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Decertify and Use HCPBs: Open Letter to Debra Bowen

Message Rady Ananda
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California Secretary of State

Dear Ms. Bowen:

It is time to decertify these voting machines and implement hand-counted paper ballots (HCPBs), at the precinct on election night, before all who wish to observe.   

With California's Red Team reports and Florida State University's just-released report , voters are left with no basis for confidence in reported results. Elections should not be run on computerized voting systems which numerous studies assert are easily hacked.  Neither optical scans nor touchscreen systems are impervious to attack - attacks which no one can prove occurred. 

You are in a unique position to lead the nation away from corporate control of our elections, and model the most secure, most accurate and least expensive voting system available to us: HCPBs.  Democratic elections require an open vote count, which computers preclude. 

I urge you to decertify these machines, in light of ever-increasing number of reports by experts that computers cannot be made secure.  Do the right thing for democracy.   


Rady Ananda

J30 Coalition

Columbus OH 

The above is how I sent the email, and I cc’d Ohio’s Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.  I would also add, for clarification, the following: 

P.S. "Open source" technology in elections still obscures open vote counts, requiring experts to determine for the people how the results came out.  Trust in experts, hired by politicians who gain their power from such elections, violates the checks and balances of a democracy.   

Those who insist citizens are incapable of honestly and accurately hand-counting a precinct's ballots have turned their back on democracy. 

We are all thrilled with California's Red Team reports, as well as Florida State University's recent report on the failure of Diebold optiscans, and UConn’s recent report, which contribute to the growing body of numerous studies that lead reasonable minds to conclude computers have no place in our elections, or in any elections purporting to be democratic.  

All software driven devices (SDDs) are vulnerable to being hacked; high tech systems are vastly more expensive than HCPBs and provide us with no basis for confidence in reported results.  

Elections belong to the people, not corporations or experts - We the People must be able to determine for ourselves election results.  Let's rid our elections of SDDs.   

Democracy is something you do.  Hand count paper ballots.  Much thanks to Michael Richardson for the SDD idea.


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In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

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