Blog posts

Election Integrity: What happened in 2008 and 2012 by Janet Maker

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Election Integrity: What happened in 2008 and 2012 by Janet Maker

Some people would like to interpret Obama’s wins in 2008 and 2012 as evidence that the U.S. election system isn’t really rigged.  Unfortunately, it appears that the same shenanigans that were used in 2000 and 2004 were very much in play in the later elections.

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Election Integrity: Ken Blackwell and the Ohio 2004 Election, Part III by Janet Maker

Posted by on Jun 30, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Election Integrity: Ken Blackwell and the Ohio 2004 Election, Part III by Janet Maker

There is evidence that Blackwell’s tactics preceding and during the election disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters and by themselves were enough to swing the 2004 election from Kerry to Bush. But Blackwell’s most outrageous coup against democracy was privatizing the vote count and recount.

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Election Integrity: Ken Blackwell and the Ohio 2004 Election, Part II by Janet Maker

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Election Integrity: Ken Blackwell and the Ohio 2004 Election, Part II by Janet Maker

This is the tenth blog in our election integrity series. Last month’s blog about Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell’s role in rigging the 2004 election focused on the tactics used to prevent potential Democrats from registering and, of those already registered, getting as many as possible off the rolls by purging and caging. This month we will focus on techniques that were used to prevent successfully registered voters from casting a ballot or from having their ballot count. Next month’s blog will focus on post-election tactics: fraud and irregularities in the count and recount, and violations of federal law by destroying election records.  The person in charge of all these tactics in Oho was Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell

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Election Integrity: Ken Blackwell and the Ohio 2004 Election, Part I by Janet Maker

Posted by on Apr 30, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Election Integrity: Ken Blackwell and the Ohio 2004 Election, Part I by Janet Maker

Just as Florida had decided the 2000 election, Ohio with its 20 electoral votes was the state that decided the election for George W. Bush in 2004.  John Kenneth “Ken” Blackwell was Secretary of State of Ohio from 1999 to 2007 and, just as Secretary of State Katherine Harris had also been a co-chair of the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign in Florida, Blackwell was also co-chair of the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.  As secretary of state, Blackwell had the power to interpret and implement state and federal election laws, setting standards for everything from registration to recounts. Every significant decision he made about the election benefited George W. Bush.

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Election Integrity: Katherine Harris and the Florida 2000 Election by Janet Maker

Posted by on Mar 31, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Election Integrity: Katherine Harris and the Florida 2000 Election by Janet Maker

Katherine Harris, a right-wing Christian extremist and minor Republican officeholder with ethical challenges, had the power to change the course of history.  The interventions she made in stopping the Florida recount, in enabling the voter purge, and in extending the deadline for absentee ballots, enabled George W. Bush, loser of the popular vote, to become president.

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Election Integrity: Vendors of Voting Equipment by Janet Maker

Posted by on Feb 28, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Election Integrity: Vendors of Voting Equipment by Janet Maker

After a series of business failures, mergers and acquisitions, there remain currently only three major players in the voting equipment industry. Dominion Voting Systems Corporation, Election Systems & Software (ES&S), and Hart InterCivic control about 92% of the market. ES&S is the largest, with 44%.  Dominion has 37%, and Hart InterCivic has 11%.  All three companies are privately held and do not disclose their financial information, and all three have known or suspected ties to the political and religious right wing.

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Election Integrity: Problems with Black Box Voting by Janet Maker

Posted by on Jan 31, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Election Integrity: Problems with Black Box Voting by Janet Maker

Protecting our elections is not very difficult. However, there are two reasons why the necessary protections have not been put in place. The first is that voting machines are owned by private companies and have proprietary software. Most will not allow access to the source code, so we have no way to verify that the machines are not rigged. The second problem is that for the most part, election administrators have failed to adopt the recommendations that would make elections safer. There have never been consistent, mandatory security standards governing the operation of computerized voting, so vendors have had a relatively free hand selling their flawed products.

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Election Integrity: Voter Suppression in Alabama’s 2017 Special Election, by Janet Maker

Posted by on Dec 31, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Election Integrity: Voter Suppression in Alabama’s 2017 Special Election, by Janet Maker

While the election does prove that it’s not impossible for Democrats to win, the playing field is not level. On a level playing field, both parties have an equal chance of obtaining a majority of the vote. On a playing field that’s rigged by voter suppression and black box voting machines, Democrats might require 10 or 15 percent more voters in order to win a simple majority.

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Election Integrity: Black Box Voting and the 2016 Presidential Election Recount by Janet Maker

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Election Integrity: Black Box Voting and the 2016 Presidential Election Recount by Janet Maker

This is the fourth article in our series examining election integrity.  The term black box voting was popularized by Bev Harris, owner of the website and author of the 2004 book by the same name.  The book defines black box voting as “Any voting system in which the mechanisms for recording and/or tabulating the vote are hidden from the voter, and/or the mechanism lacks a tangible record of the vote cast.“ You can watch the Emmy-nominated HBO film Hacking Democracy as it follows Bev Harris and her band of citizen activists while...

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Election Integrity: Gerrymandering by Janet Maker

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Election Integrity: Gerrymandering by Janet Maker

After the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton blamed her loss largely on Russian hacking, and Donald Trump blamed the fact that Hillary won the popular vote on millions of illegal ballots.  In my opinion, the chance that either of those claims is true ranges from zero to negligible.  But the election really was rigged, in ways that we are examining in this series of blogs.  This month’s blog focuses on the manipulation that occurred not during the presidential race, but before it — in the drawing of lines for hundreds of U.S. and state legislative seats. According to an Associated Press analysis, gerrymandering gave Republicans a huge advantage before a single vote was cast.

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