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Vote Secrecy - Why We
Can't Vote Them Out

By Mac Sperry

First, You Get A Vote

A Real Vote

You've heard it before. They just nonchalantly say: "Well, why don't you just vote the bastards out?" But they don't understand, as you are about to, that the reason you can't vote the bastards out, is because you probably have never actually voted the bastards in.

The following trilogy of articles presents new evidence that the apparatus to steal the U.S. citizen vote not only exists, but has been with us since at least the 1880's. Part 1 deals with its key element, the introduction of vote secrecy in the mid 1800s. Vote secrecy still remains in place and operative today, over 130 years later.

Wanna' Know A Secret?

The Vote Hasn't Always Been, "Secret"!

Prior to the secret vote and for the better part of the first 100 years, voting in the U.S. was conducted viva voce, or by "voice vote". The rolls were called, voters stepped forward and anyone within hearing distance could, in parallel with the registrar, witness and notate an individuals vote. The results were rightfully considered irrefutable and beyond dispute.

Then, before the Civil War, some states began to experiment with various kinds of "ballots", that brought with them confidentiality at the expense of witness based verification. Later during the 1880s, the confidential vote formally morphed into the "secret ballot", a ballot of enhanced secrecy which is sometimes called the "Australian ballot" where it first appeared. The secret ballot is still with us today. I claim and will provide compelling evidence, that it was the subtle, though lethal effect of confidentiality (secrecy), that has been the primary enabling characteristic of vote fraud over the last 130 years.

Vote Secrecy Doesn't Eliminate Vote Fraud

It Enables It

Vote secrecy has been so pervasively sold to the public, that the average person can't even consider how inane it really is. Vote secrecy is very much like the shell game in which the "sucker" can't see the pea, because it is covered by an opaque shell. If the shells were made of clear glass so that the pea could be seen, the game would be impossible and the sucker couldn't be fooled. Vote fraud through vote secrecy operates in the same manner.

At the core of this Orwellian head trick, is that the one term, "vote secrecy", confusedly identifies two issues: voter secrecy and vote secrecy. This causes the confused voter to demand "the sanctity of the secret vote", while all that's actually required is, "the sanctity of the secret voter "

Voter Secrecy, Yes ­ Vote Secrecy, No

Of course the voters identity should be kept secret, but why their vote? As an example, I am going to show you the actual votes for President in the 2004 election of ten of my neighbors. They have warned me that they will all sue me if I violate their "right" to vote secrecy, but I'm foolish and am going to do it anyway. Their votes are: Bush, Kerry, Bush, Kerry, Kerry, Bush, Bush, Kerry, Kerry, Bush. Now, which one belongs to neighbor 1, neighbor 2....... neighbor 9, neighbor 10, Do you get it? The votes can't be linked to the voter because the voters name is secret, not their vote.

Consider that you and everyone else openly broadcasts sensitive personal information to everyone within visual distance. Information that is directly linked to your SSN, your address, your phone number and virtually every piece of private information about you. Yet nobody complains or even cares about it. I'm talking about the license plate on your automobile, an identifier that can be traced to you personally, but no one cares because it is an anonymous identifier that can only be accessed by authorities.

Why should you care if someone else sees your vote, if they can't tell it's you that cast it. The importance of this is that the ability to see your vote "as cast", enables you to verify that the vote you cast is the vote that got counted, something that would halt vote fraud in its tracks. The process is sometimes called E2E for end-to-end verification and is virtually identical to bankings time honored receipt/statement audit system. It is also at the heart of the proposed "solution" to our problems in Pt. 3.


To Catch A Thief - Use A Spreadsheet!


The Mentality of a Thief

If you consider the thinking of a person rigging an election, their foremost thought would obviously be, to accomplish their task with as little chance of detection as possible. The initial number of votes they would have to swing to the other side would ideally be, only as few as absolutely necessary. Too many and the other side might be alerted. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the hallmark of vote fraud would be the close election.

In preparation for the eBook: Desiderata of the Citizen Vote - which can be purchased at www.howtorescueamerica.bravehost.com - I obtained the popular vote figures for all Presidential elections from the most recent back to 1824. My source was the archives of the U.S. governments official newspaper, The Federal Register found at: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/ scores.html . Using the spreadsheet program Excel, I then determined the difference in spread between the two front runners in each election and calculated the average. That average is 11.01% .

In the entire history of Presidential elections, only six times have the popular vote margins of the two front runners come to within 1%. They were the 1880, 1884, 1888, 1960, 1968 and 2000 elections.

We know the 2000 election was the subject of tampering because we saw it on TV. The 1960 election was also because FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had wiretap evidence proving it. That evidence was later forwarded to the new Attorney General Robert Kennedy, with whom it languished and died.

The 1968 election was also a probable victim of vote fraud, as asserted by investigative journalists/brothers James and Phillip Collier (now deceased), in their widely banned book: Votescam: The Stealing of America. They claimed that during the time after the Kennedy assassination, a shadow government was controlling media, elections and even exit polls. The numbers would seem to support that claim.

