Hear VotePA's Executive Director, interviewed on KDKA Radio Pittsburgh
position paper HERE
Voter Registration Info
FAIR, ACCURATE ELECTIONS IN PENNSYLVANIA!
We've already covered
Nearly a century
Since women stood with
Raw, aching knuckles
throbbing, swollen ankles
long sweltering days,
freezing cold and icy rain.
Speaking truth in embroidery
that fluttered on a bitter wind.
at the hands of hypocrites,
at the hands of men,
who preferred them
to just birth babies.
They risked it all
and stood nonetheless.
We've already covered this.
Fifty years more
and here is Selma
and Rosa and Martin and
How they walked
and walked and walked and walked.
Left those buses empty
and useless as a womb
that can only abort.
And they walked
their feet speaking truth
and made men of power
angry so angry,
as they turned
the other cheek
for another glancing blow.
But they risked it all
and walked nonetheless.
We've already covered this.
Another half-century gone
and here is Madness
come 'round again, this time
with invisible votes and slick machines,
a diabolical diamond
with a million evil facets
designed to confound.
DREs and TSXs and VVPATs
Electronics and glitches
and interpreters and code
And a whole lotta
and dirty money
Oh God of Technology
and no one responsible
in this house of mirrors,
every finger pointing
in circles at another.
this American Struggle
the very heartbeat of our nation.
And so continues
the hope and the fight
and the labor pains
for the dream
And shall be again.
For we walk,
in mighty footsteps.
We've already covered this.
--Pamela Haengel, May 6, 2006
Pamela Haengel, President
Voting Integrity Alliance of Tampa Bay
SUPPORT FAIR & ACCURATE
ELECTIONS IN PENNSYLVANIA DONATE
Remembering a Life Dedicated to Service &
the tragic loss of one of our strongest supporters of fair and
Why is the PA Department of State Advertising
A Law That Won't Be Enforced in 2013?
October 2 -- With only five
days to go before the Voter Registration Deadline for the 2013
Election, the Pennsylvania Department of State has apparently
decided that its most important priority is advertising the VoterID
law that Commonwealth Court has ruled will not
be enforced at next month's election, pending the court's decision
on a lawsuit challenging it:
The screenshot above was taken
on Tuesday morning October 2 on the Accuweather.com website, with less than five
days for Pennsylvania citizens to register to vote for the November
5 election. Clicking on the link took viewers to the PA Department
of State's votespa.com
homepage that clearly showed what the DOS apparently considers
With our state too broke to
fund our schools or fix our roads and bridges, we have to ask
-- is advertising a law that is on hold a wise use of hard-earned
taxpayer dollars? With many problems facing our elections, and
our voting machines dangerously near the end of their useful
lives, is this how we want to spend the last of our Help America
Vote Act Dollars and other election resources?
Well-Meaning But Misguided PA Senate Bill
Proposes Risky Internet Voting Scheme
Votes of Overseas
Troops Would Be At Risk
Harrisburg, July 3 -- Before
leaving Harrisburg for its summer recess, the PA Senate maneuvered
a well-meaning but very misguided new bill, one that will allow
dangerous and insecure Internet Voting in Pennsylvania elections,
into position to potentially move to a final passage vote very
quickly when the lawmakers return.
This bill, SB
976, requires an undefined Internet Voting scheme for PA's
military and overseas voters to be in place in less than 18 months.
Although the bill intends to
make it easier for overseas voters to return ballots, it will
actually put the votes of our brave military troops at risk for
hacking, loss, and lack of privacy. Major
computer scientists tell us that there is no possible way
to make Internet Voting safe or secure for voting with today's
technology, nor is there likely to be a way to vote online safely
in the foreseeable future. Recent tests of Internet Voting proved
that there are serious challenges to security and privacy on
the current internet. In February 2011 the US Commerce Department's
of Standards and Technology (NIST) said that "additional
research and development is needed to overcome these challenges
before secure Internet voting will be feasible."
READ MORE AT LINK
PA 2013-2014 BUDGET
PASSES WITH ELECTION DANGERS IGNORED
Harrisburg, June 30 -- The 2013-2014 Pennsylvania Budget has
been passed, signed by the Governor with an hour or so to spare,
and the General Assembly has gone home for the summer.
