For Hand-Counting



While We Still Have Time: The Perils Of Electronic Voting Machines And Democracy's Solution: Publicly Observed, Secure Hand-Counted Paper Ballots (HCPB) Elections

(Paperback book)

by Sheila Parks, September 6, 2012

Electronic voting machines have caused and exacerbated many of the crises we face today. Simply and starkly stated: elections using electronic voting machines are often rigged by deliberately not counting the votes as cast. As a result, men and women who have not legitimately received a majority of the vote are put into office.

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While We Still Have Time: The Perils Of Electronic Voting Machines And Democracy's Solution: Publicly Observed, Secure Hand-Counted Paper Ballots (HCPB) Elections


In Honor of the Anniversary of the Wisconsin Uprising, February 11, 2011 - Wisconsin: The New Florida and Ohio?

Sheila Parks

February 20, 2012

In the 2000 presidential election, Florida needed Katherine Harris (then Florida Secretary of State), Jeb Bush, the Supreme Court justices - and the connections between them - to put George W. Bush in the White House.

In the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush needed Kenneth Blackwell (then Ohio Secretary of State and also honorary co-chair of the Committee to Re-elect George W. Bush) to stay in the White House.

Now, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his associates, in particular the Koch Brothers, are working on the same thing in Wisconsin.

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US Election Assistance Commission finds defects in ballot scanners used in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York and Wisconsin

Gregory Korte, USA TODAY

December 23, 2011

"The [ES&S] DS200 optical-scan system is designed to read paper ballots fed into the machines by voters themselves at their precincts. It's used in all or part of Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York and Wisconsin." Spurred by problems found in Cuyahoga County (Ohio) tests performed in 2009 and 2010, the US Election Assistance Commission (created by the 2002 Help America Vote Act) concluded that (1) the machines freeze (about 10% experiencing this problem in a given test); (2) the machines do not log errors, so that election officials are not warned of problems; and (3) the machines can miss votes if the ballots feed into the machines crookedly, as they tend to do (this problem being worst with long ballots). ES&S provided a software patch (certified by the EAC) that was supposed to fix the problems, but instead made them worse.

Unfortunately, the Election Assistance Commission stopped short of decertifying these machines. According to the Election Assistance Commission's Brian Hancock, "Our goal is not to decertify systems. We never want to be in a situation of putting counties in a position where they cannot run an election". Of course, why would the EAC want to decertify machines that can rig our elections? Cuyahoga County alone spent over $12 million on these machines to replace a $21 million touch-screen system that failed in the 2007 election in Ohio. It is time to stop sending more money after money already ill-spent.

Read full USA TODAY article>>

Read Ohio-specific information (Carl Weiser, Politics Extra)>>

Read more Ohio-specific information (Laura Johnston, The Plain Dealer)>>


Hacking Our Elections With Big Money And Power

Michael Collins and Sheila Parks

August 24, 2011

This describes the formula for modern elections: Candidates must have corporate financial backing to win. And if the corporate backers fall short in their vote buying, they can always use the voting and tabulation machines to adjust the vote their way during or shortly after the election. We must adopt a system of publicly hand-counted paper ballots to deprive the corporations of this recourse when they cannot get their way through massive campaign spending alone.

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Hacking the recalls: Why we must have hand-counted paper ballots and citizen exit polls

Grant W. Petty and Sheila Parks

July 9, 2011

"Unless the Wisconsin recalls are hand-counted in every race, with secure hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections, at least some of them will be rigged, with major implications for the balance of power in the Statehouse."

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Wisconsin, Don't Let Them Rig the Recall!

Victoria Collier,

June 5, 2011

Read Victoria Collier's open letter about the activists' fight against Governor Scott Walker's assault on freedom in Wisconsin. "The bottom line is, as long as you are using Touch Screens and Optical Scanners to count your votes, the recalls can be manipulated. Even if you manage to secure a full 'audit' of the paper ballots, what happens if you detect anomalies in the count?"

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Sheila Parks

June 27, 2011

"They [the Wisconsin recall elections] are to be done on the same electronic voting machines that could have rigged the elections in the first place as well as the Supreme Court recount."

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Down the Rabbit Hole With Democracy and Three Urgent Pleas

Sheila Parks

May 8, 2011

"When our children and grandchildren ask me what I am doing in this crucial time to stop our government from murdering people at home and abroad, I want to be able to tell them that I am doing everything I possibly can to get democracy in this country for all the people, for the first time ever, and to end these brutal behaviors everywhere. Don't you?" Parks writes about the myth of democracy past and present in the USA and about the absolute necessity for secure hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections and a machine-free voting system.

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How election rigging in Wisconsin could derail the populist uprising

Victoria Collier,

April 27, 2011

Wisconsin is today's battlefield in the war waged by the corporations and their political friends against the rest of us. But not only have they been taking our money away, they have also been taking our votes away, as Victoria Collier writes. We cannot even fight them effectively unless we can be sure our votes are counted fairly.

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Victoria Collier is the daughter of James Collier and the niece of Kenneth Collier, two incredibly brave brothers who investigated and exposed election fraud starting in 1970. Victoria continues their critically important work.

(Also see a related article that she wrote in 2003, which is yet remarkably up to date.)


VoteRescue to the Rescue

VoteRescue Home Page

For November 2, 2010

In Texas, see what VoteRescue, LULAC, Gray Panthers, and the Travis County Green Party did for hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) in the Nov 2, 2010 election.

