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"Let me say again how WONDERFUL all your seminars have been --just unbelievably outstanding!!" - Dr. Ruth H. Strauss MD
"I learn so much from all of your presentations... It was very effective. And a great audience!" - Dr. Virginia Martin, Election Commissioner, Retired, Columbia Co, NY
"Information on election security that you will probably not find anywhere else. Definitely mind blowing..." - Jennifer Tanner, LA County Voters Action Coalition
"The SMART Elections forums bring together national experts to explain how elections work from the inside." - Catherine Ray, advocate
'SMART Elections’ Election Protection Series offers a Master Class in Election Security. Lulu Friesdat, her guest speakers and informative visuals not only illustrate the pitfalls of bad voting machine technology but also offer examples of safe alternatives.”
- Sara Campbell, advocate
by Cory Doctorow
Feb. 3, 2021
... the industry-leading, private-equity-owned ES&S, has seized on the moment to threaten members of SMART Elections, a journalism and advocacy group, with a lawsuit for spreading “false, defamatory and disparaging” information about one of its machines, the ExpressVote XL. These claims — factual observations, really — include that the machine “can add, delete, or change the votes on individual ballots” and that it is a “bad voting machine.”
Because SMART Elections is a collective of committed, individual activists — who translate academic research and relay it to state regulators — ES&S threatened to hold the members of the group “personally and individually liable”: ominous threats coming from any large company, but one that might especially worry activists, given ES&S’s history of litigiousness. (ES&S, a company that makes billions by charging the public millions to count its votes, is such a habitual litigant that sometimes it seems like the voting machines are a sideline for the lawsuits.)
But nothing SMART Elections is saying is controversial, let alone libelous. The definitive research on electronic voting system incompetence is the annual report from the “Voting Village” at DefCon, the gigantic Las Vegas hackers’ convention ... The hackers have been pointing out many of these problems for years.
The New York State Board of Elections rejected certification of the ExpressVote XL at their meeting on 1/28/21.
Professor Rich DeMillo, Chair of the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy at Georgia Tech, said, “It is encouraging that the commissioners refused to certify the ExpressVoteXL, an all-in-one ballot marking device that poses extraordinary risks for the voters of New York.” DeMillo is one of a group of over 50 experts, good government and disability rights groups who signed a letter opposing certification of the voting machine.
The vendor ES&S will likely attempt to remedy the issues that were raised during the certification process and try to have the system certified again. Additionally there are other voting systems being marketed, and even in use here in New York that have the same security issues. So the next step in protecting New York voters is to pass legislation to permanently ban hybrid voting machines from being used in the state.
That legislation has been introduced in both the Assembly and the Senate:
A1115 (Paulin) / S309 (Myrie)
Security experts have said that the ExpressVote XL is not secure, and that, "Elections conducted on current BMDs [ballot-marking devices] cannot be confirmed by audits." They do not recommend this type of voting machine. They recommend hand-marked paper ballots, for all voters who are able to mark their ballot by hand, and ballot-marking devices that follow security best-practices for voters with disabilities.
Here are few reasons why so many groups, experts and advocates are against the use of the ExpressVote XL.
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What have we learned from the 2020 Election? We know that we have work to do if we are going to have elections that everyone can have confidence in.
NOW is the time to reform our electoral process. NOT right before a major election when it is too late to make changes. Make this issue one of your top priorities and spend some time with us every other week.
Join our next #ElectionProtection forum on 3/9th at 7pm EST
U.S. Elections have never provided equal opportunities for people of color. What will the "For the People Act" HR1 / S1 do to provide racial equity in our elections? How will it even the playing field across communities? Our guest is Shruti Banerjee from Demos.
What does HR1 / S1 do to improve election security?
Does it need to be improved?
Can it be changed and how?
Can it pass - and how?
The event will be broadcast live
(Link to come).
This event is part of a non-partisan coalition-building series to inform, empower, and connect advocates on #ElectionProtection.
This is What Democracy Looks Like!
Join the thousands of people who are participating in this project, because they believe that our democracy has a long way to go to live up to its promise.
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Videos of earlier forums in the series are on a playlist on our YouTube channel.
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Our data team is looking at election results to see if they add up correctly. We've transcribed and examined poll tapes, audits, recounts, and are now doing public records requests.
We meet every other Tuesday at 7pm EST.
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