April 16, 2008

Hacked Elections—Vickie Karp
Citizen Audits—Lynn Landes

2008 April16

Vickie Karp is an election reform activist from Austin, Texas, who has worked on exposing the electronic voting machine fraud issue since 2003. She has served on the Board of Directors of Bev Harris’s non-profit Black Box Voting; is the National Chair of the Coalition for Visible Ballots, and the PR Director of Austin-based VoteRescue. In 2006, Vickie and fellow activist Abbe Waldman DeLozier co-edited the book, “HACKED! High Tech Election Theft in America” in an effort to help educate the public on the ongoing threat of stolen elections resulting from the use of electronic voting machines.

Lynn Landes is the publisher of The Landes Report and an award-winning journalist, columnist, and author of a dozen books on politics, history, the environment and energy. She is one of the nation’s leading researchers and analysts on voting integrity issues.

First hour—Vickie Karp

Vickie summarizes the current situation: we have taxation without representation today. She cites the Dan Rather documentary: “The Trouble with Touch Screens”, (also available on Google video). 

To have safe elections: “We need videotaped hand counting of the ballots, at the precinct, under the supervision of the public”.

On the subject of recounts: “Recounts can be hacked”. In Ohio in 2004, two election officials were indicted, convicted, and imprisoned for rigging the recount. 

Richard Hayes Phillips, Witness to a Crime

Local activism: county clerk or secretary of state or board of elections. Gather evidence of the hacks. The California study of 3 of the 4 top vendors “Red Team Study”.

William Singer (bradblog March 27) had filed a whistleblower suit against Hart Intercivic: “The Hart people had been lying to election officials in order to get the HAVA money”.

In the end, the officials may do the right thing only because of their liability

Next step: attending the county commissioners meetings, because they are the ones that write the checks for the county clerk. 

We are doing exit polls through Project Vote Count (Mark Adams, FL). We had 50% participation!

Local meetings: Coalition for Visible Ballots

Second hour—Lynn Landes

Going to court: the courts are pretty well staffed with corporate judges. People can read about her case (which was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court) on her website.

If you just keep pushing, eventually you will get from point A to point B. 

It's interesting how these entities have made the county clerk, not the county council, in charge of the elections.

Organize on a local level, form a group, like with meetup.com. Attend meetings of the county commissioners. 

A funny thing happens when someone gives you money to do activism. 

The heart of the problem is the secrecy of the ballot. The alternative is called “Open voting”. 

Why is it OK for some people to be required to vote publicly (like Congress), but the citizens to vote secretly? If you vote secretly, there is no way to ensure that you have voted at all.

Even the simplest of technology can be abused: how do we know our legislators are pushing the button, and not their staff?

Trust: do it yourself or have it done to you. Clothes have an odor that cannot be washed out. What is it? Formaldehyde.  

What to do: plan for the worst and hope for the best. Take things into your own hands. Growing your food, making your clothing. 

Learn about geography: understand how the nations of the world fit together. Keep learning. 

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