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Secret vote counting and the lost art of democratic elections

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 Ken Hajar, VP, LHS Associates

In New Hampshire, for instance, despite the revelation by Black Box Voting, a citizen watchdog organization, that LHS Vice President Ken Hajar is a a convicted felon (cocaine trafficking), Mr. Hajar remains gainfully employed by New England's sole e-voting vendor with no apparent concern from the NH Secretary of State or anyone else, for that matter. We know nothing about the other LHS Associates employees servicing NH's elections, because LHS President John Silvestro, when requested by the NH Secretary of State, refused to divulge their names.

The American right to public oversight has been systematically eroded by the nation's public election officials. After handing off 90% of the nation's vote count to private corporations counting our votes in secret, the nation's election officials are bringing secret vote counting to its final logical end: they are literally closing the doors and barring citizen oversight from the vote count.

May 2009: Oysterponds School District, New York, election officials bar the media and the public from observing the School District election vote count. The Suffolk Times reports:

"According to John Conklin, a spokesman for the state Board of Elections, it's perfectly legal to exclude the public and the press from the room when votes are being tallied. But Bev Harris, founder and director of the Seattle-based nonprofit BlackBoxVoting.org, said a public counting process is fundamental to our system of government, based on the Declaration of Independence. 'You can't have liberty without self-government. You can't have self-government if you count votes in secret. Liberty and self-government are considered by the Declaration to be inalienable rights, endowed by our creator. You can't pass a law that takes away these freedoms,' she said. 'Having government insiders count votes in secret effectively transfers power from the people to the government.' "

November 2008: In violation of the state constitution's mandate to "sort and count" the vote in public meeting, NH's Secretary of State bars citizens from the area where votes are being tallied in the presidential election. New Hampshire election officials are quick to point out that every voter in the state still uses paper ballots, but they fail to explain that nearly 90% of those ballots are routinely fed through computerized scanners to be counted in secret by Diebold Corporation, a private corporation with a criminal history and partisan ties.


Samuel Adams in 1781 remarked: "Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country."


As citizens in the last standing world power, American voters are given the solemn trust of the global community to do everything in our power to guard and defend liberty.

We have let down our guard. We have stood idly by while unnamed and unaccountable entities with no sworn oath of national allegiance have subverted our elections and the American Republic. We have betrayed a trust that has implications far greater today than Founder Adams could have possibly envisioned.

If you are wondering why an Obama administration is mulling policies of tyranny, look no further than your local polling station.

If you see anything other than a public vote count conducted by sworn public officials under the watchful eye of partisan-neutral citizens, if you have not stepped forward to demand public, open vote counting, then you are looking squarely at the answer to your question.


Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. - Thomas Paine, 1776


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Nancy is best known as a national leader in the voting rights movement for her seminal work exposing the dangers and fallacies in various election reform efforts past, present and future. She serves on the Board of Black Box Voting, and is (more...)
 

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great article, nancy, as always.... by Joan Brunwasser on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 8:54:26 PM