Sadly there is no new money
in 2013-2014 Budget for better elections, other than a $2-plus
million dollar increase for voter registration and education
that in all likelihood will primarily go to enact/defend the
Voter ID law. Assistance to counties for election expenses was
actually cut by 6.3%. This leaves numerous old threats to our
elections unattended, including the fact that 50 PA counties
are still voting on paperless, unverifiable Direct Recording
Electronic (DRE) touchscreen and pushbutton voting machines that
are now 8 years old and rapidly nearing the end of their useful
lives. How will our counties afford replacement of these DREs?
And if/when replacement does go forward, will up-to-date, and
verifiable voting systems be chosen?
In the meantime, once again this Spring other bills that would
have provided needed election reforms that could help all Pennsylvania
voters, did not get out of committee in Harrisburg.
The important 2014 mid-term election is less than 16 months away.
It's time to take action against Harrisburg's misguided election
policies. This summer and fall, help VotePA fight back to demand
better protection for all our votes!
COMMITTEE HOLDS PITTSBURGH HEARING ON VOTING REFORMS
READ VotePA's WRITTEN
TESTIMONY PRESENTED TO THE HEARING HERE
May 9, 2013 The state Senate
Democratic Policy Committee today held a hearing in Pittsburgh
to discuss ways to encouraging greater voter participation in
Held by Policy Committee Chair
Sen. Lisa Boscola at the request of Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny/Washington,
Minority Chair of the State Government Committee) the hearing
focused on proposals aimed at making voting simpler and more
accessible while maintaining security and integrity of the process.
"The strength of our representative
democracy is dependent on citizens letting their voice be heard
at the ballot box," Smith said. "The greater the voter
participation, the stronger our democracy; we should do all we
can to encourage more people to register and vote."
MORE AT LINK
& Elelection Officials
Sign National Letter to Obama
Need to Fix That,"
But Electronic Voting and Internet Voting is Not the Answer
December 7, 2012 -- Several
prominent Pennsylvania computer scientists and election officials
have joined a broad national coalition of experts, including
congressional representatives, elections officers and cyber-security
experts, to sign a letter this week urging the president and
Congress to reject any calls for Internet voting and to move
to voter-marked paper ballots counted by modern optical scanners.
states that paper ballot based equipment has proven to be effective
at avoiding the problems that resulted in long lines in many
states and can be meaningfully audited or recounted.
"Approximately 85% of
Pennsylvania voters in 50 of our largest counties do not have
the basic protection of a voter-marked paper ballot to back up
and protect their vote," said VotePA's Executive Director,
Marybeth Kuznik, who signed the letter. "The computerized
voting machines Pennsylvania purchased under the Help America
Vote Act in 2006 will enter their eighth (8th) year of use in
2013. Yes, budgets are tight, but if federal, state, and county
officials do not start to plan for replacement now, we will face
real problems as these aging voting machines start to fail in
the not-too-distant future."
President Obama Speaks
on Voting Problems
in Election Night Speech
"We Need to
November 7, 2012 -- As millions
watched live, newly-reelected President Barack Obama acknowledged
problems with America's voting process during his election night
victory speech last evening.
Mr. Obama thanked everyone
who voted in this great election whether they were new to the
voting process or spent hours and hours waiting in line to make
their voice heard, as many voters did this year.
"Oh and by the way, we
need to fix that," he said of the long waits and other election
The President's remarks were
incredibly important to Election Integrity as this was the first
time in recent memory (if at all) that a sitting President acknowledged
election problems publicly in a nationally-televised speech.
on Election Day]
When You #GoVote Be
Ready to #VideoTheVote!
November 1, 2012 -- VotePA is a partner organization
of Video the Vote... Pennsylvania is a swing state and a hot
spot for election problems, so please sign up and be ready to
help document whatever you see on Tuesday... Election Day! http://videothevote.org/
Reliance on Voting Machine Batteries Ill-advised in Wake of Superstorm
October 30, 2012 -- With millions of customers
in multiple states out of electricity following Superstorm Sandy,
how will electronic voting machines operate in the event some
polling places in Pennsylvania and other states do not have power
restored in time for next Tuesday's Presidential Election?
VotePA today announced a warning
that, should this become a problem next week, the answer is not
to rely on batteries to run voting machines for all or even
a substantial part of Election Day.
"Officials in Pennsylvania,
West Virginia, and other states affected by Sandy, including
our PA Governor Tom Corbett, have been quoted in the press as
saying that batteries could potentially run their equipment through
the day," said VotePA Executive Director Marybeth Kuznik.
