ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Break the Democratic Establishment's Hold on a Rigged Primary System This Convention - Scan the Ballots

Updated on August 6, 2016
ralphlopez profile image

Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He has published in the Boston Globe and the Baltimore Sun.

Volunteers count provisional ballots in California
Volunteers count provisional ballots in California

The problem with American politics is not as much Hillary - though she is a big problem - as it is Hillaryism. Unbridled ambition and lust for power for its own sake has been plaguing humanity probably from the start. In this quaint period we call Modern Times perhaps the single best curb to these kinds of people are what the Athenians called democracy, literally the Greek "demos" meaning full citizen of the city-state, and "kratos," the power to rule. In other words, self-rule. The expression of democracy is the vote,

Without a fair vote, there is no democracy, because a few people decide who wins, not all full citizens. Systems of voting have been experimented with for countless years. From boxes with different colored balls, to purely electronic. The best we have arrived at to date, according to a consensus of election integrity organizations, has been the secret paper ballot. This is because although technology is good in a lot of things, elections isn't one of them. The closer you get to visible, tangible pieces of paper which can be preserved as an historical record, the better.

Paper doesn't disappear when you turn off the electricity. You can't change what it says with a couple of keystrokes.

The problem of election fraud arises whenever a clearly non-establishment, non-War-Party candidate becomes a front runner. It is not unique to the Democrats. Unreported, in 2012 the Ron Paul campaign was subjected to vote-flipping, ballot-stealing, and outright thuggery by the GOP establishment uncomfortable with his pro-Constitution, non-interventionist policies. Like Sanders, Paul filled stadiums with new young voters and then somehow lost.

Most states in America have gone a long way to "paper trail" voting systems, which only means there is a piece of paper that the voter can look at and verify it says what he or she wants. Even with paper trail, many shenanigans are possible, but it makes things that much harder. Someone has to take a risk to walk a lot of paper out a back door, or to stuff a box with ballots. People can find out. With electronic systems, no one ever finds out.

The glaring vulnerability in paper trail systems today is not the paper trail, but the ability to look at it. Many states have audit laws, but election officials get to choose which precincts they audit. Even if an audit is "random," as many state laws stipulate, if an official is going to lie about what's in the ballot box, he's going to lie about the audit being random too.

An audit of the actual ballots, or voting "receipts" in some systems, is the only guarantor that what the vote-counting machine says is really true.

Optical scan vote-counting machine hacking demonstration in "Hacking Democracy"

Now in Illinois, and in Humboldt, California, the solution is being tested whose time has come, and this time, technology works beautifully. The idea of scanning all the ballots, immediately after they are received, into a read-only DVD. The DVD is then public, at a nominal cost, for a swarm of citizen auditors to be all over that bad boy, to make sure the totals add up.

There is no doubt whatsoever that there are passionately concerned citizens who would jump at the chance to give up their nights, weekends, and much of their sleep to do impressive election integrity work.

In Illinois the Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity indicates that it will obtain ballots on DVDs ready for citizen inspectors, in its upcoming RICO lawsuit against election authorities. In Humboldt, the Humboldt Project has made the scanning of all ballots the centerpiece of its election integrity campaign.

The project says that such a measure:

"establish a new level of transparency for public elections that would allow any member of the public to independently audit the election. It would enable the public to detect any discrepancies between the official totals and the scanned images if errors or fraud occurred."

Ballots should be scanned as they come out of the box on election night, with citizen monitors witnessing. In the case of mail-in votes, it must require two persons to process a mail-in ballot, one to witness what the other is doing. Again, no system is foolproof, but the more checks are built in, the more difficult fraud is to commit. Mail-in ballots should be scanned immediately after they are opened.

Election integrity science posits that the less time officials, or anyone else, has alone with the ballots, the fewer chances for monkey business.

Once all ballots are scanned into DVD, it will be several orders of magnitude more difficult to commit election fraud, because of the wide availability of the ballots for inspection. Presently it takes a court order to allow citizens to count ballots, as they did in California with the "provisional ballots" many Sanders voters were forced to cast.

This should not be the case. If the parties want the taxpayer to foot the bill for their primaries, as they do, then the ballots belong to everyone. It would be damning to even oppose this: what are they trying to hide?

Scan the ballots, should be a part of the Democratic Party platform, and the law in all 50 states. If this election had been a fair one Bernie would be up there accepting the nomination. Make the convention about making sure that a disaster like Hillary can never happen again.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I worked a presidential primary poll and we ran printouts of the electronic ballots and posted them on the windows of the polling place for anyone to see who wanted to. The electronic voting machines were taken down in full view of anyone who wanted to watch us do it according to strict procedures withnessed by all the workers. Then two people were responsible for transporting them to headquarters. Bernie Sanders didn't get enough votes to win. That doesn't mean the election wasn't fair. It means Americans chose.

      The one thing I came away convinced of is that anyone within a state should be able to vote at any polling place they choose. We scanned their driver's license and it showed us immediately if they had voted anywhere else. Now if you want a ballot with your local races on it, one could be created for you by the same means we programmed you voting disc to be either republican or democrat or independent. It's a computer. It can be whatever we decide to make it. We turned away too many people because they were at the wrong polling place. In the computer age, there is no need for that.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)