March 30, 2007
Supervisor Jeff Stone
County Administrative Center
4080 Lemon Street - 5th Floor
Riverside, California 92501
Re: COUNTER-CHALLENGE to your "HACK TEST" OF JAN 3, 2007
Dear Supervisor Jeff Stone, and Distinguished Supervisors of Riverside County California Districts 1-5:
I am an election law attorney as well as being the co-author of a scientific study on irregularities in Sequoia Edge touch screen DRE voting equipment during the 2004 election, found at http://tinyurl.com/ahkt9 . I write to make a Counter-Challenge to the Supervisor Stone's in January 3, 2007 letter and December 2006 statements, and in light of Secretary of State Bowen's letter finding that the conditions on the hack test were "overly narrow" in that it required a voter to do the hack containing only what was in their pockets, etc. See http://tinyurl.com/2rgns4 This attempt to restrict conditions to a "voter fraud" hack at a hypothetical polling place bears an interesting resemblance to the current scandal involving US Attorneys being pressured to investigate "voter fraud" in 2004, when study after study indicates, and those prosecutors found, that voter fraud is rare, and the payoff for the typical voter fraud (one extra vote) is hardly worth a sentence of up to 5 years. See, e.g., March 5, 2007 report "The Politics of Voter Fraud" at http://www.projectvote.org/ One of the harms exposed in the US Attorney scandal is the misdirection of governmental prosecutorial resources when the focus solely on "voter fraud", for the reasons outlined in this counter-challenge.
THE CONTEXT OF THIS COUNTER-CHALLENGE
Rather than fallaciously considering the voters to be the bad guys by restricting the e-voting hack test to polling place conditions, Supervisor Stone should allow a fully realistic test.
In fact, under actual real-world conditions, it is clear upon any reflection that successful election cheaters get elected to office and then become, for example, elections officials with full access to the machines. Or, election cheaters could become legislators that make election law and policy. This is quite unlike the situation with a successful bank robber, who never gets to be a bank official or make bank vault security policy no matter how successful the bank robbery. See http://www.realchangenews.org/2006/2006_05_31/jessejames.html
Moreover, even legitimately elected officials have historically sold elections for money, and when the rigged election is close, we'll hardly be the wiser.
It is a fundamental principle of our representative government that the people are the Master and the Government is the servant. California, Washington, and West Virginia have enacted by initiative or direct vote of the people some very similar statutes that set forth what American representative democracy is all about quite concisely:
"Pursuant to the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government which holds to the principle that government is the servant of the people, and not the master of them, it is hereby declared to be the public policy of the state of West Virginia that all persons are, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and employees. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments of government they have created. To that end, the provisions of this article shall be liberally construed with the view of carrying out the above declaration of public policy. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/29B/masterfrmFrm.htm §29B-1-1. Declaration of policy. (Mountain State Freedom of Information Act.)
California statutes contain the exact same language through most of this.
Now, when it comes to the most important possible information, We the People have been shut out completely. Only the elections officials and the vendors have the possibility of knowing, or the access and the time to learn about electronic voting.
Elections are also where the Government gets all of their power, legitimacy and taxing authority. And yet, the Government also counts the votes. This is like writing your own paycheck secretly, if the public does not supervise and oversee their own elections.