Board of Directors

Steve Shaff

Stephen Shaff is a community and political organizer, social entrepreneur, and the founder of Community-Vision Partners (C-VP), a community and social solutions Benefit LLC whose mission is to initiate, facilitate and agitate for the Common Good. A significant project of C-VP has been the establishment and development of the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council (CSBC), a business-led educational and advocacy organization whose mission is to promote and expand sustainable business viability, awareness, and impact within the Chesapeake region (MD, DC and VA). Shaff’s background represents an unusually broad but interrelated series of accomplishments along with a multi-sector network of relationships and contacts. His areas of expertise include inner-city Washington, DC Affordable Housing & Real Estate Development; Community Development and Activism; Green & New Economy Advocacy; Civic & Political Advocacy Leadership and other national movement initiatives.

Steve Shaff

Secretary - People Demanding Action
Executive Director Community Vision Partners

Executive Director

Alex Lawson is the executive director of Social Security Works, the convening member of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition— a coalition made up of over 300 national and state organizations representing over 50 million Americans. Lawson was the first employee of Social Security Works, when he served as the communications director, and has built the organization alongside the founding co-directors into a recognized leader on social insurance. Mr. Lawson is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. Mr. Lawson is also the co-owner of We Act Radio an AM radio station and media production company whose studio is located in the historic Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, DC. We Act Radio is a mission driven business that is dedicated to raising up the stories and voices of those historically excluded from the media. We Act Radio is also an innovator in the use of online and social media as well as video livestreaming to cover breaking news and events. Most recently, producing video livestreaming from Ferguson, MO as the #FergusonLive project sponsored by Color of Change.

Alex Lawson

Treasurer - People Demanding Action
Social Security Works
Washington, DC

Rev. Rodney Sadler

Dr. Sadler's work in the community includes terms as a board member of the N.C. Council of Churches, Siegel Avenue Partners, and Mecklenburg Ministries, and currently he serves on the boards of Union Presbyterian Seminary, Loaves and Fishes, the Hispanic Summer Program, and the Charlotte Chapter of the NAACP. His activism includes work with the Community for Creative Non-Violence in D.C., Durham C.A.N., H.E.L.P. Charlotte, and he has worked organizing clergy with and developing theological resources for the Forward Together/Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina. Rev. Sadler is the managing editor of the African American Devotional Bible, associate editor of the Africana Bible, and the author of Can a Cushite Change His Skin? An Examination of Race, Ethnicity, and Othering in the Hebrew Bible. He has published articles in Interpretation, Ex Audito, Christian Century, the Criswell Theological Review, and the Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature and has essays and entries in True to Our Native Land, the New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, the Westminster Dictionary of Church History, Light against Darkness, and several other publications. Among his research interests are the intersection of race and Scripture, the impact of our images of Jesus for the perpetuation of racial thought in America, the development of African American biblical interpretation in slave narratives, the enactment of justice in society based on biblical imperatives, and the intersection of religion and politics.

Rev. Rodney Sadler

Co - Chair - People Demanding Action
North Carolina Forward Together/Moral Monday Movem
Radio Host: Politics of Faith - Wednesday @ 11 am

Executive Director and Executive Producer PDA Radio

Andrea Miller is the Executive Director of People Demanding Action, a multi-issue advocacy group. Andrea is both an organizer as well as a digital advocacy expert. She has appeared on the Thom Hartmann show, hosts the Progressive Round Table and is Executive Producer or PDAction Radio. As an IT professional she is also responsible for PDAction's digital strategy and customizes advocacy tools for small to medium size organizations through the Progressive Support Project. She is the former Co-Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America, was the Democratic Nominee in 2008 for House of Representatives in the Virginia 4th District. Running on a Medicare for All and clean energy platform, Andrea was endorsed by PDA, California Nurses and The Sierra Club. Prior to running for office, Andrea was a part of Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign, first as Statewide Coordinator for Virginia and subsequently as Regional Coordinator. From 2006 until leading the VA Kucinich camppaign Andrea was’s Regional Coordinator for Central, Southwest and Hampton Roads areas of Virginia and West Virginia.

