Sherril Huff, David Irons, Julie Kempf, Pam Roach, Christopher Clifford, or Bill Anderson?

Sherril Huff, David Irons, Julie Kempf, Pam Roach, Christopher Clifford, or Bill Anderson? That’s the question before King County Voters this February 13th, 2009 Special Elections for King County Elections Director. So let’s get started…. with the current director–Sherril Huff.

Well first off,  Huff is a carpet bagger, of this there is no doubt. She moved to King County from Bremerton (Kitsap County), in order to qualify for an election she didn’t even want. But more importantly to my way of thinking is who amongst these 6 candidates is the most honest about election integrity. Carpet bagging is obviously a bad way to start on the honesty front. But there’s more…
Sherril Huff was recently at the helm as almost 11,000 thousand attempted vote-by mail ballots were disenfranchised, as reported by the Seattle Weekly.

https://novbm.wordpress.com/2009/01/11/vote-by-mail-disenfranchises-10993-voters-in-king-county-alone-no-one-notices/

If Huff is supporting Vote-By Mail, then she is not the candidate I am looking for… Far from it.

In fact, so far I haven’t seen or heard from any of the candidates on their positions regarding voting integrity in general. Except fo Bill Anderson. And his positions are completely out of line with what I would consider real voting integrity in King County. From his website, Bill says:

“King County’s move to voting exclusively by mail is but the first step in gaining control of the voting process.”

Well right off the bat he’s totally wrong. It is not the first step in gaining control. It is the last in a long series of steps in undermining the system of voting at the polling places, and counting those ballots at the precincts.

But then again, that could be your perspective on things Bill. I think about “We the people” having control and losing control of the process of voting…. and maybe you are looking at it from the reverse perspective of “Government taking control of the process.” If that’s the case then you might be onto something.

Sherril Huff, while qualified in terms of “experience” doesn’t talk about voting integrity either. Her website talks of accomplishments, including 300 reforms?? But doesn’t really tell me what she thinks about the current state of things in King County and Washington. She obviously supports the transition to Vote-By Mail, and “new technologies,” but doesn’t say anything about Premier Election Systems, or Diebold, and doesn’t come right out and say anything about supporting Vote-By Mail or Touchscreens, etc. This is just giving her wiggle room later.

Either way Bill and Sherril Huff seem to embrace Vote-By Mail and “new election technologies.” Which is exactly the attitude that I don’t want to see in this position.

On to David Irons. Well having personally debated both Ron Sims and David Irons many times in my run against them for King County Executive, I wouldn’t vote for either of them… ever. David is incapable of telling the truth when it is important. He has a history of not showing up to fundraisers thrown in his honor, and is as nutty, oh, as a big ole bag of nuts. David’s website says nothing REAL about election integrity, vote counting accuracy, etc. He just has the “words” up there without any defenition of what he means.

Julie Anne Kempf.
Julie Anne is the most honest election integrity activist I have ever met. And the most knowledgeable. I have learned a lot from her, as have many, many voting integrity activists all around the country.
Of course, for this reason she is being slandered in the media. Originally scapegoated years ago, the county has continuosly worked to malign her on many levels. Even the average dumb person should be able to read the lies spewed in the papers about Julia Anne Kempf and realize that the accusations against her usually don’t even pass a good old fashion “smell test.”

Her candidate statement is spot on.

Regardless though, the typical Seattle voter reads the news, and rarely thinks for themselves. The number of people I’ve literally seen show up at a voting booth with the “Stranger’s Cheat Sheet” election guide is stupifying. Julie Anne is a true fighter for election integrity.

Therefore, she obviously will not win.

Christopher Clifford. Hmm, doesn’t seem to know a damn thing about this race other than what the “media has fed him.” Hey Mr. Clifford, you obviously think very highly of yourself. Well, after reading your candidate statement, I don’t.

Tell me something about your position on Vote-By Mail, the county’s use of electronic voting equipment, or the process of counting votes Mr. Clifford… I can read personal attacks on the other candidates in the Seattle Times any day I please.

Your students should learn one thing from your candidate statement. People who move into glass houses to enter a political race should not throw stones. That was probably one of the most useless and arrogant candidate statements I’ve ever read Clifford.

