DEMOCRACY IN OUR HANDS
The Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots is a non-partisan organization, created with the intention of ensuring that each voter knows that her or his vote counts and is counted as intended.  For voters to have confidence in our election system, counting of votes must be perceived as being fair and must BE fair; the entire election process must be transparent.

This must be done WHILE WE STILL HAVE TIME — new web site for new book by Sheila Parks.


Women celebrating the passage of Amendment XIX — ratified on August 18, 1920, certified on August 26, 1920 and became the law of the land.

Used with permission of BPW/USA.


"Fighting For" Song by Natali Freed & Sheila Parks for the Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots, July 18, 2012.


Article Sections


Hacking the Machines: How voting machines are inherently insecure; also includes articles about suspicious actions associated with the voting machine industry.


Election Fraud: Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Wisconsin.


Against Machine Counting: Accounts of voting machines failing the people in actual elections.


For Hand-Counting: Why we need to have publicly observed hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections with a secure chain of custody; several other technologically advanced countries are already doing this.


Voting Rights: The United States Constitution has two amendments forbidding discrimination in voting rights with respect to race and gender. Citizens should not then have these rights rendered meaningless on account of not being in control of vote counting.



Welcome to the

Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots


We are an educational and research center that provides on-site instruction and resources to state and local election officials, poll workers, and voters on how to run publicly observed hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections and recounts with a secure chain of custody.  Hand-counted paper ballots elections are a solution to the fraud and error associated with the use of electronic voting machines (both touchscreens / DRE’s and optical scans) and the control of our elections by a privatized electronic voting machine industry that has shown itself to be willing and able to change votes against the voter's will.


(We recommend that you watch the following video full screen so that you can read the labels on the voting machine screen.)

 


Hand-counted paper ballots elections require new protocols to be implemented. Therefore, there is a need for information and training for election officials, other poll workers, and voters. We can also help you with ballot boxes and recruitment of hand-counters. Hand-counted paper ballots elections are not only much less expensive than buying, upgrading, maintaining, and storing electronic voting machines but also keep the money in the community.


We are against any form of voting that does not guarantee that votes are counted as cast. If you think your vote is counted as cast in our current system, think again.


We love this image for its highlighting of fraud by some voting machines. However, this does not discount the widespread existence of fraud by optical scan machines. The Emmy-nominated 81 minute documentary, Hacking Democracy, originally aired on HBO, shows Finnish computer expert Harri Hursti and BlackBoxVoting hacking the optical scan voting machines.


Verified Voting lists here all states in the USA and the kind of election equipment used in 2010 in all the jurisdictions in each state.


The right to vote, as well as the principle of "one person, one vote," are cornerstones of our democracy. The anti-slavery, women’s suffrage, and civil rights movements as well as the expansion of voting to young people are all part of the history of electoral reform in this country. Equally fundamental is the assurance that each voter knows that her or his vote counts and is counted as intended. At this time in our history, many have lost confidence in our voting system. publicly observed secure hand-counted paper ballots elections, with a secure chain of custody of the ballots, will bring transparency and honesty to our elections and make sure that the real winners take office.


PAC-MAN: What you can do with the

Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen voting machines


News


They're at it again. North Carolina voters report voting machines switching their votes from Dem to GOP candidate, by Tom Boggioni (11/02/2014).


Wisconsins' red-to-blue swings by Marianne Moonhouse and Barbara With (10/24/2014), both in WI. Specifically about WI, but applicable to all elections, which can be rigged via electronic voting machines, both optical scans and touchscreens.


Scandal ABC blogs by Sheila Parks


Sheila Parks is blogging weekly about Shonda Rhimes' brilliant ABC TV show Scandal that is highlighting election rigging in Ohio. “Steal the White House? Yes, we can. Been done before. Will be done again.”


SCANDAL ABC: Defiance Is Not Dead and What About the Voting Rights Act? 5/23/2013.


SCANDAL ABC: Whose Side Are You On - Olivia Pope's, David Rosen's or the People's? 5/13/2013.


SCANDAL ABC: Defiance, Ohio - Is It On or Off the Table? 5/6/2013.


SCANDAL ABC: Huck - Torturer on the Outside, Tortured on the Inside 4/29/2013.


SCANDAL ABC: Defiance, Ohio and Boston, Massachusetts 4/9/2013.


SCANDAL ABC: Democracy Continues to Die 4/2/2013.


SCANDAL ABC: Yes, Cyrus, Olivia's Vagina Is Political 3/25/2013.


SCANDAL ABC: A Pile of Truth for David Rosen and James Novak 2/26/2013.


Scandal ABC - Defiance Lives: Secrets and Betrayals 2/19/2013.


Healing the Wounds: An Activist's Notes for a Scandal Episode 2/12/2013.


For Crime of Century Scandal ABC Needs an Activist in the Writing Room 2/5/2013.


Election Rigging Plotted on ABC’s Scandal: The Real Life Backstory 1/24/2013.


Scandal on Stealing the White House 1/14/2013.


Story Notes For Television Producer Shonda Rhimes 12/19/2012.


Older News


Roadmap to Karl Rove's Empire of Election Fraud by Jill Simpson and Jim March.


Sheila Parks: “Will Your Vote Even Get Counted?”