Andrea Miller

Board Member and Executive Director
Spotsylvania, VA

President and Executive Director

Since September 2013, Dr. Gabriela D. Lemus has served as the President of Progressive Congress. Dr. Lemus served as Senior Advisor to Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and was Director of the Office of Public Engagement from July 2009 until August 2013. Prior to her appointment, she was the first woman to hold the position of Executive Director at the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) from 2007-2009, and the first woman to chair the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) from 2008-2009. During her tenure at LCLAA, she helped co-found the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change (NLCCC) and was a Commissioner for the Commission to Engage African-Americans on Climate Change (CEAAC). She served 3-year terms on the advisory boards of both the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) from 2005-2008 and the United States Labor Education in the Americas Project (USLEAP) from 2006-2009. In January 2013, she was confirmed by the DC Council to sit on the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia. From 2000-2007, she served as Director of Policy and Legislation at the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) where she launched the LULAC Democracy Initiative - a national Hispanic civic participation campaign and founded Latinos for a Secure Retirement - a national campaign to preserve the Social Security safety net. Dr. Lemus was adjunct professor of international relations and border policy at the University of Memphis, San Diego State University, and the University of San Diego; as well as a Guest Scholar at the University of California, San Diego – Center for U.S.-Mexico Studies. Dr. Lemus has appeared in both English and Spanish language media outlets, including CNN, CNN en Español, C-SPAN, MSNBC, NBC's Hardball, Fox's Neil Cavuto, Univision and NBC-Telemundo among others. She received her doctorate in International Relations from the University of Miami in 1998.

Dr. Gabriela D. Lemus

Co - Chair - People Demanding Action
President and Executive Director
Progressive Congress

Team Leader and Climate Action Radio Host

Russell Greene has been focused on the climate crisis since 1988. He leads the Progressive Democrats of America Stop Global Warming and Environmental Issue Organizing Team, is Advisory Board Chair for iMatter, Kids vs. Global Warming, vice-chair legislation for the California Democratic Party Environmental Caucus and has been an executive in the restaurant industry for over 30 years, with a current focus on the impact of sustainability in business.

Russell Greene

President, People Demanding Action

President & CEO

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus, is a minister, community activist and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life. He works tirelessly to encourage the Hip Hop generation to utilize its political and social voice.

 A national leader and pacemaker within the green movement, Rev Yearwood has been successfully bridging the gap between communities of color and environmental issue advocacy for the past decade. With a diverse set of celebrity allies, Rev Yearwood raises awareness and action in communities that are often overlooked by traditional environmental campaigns. Rev Yearwood’s innovative climate and clean energy work has garnered the Hip Hop Caucus support from several environmental leaders including former Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, National Wildlife Federation, Earthjustice, Sierra Club and Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone deemed Rev Yearwood one of our country’s “New Green Heroes” and Huffington Post named him one of the top ten change makers in the green movement. He was also named one of the 100 most powerful African Americans by Ebony Magazine in 2010, and was also named to the Source Magazine’s Power 30, Utne Magazine’s 50 Visionaries changing the world, and the Root 100 Young Achievers and Pacesetters. Rev Yearwood is a national leader in engaging young people in electoral activism. He leads the national Respect My Vote! campaign and coalition ( In the 2012 Elections, numerous celebrity partners have joined the campaign to reach their fan bases, including Respect My Vote! spokesperson 2 Chainz. The Hip Hop Caucus registered and mobilized tens of thousands of young voters to the polls in 2012. In 2008, the Hip Hop Caucus set a world record of registering the most voters in one day: 32,000 people across 16 U.S. cities. This effort was part of the Hip Hop Caucus’ 2008 “Respect My Vote!” campaign with celebrity spokespeople T.I., Keyshia Cole and many other recording artists, athletes, and entertainers. Rev Yearwood entered the world of Hip Hop Politics when he served as the Political and Grassroots Director of Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Summit Action Network in 2003 and 2004. In 2004 he also was a key architect and implementer of three other voter turnout operations – P. Diddy’s Citizen Change organization which created the “Vote Or Die!” campaign; Jay Z’s “Voice Your Choice” campaign; and, “Hip Hop Voices”, a project at the AFL-CIO. It was in 2004 that he founded the Hip Hop Caucus to bring the power of the Hip Hop Community to Washington, DC. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Rev Yearwood established the award winning Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign where he led a coalition of national and grassroots organizations to advocate for the rights of Katrina survivors. The coalition successfully stopped early rounds of illegal evictions of Katrina survivors from temporary housing, held accountable police and government entities to the injustices committed during the emergency response efforts, supported the United Nations “right to return” policies for internally displaced persons, promoted comprehensive federal recovery legislation, and campaigned against increased violence resulting from lack of schools and jobs in the years after Katrina. Rev Yearwood is a retired U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer. In the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq he began speaking out against such an invasion. He has since remained a vocal activist in opposition to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007 he organized a national pro-peace tour, “Make Hip Hop Not War”, which engaged urban communities in discussions and rallies about our country’s wars abroad and parallels to the structural and physical violence poor urban communities endure here at home. Rev Yearwood is a proud graduate of Howard University School of Divinity and the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), both Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He served as student body president at both institutions. As a student at UDC, he organized massive student protests and sit-ins, shutting down the school for ten days straight, and achieved victory against budget cutbacks. After graduating from UDC he served as the Director of Student Life at a time when the city was attempting to relocate the school, under his leadership the city was forced to rescind its effort to marginalize and move the campus. Rev Yearwood went on to teach at the Center for Social Justice at Georgetown University, before entering the world of Hip Hop politics with Russell Simmons and civil rights activist, Dr. Benjamin Chavis. He has been featured in such media outlets as CNN, MSNBC, BET, Huffington Post, Newsweek, The Nation, MTV,, The Source Magazine, Ebony and Jet, Al Jazeera, BBC, C-Span, and Hardball with Chris Mathews and featured in the Washington Post, The New York Times and VIBE magazine. He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. The first in his family to be born in the United States, his parents, aunts, and uncles, are from Trinidad and Tobago. Rev Yearwood currently lives in Washington, DC with his two sons, who are his biggest inspiration to making this world a better place.

