John Brakey: Election Transparency, not Election Integrity (part 1)
The state of our election integrity in this country is a huge problem. We have a private corporation lording over our election results, with the motive and the means to exact whatever changes they may desire, and we as voters have no recourse but to live with their results, whether we trust their accuracy or not. We do not have many reasons to trust them, but we have many, many reasons not to. We have been shown time and time again how votes can be turned into fractions, making one vote worth 1.7, and another worth 0.2. The consequence is that any candidate’s vote percentage can be capped at any number.
So what do we do about that? While many continue to proclaim the evils of the black box, others consider this step simply as one of many, on the road from education to activism. They view the information about who is in charge of our vote totals, and who should be, as essential knowledge that must be gained, not for its own sake, but to act accordingly, and with calculated precision.
John Brakey is not only one of those people, but he’s also one of the first ones.
His plan is not to enter the gates of Mordor, but to encamp outside of them, where we still have some domain, and more importantly some recourse to US election law. From there we can force our enemy to act according to our wishes.
“They [hackers] only steal if they have impunity. And they know the systems in every state. The people who do this, they're masters, okay? In Arizona, if they're stealing, I know where they're stealing, they're stealing in my vote-by-mail because it's wide open. And they can actually ah, they're not sorting the ballots in Arizona they're run through a high speed scanner, one box in Pima County with 1,000 ballots can have 400 different precincts in it.”
Knowing what our enemy is up to is important, but focusing on what we have no control over is a waste of time and effort. Instead, we can use the tools at our disposal to ensure that we, as citizens, can glean a more perfect accounting of our vote totals, no matter how their current corporate owners may skew them. The way we do this is by a method which conclusively proves the validity of vote counts.
Well-known election transparency activist Bev Harris refers to this procedure as “The Brakey Method,” after its originator John Brakey. In short, it is founded on the verifiability of hand-marked paper ballots, when they are backed up with electronic ballot images. One without the other has little value on their own, but together they are not only unfalsifiable, but having the electronic ballot images means that the ballots can be efficiently sorted, grouped, and counted quickly and easily, which leads to a much more representative accounting when it comes time to audit or recount.
“You need the ballots and ballot images to prove it. Everything else can be gamed. And the ballot and ballot images protect each other. One without the other is a loser.”
...And this is precisely why these ballot images are destroyed routinely by election officials, even though that is illegal because they are in the public record. The only way to conclusively prove fraud is to back up hand-marked paper ballots with ballot images, which almost every voting machine that uses ballots can already muster. The ability is built into most of these machines. It is these images that the voting software actually uses due to their accessibility and convenience, and this same accessibility can be used by US (the voters) when we deem an audit is necessary. Without it, we are left with slanted samples, incomplete samples, watered-down samples, anything but truly representational samples.
And THAT is why John Brakey sets out to sue election officials for their failure to protect these images, and make them public knowledge. They are abjectly failing in their capacities as public servants, their actions are not only unprofessional but illegal, unethical, and treasonous, and they must be held accountable for their actions.
Join us soon for part two of this article series, based on an exclusive Real Progressives interview with John Brakey, where we will dive into the lawsuits currently underway, and discuss how important they are going forward into 2020!