We had a really informative conference call today. We discussed chain of custody, digital ballot images, what machines make them under what circumstances and how to do freedom of information requests for them.
Also we had an update about the WI, PA & FL recounts.
Some notes from the call:
Virginia Martin, Democratic Commissioner of Columbia County NY spoke about chain of custody of ballots.
Ted Soares spoke about Freedom of Information Requests for digital ballot images
From Ted: Information on making Public Records Law requests—states version of the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)—has been posted on my website.
All US states have FOIA type laws that may be used to access and hand count ballots cast in our elections. States are required by law to preserve all federal related election records, including ballots, for 22 months.
Karen McKim from Wisconsin Election Integrity gave a round up of the Wisconsin recount.
Nisi Jacobs spoke about the meeting December 6th to give input on your NY voting experience. She is presenting information about an option that she prefers to Ranked Choice Voting that makes it more realistic to vote for third party candidates.
Ron Bandes president of VoteAllegheny spoke about the extreme difficulty / impossibility of getting meaningful information off of DRE (Direct Record Electronic) voting machines in the Pennsylvania recount. I will put up a separate blog post on that.
Clint Curtis an attorney and programmer spoke about the lawsuit he is filing requesting a recount in Florida. Please contact him if you can share useful information from the WI or other recounts in process, or if you want to help in Florida.
Brent Turner came on the call. For those who may not be aware of him, Brent is a known troll who has aggressively harassed people in the election reform community for years. A reliable source informed me that he "left threatening crazed messages on Brad Friedman's phone." And Emily Levy messaged me, "BEWARE of Brent Turner. He's a dangerous man. Has threatened Brad Friedman's life, and on two occasions was so threatening to me that I had to be escorted out of events by security."
He also takes over election activist's Facebook pages, overwhelming them with posts about his business, which sells "open source" voting equipment. Brent business website is CAVO - California Association of Voting Officials. Jim Soper of Ballots for Bernie said that this is really a DRE (Direct Record Electronic) machine that prints a ballot that is then fed into an optical scan machine. The advantage for the vendors of a system like this is that they can then sell the states two sets of equipment instead of one and make millions more dollars, on top of the additional money that they will charge to maintain and service these machines. The security on a system like this will likely be as flawed or more flawed than the current system, since there are 2 computers involved instead of one. I have not researched the CAVO system personally - the information is from Jim Soper.
I allowed Brent to make a few comments as a courtesy, but he did not wrap up when asked, so I did cut him off. Everyone needs to respect the time limits and my job as the facilitator is to try to cover what we need to cover during the call. If you're asked to wrap up - please respect everyone's time and do so.
As long as we're on the subject of trolls, I got a message to watch out for the names Christopher Davies and Jessica Davies The advice is not to accept friend requests from these 2, as it could open your computer to possible hacking.
Thanks to everyone who participated! Please continue the discussion in the comments.
We'll do the call again next week, Sunday 12/11 from 3-4 pm EST. We'll focus on what's happening with the recounts across the country. Please join us, and spread the word!
If you offered info on the conference call - please put your links in the comments.