate and never bring to citizen light the information on her hard drive. This is not partisan issue as much as it is tied to pay to play schemes that both Democrats and Republicans produce favors and nobid contracts in exchange for campaign donations. Citizen open records requests for Noes emails have been obstructed by John Borrell, the assistant county prosecutor as of September 19, 2005. Ohio, New Mexico, California and New Hampshire all brilliant examples that partisan prosecutors and partisan federal pressure from a single branch Republican government, which we now have, prevents any citizen redress at all, unless citizens want to risk being put in jail for making legal challenges to the election. (see www.erievoices.com for a complete listing of all the problems of the Lucas county prosecutors and how Internet bloggers were put in jail without given a phonecall by capturing and publishing Ohio corrupt politicians activities).

In no less than 10 citizen requests for judicial, FBI and federal investigation of the fraud in the Ohio election, there has not been a single investigation other than by John Conyers and his report has been largely ignored by the US House & Senate.

Citizen groups have long since agreed that while any form of electronic voting occurs on either touchscreen or optiscan machines it is the strong opinion of 70% of the 150 citizen based election reform community that we will have stolen elections. Visit Black Box Voting.org, visit ecotalk.org, visit caseohio.org, visit velvetrevolution.us if you want to see citizen groups opposing most forms of electronic voting as being impossible to secure from fraud. Read how in Ohio and other states, Diebold lobbyists wrote $10,000 checks to election directors such as Matt Damschroder of Franklin county to secure the purchase of their technology in that county. Its clear that corporate motive being that of profit and citizen motives, that of fair and honest elections can never be the same. Also read that in most states, recount audits were illegally shutdown in Ohio by Republican judge Thomas Moyer and in New Mexico where it was ruled the recount was improperly administered requiring a new recount. There is little legislative or election law precedent supporting the mechanisms of audits. Besides it is not our civic duty to count ballots weeks after the election but rather to hand count the ballots on election night to secure a safe, fair and honest election. And most importantly, it is our duty to return elections to the citizens and remove them from their current control in the hands of corporations that are owned by strongly partisan owners.

Clearly the election commission did not want to hear from the citizens except for a few hours in Houston in which case it was mostly placating and not a substantive ongoing bi-directional dialogue. CPB personally sent Jimmy Carter a 48 page fax demonstrating evidence of election fraud in his own home state, Georgia and there was not even a single response to this fax. CPB also sent numerous emails to Monica Marvin of the American Universitys Center for Democracy only to realize we were never called or emailed directly by anyone on the Baker-Carter commission about our proof of machine mistabulations in the Georgia 2004 election or the evidence we have that citizens have no county level redress with fixing election fraud.

The Baker-Carter report findings versus citizen findings is outlined below:


BAKER CARTER FINDING
Uniform Voter ID System
CITIZEN FINDINGS
Extensive (Many ID Choices) Voter ID System

BAKER CARTER FINDING
Up To Date Registration Lists
CITIZEN FINDINGS
Election Day Registration

BAKER CARTER FINDING
Enhance Ballot Integrity
CITIZEN FINDINGS
Hand Counted Paper Ballots

BAKER CARTER FINDING
Voter Verified Paper Trail
CITIZEN FINDINGS
Citizen Verified Election Night Paper Ballot Counting

BAKER CARTER FINDING
Impartial, Professional, Independent
CITIZEN FINDING
Citizen, Inexpensive, Videotaped, Nonpartisan

In short, citizen demands we shut down $3.6 billion dollar HAVA fund which is nothing more than a funnel to privatization of our elections and a guarantee that US elections will be fraudulent and concentrated in the hands of 2 companies ES&S and Diebold. To massively decrease the cost of elections by making citizen pollworkers similar to jury duty, removing this cost from the system and going back to paper ballots which is as much as 100 times cheaper than electronic voting per ballot. Remove all electronic voting for counting of the votes, this includes Optiscan and Touchscreens and central tabulators. Enable election day citizen based counting of the elections in full view, with videotaping allowed on a ballot by ballot basis and make it free for citizens to get copies of all the ballots for citizen based recounts. We want extensive choices for Voter IDs not 4 IDs as proposed by Georgia but more like the previous 17 forms as was the prior case in Georgia. Remove all partisan aspects of the election officials from Secretary of State to Boards of Registration to Election directors. Give citizens direct redress to bring election fraud allegations including a nonpartisan legal body to bring fraud claims removing such legal procedures from a standard county level prosecutor which was appointed by a partisan official.