Rev. Lennox Yearwood

Board Member
President and CEO
Hip Hop Caucus

Board Member

Marc Carr’s passion for social justice and entrepreneurship has led him to work on civil rights campaigns in the Deep South and organize community forums in the U.S. and West Africa. His professional experience includes heading the sales division of a major international corporation in West Africa, consulting for the United Nations Foundation, and working as a Social Media Analyst for McKinsey & Co. Marc is the Founder of Social Solutions, an organization devoted to crowd-sourcing tech solutions to solve intractable social problems. Social Solutions produces a monthly event series, the Capitol Innovation Forum, and the yearly Social Innovation Festival, along with a podcast series, the Capitol Justice Podcast. Social Solutions also spearheads the Capitol Justice Lab, an initiative to reduce the incarceration rate in the nation’s capital by half in five years. Marc is expecting his Master’s Degree in Social Enterprise in 2016 from the American University School of International Service.

Marc Carr

Board Member
Social Solutions
Washington, DC

Board Member

Lise received her Doctorate in Medicine in 1982 from the University of Paris. After interning at hospitals in Paris and Lome, Togo, she completed her residency in psychiatry at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C. Board certified in both general and forensic psychiatry, Lise worked as a staff psychiatrist in public mental health centers in Alexandria and Fairfax, Virginia. For more than twenty years Lise has maintained a private practice in psychiatry. An Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University and an active member of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, she has worked to educate the public on mental health issues through writing in professional journals, the press and other media outlets. A frequent guest on local and national radio and television, Lise has addressed a range of issues on violence, trauma, and mental illness. Through Physicians for Human Rights, she conducts evaluations of victims of torture seeking asylum in this country and advocates on their behalf. She has served as a consultant to the CIA where she developed psychological assessments of world leaders. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti Lise provided mental health services to those traumatized by the events. In 2005, concerned about the direction the country was taking -- and believing that a background in science and human behavior would strengthen the political process -- she ran for the U.S. Senate seat in Maryland. In September, 2006, she was chosen as one of the first fifty persons to be trained in Nashville by Al Gore to educate the public about global warming. Lise is an expert on climate change and public health, with a particular interest in the psychological impacts of climate change. She frequently writes and speaks about these issues. In collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation and with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation she organized a conference held in March 2009 on the mental health and psychological impacts of climate change. Lise is on the board of The Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard School of Public Health, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and the International Transformational Resilience Coalition.

Dr. Lise Van Susteren

Board Member
Moral Action on Climate
Saturday, 09 January 2016 00:00


Written by Mimi Kennedy

If you know Guys & Dolls, you’re already singing the rest of this line: “His name is Paul Revere, and there’s a guy that says, when the weather’s clear, ‘Can do!’” - )

The song conjures, for me, media campaign coverage of our elections. We don’t get much about the issues. We get the horse race: entries (candidates), odds (poll numbers), stables (political parties), owners (donors) and trainers (campaign operatives.) But we don’t get something so important to horse racing that Frank Loesser put it in the opening verse: “When the weather’s clear.” Evidently that’s the only time Paul Revere “can do.” If the track’s mud, don’t bet on him.

So, too, your favorite candidates - lousy track conditions could do them in. And U.S. electoral track varies by state because election law is a jealousy-guarded states’ right. Within the states there are over 7000 small voting jurisdictions with some say in the election process. No wonder the media doesn’t cover track conditions in any given race - they’re too damn hard to find out. But by not factoring them into the odds, we the people can be played for chumps.

Four variables determine U.S. track condition: who can vote, who does vote, how the vote is cast, and how it’s counted.