Ok, onto Pam Roach. A very partisan Republican, who says her first responsibility will be to be “non-partisan.” Well good luck with that Pam Roach. And interestingly you somehow sponsored the Help America Vote Act? I thought that was Federal Legislation. Or was there a similarly crappy version in Washington State that I missed? The Help America Vote Act, at least the Federal Version, is nothing to be proud of…

Regardless, your candidate statement doesn’t suck. I don’t know anything about the mountain of personal crap people throw your way, so I won’t comment. However, your lack of specifics on Vote-By Mail, or most other important election related topics throws me off. I do like that you supported the initiative to elect the Director of Elections in King County. However, I also know that you did it as a very very partisan Republican.

So, in the end, I would vote for Julie Anne Kempf. Regardless of the incredibly shameless smear campaign that has tormented her for years, she is the most qualified, honest, and knowledgeable person in this race.

Too bad Seattle and King County will make this a race between the least honest and least interested in voting integrity.

Oh, and one more thing. If anyone cares to think for themselves, when was the last time you heard of someone trying to “run over a police officer” not being charged with attempting to murder an officer of the law? And for that matter, if it were a true charge, why is it still, years… YEARS later still something that is still just an accusation?

Luckily I can no longer vote in King County, my vote is tossed out in Kitsap County instead:
https://novbm.wordpress.com/2008/10/06/i-tried-to-vote-for-jason-osgood-and-got-rejected/

Vote By Mail Disenfranchises 10,993 Voters in King County Alone… No One Notices

The Seattle Weekly reports:

Here’s the final voter breakdown – right word – from the Obama election: the ballots of 10,993 King County voters could not be counted. That’s a record, total-wise, but lower, percentage-wise, than the August primary election failure rate.

Out of 774,580 registered county voters who were sent general election mail ballots, 656,565 returned them. But only 645,572 could be verified.

Among the disqualified were 1,611 voters who sent their ballots in too late. Others sent empty envelopes. Fourteen were found to have died (their ballots not processed).

The majority were “signature issues,” says King County Elections spokesperson Bobbie Egan (this is her last week; she’s moving on to PR for Alaska Airlines). That included 4,130 votes tossed for poor penmanship – their signatures, for varied reasons, could not be matched to the ones on file. Another 823 forgot to sign the ballot envelope.

Of course, Washington State’s Secretary of State, Sam Reed, wants to now force everyone to Vote-By Mail, so everyone can be equally likely to be disenfranchised by this stupid Vote-By Mail system. And with only Pierce County holding out, and most voters being left outta the discussion as the media asks no questions and just repeats the totally innacurate mantra that Vote-By Mail increases turnout, I bet Sam will get his wish…

But as if that’s not bad enough, Mr. Reed is once again proposing Internet Voting, as the Olympian reports:

Let military and overseas voters cast ballots online, picking up on an experiment that the Department of Defense began in 2004 and then let lapse. Hunt wants to consider Reed’s concept; money could be a sticking point, Ammons said.

First they came for the vote counting machines, then they came for the vote counters themselves (by closing the polls), and now they want to open voting up to all kinds of problems by putting it online. These people are either nuts, dumb as stumps, or totally corrupt. Your choice.

The Department of Defense abandoned that program on Internet Voting years ago as the chorus of computer scientists grew ever louder against the use of the Internet. But while activists grow tired fighting without pay to perserve election integrity, it seems election officials never grow tired of working to undermine and destroy the system America built to make sure every vote was counted accurately, fairly, and without bias.

But here’s a new study on the situation with “e-Voting,” just in case you are interested.

US Postal Inspector Explains Why Voting By Mail is a Terrible Idea

Check out this article:
http://www.snopes.com/legal/postal/sendcash.asp

And then watch the video at the end, and ask yourself if your vote is worth stealing?

Jason Osgood is Not Qualified To Run King County Elections

Recently Jason Osgood ran a pretty lack-luster campaign for Washington’s Secretary of State. As the Director of The No Vote By Mail Project, I endorsed Jason for that race. Many factors originally influenced this decision, including the fact that Sam Reed is about as bad of a Secretary of State as I could imagine (other than say, Kenneth Blackwell or Katherine Harris).

