One Person. One Vote. Counted As Cast.




















Procedures & Chain Of Custody

  • Running an election is a huge logistical problem that citizens don't appreciate enough. The 1-day 'ramp up' is from less than 50 employees in a large-ish county to thousands of poorly paid, part time workers who have to execute complex procedures surrounding thousands of custom-built computers and scanners. This is difficult to do well.

  • The machine companies like to blame problems on human error. They say something like, it wasn't the machine's fault, the (systematically overworked and undertrained) pollworker forgot to reset the machine to zero after testing. You need to ask questions when you hear excuses like that. A mission-critical system would not let the humans forget to reset the machines to zero (Hart), or change the encryption code for every election (Diebold). The procedures need to be tight, and the machines even tighter. Right now, none of them are up to the task.

  • Because the machines are hackable, officials need to keep tight control of the machines and the memory cards that go into them. This is highly dependant on the elections officials, yet some are very sloppy. But even the best cannot keep control of all the memory cards that are in the care of hundreds or thousands of poll workers

  • Chicago and Cook county lost control 400+ electronic cards, in the Winter 06. Cleveland lost control of about 75.

  • We know that Diebold touch screen machines can be reprogrammed in a few minutes. Yet San Diego keeps these machines in pollworkers' homes shortly before the election.( Please note that Sonohmish(sp?) county, WA has the post office deliver the machines the morning of the election.

  • Los Angeles county's inadequate audit procedures :

  • Putting tamper evident seals on voting machines will not work if tamperers can replace the seal with a duplicate.

  • We need to move Election Day to the weekend or make it a holiday.

  • There should be 2 shifts instead of one 12+ hour shift. Alternatively, we can treat poll working like jury duty. Everybody does it in turn.

  • Sidestepping security seals on a Diebold Scanner : and

  • "Prosecutor says presidential recount rigged in Ohio county" (1/07) :

California State Elections Code

  • 15003. Elections officials shall adopt semifinal official and official canvass procedures to conform to the applicable voting system procedures that have been approved by the Secretary of State. These procedures shall be available for public inspection no later than 29 days before each election.

Precinct-Based Hand Counting

  • Theoretically, hand counting can be done in a few hours if each precinct counts its own ballots on election night BEFORE the ballots are sent to county headquarters.

  • Getting a count before the ballots leave the precincts means that extensive fraud would require more people.

  • Since the day is even longer, hand counting requires 2 shifts of poll workers and more competent workers that what some counties are able to hire.

  • We need to be aware that cheating with hand counting will occur, especially in highly partisan districts. So auditing is still required.

  • Here are some procedures on how to hand count ballots in precincts (Tobi, 9/07) :


Nobody, and no machine, should be counting votes in secret.

For further information, email me at :
July 10, 11

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