"You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another."
Should Texans have the same degree of confidence in the integrity of their elections as residents of New Hampshire?!?
This afternoon, the Texas Secretary of state held public hearings on certification for two types of electronic voting machines. It was a flashpoint for concerns from activists around Texas over questions that have recently emerged over the reliability of said machines. Literally zero people testified in favor of electronic machines.
Speakers universally spoke in favor of some form of paper balloting. As Katie Brewer of Texans for Accountable government explained: "I don't write code, but I can count paper ballots." Speakers pointed out that, in the event paper ballots became the standard, people would come out of the woodworks to help count them.
The most compelling speaker was Kurt Hyde, a Denton county activist who "began the paper trail movement in 1986." As Hyde continued, "nothing in that time has changed my mind." Hyde detailed how counting paper ballots can be accomplished in a timely manner. Hyde also pointed out that New Hampshire has had a paper trail law on the books since 1994.
The New Hampshire law got us thinking. Obviously, we just came through a presidential primary where both parties' nomination contests featured accusation of election fraud. But we didn't remember any accusations related to the contest in New Hampshire. Google confirmed it.
Laura Pressley said "the Texas Secretary of State does not have public trust" and gave several reasons related to her election challenge:
- A cast vote record is not a ballot image.
- Poll watchers were kicked out of the election office in Dallas county on the night of the primary.
- The Sec'y of state's office has granted numerous waivers related to election integrity matters.
While we didn't catch the CV of the woman who conducted the hearing, it is worth pointing out that nobody from the Secretary of State's election division showed up.
Bottom Line: Paper ballots aren't perfect, but they'd be a heck of a lot better than the mess in which we find ourselves today.