“The Constitution of the United States does not confer the right to vote on anyone.” That’s what the Supreme Court ruled in 1875 (Minor V. Happersett) and the decision still stands. Federal intervention in states’ rights to shape the electorate is limited to protecting us from disenfranchisement on clearly unconstitutional grounds. In 1875, it was constitutional for St. Louis Registrar Happersett to deny Virginia Minor the vote on the basis of her sex. It took the 19th amendment to stop this, as it had taken the 15th, in 1868, to stop state denial of the vote to male former slaves due to “previous condition of servitude.” Still, states have wide latitude with election law. Virginia and 10 other states strip felons’ voting rights forever unless they’re restored by the governor. In Vermont and Maine, they can vote in jail.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act stopped state abuses like poll taxes and literacy tests that were used to disenfranchise voters disproportionately by race. But John Roberts’ Supreme Court gutted the Act in 2013, ending the requirement that states with a history of such laws submit new election laws to the Justice Department for prior review. Many states passed photo ID at the polls laws in the decision’s wake, once again burdening poor minority voters along with students and the elderly. State supreme courts overturned some of the laws, but others stand. In 2002, the Help America Vote was passed, ostensibly to correct problems that marred George W. Bush’s ascent to the White House via the botched election in Florida, 2000. Good intentions created new obstacles: statewide voter rolls became mandatory. These are now digital databases, subject to glitch, hacking, and automatic purge. Purged voters arrive at the polls and have to vote provisionally - a vote that will be counted late, if ever.

Those who jump the hurdles named above vote. They survive accidental or malicious roster purges; they know and have the correct ID for their polling place; they’re motivated and knowledgeable enough to follow changes in polling place location and requirements for absentee ballots, and they’re not turned off by campaign lies or deterred by long waits to vote that threaten work hours or child care. They vote. Turnout in the U.S. is often dismal

HAVA set national standards for vote-casting that required expensive new voting equipment be purchased by states and counties before 2006 under threat of federal lawsuit. No protest came from Republican defenders of states’ rights and austere budgets. Democrats embraced the law in the hope that high tech machines would improve turnout in underserved urban communities. Computers, they hoped, would prove colorblind - unlike some local election officials.

HAVA’s appropriated tax billions were reaped mostly by two brothers, Bob and Todd Urosevich, who ran computer voting companies, Diebold and ES&S, with voting equipment “shovel ready” to meet the standards. They sold DRE (Direct Record Electronic) computer voting machines that allowed votes to be cast on a touchscreen, and counted internally by the computer, without any paper. For counties that wished to retain paper ballots, there were optical scan computers that counted ballots much faster than the human eye. Other companies that sold computer voting equipment under HAVA were Sequoia, Hart InterCivic, and Unisyn. All their computer code was and is trade secret intellectual property, readable only by its developers, licensed service contractors, and election offices’ IT staff.

Computers count digitally. All digital counting programs are software, vulnerable to error and manipulation. Digital results without paper ballots the eye can read are unverifiable.

Whether first results must be audited for accuracy - recounted in any percentage to check the numbers– is up to the states. California has audits requiring a randomly-selected percentage of precincts in every county to be manually recounted. And there are paper ballots to audit. But Georgia and South Carolina, two important primary states, have no audits and nothing to audit because their elections are run on DREs without a paper trail. Texas has audits, some paper ballots, and some paper trails. But it also has so many paperless DRE counties that its audit law must be waived there, so statewide results are unverifiable. Alabama has paper ballots but no audit law. The ballots aren’t automatically checked, even in suspicious elections like Governor Don Siegelman’s in 2002, where a wee-hours shift of 6000 electronic votes in one county was blamed on a “glitch.” The ballots were impounded and never inspected. Alabama needs verified elections, having shown bad faith with its electorate in passing a burdensome photo ID law, then trying to close DMV offices, where such ID is most easily obtained, in 54 mostly African-American counties! The Justice Department stopped the closures, but the photo ID law is in force, and an audit law is not.

Private company software is still in charge. Diebold changed its name to Premier after bribery convictions and other problems marred its image. It acquired, then divested, ES&S under threat of anti-trust lawsuit. Dominion, a company whose name does not inspire thoughts of democracy, bought Premier – then Sequioa - and now counts about half of America’s votes. Hart InterCivic was in the news in 2012 for being part-owned by a hedge fund in which the family of presidential candidate Mitt Romney had financial control. The Romneys assured everyone that financial interest did not mean day-to-day operation and the press backed off. Unisyn, which still counts many U.S. votes, is also a leading maker of racetrack betting machines and is owned now by Benjar, a Malaysian company that operates global real estate, resorts, and casinos

This condition of U.S. electoral track seems not to concern even politicians who have to run on it. In 2006, I asked Senator Ben Cardin if he knew how his voters voted, meaning their voting system and hoping to offer him an election protection strategy. “63% Democratic!” he replied. When I clarified, he admitted he’d voted absentee for so long he didn’t know what his voters faced at the polls.

