This news is, to put it mildly, bittersweet, since this win has rather obviously come too late to help repair the catastrophic damage, over decades, to the US voting system, whose corruption has helped put us where we are today, with yet another dubious election coming Tuesday. If the all-important issue of election theft had not been either blacked out or laughed off as “conspiracy theory,” especially since Bush/Cheney’s two fake victories (which brought on and then maintained the “war on terror”), we wouldn’t now be “choosing” between a challenger who wasn’t really nominated (just like four years ago), and an incumbent who, the forensic evidence suggests, wasn’t actually elected (and clearly didn’t even want to be).
Nor was it just the corporate media that pooh-poohed the fact, and existential danger, of election theft (until they pushed the fantasy that Russia somehow “rigged” the vote last time), but also the left/liberal press, which didn’t just black out the story, but actively derided those who tried to tell it. For details on that collaboration, see the afterword to the paperback edition of my book Fooled Again, about the theft of the 2004 election (with the flagrant acquiescence of the Democrats).
That blackout continued through 2016, when the considerable evidence of theft was drowned out by the mammoth propaganda chorus pushing “Russia-gate,” which served as an immense distraction from the high likelihood that Trump had been selected not by Russia, but by the same players who’ve been managing the outcomes of US elections for some time. Thus “Russia-gate” enabled the CIA and its Mighty Wurlitzer (including the “left” press) to cloud the issue once again; and so here we are today, with the Great Reset upon us, as the “war on terror” hit us 19 years ago.
Kudos, then, to Jill Stein (long since smeared as a Russian agent), as she’s the only US presidential candidate who’s ever spoken out about this mortal danger to US democracy (such as it is), and who then took bold steps to make that danger less. (By contrast, Bernie Sanders, though robbed twice, said nothing, much to his disgrace.)
Posted at Green Party of the United States Facebook group tonight:
BIG WIN FOR ELECTION INTEGRITY
The Stein 2016 #Recount campaign has won our court fight in Wisconsin, overcoming the final obstacle to a groundbreaking examination of voting machine source code by defeating voting machine vendors’ attempts to gag us from telling the public what we find.
Statement from the Stein Recount Campaign October 30, 2020
Recount announces major legal win in Wisconsin, will proceed with groundbreaking examination of critical voting machine software. Former Green Party Presidential nominee Jill Stein announced today a major victory for election integrity in litigation arising from the Stein 2016 presidential recount. She celebrated the final defeat in Wisconsin’s courts of voting machine vendors’ attempts to impose a gag rule on the Stein 2016 recount, which clears the way for Stein’s designated expert J. Alex Halderman to finally inspect the code that runs many voting machines used in Wisconsin and across the U.S., and disclose conclusions about the software;s reliability and accuracy to the public.
“This is a major win for voters everywhere,” Stein noted. “The courts have affirmed that the largest manufacturer of voting machines in the US, Election Systems & Software, has no right to suppress the findings of our upcoming inspection of key election software. That inspection will bring much needed transparency and accountability to the software that counts our votes. This win affirms that corporations cannot shield the voting software we rely on from public scrutiny. With election integrity finally getting some much-needed attention, this is a huge victory for the public’s right to elections we can trust, that are accurate, secure, and just,” said Stein.
While celebrating the legal win, Stein bemoaned the voting machine vendors’ efforts to tie the case up in court for almost four years, preventing the Stein recount campaign from examining the voting machines before the 2020 election. “It’s outrageous that voting machine vendors that profit from government contracts have been able to use those profits to buy political influence and prevent scrutiny of their machines through legal machinations,” said Stein.
Wisconsin law allows campaigns that file for recounts the right to inspect voting machine source code—the software that controls the actual counting and tallying of the votes in systems used across the country. Stein is currently involved in discussions to plan the examination with the expert designated to conduct it, Dr. J. Alex Halderman, professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan and a leading expert in cybersecurity and election technology. “This is a unique opportunity for independent scrutiny,” said Halderman. “The examination will give the public and officials a more complete picture of election security risks and ultimately help make voting more secure.”
This victory in Wisconsin is the latest in a series of wins for election integrity by the Stein 2016 recount and subsequent litigation. In 2018, Stein settled her recount lawsuit with the state of Pennsylvania for a guarantee that the state would replace all paperless voting machines with systems using voter-verifiable paper ballots by 2020, and in 2022 would introduce post-election risk-limiting audits to verify the vote before results are certified. Stein took Pennsylvania back to court to demand decertification of the flawed ES&S Expressvote XL ballot-marking devices, and while the court ultimately ruled against decertification, the lawsuit played a role in dissuading several counties from purchasing the machines.
Stein’s recount litigation in Pennsylvania struck a critical blow against the use of paperless Direct Recording Electronic voting machines, and brought up-to-date election integrity practices to a state that had been among the worst in the nation. The 2016 recount in Wisconsin, while it did not include a full hand recount of all counties that would be needed to truly verify the result, did bring unprecedented transparency to the state’s vote-counting process and led directly to the state’s decertification of Optech Eagle voting machines that were observed miscounting ballots during the recount in Racine County. The recount produced a mountain of data, which was analyzed by academics from MIT, Harvard, and the University of Wisconsin, and put to use by election integrity advocates and the Wisconsin Elections Commission to improve practices that had led to 1 out of every 170 votes originally being miscounted.
The recount effort in Michigan, which was quickly halted by a Republican-appointed judge’s ruling that Stein lacked standing to compel a recount, exposed glaring problems with Michigan’s elections, including an improbable 84,000 undervotes in the presidential race, faulty machines concentrated in urban precincts that broke down in large numbers, and a provision in state law preventing the recounting of precincts where problems arose. In Detroit, more than 80 ballot scanners broke down on election day in 2016, and a whopping 60% of precincts were ruled ineligible for recounting due to problems with the initial count. While the recount was quickly halted, the national attention on Michigan’s failings galvanized the state to replace many of its faulty voting machines shortly after the 2016 election.
“This is a huge win for voters everywhere who want elections we can trust,” said Stein. “Thanks and congratulations are due to our dedicated legal team, particularly Debbie Greenberger and Chris Meuler in Wisconsin’s litigation as well as Ilann Maazel in Pennsylvania’s, and the thousands of people who supported the recount as donors and volunteers. This win for democracy belongs to all of us.”