Call For Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin Recounts.

By Jerry Alatalo

“In a democracy dissent is an act of faith.”

– J. WILLIAM FULBRIGHT (1905-1995) American senator

World Map1Alphabet The Green Party’s candidates for President and Vice-President, Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, have taken steps calling for recounts of the 2016 vote in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Given their request includes a “paper trail” to verify the vote counts were accurate and that electronic voting machines in their current technology configurations make that likely impossible, recounts should make what has been highly disturbing for the few who’ve looked into problems associated with electronic voting universally known.

While Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are among those who have apparently settled on the legitimacy of the 2016 election, not acted by questioning the accuracy of vote totals and/or requesting recounts, and look forward, despite disappointment, to a “smooth transition of power” – big questions will become answered, concerns will become addressed, for good or bad in the three states specified.

Supporters of Stein|Baraka had their hopes dashed by results showing them receiving just 1% of the national vote – far short of the desired 5% goal Green Party organizers worked toward – and left many wondering whether there was some form of vote corruption or illegality occurring to lower final Green totals. Given that election 2016 took place during a time when “anti-establishment” sentiments were at the highest ever in America and around the Earth, and that the Green Party’s platform proposals clearly represented the most “anti-establishment” variety of all those in the race, the final results seem in the eyes of many difficult to reconcile.

During the campaign Dr. Stein and Mr. Baraka stated on numerous occasions that they wouldn’t “sleep well at night” if either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton were to become President; recounts in the three (3) states will not result in Green Party candidates winning the White House, so the primary impetus behind the action is more fundamentally in defense of democracy – to (finally) expose defects existing in the U.S. election system, viewed by experts as the worst in the developed world, and the need for long-overdue reform(s).

Some will view the act of calling for recounts as “sour grapes” after the Green Party candidates’ poor showing in the election, or perhaps as an attempt to reverse the election in favor of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine over Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Various responses and perceptions of motivations related to the recount action aside, it becomes difficult for any person moderately informed about the poor state of U.S. national elections to criticize efforts to improve the nation’s democratic process by identifying, acknowledging and then correcting as many problems and deficiencies as possible.

Protecting the will of “we, the people” through vigilance using checks and verification procedures commonly practiced in the accounting profession can only result in an ever-increasing potency and strength of democracy in America. Certainly, actions leading to such a result will receive nothing but the strongest support of current President Barack Obama, President-elect Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Bernie Sanders, their supporters, and all those who believe in democracy.

Knowing their fellow Americans have genuine concerns about protecting the democratic process, willing to act in its defense against manipulation or corruption, and intent upon making their election system the best possible, should rationally become perceived by citizens as completely positive. During Thanksgiving Day celebrations across the United States, people now have another good reason to give thanks.

(Thank you to RT America at YouTube)

U.S. Election System: Worst In Developed World.

By Jerry Alatalo

“When the people is master of the vote it becomes master of the government.”

– ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C.) Greek philosopher

ocean44Alphabet Risk exposure… Every student of accounting comes to learn about risk exposures and ways to eliminate them. Risk exposures represent defects in accounting systems which, if left uncorrected, allow criminals in organizations to steal money, products from inventories, critical information and all forms of valuable assets. Therefore, eliminating risk exposures is one of the important tasks and challenges for persons designing accounting systems, whether for a mom-and-pop business, medium to large, complex corporations, or public entities such as schools, public safety agencies, Defense Departments, etc. of all sizes.

Every student of accounting familiar with the term risk exposure and its meaning will, when considering electronic voting machines, optical scanners and automated tabulators of vote counts, immediately recognize the risks of such system “tools” for stealing votes. Simply put, it is impossible to guarantee that voter preferences in elections where electronic means become used are accurately recorded, 100% verifiable, and/or reliable. It doesn’t matter when talking about glaring defects in America’s voting system whether one “voted” for Clinton, Johnson, Stein or Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election – this matter is important for people of every political ideology without exception; the point is that risk exposures exist in the current election system because there is no way of knowing if election theft occurred or not.

Those risk exposures can and must be eliminated. Accountants at the world’s largest corporations and public institutions have designed systems which handle massively complex and numerous transactions, involving billions of dollars, while successfully eliminating virtually all possible risk exposures. Certainly a much stronger election system, where the voting “transaction” process carries far fewer variables – consisting of much less complexity – should offer no serious obstacles to those tasked with designing a theft-proof satisfactory reform.

Hand-counted paper ballots, using the old-fashioned selection of preferred candidates using pen or pencil and simple filling in of the box, provides the best alternative moving forward for obvious reasons, including that close, contested races become easily decided through recount. Electronic voting makes recounts nearly, if not absolutely, impossible; because the program language built into electronic machines are “proprietary” – the intellectual property of the corporations and their owners which manufacture them – no government officials responsible for managing elections can check to make certain no theft occurred.

Public elections officials tasked with running a clean vote have no control over that portion of the voting process using technology which is privately owned and secret. Continuing to allow private companies and their owners – potentially vulnerable to bribes and other forms of voluntary or coercive corruption – to control the most critical aspects of the voting process only invites high levels of persistent suspicion, doubt, apathy and non-voting among the people at best – or high levels of election theft at worst.

Making voting easier by designating election day a national holiday, perhaps on a Sunday as opposed to workday Tuesday, is another reasonable and simple-to-establish reform worthy of serious consideration. Such a simple but profound change would result in an easier process for citizens and a far larger voter turnout.

Professor Mark Crispin Miller has written extensively on the U.S. election system and its very real risk exposures, including as author of books focused solely on this most important of all democratic processes. He offers simple, fundamental, yet powerful reforms which – once enacted – hold genuine promise for greatly improving the fairness, accuracy and trustworthiness of elections in the United States of America.

(Thank you to Mark Crispin Miller at YouTube)