As to the 1880s, the 1880, 1884 and 1888 elections were all within 1%. Specifically, the 1880 election was within .02%, the 1884 election .26% and the 1888 election .83%.

The odds that an election would be within these narrow margins are:

1880 election 11.01% divided by .02%, or 550.5 to 1

- Hide quoted text -

1884 election 11.01% divided by .26%, or 42.3 to 1

1888 election 11.01% divided by .83%, or 13.3 to 1

The odds that these three narrow elections could have occurred sequentially are: 550.5 X 42.3 X 13.3 = 309706 to 1. That's almost a third of a million to 1, that these three elections of narrow margin could occur in a row. To lend context to that figure, consider that the "casual association" (odds) between cigarette smoking and lung cancer is only 4.2 to 1.

The odds these narrow elections could have sequentially occurred, coupled with their occurrence shortly after the introduction of the confidential vote and during the introduction of the secret ballot, would have to lead any person of reason to the obvious conclusion; it was at this point orchestrated, grand scale election fraud began in the United States and that vote secrecy played the major role in its occurrence.

Think something like that couldn't have happened? That I'm stretching things, just to make a point? Think again, because it did happen, just 4 years earlier in the election of 1876, with the documented theft of the electoral vote.


Meet "Devil Dan" Sickles

History would record his being a one-legged Union General of little note and "disreputable", former U.S. Ambassador. He lost his leg at Gettysburg and found himself in Washington D.C. the night of the 1876 election. On returning late from the theater, he decided to drop in on the vote counting and noticed that though the Democrat Samuel Tilden was far ahead of Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in the popular vote, there were still three states that had not reported in; South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida. All three states were solidly Tilden in popular vote, but all three states were also controlled by "bosses" who were all solidly Republican. Together the three possessed the three electoral votes needed for a Hayes win.

Smelling ill-gotten victory, Sickles attempted to confer with the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, one Zachariah Chandler, who had retired in defeat to his hotel room around 6PM. There he proceeded to assuage his loss in collaboration with a bottle of whiskey, to the extent that Sickles best efforts could not rouse him from his drunken stupor.

Sickles then made his way to the telegraph office where, on his own volition (and in Chandlers name), sent the following telegram to the three state bosses: "With your state sure for Hayes, he is elected. Hold your state" - 'Hold your state' was politico-speak of the time for "cheat", "cook the numbers", numbers that could not have been cooked had they been in the open and not secret.

Within a few hours South Carolina wired back that it had gone for Hayes and additionally requested with implied urgency, that Washington should send "more troops". By the next day, with a little help from friends in high places, both Louisiana and Florida were in the Hayes column giving him one more electoral vote than Tilden. What I've just related is historically documented, had quite an aftermath and was the subject of Congressional investigation. See: Steal This Vote by: Andrew Gumbel - ISBN 1-56025-676-1.

The point here is that the mechanism of vote fraud, "vote secrecy" not only existed, but was actually used just prior to the three sequentially "impossible" elections of 1880-1888. Certainly subsequent vote fraud of the 1880s and beyond, was modeled on the 1876 machinations of General "Devil Dan" Sickles, which could have only occurred within the context of vote secrecy.

The people of the time certainly knew, as voter turnouts began to drop precipitously immediately after the 1892 election, the first election where all states voted under the secret ballot. Turnout immediately dropped from over 80% since the late 1820s to 50% by 1920. It has remained low ever since. Yes, the people knew, but with later generations and an ever silent media, vote fraud was eventually relegated to myth and the talk of "wackos".

With the election of 1876, we now have four elections in a row that we can demonstrate were victims of fraud, all enabled by vote secrecy. In the 131 years since the election of 1876, nothing has changed in regard to vote secrecy. It is still with us just as much today as it was then. And now, the election law called HAVA for Help America Vote Act, actually requires a "secret vote". The very thing that enables vote fraud, is now a codified legal requirement.

"Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny": Robert A. Heinlein

Without the vote we become slaves, not metaphorically, but actually.

Alternate Verification - A New Tactic

A case was made in Part 1, that the introduction of the confidential/secret vote in the middle of the 18th century, brought with it the ability to conduct invisible, virtually undetectable vote fraud. It appears reasonable that vote fraud is not only still possible, but almost certainly occurs and with regularity.

Solving the problem might best begin by identifying the characteristics of an ideal solution: It would be powerful, peaceful, doable by ordinary citizens without permission or license of government and it would be inexpensive in terms of time and money. Such a solution has recently surfaced. It is an audit system called Vva.

The Voter verified audit

Vva would be conducted by ordinary citizens who would gather together in ad hoc fashion, for the single purpose of irrefutably verifying the integrity of the vote. It would not require permission or license of government, since it is an independent check of that government. As such it would be independent of the Registrar of Voters. Checking the veracity of the vote should not be the exclusive domain of government, as government checking its own vote count constitutes an obvious conflict of interest.

Who Can Best Be Trusted?

