Truing the Vote: Could Old-School Paper Ballots Obviate Homeland Security’s Stated Need to USURP the Electoral Process?

“Love your country, but never trust its government.”  —Robert A. Heinlein

Electronic Voting Machines: Trusted by No One

In view of the fact that the 2016 election results could so easily be skewed by virus-contaminated voting booths, perhaps it is time to return to the days of old-school paper balloting.  No system is perfect, but, in light of the ease with which millions of electronic votes could be switched, the more reliable system is probably the old-school method of paper balloting, since it would prove much more difficult to corrupt this kind of process on so large a scale.

Progressives like to blame voting machine fraud on the Bushes, while conservatives tend to blame the problem on George Soros.  But, whether you side with progressives or conservatives on this, one thing is undeniably clear: nobody trusts the easily-hacked voting machines that are everywhere to be found these days!  Nor should they, especially with what we now know about SCYTL, a voting-booth manufacturer which has been proven to be a criminal perpetrator in cases of election fraud worldwide.  Just make a visit to Bing or Google and put in the words “voting machine election fraud” and you may be surprised (or you may not) at what all comes up.  And, just in case you are skeptical of what you read, you may be intrigued by some YouTube videos, such as the ones with the following titles: “Diebold Electronic Vote Fraud Confirmed,” “US Elections, RIGGED Computer Programmer TESTIFIES Congressional Meeting.  ELECTION FRAUD!,” and “Md Voters: Machine Changed Votes from ‘Republican’ to ‘Democrat’—Voter Fraud—America’s Newsroom.”


Election Integrity, Old-School

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So, how do we outmaneuver ballot fraud using paper ballots?  Indeed, how can we make sure that there is a system of integrity in place that might come close to ensuring that the vote counts are not corrupt—or have as little corruption as possible?  In order to accomplish this, a cross-tabulation system would need to be utilized.  Let me explain what this is and how it works.

Five years ago, I was elected to be the Chapter Chair—or union shop steward—at the high school where I was teaching at the time. When a balloting measure came before the teachers for a vote, such as whether or not to renew the collective-bargaining agreement with the school district, I was in charge of making sure the ballots were counted accurately and with integrity. So, I enlisted two other union members to help do the ballot-counting.

The ballots were sorted into three piles, and each pile was counted by the person in charge of that pile.  Each vote tally was reported to the other two vote-counters.  Then, all three of us added up the vote tallies of all three piles of ballots, to provide a cross-check and make sure that we all agreed on the math across vote tallies.  Then, each vote-counter gave his pile to a second vote-counter.  The votes were then cross-verified by being tabulated once again.  If any discrepancy were to develop between the two vote tallies of any group of ballots, the plan called for yet another tally of that group of ballots, by a third vote-counter, to take place.  Needless to say, this system worked beautifully.


Countywide Cross-Tabulation

In a countywide election, the tallying of votes could be done in a similar manner within each voting precinct, before reporting those tallies to each of three separate countywide vote-tabulation offices.  Each of those three offices would then tally the precinct vote totals independently, after all the precincts had reported in.  All three countywide tabulation offices should produce tabulation results that are in agreement with each other.  If two offices agree, and the tally of the third office is off, a simple audit would probably answer the question of what happened to skew the counting at that particular site.  In the meantime, a match between the other two offices would be enough to certify the countrywide numbers.  If all three offices had slightly different numbers, but the differences were not statistically significant and the race was not close enough for a recount, the election could still be certified as to who won and who lost the race.  If the election winner won by less than one percent, then each countywide tabulation office could be tasked with recounting the vote tallies of each of the other two offices.  And, if no matching tallies could be arrived at, then all-new vote counters could be brought in for the audit that might result.  And there would be a low-tech, unhackable paper trail to work from.


Elections at the State Level

Statewide elections would, of course, leave the county systems in place.  However, in addition to the countywide tally systems, each state should have three statewide auditing offices that would independently collect the tallies from each county.  This would provide cross-verification at the state level, as well as at the county level.

And all of the ballots, of course, would be ballots signed by the voters in each instance, with signatures that should be auditable using state databases.  (Voters could both print and sign every ballot on the back.)  Since state photo IDs sport signatures of the citizens to whom the IDs are issued, the signatures on valid ballots could be matched with the signatures on their state IDs.  Any ballots in question could have their signatures checked against state databases in order to confirm their validity.


Federal Management of National Elections Is Wrong

Not only is it a bad idea to let the political party in power control the nation’s elections, it is un-Constitutional.  According to the US Constitution, Article One, Section Four, the sovereign states control their own elections.  The Congress may alter the rules of time, manner, and place, but the Executive has no power, on his own, to do anything along the lines of managing the electoral processes that will determine who his successor is to be.  However, this inconvenient truth does not appear to discourage President Obama from declaring that he will put his very own Department of Homeland Security in charge of the 2016 election.  Of course, since Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson has actually broken immigration laws in his oversight of how Homeland Security enforces border security, it is more than likely that Johnson is not a trustworthy person to be overseeing the integrity of America’s electoral processes.  But, then again, there is probably no one in the Obama Administration worthy of trust, seeing how the Healthcare.Gov website itself does not protect Americans from having their identities hacked and stolen right off the website on a regular basis.

Nor should the Obama Administration be singled out for mistrust; the truth is that no federal administration is to be trusted—Democrat or Republican—when it comes to overseeing the nation’s elections.  The party in power will always be in a position to tip the scales nationally in its favor.  Elections should be run as close to the people as possible, and paper ballots would eliminate any basis for claims by a corrupt federal government that its oversight is somehow needed to guard against any possible hacking of voting machines at the polling places.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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