On the House side, Selma civil rights hero John Lewis is very concerned. He offers a bill, every session, to establish mandatory nationwide paper ballots. It never leaves committee. Senator Al Franken knows the value of paper ballots though he refused to discuss election fraud as a radio host. Activists in Minnesota had saved the paper ballot when the push for electronic voting came to their state, and when opti-scanners returned Norm Coleman to the Senate in 2008, handing control of both houses of Congress to the GOP, Al demanded a recount. Human eyes on the ballots proved Al had won. Ron Barber of Arizona lost his House seat in 2014 by 161 votes in a bitter political climate. His predecessor, Gabby Giffords, had been shot by a constituent. A recount was conducted on the same Diebold scanners that had counted the first time, though Arizona law requires recounts be done by an independent method. Results didn’t change. Arizona’s audit law requires a hand-count of 3-5% of precincts in each county, but the percentage was too low to catch errors in Ron’s slim margin. His race would have needed an entire hand-recount to know voters’ intent. Most election officials say that’s too much to ask – even for democracy.

In fact, losing candidates are shamed if they don’t “get over it” and “move on.” But unverified elections are no longer about individual politicians and their parties. It’s we, the voters, who are betrayed when strange, unverified results are blamed on our being fickle, stupid, apathetic, or lying to pollsters. We suffer leaders and policies the majority don’t seem to want. So we get discouraged and wonder if this distorted version of our nation is true – or the result of elections over which we’ve lost all control? It’s no longer paranoid to demand verification of election results. It’s patriotic.

War and peace are at stake, along with control of the world’s mightiest military and weapons of mass destruction. The welfare or our people and future or our planet are at stake - in even the smallest jurisdictions that affect the balance of power. We can no longer allow small-minded, short-sighted corruption to operate with the easy deceit provided by digital manipulation. Verification is deterrence. In Kentucky, eight Clay County officials are serving hard time for election fraud. Some confessed, others were convicted, of colluding, from ’02-’06, to flip electronic votes and teach others to do so. Are they the only ones? Has it happened before or since? Weird results from Kentucky were reported without question in 2015; voters were blamed for the strangeness of popular Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway losing his governor bid by an overnight 14-point shift, while three Democrats down-ballot got tens of thousands more votes than Conway did at the top.

To visit the actual maps from Verified Voting, click on any of the state images below. You can view voting conditions in your state by using the Verifier.


Kentucky track is mud. No verifiable photo finish. Take a look. (Voting systems map and audit law info from Photo ID law info from . Felon voting rights info from



Kentucky counties mix paperless DRE machines with opti-scanned paper ballots. State audit law requires a recount of ballots from 3-5 % randomly-selected precincts per county. But digital result counties can’t be publicly verified, so statewide results are UNVERIFIABLE. Voting system vendors are: Dominion; Diebold/Premier/Dominion; ES&S; Danaher; Hart InterCivic, and Microvote, which lost 3800 votes in a single county in 2012. Non-photo-ID required at polls. Felons lose rights permanently unless restored by governor.

Kentuckians can start improving elections immediately by insisting on their citizen right to observe manual audits and recounts where paper ballots exist. For their audit law to be enforceable they must end paperless voting. They must call for paper ballots. DRE paper trails are less reliable. For now, they can demand to see “poll tapes” from paperless DRE voting machines as a matter of public record. These tapes are produced at the end of voting, from each machine, showing the results in each race from the votes cast on that machine. The numbers on the tapes can be added for a precinct result to match with that posted on the Secretary of State’s website. This is a minimal fraud deterrent, but it is better than nothing. Yet access to poll tapes has been denied to activists with the argument that seeing them violates trade secrecy of software or voter anonymity. Neither reason is valid. The tapes are the only public record of the vote on DRE systems, and they’re anonymous. Citizens have a right to see. File a request. If denied, ask why, and publicize the answer.

Here are maps and info about track conditions in early primary states. You can see your own state’s laws and systems at Visit or for actions to take based on what you find out. An easy step is to become a pollworker and experience your system’s vulnerabilities or strengths. Does it help or hinder voting? When machines fail, who shows up to service them? Are your voter rolls accurate or do a lot of voters end up voting provisionally? Can the reason be corrected before the next election? Tour your county election office, preferably with a group. Ask to observe the election night count and the absentee and provisional count after. If denied, ask why and publicize the reason. You might be told you’re obstructing well-run elections. Answer that you’re on common ground with your officials, there, and well-run elections require public observation to deter crime! Ask about chains of custody, of equipment and ballots, including absentees before they’re mailed and after they’re returned. If answers are denied, ask why and publicize the reason. Practice counting paper ballots: run your own workshop with mock ballots made from an online template or a sample test ballot from your county. Copy a dozen unvoted ballots. Vote them randomly. Copy that dozen to a precinct batch of 300. Follow these instructions: You are not a Luddite. You’re preparing for service that will save democracy.


FEB 1 & 9 - IOWA

Iowans caucus for party primaries; they don’t use their voting systems. Still the map is instructive:


Iowa has all paper ballots but no state audit law. Results VERIFIABLE but UNVERIFIED. Opti-scan vendors: Diebold/Premier/Dominion; ES&S; Hart InterCivic, and Unisyn (racetrack betting-machines, Malaysian real estate/casino/resort owner). No ID at the polls. Felon voting rights restored after probation.