"We believe that depending on aging batteries to allow voting
for any extended length of time would be incredibly foolish during
an important national and statewide election." [MORE
Be On The Lookout
For Voter ID Trucks & Other False Ads!
October 29, 2012 -- Observers
in Pittsburgh today reported Pennsylvania State Trucks driving
around displaying advertisements that falsely state voters will
be required to show Photo ID in the November 6 election!
IF YOU SEE SUCH TRUCKS OR OTHER
ADS, anywhere in the state, please TAKE A PHOTO or video to document
it, and send to VotePA!
& STATE SUPREME COURT RULINGS, PHOTO ID WILL NOT
BE REQUIRED IN THIS ELECTION!
What Does it Mean for Pennsylvania,
if a Candidate or his Family Owns Part of a Voting Machine Company?
October 26, 2012 -- as the Presidential
campaign winds on, reports have surfaced that members of candidate
Mitt Romney's family, through their investment firms, hold ownership
in America's third-largest voting machine company, Hart / Intercivic.
Machines from this company are used in elections in many key
swing states including Ohio and Pennsylvania. The story first
surfaced in Ohio's Free Press and has since broken through into
mainstream publications including Forbes, the Atlantic, Salon.com,
The Washington Post, The Nation, and The Huffington Post.
People are understandably concerned
when a candidate and/or his family owns an interest in the voting
machines that will be counting his own votes, just as they were
concerned when Secretaries of State J. Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio
2004, and Katherine Harris in Florida 2000, were state campaign
chairs for one of the Presidential candidates. Even if there
is no actual impropriety going on, the appearance of a conflict
of interest is these cases is not in the best interest of democracy.
HERE, including discussion of how many PA counties use Hart
NOT the Pennsylvania Department of State
We are NOT
responsible for the state's ongoing advertising about Voter ID
is an organization of
Voters for Open
& Transparent Elections
we believe that taxpayer dollars being spent on PA's Voter ID
should be used toward correcting more urgent threats to our elections
like replacement of our aging, paperless voting machines!
Why are we
posting this? On October 4, 2012 Rachel Maddow had a great segment
on her msnbc show about the PA Department of State's confusing
information regarding Voter ID not being required at the
November 6 election.
But the PA
Department of State website, votespa.com is apparently
similar enough to our name VotePA that confusion occurred. At
10:47 PM, less thqn a half hour after the above segment aired,
a nasty message was left on our Executive Director's personal
voicemail from a blocked phone number.
[Video of msnbc
segment , recording of call, and MORE
YOUR VOTING MACHINE
ALL Voting Machines in PA Were Re-Examined in Spring 2012
Results of Exam Have Been Quietly Released, and they are NOT
space for more info soon
ABOUT THE 2011 VENANGO COUNTY VOTING SYSTEM FORENSICS
The Exam" Judge Turns Down Election Board Appeal
VENANGO COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WARNED
OF SEVERE VOTING SYSTEM SECURITY PROBLEMS
is Now in County Commissioners' Court
December 21 2011 -- Judge Oliver
J. "Stop The Exam" Lobaugh, who earlier this month
dismissed the heroic Specially-Appointed Venango County Election
Board in the middle of their landmark forensic exam of the ES&S
iVotronic voting system, today
denied their Motion For Reconsideration. In reality, Lobaugh
had already run out the clock as he sat on the Motion until it
was too late for the Specially-Appointed Election Board to finish
their work even if they had been reinstated.
This morning the County Commissioners
held a public work session to discuss the unfinished forensic
exam. Under the leadership of 2007-2011 Chair Tim Brooks they
spoke with forensic examiners Kesden and Eckhardt via phone.
Brooks, who was previously quoted in court filings as having
screamed at an Election Board member that he did not want any
forensic examination of the county's voting system, did most
of the questioning. No member of the Specially-Appointed Venango
County Election Board, the people who actually conducted the
unfinished exam, was asked for input or even allowed to speak
AUDIO OF THE MEETING HERE
Drs. Kesden and Eckhardt told the Commissioners in no uncertain
terms about serious security problems found during their work
with the forensic exam to date. These problems included illegal
remote access of the central tabulating computer and other insecure
processes including weak passwords, unsafe media being inserted
into the computer, unneeded software on the tabulator, and more.
The experts also discussed how limited their forensic exam was,
given the time constraints, and how many things went uninvestigated.
