A couple weeks ago several members of Tri-City Tea Party participated in a San Diego workshop to fight election fraud. There we met another participant, Ray Usell, a retired engineer who is a member of two tea parties: Poway and Rancho Bernardo (where he serves on the steering committee). Thanks go to Ray, who took the time to write a summary of the workshop and send it to share with you.
Election Integrity Workshop – R. Usell report
This reports on the Election Integrity Project Workshop February 4th & 5th in San Diego. Citizens from CA and NV attended. Sessions were fast moving so my notes are fragmentary. My personal conclusion is the Left is losing the public debate and is moving toward more corrupt “Chicago thug-like” tactics. The purpose of the 10+ hours was to introduce and describe:
- The reasons for concerns for CA Election Integrity. Integrity meaning only eligible people vote, they only vote once and each vote is counted.
- The role of the TX-based “True the Vote” organization jump-starting the CA effort.
- The overall timeline of preparations for the 2011 & 2012 elections.
- The immediate skills and activity needs between now and a March 25th-26th meeting in TX. Research needs to be done on CA election law and County Registrars of Voters materials. Recruitment of specific skills must start.
Related to the above, there were two hour-long sessions on the power of Social Media tools (e.g., Facebook, YouTube, Flickr) for getting “your messages” widely noticed. One reason is improvements in CA Election Integrity will take hundreds of volunteers for each County. Effective poll watching on Election Day alone takes at least two trained volunteers per poll!—AND there are many other tasks to be done.
Cleaning up registered voter rolls is a time intensive task. The manpower need for the Project will require a strong and wide communication effort for recruiting and for countering charges of racism and xenophobia that likely will come up. There were two hour-long sessions on the kinds of attacks we can expect and how they can be thwarted using Social Media.
CA Election Status: Some concerned citizens volunteered for the GOP poll watching effort last November. Their assessment is it was inadequate for the task. Poll watchers had difficulty reaching the GOP attorneys for directions on what to do. There was little energy put into following up on trouble reports. There is very little effort watching the counting process, which is manned by Public Employee Union members. The Provisional ballot process is a likely area of fraud.
Last election, over 80% of the Provisional ballots were counted with little checking. Ballots were bulk delivered to polling locations and accepted with little checking. People were seen voting multiple times at one location. Busloads of people were brought in to vote and given “cheat sheets” to take in the booth. There appeared to be collusion between some poll workers and the people delivering multiple ballots. Honest citizens showing up to vote found their vote had already been cast. The Voter registration process is also in trouble. High numbers of last minute registrations swamp the validation effort. Citizen validation efforts uncovered double-digit numbers of people registered to single family residences, people registered at addresses which are not residences and people admittedly non-citizens registered.
Some of the above is based on antidotal reports, but there are enough of them to motivate me to get involved.
There is some quantitative data as well. In five CA Congressional districts there was solid pre-election polling data to indicate the races would be close. The races were lost by wide margins; the number 20% was mentioned. Vote re-counts are not practical. The costs in CA vary from $20K/day to $100K/day for a re-count depending on the County. Neither candidates nor Parties have the money for re-counts. The TX “True the Vote” effort certainly has revealed compelling evidence of a systematic coordinated effort to win elections by cheating in that state. One County had over 700 incident reports from poll watchers.
There are reports from other states as well. The idea “the Ends justify the Means” is alive and well in American elections.
TX True the Vote help: The TX effort is a couple years ahead of CA. It’s manned by dedicated patriots willing to help other states with training and software tools for checking registration rolls. They believe our Republic is at stake! They made mistakes and learned from them. They can give general guidance, BUT CA election laws differ from TX AND County Registrars of voters operate somewhat differently County-to-County within CA.
There has to be a strong research effort in each CA County to understand the differences and adjust training accordingly. The CA Election Code is about 1000 pages.
Overall Timeline: Here is the timeline presented at the Workshop slightly embellished by me:
- February ’11 – Start spreading the word and getting volunteers.
- March 25-26 – Summit meeting in TX. I’m not sure of its exact purposes.
- April – Start Checking voter rolls against DMV addresses, physical addresses house, vacant lots, PO Boxes, Felony convictions, deceased records, whatever else can help spot fraud. This is a continuous process.
- May – Training for June elections.
- June – September – Research, goal setting, metrics, team formation, Workshops.
- October – Training: Poll watchers, vote counting.
- November ’11 elections
- December – Incident reports, debriefing, tweak process.
- Jan. – Feb. ’12 – Prepare for Primary
- March – Primaries
- April – Incident reports, debriefing, tweak process.
- May – September – Recruit, goal setting, metrics, team formation, Workshops.
- October – Training: Poll watchers, vote counting.
- November ’12 – Election.
- December ’12 – Incident reports, debriefing, tweak process. The cycle continues. The bad guys win if good people go back to sleep!
The immediate skills and activity needs between now and a March 25th-26th meeting in TX. This is “spread the word” month. Election fraud cannot be fixed once it happens. It must be prevented. The poll watchers from the last election are convinced their presence helped prevent fraud on election day AT THOSE POLLS, but the fraud probably moved to unattended polls. Monitoring vote counts needs to be fully manned. Research needs to be done on CA election law and County Registrars of Voters materials. Legislation needs proposed to tighten up the Provisional ballot process. The “True the Vote” effort produced 22 specific ideas for improving existing TX Election legislation. We need a list for CA laws. This was not mentioned at the Workshop, but I think money needs raised for materials and training efforts.
- Research – need people that like to read to look at election code and County Registrar of Voters materials.
- Data mining – Need people that like to use Excel and Access-type software tools to look for suspicious registrations.
- Communications – Need people to help spread the word in writing and in person throughout each County. The point of contact for CA Project is /