FEB. 1 – IOWA DEMOCRATS - Party members gather at precinct meetings, stand publicly in groups for their candidates for a head-count. Results VERIFIABLE by human eye and video.

FEB. 9 – IOWA REPUBLICANS - Party members gather at precinct meetings and vote on secret paper ballots. Ballots are opened and counted publicly at the meeting, and results announced and phoned into party headquarters, with written results mailed afterwards. Results VERIFIABLE by public observation, including on video, of ballot count at the meeting and announcement of results.

Despite this transparency, Mitt Romney emerged from Iowa as frontrunner in 2008 by error or intent: a precinct vote-counter with the ironic name Edward True had posted his precinct results on his Facebook page after the meeting. They’d favored Santorum. When he saw the state party page said Romney had won in his precinct by a margin that also gave Romney the state, he protested. The party couldn’t find the precinct’s mail-in results for 16 days, but when found, they confirmed True’s numbers. Did anyone hear the whispered apology from party and media? No. Mitt was off and front-running



 New Hampshire uses its statewide voting system for the primaries: all paper ballots, some opti-scanned, some hand-counted at precincts on election night. No state audit law but a good recount provision, making it relatively easy for candidates to obtain recounts. WHOLLY VERIFIABLE but PARTLY UNVERIFIED. Opti-scan vendors: Diebold/Premier/Dominion; ES&S; Hart InterCivic. No ID at the polls. Felon voting rights restored after incarceration.



South Carolina uses its statewide system for primaries. Paperless DREs from ES&S at the precincts. No state audit law. Results UNVERIFIABLE and UNVERIFIED. Paper absentee ballots opti-scanned by ES&S. Non-photo ID at the polls (photo ID law passed but overturned by state supreme court.) Felon voting rights restored after probation.

ES&S has a marred history, including being banned from CA for selling uncertified equipment. In Ohio in 2012, ES&S service technicians applied a last-minute “patch” to machines in several counties. Alert activists filed a restraining order in federal court to have it removed, but the judge refused the request. The activists went to county court; a Franklin County judge agreed to hear expert testimony by phone and told ES&S lawyers she would keep the case open so that if anything seemed strange about the election results, she would allow a case to go forward. Some believe this was enough to deter use of the patch, resulting in Karl Rove’s meltdown on national TV when late Ohio results didn’t go for Romney. He thought the patch was operative, but ES&S didn’t use it, deciding the risk of getting caught was too great.




Georgia uses its statewide system for primaries. All paperless DREs. Vendor: Diebold/Premier/Dominion. Results UNVERIFIABLE and UNVERIFIED. No state audit law. Photo ID at the polls. Felons’ rights restored after probation.



Tennessee uses statewide voting system in primaries. Paperless DREs at the polls except two counties with paper ballots scanned by Unisyn and Dominion. DRE vendors: Diebold/Premier/Dominion; ES&S; HartInterCivic; Microvote (3800 votes lost in one county in Kentucky) and Unisyn (Malaysian-owned, racetrack betting machines.) Absentee and 2 paper ballot counties opti-scanned by ES&S. State law passed requiring paper ballots – then voided when legislature changed. State audit law requires recount of 3% early voting and 3% randomly-selected precincts per county but without paper is unenforceable. Results UNVERIFIABLE and UNVERIFIED. Photo ID at the polls. Felons lose right to vote permanently unless restored by governor.



Arkansas mixes 3 counties’ paperless DREs (Danaher Shouptronic) with paper trail DREs (ES&S) and one county’s opti-scanned paper ballots (ES&S) at the polls. ES&S scans absentee paper ballots. State law requires paper trails on machines bought after 2006. No state audit law. Arkansas results SLIGHTLY VERIFIABLE but WHOLLY UNVERIFIED. Photo ID law passed but overturned by Arkansas Supreme Court. Felon voting rights restored after probation.



Virginia mixes paperless DREs with paper-trail DREs from Dominion, Diebold/Premier/Dominion, ES&S, Sequoia/Dominion, HartIntercivic, Unisyn and Unilect. Absentee and paper ballots scanned by same vendors. No state audit law. Virginia results are SLIGHTLY VERIFIABLE but WHOLLY UNVERIFIED. Photo ID at polls. Felons may lose vote permanently or appeal to governor for restoration.




Texas mixes paperless DREs, DREs with paper trails, and opti-scanned paper ballots. Vendors for both: Diebold/Premier/Dominion, ES&S, Hart InterCivic; absentee ballots opti-scanned by same vendors. State audit law mandates recount of 1% randomly chosen precincts in counties with “electronic voting” but no guidance on paperless DRE audits and Secretary of State can waive this requirement. Statewide results UNVERIFIABLE. Photo ID at the polls. Felon voting rights restored after probation



Alabama polling places have paper ballots opti-scanned by ES&S statewide. No state audit law. Alabama results are WHOLLY VERIFIABLE and WHOLLY UNVERIFIED. Photo ID at the polls. Some felons’ rights restored after incarceration, parole and probation; others lose their rights permanently.