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Holyrood, Scotland Returns to Hand-Counted Paper Ballots

From the BBC

October 26, 2010

After suffering over 140,000 spoiled ballots and suspension of a number of vote counts across Scotland in the 2007 election, Holyrood, Scotland scraps electronic voting system. The next election will count ballots by hand, although unfortunately council elections will continue to be electronic for now.

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Netherlands Returns to Hand-Counted Paper Ballots

By John Tyler

June 07, 2010

On June 9th, 2010 the Dutch electorate went back to the polls, but this time, they all used pencils to select their leadership. The return to voting with a pencil has attracted interest from democracies around the world. The Netherlands is the first country to go back to voting with paper ballots, after making the transition to computers. Other countries are wondering if they should follow the Dutch example.

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By Kathleen Wynne, former Associate Director, Black Box Voting

Jan. 26, 2010

(With Contributions by Karen Renick of Vote Rescue)

There is a dangerous, misguided movement out there that if we just let business rule the nation, all will be well -- markets will take care of themselves, health care, jobs, just let business handle it. You know who says that the loudest? Business. And now, it can say it even louder. It can shout down any candidate who opposes it. What happened to ?of the people, by the people, for the people???

Vote Rescue is a Texas Group dedicated to hand-counted paper ballots

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By Sheila Parks

Op Ed News, October 28, 2008

"...I wanted to observe some sort and stack elections in order to have more complete knowledge of the methods used for HCPB....On January 8, 2008, I observed the hand-counting of ballots for the US presidential primary election in Walpole....On March 11, 2008, I observed the hand-counting of the Town Meeting election in Walpole....In NH, more than half of the municipalities count ballots by hand at least 123 of the total 236 municipalities.  However, the use of sort and stack surprisingly is not widespread in NH, with only nine municipalities using this method.... "

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Lyndeborough NH passes warrant article

prohibiting concealed vote counting by computers or any other method

By Nancy Tobi

Any citizen in New Hampshire can bring a petition article to their Town Warrant by securing the signatures of at least 25 registered voters. The article is then added to the Town Warrant to be voted on in Town meeting. Today, the citizens of Lyndeborough resoundingly approved enacting into the town's laws the following warrant article regarding the counting of votes.

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Forward to the Past: Junk the Machines, Count Votes Manually

Stephen H. Unger

Professor Emeritus

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Columbia University

Recording and tabulating votes in elections is a natural, straightforward, easy to implement, computer application. Right? In a world without ingenious bad guys, this might indeed be the case. Unfortunately, that's not where we live. While it is not too hard to design, implement, and operate computer-based ATM and EZ-Pass systems that will keep the bad guys at bay, this is almost impossible for the seemingly simpler problem of election systems. Below, I will first explain why I believe this, and then I will proclaim the good news, which is that we can get along very nicely without such systems.

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On-site Observations of the Hand-Counting of Paper

Ballots and Recommendations for the General Elections of 2008

By Sheila Parks

Op Ed News, July 18, 2007

"Between May 2, 2006 and November 7, 2006, I observed the hand-counting of paper ballots in three elections in two New England states.  The purpose of these observations was to gather first-hand data concerning the feasibility, effectiveness and accuracy of the use of HCPB…."

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Hand-Counted Paper Ballots in 2008

By Sheila Parks

Tikkun Magazine, April 10, 2006

"The right to vote, as well as the principle of ‘one person, one vote,’ are cornerstones of our democracy. The anti-slavery, women’s suffrage, and civil rights movements as well as the expansion of voting to young people are all part of the history of electoral reform in this country. Equally fundamental is the assurance that each voter knows that her or his vote counts and is counted as intended. At this time in our history, many have lost confidence in our voting system…."

Read the original article

Updated version with references here


Hand-Counted Paper Ballots:

Frequently Asked Questions

By Roy Lipscomb and Sheila Parks

Op Ed News, May 11, 2007

"... Q.) Why choose HCPB against the recommendation of so many computer experts?

Many, perhaps most, computer experts prefer HCPB.

Some computer experts say, "Don't rely on computer experts--not even us!" In other words, evaluate the various systems and see which meets the standards required by a democracy.

Q.) Aren't HCPB simply a nostalgic throwback to some idyllic 'good old days'?

Not at all. Longing to return to the "old days" before computers existed would be as misguided as longing for some idyllic, electronic paradise where computers are trusted to control every aspect of our lives. Computers are essential to maintaining and improving life and liberty in today's complex world…."

Read the article 


An Interview with Dr. Ulrich Wiesner (Dr. Wiesner Filed a Lawsuit in Germany Claiming E-Voting Unconstitutional AND WON)

by Kathleen Wynn 

Interview by

Wynne, Jack Blood and

Bev Harris with Dr. Ulrich Wiesner

Wiesner holds a Ph.D. in Physics and works as a consultant for a U.S.-American Software Company. His father, Joachim, is a retired political scientist. Together, they filed the lawsuit with Germany 's Federal Constitutional Court after the German parliament had rejected a petition drive promoted by the Wiesners, which had been signed by over 45,000 people to try to ban electronic voting back in 2005.

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German High Court Outlaws Electronic Voting

By Michael Collins

The justices above are clearly the most rational group of high level functionaries in the industrialized world.  They did what no other court would do in Europe or the United States.  They effectively outlawed electronic voting.

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