Truth, Lies, & Politics

When is a coincidence too much of a
coincidence to be one?
For the Politics
Open Letter to Election Assistance
December 4, 2008

Fiction Stops Here

Chair Rosemary E. Rodriguez
Election Assistance Commission
1225 New York Avenue, N.W. - Suite 1100
Washington, DC  20005

Sent via e-mail to

Dear Madam Chairwoman:

Thank you for your time and for offering me the opportunity to comment on
voting system performance for the EAC's December 8th public meeting.

All computers, paper and people will inevitably fail at some point. Until we
understand this and consider that our election laws can and should be the
failsafe step of every election, independent of voting methods, we cannot
guarantee the integrity of any election. Election laws must be upgraded to be
on par with technology, to recognize voting anomalies and statistically
improbable results, and to define and enforce immediate corrective action.

As an example, Florida ping-pongs from one faulty solution to the next
without addressing that most basic problem. What should we do when the
election fails for whatever reason? Bad ballot design, programming error,
defective touchscreens, fraud… In the end, the type of failure doesn’t
matter as long as we have a procedure to catch the failure, regroup, correct
and if necessary rescind and do over. Florida’s election laws already contain
some, “if this happens, do that.” But we’ve proven it’s not enough. In the
event of an election fault, the country waits for the courts to decide the
people’s choice, while the political party in power ultimately controls the win.

Our 2000 debacle resulted from Florida’s failure to maintain the voting
equipment properly and inferior card stock. However it was the failure of
Florida's election laws that permitted the chaos that followed. In 2006, it was
the failure of Florida's election laws that permitted Sarasota’s election with
statistically improbable results to stand. While no one even questioned 2006’
s 89K missing votes statewide in the Attorney General’s race. Same high
undervote, same machines.  Had Florida's election laws been more
comprehensive, the 2000 and 2006 elections would have been automatically
rescinded in the questionable counties.

As Americans we can individually and independently choose to vote for our
future… or not. Our vote is our power to be heard, to take an active part in
our own destiny. When that right is taken from us by negligence, error,
incompetence or an accident of technology, it is an insult to this country and
those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms. None of us, not red, not
blue, not independent, not indifferent should accept this chipping away at


Lani Massey Brown
Former election systems manager
Conspiracy to Skulldubbery
2008 Florida Primary Eerily Familiar
Mistakes Flip the Win
Government Accountability Office GAO
GAO Summary of Articles
No Smoking Gun Not if but when
Articles A Potpourri
Election Conspiracy at the Moosylvania Gazette
Conspiracy Theory OpEd Headline
Election officials 4 years to get it right -  Not just a NY Problem
Kurt Browning: The dog ate my ballot.
Peeling the Onion
ES&S Monopoly
Letter to Election Assistance Commission
Other Assorted Articles Part 1
Pther Assorted Articles Part 2
Press Release