In 2006, Governor Don Siegelman was announced the winner on opti-scanned paper ballots on election night. In the wee hours, electronic results in one county shifted, giving the win to his opponent Bob Riley with no effect at all on the down-ballot races. Riley’s campaign manager was married to Leura Canary, the US prosecutor who had been investigating Don without success. After his unverified “loss” – Attorney General William Pryor impounded the ballots under threat of indictment to anyone who touched them – Don was brought to trial on charges that 113 former and current states attorneys general called unprecedented: “crimes” that were never crimes until this prosecution concocted them. It is not paranoia to want verified results in Alabama; the closing of DMV offices where necessary photo ID can be obtained to vote is a visible scheme by which government insiders seek to control elections. The federal Department of Justice stepped in and stopped it.  



Massachusetts has statewide paper ballots at the polls opti-scanned by Diebold/Premier/Dominion; Dominion; ES&S. Same with absentee ballots. Diebold and ES&S service contract in 5 New England states held by LHS, a single company with “kingpin” access to the trade-secret election software. Massachusetts results are WHOLLY VERIFIABLE but UNVERIFIED. No ID at the polls except from first-time voters. Felon voting rights restored after incarceration.




North Carolina counties have a mix of paper ballots and DREs with paper trails at the polls. Statewide vendor for all (including absentee ballot opti-scanners) is ES&S. State audit law permits each county to determine statistical number of ballots necessary to manually audit. Results VERIFIABLE and PARTLY VERIFIED. Photo ID at the polls (first state to pass one after SCOTUS gutted Voting Rights Act) unless voter brings notarized affidavit. Felon voting rights restored after probation.




Oklahoma has all paper ballots. All ballots, including absentee, opti-scanned by Hart InterCivic. No state audit law. Oklahoma results are VERIFIABLE but UNVERIFIED. Non-photo ID required at polls. Felons’ rights restored after probation.



Vermont has paper ballots, some hand-counted, some opti-scanned by Diebold/Premier/Dominion. No mandatory audit law but audits may be ordered by Secretary of State. VERIFIABLE somewhat VERIFIED. No ID required at polls. Unrestricted felon rights; may vote in prison.





Mississippi counties mix paperless DREs, DREs with paper trails, and opti-scanned paper ballots. Vendors: Diebold/Premier/Dominion and ES&S. Paper ballots, including absentee, opti-scanned by ES&S. No state audit law. Results UNVERIFIABLE and UNVERIFIED. Photo ID at the polls. Some felon rights restored after probation, others lost permanently unless restored on appeal to the governor.

 A 46-year old truck driver named Robert Gray won the Mississippi Democratic nomination for governor in 2014. He spent $60 on his campaign, didn’t tell his family he was running, and didn’t vote himself in the election because he was “too busy.” His 51% victory margin was exactly what was needed to avoid a runoff with either of two credible rivals, one of whom, trial lawyer Vicki Slater, spent $200,000 on her campaign yet “lost” by nearly 60,000 votes. Explanation offered and accepted: voters think the name Robert Gray looked good on the ballot. A perfect example of blame-the-voters (they’re stupid) instead of verifying unaudited computer results.


Colorado caucuses for both parties are precinct meetings with VERIFIABLE results by public head-count or public count of anonymous paper ballots. But the map is instructive: Colorado is an all vote-by-mail state. All registered voters receive mailed paper ballots. Voted mailed ballots are opti-scanned by ES&S, Diebold/Dominion, Hart InterCivic, and Sequoia/Dominion. Voters must surrender unvoted absentee ballot at polls if they prefer to vote there- on DREs with paper trails from Diebold/Dominion, Sequoia/Dominion, Hart InterCivic or ES&S. State audit law requires 1% of voting devices per county must have their paper trails matched to the digital totals on the machine memory cards. Statewide results are PARTIALLY VERIFIABLE and PARTIALLY VERIFIED. Non-photo ID required at polls. Felon rights restored after parole.




Make your own racing forms with voting system maps and audit info from; ID laws info at or; felon voting rights info at

Again, thanks to Pam Smith and the indefatigable researchers at VerifiedVoting for years of info-gathering. You can view your state by using the Verifier.


VERIFIABLE RESULTS – Results that can be proven as accurate by publicly observable count of visible ballots.

UNVERIFIED RESULTS - Results obtained internally by computer code seen only by developers, election tech staff, and contracted service vendors. No public count of tangible ballots. .

DRE (Direct Record Electronic) - Computer voting machines with touchscreens that voters touch to make choices and cast voted ballot. Votes are recorded on digital memory cards and tallied internally by the machine. Memory cards are usually removed and tallied together with other precinct machines’ memory cards in a central tabulator for county results. Sometimes wireless networks are used.

VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) – A paper record of the voters’ DRE ballot. It prints out the voters’ choices and shows them under glass, disappearing when the voter touches the final Cast Vote button. Research shows voters do not always check the VVPAT for accuracy before voting. They cannot take the VVPAT with them. It stays in the machine for use by election officials in audits or recounts, but in many jurisdictions, no audits or recounts occur and the DRE VVPAT serves no practical purpose. Digital results are certified.

DRE POLL TAPES – -A paper printed at the close of polls from each DRE voting machine that shows results in every race from the votes cast on that machine. Those totals can presumably be matched to the memory card totals that are carried to the central tabulator for tallying as the precincts’ official results and published on the Secretary of State’s website, but public access to the tapes for this purpose has been denied. At opening of polls, pollworkers must print a tape showing 0 votes in each race on each machine to prove no digital ballots-stuffing.

AUDIT – A partial recount to check the accuracy of election results by state or county. Most state audit laws require a statistical percentage of precincts to be randomly chosen, per county, for a full hand recount. But there is often no guidance for procedure if the percentage audit shows problems. Manual counts of VVPATs are less reliable that paper ballot recounts because the VVPAT often was not checked for accuracy by the voter. Auditing by opti-scan for a recount is not public verification. Audits of paperless DREs ( DRE w/o VVPAT) by re-tabulating memory cards, or even tallying poll tapes together, is also not public verification, because DRE counting code is vulnerable to undetectable glitch and malware.

Los Angeles Registrar Connie McCormack quit her position in 2006 in part because she refused to count the VVPATs from Diebold DREs used in early voting in LA. Secretary of State Debra Bowen had mandated the VVPAT count when a technical review found the Diebold software inaccurate. McCormack said the curly thermal paper and fading ink made the trails impossible to count - a problem activists had warned about for years.

RECOUNTS – A complete second count of a race. Whether it constitutes public verification of results depends on whether there is anything publicly observable to recount, i.e., on the voting system used in the race, and the process used to recount.  

TS (TouchScreen) – The DRE screen that voters touch to make choices and cast their final ballots.

DRE w/o VVPAT A paperless computer voting machine with no verification of results possible.

DRE w/ VVPAT –A computer voting machine with a paper trail that may be inaccurate and is difficult to count.

OPTI-SCANNER – Scanners that process and count paper ballots with software, much faster than human eye. Opti-scan results can be VERIFIED in public by manual counting of ballots. Manual counting of paper ballots in mandatory statewide audits is currently the best verification any election jurisdiction offers, but dark patches in ballot chains of custody, and statistical insufficiency of partial hand-counts, can still be manipulated by determined fraudsters.

There is a lot we can do: the promise of citizen oversight alone is powerful. And it works. Election activists in Pima County, Arizona convinced GOP state Senator Jack Harper to carry and pass legislation requiring security cameras on all county tabulators to deter illegal access. Activist John Brakey, who’d watched in person his county tabulator’s Logic & Accuracy, saw on his computer later that afternoon that someone had entered the tabulator room and was removing the security seal. He drove to the office to ask why, in person; the embarrassed registrar’s explanation convinced John that the intrusion wasn’t needed for any licit reason. Whatever the intruder had intended to do didn’t stay done.

Knowledge is power. Power to the people.

Read 41489 times Last modified on Monday, 11 January 2016 20:52

Latest News

  • Trump administration's voter suppression attempts ahead of midterms are not only 'morally wrong,' they're illegal +

    Trump administration's voter suppression attempts ahead of midterms are not only 'morally wrong,' they're illegal Imagine going to the polls on Election Day and discovering that your ballot could be collected and reviewed by the Read More
  • ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' +

    ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' Read More
  • As Florence Makes Landfall, Poorest Once More Likely to Suffer Most From Storm's Destruction +

    As Florence Makes Landfall, Poorest Once More Likely to Suffer Most From Storm's Destruction "These disasters drag into the light exactly who is already being thrown away," notes Naomi Klein Read More
  • How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. +

    How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. Read More
  • How One Dying Man Changed The Debate About The Tax Bill +

    How One Dying Man Changed The Debate About The Tax Bill What mattered was that he showed up — that he put himself in front of the people whose opinions on Read More
  • Democrats Just Won a Major Victory in Virginia +

    Democrats Just Won a Major Victory in Virginia On a night of Democratic victories, one of the most significant wins came in Virginia, where the party held onto Read More
  • Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. +

    Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. A seismic political battle that could send shockwaves all the way to the White House was launched last week in Read More
  • Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? +

    Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? In an interview with Reuters conducted a month after he took office, Donald Trump asserted that the U.S. had “fallen Read More
  • Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy +

    Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned the sweeping criminal charging policy of former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and directed Read More
  • 1
  • 2