However, the backstory that I never wrote about was that I had a meeting with Jason Osgood and another election integrity activist prior to Jason’s announcement that he was running for Secretary of State. At this meeting I was asked not to run as a Democrat in the primaries because Washington’s Democratic Party had asked Jason to run against Sam. I agreed to this deal, because Sam was unlikely to be beaten this year, and because in 4 of the past 5 elections, I have run several campaigns and been a candidate myself, so if my desire for someone to run against Sam would be carried out by Jason, that was ok by me. Campaigns are exhausting to say the least.

However, another agreement was made at this meeting. Jason Osgood directly told me that running for Secretary of State was simply a precursor to helping elect a truly qualified candidate to the posistion of King County’s Director of Elections. At the time Jason and I, and the other election integrity activist at this meeting, all agreed on who we would all be backing for that election.

So it came as a great suprise to me to find out that Jason Osgood had gone back on his word to me and others who have helped him, literally for years, understand elections, technology, and campaigns, and announced that he would be running for the position of Director of King County Elections.  Jason, if you’ll lie to those people who have helped you, as your friends, tirelessly, for years, why should anyone trust you as a politician?

Besides which, anyone watching your campaign for Secretary of State would already realize that you don’t know how to run a campaign. You got virtually no press coverage, and even the little bit of free press I lined up for you was ignored.

So Jason Osgood, let me be the first to say, you are not qualified to run King County’s Elections. You have no experience in office, you have no skill for campaigning, you are not a man of your word, and even worse, from my perspective is your lack of desire to fight against vote-by mail in King County. Which is evident in your post over at Horsesass.org:

30. Jason Osgood spews:

Hi Daniel @ 25.

Very good question.

My job as Director of Elections is to run the elections, not make law. The King County Council legislates and I would abide by their decisions.

So I have no interest in revisiting the vote by mail decision.

By this statement alone Mr. Osgood, you have convinced me that you are no longer insterested in fighting for true voting integrity. By going against your word and now running for a position for which you pledged to support a different and more qualified candidate, you have shown yourself to lack personal integrity. And throughout your campaign for Secretary of State you proved a highly ineffectual candidate. Really, in a Blue State like Washington, in a Blue year, you lost and lost badly. 

But other than being unqualified, the biggest problem Jason presents for King County, is that he may split the vote of King County’s Democrats, leaving the door wide open for people like Pam Roach, who would be truly awful.

Update 1
King County is one of the largest single voting juridictions in the entire nation. The complexity of the system requires someone with serious expertise. The kind of expertise that someone like myself, who has studied the system for years… does not posses. Personally I supported Jason against Sam Reed for the same reason the Democratic Party supported Jason Osgood, he wasn’t going to win. Seriously. He wasn’t going to win. So a one trick pony who is running an issue based campaign, gets the job done. And that job is questioning the incumbent, and pointing out the failures in the system that provide you with an issue based platform. But even in endorsing Jason, I knew he was not qualified for the job.

However, now that Jason’s jumped into a race that many activists have been working on for years, his decision can have grave ramifications for Washington State at large. Dean Logan proved unworthy. And he had a lot more qualifications than Jason. All I can hope now is that someone truly qualified stands up and stands up soon to run for the position. Otherwise Jason, you’re going to throw this race to the strongest Republican who stands willing.

Update 2

Could someone please explain to me in the comments below why Jason Osgood IS qualified? The way I see it, he is a computer geek, who acts like a child, gets called paranoid and sweaty by The Stranger, doesn’t know how to talk to the media, has no real experience leading large groups of people that I am aware, and is a very partisan Democrat running for a non-partisan position. He has never run anything near the size of the job he is applying for, and he has turned around on vote-by mail, and dissed his friends and allies along the way. Oh, and he lost the statewide race, as the ONLY Democrat in a blue state, by wide margins. To a Republican not very well liked by his own base.

An Open Letter to Al Franken and His Friends from The No Vote By Mail Project

Often, I am told I look like Al Franken.

I resemble that remark. Oh well.

It’s ironic then, that Al Franken is contesting his election based on Absentee Ballots. Ironic, at least to me, as the Director of The No Vote By Mail Project.

Personally I like Al Franken ok, and in this instance I think he stands a good chance of proving that absentee ballots are not statistically an accurate way to count votes. The problem for Mr. Franken will be to show that those absentee ballot errors specifically affected him, personally, and unequally. To this end I think Mr. Franken will probably fail. But if he can prove this there’s fertile ground for adding up the 200 votes he trails by.

