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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/10/17

Dear Doug Jones, all our rights depend on our right to vote and have our vote counted as cast

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Dear Doug Jones,

I wish I were in Alabama, working with your righteous campaign. After seeing "Selma" Friday night, for the second time, I fervently wish you had reels of the film to show all over Alabama now, including on Tuesday.

I read last week about your sending to prison two of the four KKK men who in 1963 had bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, killing four African American girls - Addie Mae Collins, Carol Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley. It is hard, if not impossible, for me to believe that a good man such as you is perhaps going to lose a very tight election to a man who was banned from a shopping mall for bothering teenage girls there and has sexual misconduct allegations against him by nine women who say he pursued them when he was in his 30's. Who asked when he thought America was last 'great'-- Moore acknowledged the nation's history of racial division, but said: "'I think it was great at the time when families were united -- even though we had slavery-- they cared for one another". Our families were strong, our country had a direction."

But your election bid may be in danger because of the potential for tampering with votes via the electronic voting machines and not leaving a trace.

Voting Machine Hacking Village
Voting Machine Hacking Village
(Image by Defcon Conference Vegas 2017)
  Details   DMCA

The Defcon convention in Vegas this year demonstrated how easy it is to hack electronic voting machines. "But opportunities to test how secure our voting machines are from hackers have been rare. Manufacturers like to keep the details of voting machines secret. And they don't often provide machines for people to test. That's why hackers swarmed to the Voter Hacking Village at Defcon in Las Vegas"."He [Carsten Schurmann] used a Windows XP exploit from 2003, which the voting machine never patched, and got remote access. That meant he could change the votes from anywhere." "In three hours all the machines had been hacked."

Since all the ballots in Alabama are paper, both the optical scan ones and the AutoMARK - used by people with disabilities - at all the polling places and the absentee ballot tabulation (with no early voting) there can be a recount, if warranted, by hand-counting the paper ballots from all precincts. It is useless to pass all the ballots through the same electronic voting machines that counted the ballots in the first place. There will be plenty of people from all parties on the ballot to count and observe the hand-counting. It does not take a long time. The time to hand-count would be reasonable. What can be more important than honest elections? Our right to vote and have our vote counted as cast is the right all our other rights rest upon. I have observed hand-counting in a number of elections. You can read more about my work against all electronic voting machines and for hand-counted paper ballots.

Alabama law says all ballots must be held for six months. Federal law says that in a federal election all records must be held for 22 months and here. Why not make this public now so that everyone knows and has no excuse for destroying ballots and memory cards.

Here are some quotes and details from a paper regarding Wisconsin recalls that I published in 2011 about Republican candidate Jane Corwin . "An injunction to preserve the evidence is what Corwin did in New York (NY-26) to bar certification of any results and impound all voting equipment and ballots immediately after the election".I am looking at this from the perspective of a reasonable judge".These are [this is a] highly contested election. There could be misconduct on the part of election officials. There is potential for some kind of [election] fraud that election officials can't detect. It would be very powerful for a candidate to seek an injunction."

It would be prudent for your campaign to file an injunction now, at this 11th hour, to impound all voting equipment, ballots, memory cards, etc. when the polls close Tuesday night. "The election materials must be protected in the event of a potential recount or other challenges that could be made about the integrity of the election results".Your injunction is the senate district's best chance for a fair election."

Filing an injunction to protect the election materials on election night is essential to ensuring the integrity of the election results. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, especially in such a hotly contested and close election. This election has the potential to change the course of history.

Another important injunction is being called for i n Alabama to preserve the images of the ballots . I am asking you to call for an injunction for the paper ballots themselves, the memory cards and all the machines, including the AutoMARK. Because it is such a tight election and such a highly contested one, as in NY-26, this might be possible.

At least your Secretary of State has recently said he will not prosecute cross-over voters .

i hope you/we win by a landslide. I try very hard not to do worst case scenarios. So I will mention this briefly. If it comes to your losing in such a close election, do not concede, please. It could be a chapter in this story. Kerry did not learn from Gore. Did we get anything good with both of their concessions? Demand a recount. A hand-counted paper ballot recount, publicly observed and with security of the chain of custody of the ballots and memory cards. Democracy's solution. Democracy in our hands.

(Article changed on December 11, 2017 at 16:15)

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Sheila Parks, Ed.D. Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Sheila Parks, Ed.D., is a former college professor. She had a spiritual awakening many years ago and left her career to do peace and justice work full time. She is the founder of the grassroots group On Behalf of Planet Earth (found on FB). (more...)

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