SPECIAL ELECTION BOARD ISSUE STATEMENT
Members of the Specially-Appointed
Venango County Election Board issued this public Statement
in which they too warn the Venango County Commissioners of
the severe security problems disovered in their unfinished exam.
"Among these discoveries
are security weaknesses that are potentially very damaging to
the integrity of our elections in Venango County. These security
weaknesses are so concerning, we as a Board do not feel comfortable
releasing the actual documentation of the problems at this time
because these documents could potentially serve as a 'blueprint'
for someone with intent of compromising our election system.
We will, however, present the full findings confidentially to
the County Commissioners with the expectation that these serious
problems will be addressed and corrected as soon as possible."
The ball is in now squarely
in the Venango County Commissioners' court. They have been warned.
There are serious problems with their voting system. It remains
to be seen whether or not the Venango County Commissioners actually
take positive steps to correct the problems and provide secure,
verifiable elections to their citizens. Stay tuned.
VENANGO COUNTY ELECTION BOARD FILES APPEAL
To Complete Ongoing Investigation of Election Irregularities
December 2, 2011 4PM -- Attorney
Charles A. Pascal, Jr., has filed a Motion For Reconsideration
on behalf of members of the specially appointed Venango County
The filing was made this afternoon
in response to President Judge Oliver J. Lobaugh's order dismissing
the Board yesterday. Citing ongoing investigations into serious
voting machine problems reported during the May 17 primary election,
the specially appointed Election Board requested that they be
allowed to continue their work until 11:59 PM on December 31,
"The members of the specially
appointed Board of Elections believes that it is necessary to
continue their work in order to assure the voters of the County
of Venango of the integrity of the election process in the county,"
the Motion states, "and to assure that any possible violations
of policy, protocol, best practices, or the law, or any directive
of the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, are not repeated in future
MORE AT LINK
ELECTION BOARD DISMISSED BY JUDGE
IN MIDDLE OF ONGOING INVESTIGATION
December 1, 2011 -- Despite
an ongoing forensic investigation into serious voting machine
problems reported in Venango County's primary election earlier
this year, Judge Oliver J. Lobaugh today dismissed Venango
County Election Board members Craig Adams, Martha Breene,
and Eleanora Miller from service.
Appointed in early Spring to
run elections during the year when County Comissioners were candidates
for reelection, the Venango County Election Board was the first
in Pennsylvania to take their statutory duty to investigate election
irregularities seriously enough to take a hard look into problems
reported with electronic voting machines. In early June they
ordered a forensic exam of Venango County's ES&S iVotronic
electronic voting system, the first of its kind ever in any of
the fifty Pennsylvania counties still using paperless, unverifiable
Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines. The forensic
audit was being done for free by two concerned Carnegie-Mellon
Computer Science professors.
The Election Board fought heroically
all Summer and Fall for their forensic exam despite fierce opposition
from local politicians, tea partiers, and a biased local newspaper;
as well as lawsuit threats recently coming from the voting machine
Judge Lobaugh's order dismissing
the Election Board comes at a time when results of the forensic
exam and the board's investingation into the voting machine problems
were close to being ready for a public release.
Although generally VotePA does
our best to think the best of our public officials, the timing
of this Judge's dismissal of the Election Board leaves us no
choice but to wonder what the heck is going on in Venango County?
What is it that someone, somewhere apparently does not want
us to know about our voting machines and our elections in Pennsylvania?
-- MERLE SMITH KUZNIK
Voting Rights Hero Who Supported & Inspired VotePA
Merle Smith Kuznik, 93, died August 12 2011 at Westmoreland Hospital
in Greensburg PA following a tragic accident at home a week earlier.
She was the beloved mother of our founder and director, Marybeth
Merle led an active life that
was an inspiration to those who knew her.
A retired elementary teacher,
Merle especially cared about the right of every citizen to participate
in our democracy by voting. With nearly 30 years as a precinct
Judge of Elections, at the time of her death Merle was still
working at her poll in Penn Township every election day.
Merle was an instrumental member
and strong supporter of VotePA. On July 4 of this year Merle
participated with VotePA in the voting rights rally in Franklin,
Venango County (photo at left.) [MORE]
to VotePA in
MERLE SMITH KUZNIK
Election Board Fighting Local Politicians' Opposition to Forensic
of Paperless iVotronic Voting System
BALLOTS TO BE USED IN NOVEMBER!!