So here’s a shout out to the Al Franken fan club, and his legal team, you are welcome to use this blog to prove your case. But please give me a shout out when you can. I’ve been fighting the Vote-By Mail trend all by my lonesome for quite some time. All while being told I look kinda like Mr. Franken. It’s high time more people heard about the problems with voting by mail and absentee ballot. It’s not just something that affects a few elections, sometimes. It’s happening all over the country. So hey, maybe you know an agent who wants to publish a book about absentee voting problems? I’ve got plenty of material….

Heavy Use of Absentees Creates Provisional Backlog

http://www.sacbee.com/101/story/1374754.html

How Do I Vote Without My Absentee Ballot?

You can still vote if you have misplaced your absentee ballot. Just check your voter registration card and go to the polling place where you would normally vote and ask for a provisional ballot. And remember to take your ID with you as well.

They verify your valid vote, after the fact. But it is still counted.

You can go to your county elections website and/or try calling them. But their phones will be swamped.

The King County Elections website:
http://www.kingcounty.gov/elections/

The Secretary of State for Washington is:
http://www.secstate.wa.gov/

The Press Release about what to do is here:
http://www.secstate.wa.gov/office/osos_news.aspx?i=1B7eAsV3va73byvaSqmytw%3d%3d

Other states should have similar procedures for Vote-By Mail or Absentee Voters who can’t find their ballots on election day. Check the websites in your County or State first before trying to call.

Jason Osgood or Sam Reed?

Sam Reed skates along as Washington’s Secretary of State for no good reason. Many Democrats mistakenly believe he is their “friend” because the 2004 recount went to Gregiore. Republicans don’t really like him, but they like him “just enough.” While the majority of Washington newspapers and endorsements have gone to Sam Reed, I for one, have been fighting against Sam Reed for 5 years now .

On Sam Reed’s watch as Secretary of State, Washington bought into privately owned and controlled vote counting software, and Mr. Reed has continuously certified software that should not have been permitted on our vote counting machines under Washington State Law. From Diebold to ES&S to Sequoia, Touchscreen voting, or centralized vote counting Optical Scan machines, Sam Reed has never met a proprietary piece of vote counting software he didn’t like.

In addition, Mr. Reed seems to have no vision for using the office to bring new industries, the kind we need in the 21st Century, to the state of Washington. I want a Secretary of State to be out front, talking about wind energy, solar, biodiesel, and in-sourcing jobs rather than sending them overseas. Mr. Reed, for all his faults, seems to have no positives that I can think of… except a keen ability to slither through one election to the next without having to suffer the consequences of his very bad and undemocratic decisions.

In addition, Mr. Reed is a vocal, and national proponent of Vote-By Mail. Obviously, as the Director of the No Vote-By Mail Project I have a thing or two to say about the problems inherent in liberalized vote-by mail systems. But this year takes the cake… 

I tried to vote for Jason Osgood in the primaries this year. But I got a letter instead saying my vote didn’t count. This year since I’m forced to vote through the mail, tomorrow I’ll be filling out my absentee ballot, and once again I’ll try to vote for Jason Osgood, and I hope you do as well. But I’d recommend sending that ballot in just as early as you can, lest your vote get lost in the rush of ballots as we near Nov. 4th like mine was in the primaries.

Jason Osgood is a computer programmer and locally known voting activist who will set a new direction in the office. Mr. Osgood has pledged to defend my right to a secret ballot, and in my personal interactions with Jason he has been honest, thoughtful, and knowledgeable in the problems and solutions needed in our voting systems in Washington State. Honestly, there are few people I know who aren’t more qualified than Sam Reed to hold the office, but Jason Osgood is one of the more qualified people I know who could be running for the office this year. He’s a computer expert with a passion for accurate, secure and secret voting. Mr. Osgood has risen to the challenge and put together a respectable campaign, and a few great TV ads. I wish he had enough money to run them on TV more frequently.

So send in your vote early for Jason, and maybe send him a check in the last two weeks of the election. But either way, Sam Reed does not deserve your vote.

Absentee Ballot Problems Start to Mount

When it comes to voting procedures and problems these days, Washington State and Oregon are being looked at as the “go-to” models for other states to follow. Many states in the union have been juggling their voting machines and technologies since the 2000 election. And here on the west coast, where I report from, we’ve seen a huge increase in absentee voting. Washington and California vote largely absentee, while Oregon is out front with a virtually 100% Vote-By Mail system, where they closed the polls, and EVERYONE votes-by-mail.

