"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." Communist Tyrant Josef Stalin
Transparent Process, Private Ballot, "Light Bulb Moment"
June 23, 2000 NA (Network America) e-wire
Transparent Process, Private Ballot, "Light Bulb Moment"
Today is our second in a series on the upcoming vote by internet and mail-in ballot for the Reform Party National Primary preceding the Reform Party National Convention in Long Beach, California.
In cartoons and comic books, a moment of grasping a new idea is often portrayed by a light bulb appearing over a character's head.
Well, a "light bulb" appeared over this character's head a week or so ago when Brent Beleskey of the International Voters Coalition crystallized the concept of a "Transparent Election Process." Even though I had been in this fight for honest elections for 21 years, I had never really formulated this simple way to explain what we are after.
After defining the concept of a "Transparent Election Process", we will see how thoroughly the upcoming Reform Party National Primary violates it by employing mail in and internet voting.
The goal is a "Transparent Election Process with a Private Ballot." The word "transparent" is defined by the Oxford Dictionary of Current English (1998) as, "easily seen through; evident; obvious; easily understood." Thus, the entire election process should be evident to the participants, easily seen through by the electorate, evident to the voters, obvious to all, and easily understood, even by children.
And through this transparent election process, the privacy of every voter should be protected, so that intimidation will never be a possibility.
As we have stated many times, the solution is the same used by the Founding Fathers, the same used in most of New Hampshire today, the same used in Great Britain, India, and Israel today.
The solution is easily read paper ballots, marked by indelible ink, deposited in a transparent plastic box which is kept in public view at all times, and locked from the opening of the balloting (at which time it is witnessed as empty by election officials and observers from all factions present) until the polls close, with only a slot in the top for voters to deposit their ballots.
Continuing with the solution for a transparent election process with a private ballot for each voter: At the close of the polls, the box is opened in front of all witnesses from all factions, and counted by outcry in full public view by scrutineers (counters who witness) chosen in a reasonable and random fashion from among the registered voters in that neighborhood precinct. The results are then posted in public view at the polling place before the ballots leave the neighborhood precinct to be sent to county headquarters. This public posting at each precinct gives citizen groups AND each campaign the opportunity to add up the results from every polling place (precinct) in the county to be sure that what the county finally publishes is the true total of all the precinct totals added together.
Furthermore, each and every individual of those selected to count the vote at each precinct witnesses the proceedings by signing the results they counted as true. A precinct coordinator, appointed by the County Election Board, signs that each team has so reported, and that the total precinct results are as reported - all done in public before witnesses of all factions. This provides accountability and a paper trail (for re-counting if necessary) as far as is humanly possible.
A final excellent touch, suggested by the late votescam investigator Jim Collier, is that one scrutineer (or counting) position at each neighborhood precinct would be reserved for a voter who is a highs school senior or a college student, if any apply for the job. This would be a kind of training ground for the next generation so that the computerized / mechanized / mail-in / internet voting scams could never be foisted on the population again.
End of definition of a transparent election process, with a private ballot for every voter. Not difficult to understand.
Now let's compare that ideal and goal with the upcoming Reform Party National Primary, to be conducted by mail-in vote and internet vote.
First of all, the private ballot is destroyed by internet voting, as any person familiar with computers will tell you. Let's again recall Federal Election Commission official Bill Kimberling's words delivered in Maryland on June 7, 2000: "In addition, the sanctity of the secret vote would also be in danger if ballots are cast on the Internet . . . The FBI finds out who has child pornography in their computer systems by looking at e-mail that your computer server keeps . . . Nothing is totally secure."
Case closed on that one.
But even worse, the upcoming Reform National Party, along with our computerized and mechanized elections in 49 states at the General Election --- has no security or verifiability AND NO TRANSPARENCY for the voters who are so ardently participating.
The opposite of transparency is when it is impossible to see something, when it is NOT evident, NOT obvious. It would be, by way of analogy, when the officials in charge take all the ballots behind a wall to count (?) them away -- from the public's view.
This is what happens in every computerized election, whether it be with IBM punch card, optical scanner, or whatever. What is going on inside a computer is NEVER visible to anyone. It is the exact opposite of transparent. Same with machine counted elections. for hours and hours the machine is doing things inside which no one can see. To say that "sleights of hand" cannot be built into a vote counting machine is totally ludicrous, as was proven in front of Houston television cameras by Sheriff candidate Joe Cooper and his fellow investigator Ron Keller (a speaker at the upcoming Citizens for a Fair Vote Count Convention) as far back as 1964.
