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Letter from Hand-Count the Ballots - MA, hosted courtesy of TalkPoliticsHere.com


MA Citizens' Lobbying Campaign for Hand-Counted Ballots Commences


Greetings Fellow Election Integrity Activists,

Our lobbying campaign to convert the Massachusetts election system to all hand-counted paper ballots has begun.    As you know, recent events have shown that if we cannot regain control of our election process, to ensure it is honest and fraud-proof, we can never make positive change in our society.  The corporations with the keys to hacking the paper ballot vote-counting machines will always control our destiny.  

This campaign consists of three steps:

- Poll our state legislators on their initial stance on our proposed hand-counted voting process which we should implement in Massachusetts, in order to ensure transparency and honesty in our elections.  Will they sign as co-sponsors to our draft legislation?  In general it can be assumed that legislators who co-sponsor a bill will vote for it.  

-  Post the results of our initial poll of legislators, to identify which ones to lobby.  We will continue to write letters/emails, make office visits, and publicize the hold-outs to having honest elections, to their constituents.  In some cases, some of us may decide to make a challenge for the seat.


- Call for a vote to be taken in the State House of Representatives when we think we have enough votes to pass the law, to be followed by a vote in the State Senate.  

Below is our email, "Poll of Massachusetts State Legislators: Position on the Hand-Count the Ballots Massachusetts Act."

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SUBJECT: Poll of Massachusetts State Legislators: Position on the Hand-Count the Ballots Massachusetts Act

Dear State Legislator,

This is a poll of support of Massachusetts legislators for the Hand Count the Ballots Massachusetts  Act.  The Act seeks to rectify the vulnerability of present election systems in Massachusetts to hacking, in particular, the hacking of the recorded vote produced by optical scanner vote-counting machines, which are in wide use across Massachusetts.  Such systems have been demonstrated time and again to be vulnerable to malicious interlopers perpetrating election fraud on the public, causing the machines to report falsified results.  

Presently over 65 of Massachusetts towns already utilize a system of hand-counting ballots in elections.  We should be doing this across the entire state.

Please view this clip from the HBO documentary "Hacking Democracy":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t75xvZ3osFg

Also please view the testimony of election hacker Clinton Eugene Curtis, who ran for Congress:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzBI33kOiKc

Finally, please read this article by Victoria Collier in the respected TruthOut.org, "The Shocking Truth About Election Rigging in the United States."  https://tinyurl.com/jzoek84a2


Hand Count the Ballots - MA is committed to publicly observed hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections with a secure chain of custody.

Thus far the courts in Massachusetts have denied petitioners the simple request to order ballots in various districts to be made available for inspection and hand-counting, under proper supervision, to reinstill confidence in our voting system.  This year Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Linda Giles dismissed a lawsuit, on procedural grounds, requesting that citizens be allowed to count ballots in certain named jurisdictions.  This flies in the face of all principles of openness and transparency in government. (Please see Secretary of State William Galvin v. Lopez, Docket #16-1747E

For these reasons and others Hand Count the Ballots - MA is now polling all Massachusetts state representatives and state senators on their support for legislation which would, in accordance with recommendations by the  Election Defense Alliance, implement the following requirements for a trustworthy system.  The key counting protocol elements of this system are presently in use and have been thoroughly tested and found practical in Wilton, NH.  

1.  Electronic vote-counting machines, i.e. optical scanner ballot readers, are not involved in this process in any way whatsoever  Accommodatons for handicapped/disabled voters shall consist of accessible non-tabulating ballot-marking devices.

2.  Each voter hand marks a sturdy paper ballot with a black felt pen provided at the precinct.

3.  Hand-counting of the votes on the ballots happens at each precinct immediately after the polls close, by a fresh shift of poll workers.

4.  Each ballot shall be run through a ballot digital scanning machine if available, a feature of most electronic vote-counting machines.

5.  Each ballot is hand-counted by registered voters from that precinct in full view of other registered voters from that precinct.

6. The counting protocol shall be as follows, "a" through "d":

    a.  A counter, a tally-taker, and two observers consisting of randomly chosen citizen volunteers shall comprise a vote counting team for one stack of ballots.  The ballots shall be divided by the number of teams.  

    b.  The counter shall pick up the ballot, and call out the votes to the tally-taker, who shall mark them on a specifically designed tally sheet for the precinct's candidates.  Each observer shall be able to discern all markings.

    c.  Each stack of ballots shall be examined by two teams to verify the result.  No stack shall be declared finished until the results match in two consecutive iterations

    d.  The counting process may be filmed by public observers behind a "rail line" around the counting tables.  The counting tables shall consist of tables the size of a four-person card table.   

8. Digital ballot images shall be preserved and posted as part of the public record.
.
9.  Results are posted at each precinct, immediately after the counting.

10.   A chain of custody of the ballots and ballot boxes is specified.

11.  Ballot boxes are observed and filmed as they are opened and closed and move from place to place.

12.  Digital ballot images, where available, must be preserved and posted or available in a digital format.

13.  Mail-in ballots or early voting only allowed under stringent circumstances, such as military deployment or physical handicap affecting mobility.

This legislation incorporates the protocol of the successful hand-count system already in use in Wilton, NH , whose characteristics include being easily scalable to any size precinct.  It is capable of processing a large-sized polling station of 2,000 to 3,000 voters, with a shift of 20 poll workers and volunteers, in four to eight hours.  It is more important that Americans have faith in the results of their elections than for results to be available immediately.

Please chose one of the following levels of support for the proposed Hand Count the Ballots Massachusetts  Act, and kindly respond to HandCountTheBallots AT gmail DOT com:

A) SUPPORT, WILL BECOME A CO-SPONSOR
B) SUPPORT WITH SOME CHANGES
C) DO NOT SUPPORT

Kindly respond to our poll by 5 pm March 31st.  We will be posting your current position on the proposal at our website.  

In closing, it is clear the tide has turned in favor of the U.S. joining the rest of the world in adopting a best practices, fully transparent system of hand-counting paper ballots in all elections.  Countries which have done so and even specifically banned the use of electronic vote-counting machines for vote-counting include Germany, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Finland, and 53 other countries. 

Massachusetts can either be a leader, or it can drag behind what other states which are on the right side of history will inevitably do: turn to all hand-counted paper ballots.  

Thank you.

Ralph Lopez
coordinator
Hand Count the Ballots - MA

BACKGROUND

Voter Confidence in Election Systems Low

https://illinoisfamilyaction.org/2016/09/about-six-in-10-confident-in-accuracy-of-u-s-vote-count/

Video showing above-described system in live use in Wilton, NH:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEa8LmNrRFI

If you would like to donate to Hand-Count the Ballots - MA please go to our GofundMe page HERE.  Our Google Group is hand-count-the-ballots-MA@googlegroups.com

Hand-Count the Ballots - MA GoFundMe Campaign - Please Donate if You Can!


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