Expect stories like these to become more frequent in the coming weeks. The problem? Vote early, and late changing events could affect how you might have voted had you had the “last minute details” that come out about the candidates or issue. In fact, each election cycle I am always too busy to keep up on all the new problems I have not yet recorded with absentee ballots. From the military’s vote not getting counted from oversees, to this situation where people are voting without putting the ballot in the envelope.

Once, I remember coming home and having the situation where my roomate accidentally spoiled my ballot by opening it, voting, and then signing the wrong ballot. These types of situations add error into the system. And when it comes to voting, losing votes should not be built into the very nature of the voting system. But as society moves to vote-by mail systems it undermines any real control over the chain-of-custody of the ballots throughout that voting system, a chain-of-custody that previously existed within the precinct level voting system.

It should be ludicrous on its face.

But now it’s probably coming to a state by you, as near 25 states have proposed relaxing their absentee rules, or moving to Universal Mail Voting procedures.

Why you should think twice about Voting By Mail or Absentee Ballot

It’s been awhile since I wrote a best of The No Vote By Mail Project article.  And with the election I’m getting more hits as it gets closer to November, and everyone is like, what’s this absentee ballot thingy?

So if you just ended up here randomly, looking for where you should drop off your absentee ballot, or if you should send it through the mail, you’ve found the right website… in a sense. Because what I want you to do is to take 2 or 10 minutes outta your day, and read a few reasons why absentee ballots are bad for Democracy.

Really, I’m dead serious.

You’ve heard about the Diebold Touchscreen machines, you’ve heard maybe about long lines in Ohio. And now, suddenly it seems everyone is jumping on the Vote-By Mail bandwagon. In fact, it’s true, because about 25 states are looking at Washington and Oregon as the MODELS to go to once the public has thoroughly rejected Touchscreens.

But here’s the catch. Diebold (Now something like Premier Election Systems?), ES&S, Sequoia, all these companies want to control the Vote-By Mail paper counting as well. Same with Optical Scan and all the rest.

The underlying problem with Vote-By Mail is the same as the problem with Touchscreens, or even County level central vote counting. It removes the public vote count from the public.

In the past, the public actually physically counted the vote, right where they voted, in the gym, or any precinct polling site. There were procedures to follow, and a glass ballot box in the middle of the room. There were counters and observers, all in the same room, and when they finally reached a decision the number was posted for all to see before the count was sent to the county or state for further tabulation.

With computers, or vote by mail counted by computers, or even with central counting itself, the voters no longer get to observe the entire process of voting, right there in their neighborhood. And once we the people give up the physical control of the ballot and the vote counting of those ballots, Democracy becomes merely a faith based endeavor.

That’s why I support Precinct Level Hand Counted, or Hand Audited Paper Ballots. It’s also why I oppose Voting By Mail, or relaxing the restrictions in place currently in many states curbing their use.

We the People of the United States must take back our Democracy. And the only way we do that is not only through voting, it is by volunteering to also count the vote. And taking back Democracy, physically, into our own hands, our neighbors’ hands, at the gym down the street. The path for the People is clear, we must revitalize the Precinct System, we must volunteer to count the vote, observe the count, AND register new voters. But registering new voters is only one step. Because what good is registering voters if we can’t be sure of how the vote is being counted. So wherever privately controlled computer systems or Vote-By Mail schemes take away our right to count the vote physically, at the gym, church, or hall down the street in our local precincts this must be challenged and righted.

Anyway, those are my quick thoughts on the subject… here’s my top articles on Why you should think twice about Voting By Mail or Absentee Ballot:

  1. My Vote Gets Rejected in the Mail, Part 1, 2, 3
  2. Voting By Mail takes a long, long, long time to count
  3. What is a Secret Ballot?
  4. What’s going on in the Swing State of Colorado?
  5. Voting System Recommendations
  6. What’s wrong with Voting By Mail or Absentee Ballot… The List
  7. Should the Dead be Voting?
  8. What to expect in the 2008 election.
  9. The Problem of the Vanishing Primary Candidate.
  10. 89 More Articles on Why Voting By Mail is a Very Bad Idea

Ok, so if you made it through all of that, please tell me in the comments why you still think voting-by mail is a good idea that we should implement nationally?