Finally, stop producing silly reports, the outcome of which do nothing more than encourage a broken system to operate, encourage privatized elections, but instead start giving genuine, innovative solutions for how to restore honest elections in America. At this point the future our children depends on this one outcome of fixing what is a terribly broken and getting privatized completely out of our election systems in America.

Count Paper Ballots (CPB) is a nationwide citizen group dedicated to proving that privatized elections lead to mistabulated & fraudulent vote counting. We advocate hand counted, citizen secured, paper ballots as the ballot of record, counted in full view of citizens, election day and are doing detailed audits of 2004 Election in GA and OH. Contact info: 678.362.9111, mailing , email helpnow@countpaperballots.com

Black Box Voting (.ORG) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501c(3) organization. We are the official consumer protection group for elections, funded by citizen donations. Contact info: 425-793-1030; cell 206-335-7747 or 206-354-5723; Mailing address: 330 SW 43rd St. Suite K, Box 547, Renton WA 98055. E-mail

crew@blackboxvoting.org

Ecotalk. Voting, politics, the environment, health, and other stuff. Lynn is one of the nation's leading journalists on voting systems and democracy issues. Her articles are published on this website, in the alternative press, and in other online and print publications. Contact 215) 629-3553, email lynnlandes@earthlink.net . www.ecotalk.org .

The Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections (C.A.S.E.) is a non-partisan organization of citizens from across Ohio who advocate for elections that are secure, reliable, and employ the nations best practices. We inform the public, the media, political leaders and government officials about problems in Ohio which we believe compromise our voting. Email phily@ezsg.com . Website: www.caseohio.org .

Citizen Organizations Which Do Not Advocate Electronic COUNTING of the Votes:

ARIZONA
Arizona Citizens for Fair Elections

Arizona Volunteers Organized for Tomorrows Elections

ARKANSAS
National Coalition for Verified Voting:

CALIFORNIA
California Voter Foundation

California Democratic Party

Californians for Electoral Reform

S.A.V.E Democracy:

South Bay Phone Banking (Griffin)

Grassroots CA-OH-FL

COLORADO
Coloradoans for Voting Integrity

Citizens for Accurate Mail Ballot Election Results (CAMBER)

Coloradoans For Voting Integrity

CONNECTICUT
True Vote Connecticut

Recount The Votes

FLORIDA
Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition:

Florida Voting Activists

Gotta Audit

Recount Florida

Grassroots CA-OH-FL

GEORGIA
Count Paper Ballots

Count the Vote

Voter Choice Coalition

Defenders of Democracy

HAWAII
Safe Vote Hawaii:

ILLINOIS
Illinois Ballot Integrity Project:

IOWA
Democracy for Iowa

LOUISIANA
Louisiana Counts:

MARYLAND
TrueVote MD

Campaign for Verifiable Voting in Maryland

MICHIGAN
Ann Arbor Area Committee for Peace:

John Conyers Official Website

(Our Hero!)

John Conyers Blog

MINNESOTA
Citizens for Election Integrity - Minnesota



Fair Vote Minnesota:

MISSOURI
No Stolen Elections

NEW HAMPSHIRE
National Ballot Integrity Project: New Hampshire Task Force - Sharona Merel



NEW JERSEY
Coalition for Peace Action

New Jersey Citizens Coalition on the Implementation of HAVA:

Grassroots Action Supporting Progress

NEW MEXICO
Verified Voting New Mexico:

United Voters of New Mexico

Democracy for New Mexico

Florida League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

NEW YORK
New Yorkers for Verified Voting:

Wheres the Paper?

NORTH CAROLINA
NC Voter (Formerly: North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting):

OHIO
Ohio Honest Elections Campaign

(OUR HERO!)

