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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/31/18

Voting and Hand Counting Ballots Can Bring Us Gun Control, No B.S. [Thank you Emma Gonzalez]

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#MarchForOurLives #RoadToChange #NeverAgain #SayNoToTheNRA. YES #YouthWillWin and YES #TheYoungPeopleWillWin [Thank you David Hogg], but not if we use privatized, secretive, electronic voting machines.

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two rights that all our other rights rest on are our right to vote and our right to have our vote counted as cast. There are two steps: vote and then hand count the paper ballots. That is Democracy's Solution. I have been researching and writing about hand counting paper ballots since the 2000 presidential election and appreciate that it is crucially important now to have Emma and David, all the Parkland youth, and all their allies take over.

You might have heard that we need paper ballots. That is true, but only half true and so muddies the truth. We do need paper ballots, but to make sure our votes are counted as cast, the paper ballots must be counted by hand, not by any electronic voting machines.

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I am very excited that the Parkland youth and all your allies are taking on the issue of voting. Thanks to you, I am imagining hundreds of thousands of youth from across the country counting all our paper ballots by hand. The hand counting must be publicly observed, live-streamed and have a secure chain of custody from blank ballot to ballot box to final tally sheets, with archived ballots ready to recount if any election is contested. This in the 2018 midterm elections, the 2020 presidential election and beyond, at all levels of government, from the smallest municipality to county and state elections as well as national elections.

Parkland youth and all your allies, we the people need you to call for and demand that you yourselves hand count the paper ballots (HCPB) to ensure honest elections. Insisting on transparent HCPB elections will help to bring us the gun laws that stop the horrific killing in schools and elsewhere.

Otherwise, we will continue to have election fraud, as all electronic voting machines can be hacked, both DRE's/touchscreens and optical scans. And this does not even touch the rampant suppression of the vote.

You can read some chapters from my book about election fraud and electronic voting machines here . Although there are many more restrictions on abortion rights now and many more in the wings, Chapter X "Crashing at the Intersection of Women's Rights and Voting Rights" is still excruciatingly important now more than ever, with Kavanaugh up for SCOTUS. He is a hard right conservative who also loves guns and who the NRA is supporting strongly.

In 2017, Voting Village at DEF CON, the world's largest hacker convention, was a room filled with electronic voting machines waiting to be hacked by conference attendees. "In less than 90 minutes, the first cracks in the systems' defenses started appearing, revealing an embarrassing low level of security. Then one was hacked wirelessly."

In 2013, I wrote about the first season of the brilliant TV show "Scandal" by Shonda Rhimes. One of its major themes was the rigging of an election in Defiance, Ohio: "Election Rigging Plotted on ABC's Scandal: The Real Life Backstory." The main character investigating the rigging of the election via the electronic voting machines was killed off later. It is often alleged that a very high vote for a candidate prevents election fraud. Better yet, instead, let's make sure that hand-counted paper ballots prevent election fraud.

Four recent articles that speak to the problems of hacking electronic voting machines are noteworthy.

1) "Microsoft detected and helped block hacking attempts against three congressional candidates this year, a company executive said Thursday, marking the first known example of cyber interference in the midterm elections."

2) "The nation's top voting machine maker [Election Systems and Software] has admitted in a letter to a federal lawmaker that the company installed remote-access software on election-management systems it sold over a period of six years, raising questions about the security of those systems and the integrity of elections that were conducted with them."

3) The above (#2) contradicts previous statements by Election Systems and Software, as described in "The Myth of the Hacker-Proof Voting Machine" by Kim Zetter.

4) At a bipartisan panel to discuss election cybersecurity for the 2018 midterm elections, "[The Honorable Trey] Grayson ask[ed] [Alex] Halderman what he thought about the new digital-image optical scanners now on the market. Halderman answered that since the images are computer-generated, they are vulnerable to all possible problems this infers. 'There is no substitute for paper,' he said.

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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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