Sheila Parks: “Your Vote Got Counted. Here’s Why”.


INJUNCTION to impound election materials.


Read Hacking the Machines by Sheila Parks, April 27, 2012. The corporations, the 1%, own all the electronic voting machines, and these can all be rigged.


Read In Honor of the Anniversary of the Wisconsin Uprising, February 11, 2011 - Wisconsin: The New Florida and Ohio?, by Sheila Parks.


On February 8, 2012, two Lincoln County, WV officials (former Sheriff Jerry Bowman and former County Clerk Donald C. Whitten) pled guilty to charges of election fraud. After reading that, read how FOX News spins this as "voter fraud", even though the election theft was by officials, not individual voters.


Election hacked, drunken robot elected to school board. In 2010, U. Michigan Professor Alex Halderman and 2 graduate students hacked the Washington, DC e-voting system in a public test 3 weeks before it was to be used in an actual election. In their original report, they point out that even seemingly minor flaws provide security holes. At the RSA security conference in March 2012, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories computer scientist and Verified Voting chair David Jefferson warned that this kind of attack shows that internet voting systems are inherently insecure (article Part 1, Part 2).


The US Election Assistance Commission announces that ES&S DS200 optical scan e-voting machines ("IntElect") have lots of problems during actual voting. These machines read paper ballots that voters feed into them at their precincts, and are used in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio (more info here), New York, and Wisconsin. But no decertification: according to the EAC's Brian Hancock, "Our goal is not to decertify systems. We never want to be in a situation of putting counties in a position where they cannot run an election."


Action item: On pages 135 - 137 in his book Mike's Election Guide 2008, Michael Moore calls for hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB). He has promised to write another paper to OWS about elections, and has asked for comments. Write him to remind him of his own words, to include HCPB elections in the new article. Here are 5 e-mail addresses to reach him, since some may bounce with "mailbox full": (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5).


In New Hampshire, this is the worst yet: Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan calls voting rights activists "special interest groups" and accuses them of threatening election integrity. Thanks to Nancy Tobi for posting the Scanlan letter at the end of this article.


Read Hacking Our Elections With Big Money And Power, by Michael Collins and Sheila Parks, August 24, 2011. This describes the formula for modern elections: Candidates must have corporate financial backing to win; these financial resources, in turn are backed by our fraudulent machine-mediated election system. We must adopt a system of publicly hand-counted paper ballots to break the election machine part of this chain of corruption.


The Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots asks Wisconsin recall candidates to file an injunction to impound all electronic voting machines and ballots immediately after the election (August 7, 2011).


Listen to Sheila Parks on We The People with Sara Schulz (a radio show in Wisconsin), July 30, 2011, talking about election fraud and hand-counted paper ballots. Download the recording of this show here.


By Grant W. Petty and Sheila Parks, July 9, 2011: "It goes without saying that the outcomes of the nine Senate recall elections scheduled in Wisconsin will be of intense interest.... Forecasting the outcome of elections weeks in advance is always a risky business; nevertheless, we offer the following bold predictions...." READ MORE


Read Victoria Collier's open letter of June 5, 2011 and Sheila Parks' WISCONSIN: DEMOCRACY IN OUR HANDS, both about the activists' fight against Governor Scott Walker's assault on freedom in Wisconsin. "The bottom line is, as long as you are using Touch Screens and Optical Scanners to count your votes, the recalls can be manipulated. Even if you manage to secure a full 'audit' of the paper ballots, what happens if you detect anomalies in the count?" The recall elections are to be done on the same electronic voting machines that could have rigged the elections in the first place as well as the Supreme Court recount.


Read Sheila Parks' new article Down the Rabbit Hole With Democracy and Three Urgent Pleas. "When our children and grandchildren ask me what I am doing in this crucial time to stop our government from murdering people at home and abroad, I want to be able to tell them that I am doing everything I possibly can to get democracy in this country for all the people, for the first time ever, and to end these brutal behaviors everywhere. Don't you?" Parks writes about the myth of democracy past and present in the USA and about the absolute necessity for secure hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections and a machine-free voting system to enable the will of the people of this country, whose voice is now drowned out by giant corporations that control every aspect of government, including the electoral system.


Here is a reminder that the United States is not the only country facing corporate subversion of democracy by way of electronic voting machines. For instance, the same thing is well under way in Estonia, and just like in the United States, much of the judicial system is against the people.


Now that the Egyptian people have driven Mubarak from power, the US seeks to push electronic voting machines from India on them. As computer security researchers (including some from India) have shown, the Indian voting machines are non-transparent and inherently insecure. Disappointingly, the authors list as their first two solutions "voter-veriable paper audit trails" and "precinct-count optical scan voting", but only their third solution, of "simple paper ballots" can provide security. This problem is not specific to Indian voting machines; the State of New Jersey has been sued for the insecurity of its voting machines; also see here.


After New York got optical scan electronic voting machines, Columbia County election commissioners decided to have voters hand-count the votes (also see this new article). If you are an election official and want to talk with commissioner Virginia Martin about why and how they did the hand count, she has invited that you contact her by e-mail (vmartin at govt.co.columbia.ny.us; change the "at" and spaces to the proper symbol).


See What happened to the rights of the people in Ohio following Ohio's 2004 election debacle?