Recount Ohio:

Ohio Vote Suppression News:

Citizen's Alliance for Secure Elections

Ohio Voters Reform

Campaign Ohio

Ohio Vigilance

Grassroots OH-CA-FL

OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma Grassroots Campaign:

OREGON
Oregon Voter Rights Coalition:

Oregon Clean Vote:

Action Speaks:

Oregon Voting

We Do Not Concede

PENNSYLVANIA
Mercer County Citizens for Better Government - Kathy McPherson -

Vote PA

TEXAS
Texas Safe Voting

UTAH
US Counts Votes

VERMONT
Vermonters for Voting Integrity

VIRGINIA
Virginians for Verified Voting: Eva Hudlicka -

WASHINGTON
Citizens for Voting Integrity - Washington:

Concerned Citizens for Democratic Integrity (King County): Holly Jacobson -

Voters Unite

WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia Citizens for HAVA: Hedda Hanning -

West Virginia Citizen Action Group

OTHER NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
51 Capital March

ACT

ACLU Florida

Audit The Vote

Backbone Campaign

Baker Carter Commission

Black Box Voting

(Bev Harris, an Electronic Voting Expert and author of Black Box Voting)

BradBlog

Bush Cheated 04

Citizens Act

Citizen Advocacy Center

Citizens for Ethics

Citizens for a Fair Vote Count (Vote Fraud)

Coalition Against Election Fraud

Coalition for Visible Ballots

Cobb for President

Code Pink

Common Cause

Computer Scientist for Social Responsibility (CPSR)

Constitution Project

Count Every Vote

Democracy for America / Dean for America

Demos

Election Line

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Election Online

Electronic Privacy Information Center

Election Science Institute (formerly VoteWatch)

Electronic Vote and Democracy

Electoral Integrity

ExitPollz

Fair Elections

Fair Vote

Help America Recount

Hunger for Democracy

Investigate the Vote

Juice for Justice

Just a Fly on the Wall (Clint Curtis Website)

League of Women Voters

Left.org

Mercury Coalition for Honest Elections

MoveOn

National Ballot Integrity Project

National Coalition for Verified Voting

National Committee for Voting Integrity

National Voting Rights Institute

No Confidence Resolution

No Mandate

Nov 2 Truth

Nov 3

Notable Software

Open Voting Consortium (OVC)

Perfect Voting System

People For the American Way

Project Vote Smart

SAVE Democracy

Solarbus Election Data

Solar Bus

Stolen Election 2004

The Dean People

This Time We're Watching

True Majority:

Truth in Voting

US Counts Votes

US Voting Integrity Project

Vote America

Velvet Revolution

Verified Voting

Voice 4 Change

Vote Scam

Vote Trust USA

VOTERGATE Resource Center:

VOTERR Voices for Open and Truthful Election Results & Reform

VoteWatch renamed to Election Science

Voters Unite

We Do Not Concede Coalition



Phyllis A. Huster | Executive Director | Count Paper Ballots | (w) 770.432.0199 | www.countpaperballots.com






********** Baker Carter Commission Final Report Email *************
Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform Stresses Urgency of Reform

Former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker Release
Bi-Partisan Election Reform Report to Policymakers and the public



Washington , DC ( September 19, 2005) The final report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former president Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, was released to the public today. The 21-member Commission offers 87 recommendations to strengthen the country's electoral system and build confidence in the political process. The full report, as well as the executive summary and the list of recommendations, is available on the Commission Web site at: http:/ / www.american.edu/Carter-Baker . Please direct inquiries to the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University -- cdem@american.edu or (202) 885-2728.


The 21-member private commission is organized by American University. Comprised of former Members of Congress, scholars and nonpartisan leaders, the group identified "five pillars" of election reform voter registration, voter identification, voting technology, increased access to voting and nonpartisan election administration and recommended ways to strengthen them.



-------------------------------------------------------------
Center for Democracy & Election Management
American University
3201 New Mexico Avenue, NW Suite 265
Washington, DC 20016-8026
Telephone: (202) 885-2728
Fax: (202) 885-1366
Email: cdem@american.edu
Website: http://www.american.edu/internationalaffairs/cdem /

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