10/25/2021 (Mon) 22:00:30
The corruption fueling the purchase of dangerous new barcode ballot marking devices (BMDs).
Despite objections from leading election-security experts and advocates, jurisdictions throughout the United States are flocking to these new barcode BMDs and purchasing them for use by all voters. It appears that corruption is enabling and fueling many of these decisions. Here are some indicators of this corruption:
• ES&S has donated $30,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee — which houses the Republican Secretary of State’s Association — since 2013.
• Lobbyists who work for ES&S and Dominion have made small donations to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign. McConnell is blocking all federal election-security legislation, including the SAFE Act, which would ban barcode BMDs altogether.
• South Carolina’s top election official sat on voting machine vendor ES&S’s secret advisory board & received trips, lodging, & dining worth $20,000 from ES&S. The entire state recently signed a $51 million contract for ES&S’s ExpressVote barcode BMDs.
• New York City’s top election official also sat on ES&S’s secret gift-giving advisory board and is pushing the City to buy ES&S’s ExpressVote XL barcode hybrid BMDs for early voting.
• The Pennsylvania Auditor General reported earlier this year that election officials in at least 18 Pennsylvania counties have accepted gifts from voting machine vendors.
• ES&S used lobbyists to make donations to the two decision markers in Philadelphia who ignored leading experts and election-security advocates by choosing ES&S’s risky barcode “hybrid” BMDs, rather than hand marked paper ballots.
• Dallas County, Texas rejected unhackable hand marked paper ballots in favor of hackable machine-marked printouts with barcodes from ES&S’s ExpressVote machines after the county’s election administrator attended a lavish ES&S boondoggle in Las Vegas.
• Voting machine vendor ES&S’s agent in North Carolina, Printelect, has also sweetened the pot with donations to the governor of North Carolina and many others in the state. A few weeks ago, the North Carolina Board of Elections ignored leading experts and election-security advocates by certifying the ExpressVote barcode BMD system.
Confusion over competing election-security bills.
The only election-security bills in the Senate with any traction are the Secure Elections Act (SEA) and the SAFE Act. The SAFE Act would ban barcode BMDs, require that jurisdictions give voters the option to vote with hand marked paper ballots, and require robust manual audits. The SEA would do none of these things. It would provide a false sense of security.
But the SEA is the only bill with bipartisan support thus far. Although it failed in the senate’s last session, Republicans for the Rule of Law have been promoting it, and Senator Lankford (R) said in August that it will be re-introduced and that Mitch McConnell is open to it.
Voters should demand, at a minimum, that lawmakers amend the Secure Elections Act to ban barcode BMDs and to require that all voters have the option to use hand marked paper ballots at the polling place.'