The "bleep of energy" elections being conducted in Columbus, Ohio and (appropriately) Las Vegas, Nevada where citizens are forced to indicate their choices by pushing their finger on a computer screen - are more absurd still.
The voter is supposed to believe a bleep of energy goes into the machine or through the phone lines down to election central because he or she has pushed a finger against a choice displayed on a computer screen. There is no paper trail at all. How absurd! NOTHING is transparent about such an election. To accept the published "results" is an act of blind faith.
Mail-in voting (including absentee ballots, which must also be outlawed under a truly verifiable system) are likewise the opposite of a transparent election process. The citizens do not see what's happening. They must trust that the local Establishment is not "stuffing the ballot box" by having a covert team "vote" for dead people and people that ultimately will not vote. The public must trust that those in control of the county Election Headquarters are not switching fraudulently produced ballots in the place of the real ballots mailed in by the trusting citizenry. And on and on.
And, of course, mail in balloting will be a big part of the upcoming Reform Party National Primary. And how concerned is the Reform Party Old Guard leadership with making this process open to the scrutiny of the participants? Let's go to item 7 of the letter of intent signed by Reform Party Chairman Gerald Moan with eBallot.net, Inc., as displayed on the Georgia Reform Party website:
"7. eBallot will keep all information about counting, turnout and Final Tally Result secret at all times."
Therefore, the upcoming Reform Party USA National Primary will be completely secret, completely off limits to voters until it is too late to check or double check anything (the results will not be announced until DURING the Long Beach Convention!!!), completely NON-transparent.
Of course, such "non-transparency of the election process" is also the case in 49 states in the USA, and in Manchester, New Hampshire - at every General election. But, unlike the county and state officials at the General Election - who pretend that the process is above board and beyond question -- at least the Reform Party USA announces IN YOUR FACE that all information about the count is going to be kept totally secret at all times.
And how about the security of the internet voting? We (for the second time in three days) quote off the website of Direct Democracy (which organization is feverishly promoting internet voting, despite this paragraph posted on one of their web pages a few years ago):
"Another thing to consider is the security of such a system. We are, after all, trusting the future of a prosperous nation to this new system. In his recent book, Computer Related Risks, Peter Neumann explained, 'The opportunities for rigging elections [are] child's play for vendors and knowledgeable election officials.' . . . This is because it is easy to imagine one vote electronically being turned into thousands or even millions. This is more difficult to fathom when there are physical ballots to count."
So, what is to stop eBallot.net Inc (who really owns that company anyway?) from turning one anti-Buchanan electronic vote "into thousands or even millions" . . . hmmmm????? Nothing. That's what.
It's easier to see how absurd all these non-transparent systems are when examining the upcoming Reform National Primary. But the process is just as elitist, corrupt, bad, evil, anti-democratic and non-transparent at every General Election in 49 of our states and in 30% of the 50th state (New Hampshire in the Manchester area).
Those who want to count the vote in secret are by definition corrupt. I would not ask for such blind faith from my fellow American - and neither would you. And neither should anyone else ask it of us.
The idea that John Hagelin of the Natural Law Party would beat Pat Buchanan in this Reform Party National Primary is too absurd for words. If Ross Perot appears on the Reform Party National Primary ballot at the last minute, as is being strongly rumored, then let's have a verifiable system of voting, or none at all. The current process should not be accepted under any circumstances because it can not be double checked or verified.
My suggestion to the Buchanan Brigades and all Reform Party members of good will - would be to email, call, or write all Reform Party officials such as Russ Verney, Gerald Moan, et all --- and eBallot.net, Inc., -- and the major media, -- stating that any Hagelin victory will be OBVIOUS votefraud on the part of the Russ Verney Wrecking Machine and eBallot.net, Inc. - and I would further suggest that all Reform Party members of good will demand that the current Reform Party officials who have the ability to do so call a special meeting to CANCEL this absurd, ludicrous, ridiculous, inane, loony, nonsensical, farcical, unreasonable, irrational, illogical, preposterous mail-in, internet-voting National Primary -- and limit the decision making to the verifiable, public voting of the properly seated delegates on the convention floor in Long Beach, California.
More tomorrow --- on the company eBallot.net, Inc.
Jim Condit Jr.
Director, Citizens for a Fair Vote Count
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