and Ellen Theisen, This Week's Special Guest on the Voice of the Voters
Should Touchscreen Voting Machines be Outlawed?
This Week on Voice of the Voters!
Power and Responsibility of Democracy **airing on WNJC 1360 AM** and the Internet Wednesday, January 3,
Special Guests: Electronic Voting Experts, Paul Lehto, Esq., and Ellen Theisen January 2, 2007
Mary Ann Gould
Coalition for Voting Integrity
WNJC's live netcast is available at
Internet listening instructions are available at
Dial up users may have better success if all other programs are shut down.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has
recommended that the 2007 version of the Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines
(VVSG) decertify direct record electronic (DRE) machines.
The Government Accountability Office found that "significant concerns
about the security and reliability of electronic voting systems" have been
raised and has indicated that "some of these concerns have been realized and
have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount
The Brennan Center for Justice has issued three reports calling into
question the security and usability of DRE (touchscreen) voting machines.
Most recently, use of DREs in Sarasota, Florida resulted in the possible
loss of 18,000 votes creating a call for a revote since an independent recount would be impossible on the unverfiable touchscreen machines. The latest
development in that story involves a judge's ruling that makes it clear that the
property rights of the company that sold Sarasota their voting machines are to
be protected at the cost of the people's right to a free and fair election.
Why is anyone in America still voting on these machines? Do DREs need to
be outlawed? What do we citizens have to do this year to get our Democracy back?
On the eve of the start of a new Congress, business law and consumer fraud
attorney, Paul Lehto, and Ellen Theisen, the founder and original Executive
Director of VotersUnite.org, will join Mary Ann to discuss those critical
questions and more.
We'll look at the recent ruling in Sarasota in depth and ask what it means
when a corporation's "right" to protect "trade secrets" trumps the right of
voters to a transparent elections process.
Paul Revere (Bob Gersener) will drop by to discuss early American views of
sovereignty and the rights of individuals.
As always, John Gideon, Executive Director of Voters Unite will give Voice
of the Voters listeners a round-up of all the week's voting news.
Voice of the Voters is an hour devoted to voting rights, election reform
and voter-verified paper ballots. Ultimately it is an exploration of Democracy
itself and the responsibilities of citizens and their elected representatives.
It airs every Wednesday night at 8:00 PM ET on 1360 AM and on the Internet.
Listeners can call in questions live at 856-227-1360 and submit questions in
advance at the SaveOurVote website.
1/10: Congressman Ron Paul (TX-14)
Liberty, the National Debt, Real ID, the Vote. Tune in for a provocative
discussion of issues that face every American.
From Rep. Paul's website:
Dr. Paul's consistent voting record prompted one Congressman to comment
that "Ron Paul personifies the Founding Fathers' ideal of the citizen-statesman.
He makes it clear that his principles will never be compromised, and they never are." Another
Congresswoman added that "There are few people in public life who, through thick
and thin, rain or shine, stick to their principles. Ron Paul is one of those
WHAT: The Voice of the Voters
WHEN: Wednesday, 1/3, 8:00PM ET
WHERE: WNJC, 1360AM, Philadelphia's Renaissance Radio Station and
everywhere on the Internet
Paul Lehto's bio:
Noted attorney and democracy advocate Paul Lehto is a business law and
consumer fraud attorney from an Everett, Washington. He is a retired governor of
the Washington State Bar Association and was voted "Rising Star" in 2003 and
2004 by Washington State Law and Politics magazine.
In 2004, Lehto was one of the thousands of lawyers monitoring the
presidential election. This experience led him to major activity as an election
reform advocate. He conducted a highly regarded study on the unusual 2004 election result patterns in Snohomish County Washington, (just north of Seattle).
The study serves as a blueprint model for evaluating election fraud.
Although it focuses mostly on one of the closest governor's races in the
Nation's history, Steven Freeman, PhD , of the University of Pennsylvania says
it represents one of the best natural studies of election irregularities in his
book, Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? for shedding light on
electronic voting as a whole.
Following his observations, the lawyer became the plaintiff in a ground
breaking law suit against voting machine manufacturer, Sequoia, which controls
about 30% of the U.S. market. Lehto and co-plaintiff John Wells sought to void
the purchase contract for the Sequoia electronic voting machines. The approach
focused on the illegality of secret vote counting in democracy, and the
inconsistency between "secret" (computerized) voting and the conduct of legitimate democratic elections.
This lawsuit attracted local and national attention and helped create a
political issue over electronic voting in the county. The political climate
changed, and with public focus also on voting systems because of the election
contest in the governor's race, Sequoia ended up losing its touch screen
business in Snohomish County when the County Council voted to abandon touch
screen voting machines in favor of mail-in balloting similar to Oregon's
statewide system. Although the County and Sequoia argue this made the lawsuit
moot, the lawsuit continues on appeal, seeking a refund of the county's money.
Award winning Tribune Media Syndicate columnist Robert Koehler has
featured Lehto in two of his columns on election reform. In one, he quotes Lehto
touch screen voting: "With DREs (direct-recording electronic, or touch-screen,
voting machines), the voter never sees the legal ballot in the first place, nor
do even election officials. The magic numbers just pop out of the DRE." (Direct
Recording Electronic voting machine) A representative sample of Lehto's writing
for general audiences regarding elections and electronic voting appeared
recently in Real Change News.
Most recently Lehto was active in election contest litigation regarding
the 50th Congressional District in California where electronic elections have
been contested. In the notable appeal from this context, the Congressman
Bilbray, who was sworn in by the Speaker of the House only 7 days after the
close election, claimed that the swearing in deprived all California courts of
any jurisdiction to protect or even look into the local elections there for
Congress, even though at the time of the swearing in there were no certified
results and over 12,000 ballots had not been counted for even the first time,
much less recounted. This "election-nullification" is perhaps the best example
of the kind of anti-democracy actions that Lehto is involved with exposing and
Lehto appears on radio and television shows, writes for various
publications, and addresses concerned audiences in his work on democracy and
election reform and ending the process of secret unverifiable voting on
electronic voting machines, in both their touch screen and optical scan
Ellen Theisen's bio:
Ellen Theisen was the founder and original Executive Director of
VotersUnite! In her 22-year career as a software technical writer, she has
written hundreds of user manuals, functional and design specifications, online
help systems, and programmer guides. Ellen created and maintained the
VotersUnite! website for nearly two years and developed most of the the
informational resources available on the site. She established relationships
with voting integrity activists across the country and became a central node for
information-sharing in a loose network of largely unconnected citizen groups.
Early in 2004, Ellen wrote "Myth Breakers for Election Officials" to
dispel myths about HAVA and inform decision-makers of important,
under-publicized facts about electronic voting issues. The document has been
distributed to thousands of federal, state, and local decision-makers, and
volunteers are now distributing the second edition. The document has also been
included as testimony in three court cases regarding electronic voting issues.
On December 23, 2005, after two years of providing the public with
accurate information about voting systems and related issues, Ellen Theisen is
now working toward election transparency in a different way - by offering the
Vote-PAD as an accessible alternative to computerized voting devices. After a
year of devoting time nearly exclusively to her work on Vote-PAD, she rejoined
VotersUnite.Org on a part-time basis.
Coalition for Voting Integrity
Coalition for Voting Integrity