Vva's titanic power stems from its affirmative response to the one big question no vote security system in use today can satisfactorily answer: "Who can best be trusted to incorruptibly verify the vote?" Vva's resounding answer is; "the voters themselves".

In this particular case, it must be assumed that if a voter wanted to somehow alter (tamper with) their own vote, they would choose their "alteration" in the voting booth rather than later. If in the process of tampering they make a "different" choice for whatever reason, they aren't tampering, they're voting. That is, in the voting booth all a voter can do is either vote or not vote, both of which are acceptable, no matter who they vote for. This makes the voter them self a virtually incorruptible verifier of their own vote.

Consider who verifies your own personal checking account. The bank president? A friend? Your bookkeeper? No, you do. Why? Because there is no one with a greater interest in the correct management of your affairs than yourself. It is the same with your vote. It is quite simply in your singular best interest, to ensure that the vote you cast is the vote that actually gets counted.

An Overview

Vva is conducted using a multi-copy business type form, copies of which are later separated and used for verification. In the voting booth, as the vote is made, it is copied from the previously filled out form to the registrars ballot and is effectively witnessed by the voter them self. The form, which is retained by the voter, thus becomes a documented receipt of the transaction.

After voting, the form is dropped off with the group conducting the Vva. Later, the voter verifies their uniquely numbered copy (called the "receipt"), by comparing it to a copy of the original (called the "statement") which is placed on the Internet by the Vva group. If anything changes, the voter will see it when comparing their receipt to the statement on verification.

This "end-to-end" verification makes Vva almost irrefutable and is what gives Vva its teeth. As long as a voter votes and checks their vote (provision is made to ensure they do), there is little chance of error and virtually no chance of fraud. Note: By nature Vva is ambivalent in that it cannot be manipulated "for" or "against" any candidate or measure.

Vva is also entirely anonymous. In order to conduct a Vva it isn't necessary to know the voters name, only that they did indeed vote. Anonymity is thus "built in" to Vva.

A Vva - The Authenticated Vva

Notice the words " almost irrefutable" a couple of paragraphs back. The Vva described in the last few paragraphs is only "verified" by one person, the voter. It is the most basic form of Vva and while simple, it is quite formidable when compared to the systems fielded election day by virtually all U.S. Registrars.

If a Vva were to ever get to court, expect a full court press on the part of opposition attorneys. They will almost certainly attack even the slightest anomaly. If they have nothing else, expect them to blow the least little molehill up to the size of mountains.

One such thing that may be challenged is the voter them self. Did the voter possibly lie? Were they mistaken? Did they forget? Did they change their mind? Could they have altered their own vote to purposely skew and discredit the Vva's results? These and other questions could be used to sway a judge, a judge that may require very little in the way of 'sway'.

The ideal would be another person in the voting booth with the voter. A person who could verify, witness and authenticate the selections of the voter. In California a voter may bring another person into the booth to assist them. I assume this is allowed in other states as well and if it isn't, then it should be. After all, it's your vote. If those who steal it are possibly seeing it, then why shouldn't a verifier of known good character be allowed in, with your permission, to prevent that theft. The authenticator would thus authenticate and corroborate (with the voter) each individual vote, eliminating any question as to the veracity of each, individual verified vote.

This type of Vva is the A Vva, or Authenticated Voter verified audit. It is important to understand its vital components and their significance. First, the A Vva is considered to be irrefutable, because it covers all contingencies with human authenticated verification. In an A Vva the authenticator would also later check through the Internet all votes they verified the previous day. This way end-to-end verification of each vote is provided by two human witnesses, the voter and the authenticator, who were actually present at the precise moment and place the vote was cast.

Note: If an A Vva cannot be used for any reason, the ordinary Vva is still available and quite powerful.

Second, Vva's data source isn't taken from the vote. Just the opposite, the data source of the vote, is taken from Vva. You see, Vva is the "original" form upon which the voter imprints their choices. What the registrar gets is only copied from that original. Therefore, Vva's data source is created previous to the time and place the vote is actually made. Any one tampering with the vote on the registrars side is only acting "after the fact" so far as time and place is concerned, making it inherently impossible to alter Vva's data, before that data is sampled and run through another separate and entirely independent system.

These two features are something no vote count of any Registrar of Voters in the United States can presently provide, thus throwing their vote count into serious question should a discrepancy arise. Currently the Registrars final vote tally is accepted without question because though clearly problematic, it is more robust than any other alternative (primarily because there is no other alternative). Vva will change that. In a court of law, Vva must be considered the more robust system and thus trump any discrepancy.


This article has been drawn from a new eBook by M. J. Sperry entitled: Desiderata of the Citizen Vote - See: www.howtorescueamerica.bravehost.com

Email: voterverifiedaudit@gmail.com

The book details Vva and presents Jefferson, the protocol for conducting a Vva, as well as other innovative solutions to world and national problems.

©M. J. Sperry 12/20/07 - All rights to this work are released to the public domain, but only if reprinted in its entirety, including disclaimer.

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