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General News    H2'ed 2/29/20

California Spent $300 Million for WHAT?!

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California Spent $300 Million for WHAT?!

Danger Ahead: California "Readiness" for Super Tuesday?

My guest today is historian, election fraud investigator and author, Richard Hayes Phillips. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Richard.

Joan Brunwasser: We talked just a few weeks ago: "Election Analyst Delves into Bernie's "Electability."Now, I understand that you would like to discuss what is going on in California, with the upcoming primary looming. Please get us started.

Richard Hayes Phillips: The California primary will take place on Super Tuesday, March 3. There will be 416 delegates at stake, more than 20% of the number needed to win the nomination on the first ballot. My concern is that the vote count will not be verifiable, and therefore may not be trustworthy. Nearly half of the voters in California will not be allowed to mark their own ballots. A "ballot marking device" will do it for them.

JB: Before we go any further, what's a ballot marking device and why doesn't it cut the mustard?

RHP: A "ballot marking device" (BMD) is a touch screen computer that generates a computer-marked printout which is then tallied on a computerized optical scanner. BMDs were designed for people who are unable to mark paper ballots with their own hands due to infirmity or disability. There is no legitimate reason to force the rest of the voters to use them.

The voting machine vendors contend that voters will verify that the printouts accurately reflect the voters' choices. But in a test run by the University of Michigan, 93% of the voters, even when prompted, even when told that they must check their ballot before it is cast, did not notice when the BMD changed one of their votes.

JB: So, help me understand. If BMDs are designed for people with disabilities, and have serious issues of transparency, why would the California Secretary of State agree to use them? Something is not tracking for me here.

RHP: These machines were not approved unconditionally. In fact, Alex Padilla identified dozens of serious issues with the BMDs that Los Angeles County had already purchased. He retroactively imposed conditions upon their usage, it being far too late to purchase other machines.

JB: As a long-time election investigator, this must have made you so mad. So, what did you do with that?

RHP: I wrote a letter, prior to Alex Padilla's ruling, as part of the public record, at the urging of Brad Friedman, one of my heroes. On the Brad Blog, and on his podcast, he asked us to speak up. Alex Padilla did have the authority to stop this. He could have refused to certify these "ballot marking devices". He had legal grounds to do so. The Voluntary Voting System Guidelines set by the United States Election Commission require that voting systems produce a paper record that can be verified. I researched the voting systems, county by county, for the entire State of California, and identified another fifteen counties where "ballot marking devices" will be forced upon all the voters. In these counties, whoever wants to audit the upcoming primary will have no reliable way of discerning voter intent, because the devices might not have marked the printouts as the voters intended.

16 California counties using BMDs, outlined in red
16 California counties using BMDs, outlined in red
(Image by Richard Hayes Phillips)
  Details   DMCA

JB: Wow. You had to dig deep to get all this information. How did you actually find out what voting methods will be used?

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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