Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Texas Secretary of State holds hearing on electronic voting machines

"You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another."
Leviticus 19:11

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.


  1. Strange that with no one speaking in favor of electronic voting, what will be the outcome

  2. Strange that with no one speaking in favor of electronic voting, what will be the outcome

  3. The certification process is a sham. The software of the two companies are proprietary. Not only Keith Ingram but also the two companies HART and ES&S are trying to remove the paper ballot trail and to separate the voting process from the statutes of our elected representatives.

  4. Paper ballots are far from perfect. In Van Zandt county, ~2000 paper ballots are unaccounted for. In my precinct polling place, citizens were told "the ballot box is broken, you must give your ballots to this poll worker". The poll worker inspected the ballots, folded them, then sorted them into an envelope. The Texas SOS informed me (when I called to report this) that it was illegal for a poll worker to inspect the ballots. I made a written statement, but as far as I know nothing has come of it.

    Last I checked - election fraud was a felony. Why aren't people being put in jail for this? If it was enforced, there would be a deterrent to this behavior.