By Brent Turner, April 9, 2017
Why I feel good about making the President of the League of Women Voters cry …
So there we were, so many years ago, attempting to do our duty by objecting to the county purchases of the first round of electronic “ secret software “ election systems. We had just been “ sold out “ at the last minute in San Francisco ( after being misled / promised into thinking we were going to be able to block their purchase of Sequoia Voting Systems ) and now we we were attempting to block San Mateo County’s purchase of Hart InterCivic. The cost to the county being exorbitant, we stressed that financial scam as well as the national security issues inherent to a proprietary election system.
Our scientists lined up for public comment and one after another decried the lax security and implored the county to reconsider this purchase. We paraded the foremost science community in our naive attempt to reason with the decision makers. The opposition ( proponents of the purchase ) were a small gang consisting of the County Registrar of Voters and the President of the California League of Women Voters. After they presented their testimony ( with the Registrar visibly sweating and the President’s voice trembling ) about why it was a good idea to purchase the over-priced, insecure voting systems, the decision was made to go forth with the multi-million dollar charade.
That evening I called the President of the California League of Women Voters at her home. I asked her why she had advocated for the purchase of the “ secret software “ election systems and who had prompted her. Before answering, she put the phone down and I could hear her crying. Now, anyone with a heart does not relish in hearing an elderly woman weep. As angry as her testimony had made me, the sound of her crying stirred my humanity and defused me. She then picked up the phone and said “ Brent, I am so sorry. I don’t know ANYTHING about election systems. I just did what they told me to do. I promise you I will NEVER do that again. Please forgive me “ I told her I forgave her and I was sorry she had become mixed up in all this.
I wanted to pen this almost forgotten story as it highlights the issue of corporate control over advocacy groups. To this day.. Microsoft ( via Stanford Professor David Dill ) controls the voting rights advocacy of Common Cause, Brennan Center , Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, ACLU, NAACP, MoveOn, PFAW, PEW, and countless other smaller groups. To this day, The League of Women Voters nor any of the other groups have assisted our efforts toward appropriately secure elections.. as their corporate masters have fought to preserve the intellectual property status quo. For more open source voting solution information- see http://www.navo-us.org
For information on David Dill’s network- see http://cavo-us.org/matrix.pdf