This excellent piece is from attorney Mark Adams:
I represented Clint Curtis, John Russell, and Frank Gonzalez in contesting their alleged losses in 2006 in Florida State court and in the U.S. House of Representatives. Our contest was instrumental in exerting the pressure to pass a paper ballots law in Florida which at least gives us something to count if someone can find an attorney who will file a lawsuit or a contest. However, these contests were dismissed WITHOUT any review of the evidence and contrary to the law as well as the rights of the candidates and voters to have the votes counted.
As a result, I am well aware of the election reform initiatives and the proposed solutions. The current Holt bill came out of the same House committee which ignored the law and refused to even allow us to present evidence showing that Florida’s election results were contradicted by affidavits of the voters. The Florida court dismissed these contests saying that a court action could not be maintained to count the votes even though the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that such an action could be maintained in state court in Roudebush v. Hartke, 405 U.S. 15, 18-27 (1972).
Furthermore, in Christine Jennings contest of her 2006 Florida election “defeat,” the State court refused to allow her experts to examine the source code. However, Florida law on trade secrets required the judge to allow her experts to examine the code under a protective order which would have only prevented them from disclosing the code, but would not have prevented them from commenting on whether or not it was set to dump or flip votes. Curiously, the
judge did not dismiss this contest, but the Jennings contest did not seek a jury trial. However, we did seek a jury trial in our contests as allowed by the Florida Supreme Court decision in State ex. rel. Whitley v. Rinehart, 192 So.2d 819, 821 (1939).
Most importantly, the 2004 recount in Ohio was fixed. So, what good is a recount? If you can’t get to recount the votes in a lawsuit or in an election contest before Congress, and you can’t trust the bureaucrats who held the election, or threw it in the first place, to count or recount the votes accurately, how can you make sure that the votes are counted accurately? Those who are paying attention and truly want to preserve our democracy have realized that lawsuits and
after the fact recounts or audits are a poor substitute for reliable election night counts. I hope that we can all agree on that important point.
You may be asking, “What does any of this have to do with the Holt bill?” Well, it has everything to do with it because the Holt bill does not fix elections unless you mean fixing them in the sense that we have experienced over the last few years. You heard that right! The Holt bill does not fix elections because it allows counting to continue in secret on computers which can be manipulated, and even worse, it makes the source code a secret protected under Federal law.
In fact, Congressman Holt himself has said that it is no longer his bill, and Congressman Kucinich has urged other members of Congress not to pass it. One of the Holt bill’s advocates, who believes that doing something is better than doing nothing, even has a list of problems with the Holt bill which is 15 pages long. See http://tinyurl.com/2dr3qn
This is why most of us who have been involved with election reform are so emphatic that the only way to preserve our democracy and our control over our government is by returning to elections conducted on paper ballots which are then counted in public. I think that we can
all agree that this is the best way to preserve our democracy. It is also the quickest and least expensive way to do so, and Congressman Kucinich is considering reintroducing his paper ballots bill. See http://tinyurl.com/356q7f , http://www.bradblog.com/?p=4788 , http://tinyurl.com/39hy8o and the text of Congressman Kucinich’s bill which calls for hand counted paper ballots.
So, why would anyone want to support a bill that does not fully, easily, and inexpensively restore transparent elections by requiring voting to take place on paper ballots which are then counted in public? Are they interested in selling computers, in fixing elections, or do they just foolishly believe that doing something is better than doing what is best?
The question to you is, do you want to restore and preserve our democracy, or do you want to entrust it to those who would continue to use secret vote counting machines which are unreliable, expensive, and unnecessary? If you are for the Holt bill, think about your
position and how easy it would be to restore and preserve our democracy with a bill mandating paper ballots and public vote counts. If you are for fair elections, spread the word like Paul Revere before Holt passes and the powers that be claim that they have “fixed” our elections. (Imagine Bush, Cheney, et al., smiling like the Grinch and laughing sinisterly every time they hear this repeated.)
Now, the obstacle is how to get this information out to the public before it is too late, Holt passes, and the mainstream media and the politicians tell everyone that the voting system has been “fixed.”
Well, you can take a few minutes and take action now. It is that easy.
Please think about that, send this to your contacts, and do the right thing by calling, emailing, and faxing or mailing your Representatives with this simple message:
“I urge you to restore the use of paper ballots which are counted in public on election night in all Federal elections. I am very concerned about this serious issue, and I hope that you will take
immediate action to protect democracy instead of undermining democracy. Please do not support the Holt bill, and instead, support Congressman Kucinich’s bill calling for hand counted paper ballots. Thank you.”
To find the contact information for your Congressional representatives: Go to http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/ look for the box to write your elected officials and enter your zip code to find your them. Then, select compose your own message to your
Federal officials, and send them an email with the subject “Stop Holt, Restore Public Vote Counting!”
Also, please tell Congressman Kucinich that you support his bill calling for hand counted paper ballots here http://action.dennis4president.com/contact-us/ This will allow him to track the support for his efforts.
Please realize that if your vote does not count, then you no longer have any power to influence your government!!! If you have no power to influence our government, you are no longer free, instead you are just a subject whose wishes, feelings, and life mean nothing to those in power. Please take action today to restore democracy and to prevent it from being taken away.
Mark A. Adams JD/MBA
For more information on my activities see:
My speech against further media consolidation at FCC Hearing in Tampa
My speech at the Voting System Reform Rally in Tallahassee, Florida
on March 21, 2007
Link to Speeches by John Russell and Mark Adams at St. Petersburg
peace rally on March 17, 2007 – Topics Why we are still at war when
the vast majority of Americans are against it, and what you can do
My speech titled “No Justice, No Peace” given at the National
Judicial Reform Conference at Rice University in Houston, Texas on
August 11, 2007.
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