UPDATE, August 4 -- At its
meeting tonight, the Venango County Election Board voted to use
PAPER BALLOTS for the November 2011 Election!
Three American heroes on Venango
County's Election Board have been doing their job to protect
our votes in Pennsylvania. After learning of serious problems
reported by voters attempting to use the county's paperless touchscreen
voting machines during the May 17 Primary, the Election Board
directed that their entire ES&S iVotronic voting system be
subjected to a forensic examination by a team of expert computer
scientists, who have volunteered their services to the county
This forensic examination will
be the first of its kind ever in any of the fifty Pennsylvania
counties still using paperless Direct Recording Electronic (DRE)
|ELECTION BOARD HEROES
County Election Board members (L to R)
Martha Breene, Craig Adams, and Eleanora Miller
But even though the exam will be free, for some reason a faction
of local politicians seems to be opposed anyone taking
a hard look at the iVotronic machines. [MORE]
CITIZENS RALLY IN
SUPPORT OF VOTERS RIGHTS & VENANGO COUNTY ELECTION BOARD
July 4, 2011 Citizens from at
least different three political parties united today in a rally
for voters' rights in front of the beautiful Venango County Courthouse
in Franklin, PA.
The Independence Day event
was in support of the Venango County Election Board, which has
been facing stiff opposition from local politicians and media
as they plan to conduct a forensic examination of the county's
paperless iVotronic touchscreen voting machines in the wake of
problems reported during the May Primary. [MORE]
County Election Board Petitions for New Solicitor - MORE
Election Board Meeting: Who's Watching the Hen House while iVotronic
Voting Machines Await Forensic Exam in Wet Storage Room? - MORE
County Election Board Authorizes Forensic Fxamination of Paperless
iVotronic Voting System - MORE
Primary Election news reports
Thank you to all who called
VotePA's Pennsylvania Voting Machine Hotline, 717-884-VOTE. We
will do our best over the coming days and weeks to follow up
on problems reported.
Although we are a nonpartispan
organization, VotePA has long urged our supporters to work for
better elections through the politcal party of their choice,
and to run for office whenever and wherever they believe they
will be able to make a difference.
Stephanie Singer of Philadelphia
is doing just that. Running a focused campaign on an election
reform platform, in the May 17 Primary Stephanie defeated Marge
Tartaglione, a politically powerful incumbent with a history
of election transparency problems, and she has won a nomination
for the office of City Commissioner.
Here is what Sam Katz, of Philadelphia
Magazine said about Stephanie:
"The emergence of Stephanie
Singer has enormous implications. She will be one of three city
commissioners, replacing Mrs. Tartaglione. She is the first PhD
to sit in that office. Generally speaking, that hasn't been a
job requirement. As a former candidate with a laser-like determination,
I must say Singer's focus and discipline impress me. She is a
comer. If Al Schmidt, one of two Republicans nominated for this
office and a leader of the anti-Republican machine faction, also
wins in November, these two could align and change the entire
culture of the Philadelphia electoral process. This could be
truly historic and something to watch."
More about Stephanie and her
Primary win HERE.
ATTENTION, GOVERNOR CORBETT
The voting systems Pennsylvania
purchased in 2006 under the Help America Vote Act have finished
five full years of use. They are computers, and they are aging
rapidly, especially the paperless touchscreen and pushbutton
voting machines now used in 50 of our largest counties. As the
voting machines age, it is likely that more and more problems
will happen with them. By the end of your 2011-2015 term, they
will be near (or perhaps even way beyond) the end of their useful
No money will be saved by using
worn-out voting machines that create problems in our elections.
Before that happens, we call upon you to do the most economical
thing, the most open and transparent thing, and the thing that
will protect Pennsylvania's democracy: we call upon your administration to plan now
for the replacement Pennsylvania's aging Direct Recording Electronic
voting machines with modern optical scan systems that protect
every vote with a paper ballot.
Optical scan voting is the
most cost-effective, accessible, and secure voting system available
today. It is already used by over 60% of American voters.
Our Pennsylvania voters all
deserve the protections of a voter marked paper ballot, too.
* VotePA is a 501(c)(4)
organization and contributions are not tax-deductible.
design and original images and content
Copyright © by VotePA
No reproduction may be made of any document or image on this
website without written permission of the original author.
VOTER-VERIFIED PAPER BALLOTS
(print out, get
signatures & return to VotePA)