Are our elections transparent? When do we demand transparency? Only when we lose?

In this video, Robert Borer, who ran for Secretary of State in Nebraska, demonstrates the pitfalls of the lack of transparency in our elections. A very entertaining demonstration.

Holly Kessler the Georgia state coordinator for the Citizens Defending Freedom joins SC Safe Elections to discuss progress in the great state of GA. Is the state red or blue? How are citizens reacting to the indictment of Trump? And what does she think will happen in the 2024 election?

Holly also tells us what she is doing to educate multiple counties over the state regarding a simple transparent hand-counting method for paper ballots. Paper, Please!

Election Integrity is a bipartisan issue

In this engaging conversation SCSE team leader Laura Scharr sits down with Gregg “Marcel” Dixon to discuss election integrity in South Carolina. Marcel is a Democrat who ran against Jim Clyburn to address issues in the black community that he saw as a teacher in his community.

Although Marcel and Laura are from different sides of the political spectrum there were many issues where they aligned—namely one day of voting with paper ballots and Voter ID and perhaps getting rid of the party system. This is a must see.

For more information on a paper ballot system see

In the news

We had some good national press recently regarding our CVR lawsuit.

Please check out these links

Gateway Pundit- South Carolina Safe Elections needs help fighting legal battle

This article includes an interview with Dr. Daugherity on Brannon Howse’s show.

American Revival Press- Freedom of Information Act is not respected in South Carolina

FOIA law not being respected in SC

Here is an article regarding our CVR lawsuit as well as an interview Laura and Dr. Walter Daugherity recently did with Mike Lindell and Brannon Howse.

Start at 10:25

CVR 101

For those of you who still want to better understand what a Cast Vote Record is here are the basics. It is actually very simple.

What is a Cast Vote Record (CVR)?

From the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) manual Nov 2019: A CVR is an electronic record of a voter’s selections, with usually one CVR created per sheet (page) of a ballot.  Election results are produced by tabulating the collection of CVRs, and audits can be done by comparisons of the paper ballots or paper records of voter selections against the CVRs.

The CVR (Cast Vote Record) consists of several components: the ballot images aka the (CVRi), the information summarized from each ballot the (CVRc), and the database/spreadsheet of all ballots (in relative order, not the exact order as it is randomized in batches of 100 or 200). 

Here is a sample of each:

Here is another sample of the CVR spreadsheet from Arkansas

There are many complex operations performed by voting devices when voters submit their paper ballots to be scanned. These operations are mostly invisible to voters but are necessary to determine whether contest selections have been marked adequately and whether voter intent is reflected by what is marked on the ballot. Thus, the CVR is an important audit tool that provides transparency to an otherwise opaque process. It is a way we can determine what the progression of the vote is inside the tabulator.

Our current system in SC focuses on total end count but is this truly sufficient?  If you were to audit a bank account would you look at just the end balance on the statement? Of course not. You would want to examine all flows in and out of the account over a certain time period.  This is essentially what a CVR report accomplishes.

This data is helpful to look for anomalies and irregularities.  Note also that since batches of records (not the entire database) of the CVR are randomized it is near impossible to determine who voted at a specific time.  Furthermore, there is an ability for write ins and areas where there are only a few voters with certain unique ballot styles to be filtered out to further ensure that no ballot can be tied back to a voter.

CVRs are a common audit tool for elections that have been around since the mid-2000s. They were meant for election officials and the public alike to verify the vote accuracy.

The CVRs contain all or some of the following fields. (Fields marked with an asterisk are strongly desired)

*CVR Number

*Tabulator ID

* Counting Group (or other name – this tells how the vote was cast)

Batch ID

*Precinct ID

Ballot Type

What does NOT appear in a Cast Vote Record is any information which would identify the voter.

They contain, at a minimum, the specific candidates or races which were counted, and the selections chosen by a voter.

The vendors Dominion Voting Systems, Clear Ballot, and Election Systems & Software can produce a Cast Vote Record in one or several text CSV (Comma Separated Variable length) files, which contain the records of one ballot per line. This file is sometimes converted to an Excel Spreadsheet format for transmission to the public.

The bottom line is that CVRs provide essential information about our elections that allow us to better understand how our vote is counted. Our SC Constitution states “our votes must be cast in secret but not counted in secret.” The value of providing public access to these reports outweighs the concerns of “privacy.” After our votes are cast they are no longer private and there is no way to tie these ballots to a voter.

Our judicial and legislative branch needs to do the right thing and improve transparency of the election process. There is a reason they call the FOIA law the Sunshine law. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Poll show majority of Americans are election deniers

Mark Mitchell presents a historical view of polling on election integrity issues on youtube. It is a great video.

Here is a summary of the findings:

As the pandemic was emerging in January of 2020, Rasmussen asked likely voters “Are American elections fair to voters,” and 50% said yes. They also asked, “Does the federal government today have the consent of the governed?” Only 26% said yes. 

As COVID hit hard (April 14-15) people favored mail in ballots but 58% of people were concerned with the increased risk of fraud.

In October of 2020, their poll indicated that 59% of people did not think that photo IDs discriminated against voters.

Rasmussen was surprised by the large margin Biden won by. 

In December of 2020 only 36% thought the court challenges would result in Trump’s reelection; at that point most people didn’t believe in the fraud (43%). There were vast differences in R versus D results. Post January 21, 57% thought Biden won the election fairly but 34% said no. Post-election, 42% thought the mail in ballots led to unprecedented fraud. (Feb 2021)

60% of likely voters said that it is more important to make sure there is no cheating in elections as opposed to making it easier for people to vote (37%); this was more skewed to Republicans; independents were closer on this issue to Republicans

In April 21 51% of likely voters believed there was cheating in the 2020 election. This number has risen as the latest poll shows 62% believe there was cheating. Clearly public sentiment is changing based on the results of the midterms particularly AZ. People didn’t lose interest in this topic over time!

55% of likely voters support audits of election results in June 2021. This was horrifying to the pollster—why not 100%. Would you fly on an airline that didn’t have quality audits?

61% of likely voters believe that election reform must happen in swing states (June 21)

90% felt it was important to prevent cheating in elections (August 21) This was high across the board for all party affiliations. This also was high in Dec of 21.  By Dec of 2021, 59% of likely voters believed that cheating affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election 41% of Democrats believed this as well. Their concerns about fraud had increased. The latest poll stated 62% believed there was cheating.

74% believed in requiring a photo ID so this result had a large swing from Oct of 2020.  Concern about cheating was a growing concern and photo IDs were increasing in favor.

People were vehemently against “zuck bucks,” even the Democrats. 70% think that his influence was a bad thing—62% of Dems agreed with that.

How to return to a paper ballot system

We are often asked how to implement a paper ballot system that would be efficient and minimize potential fraud.

The best election system is one that is transparent, accurate, auditable and simple. Too many citizens across America of all party affiliations have lost trust in the electronic voting systems that are now in place. It puts us at risk of foreign interference given the potential for hacking, compromised flash drives and other commercial off the shelf components that are manufactured overseas.

Bring elections back to the local precinct level with hand counted paper ballots that people fill out manually and are counted in a visible way. Each ballot will be anonymous (so that the casting is still secret) but the counting will be in public. See this great example of a system that could be done inexpensively, easily and would be easily verified via the replay of the video cameras.

In the above demonstrations, the team counted 20 races on 250 ballots in about an hour.

A personal story about election issues

In this editorial post by Mike Covert he discusses his issues with voting in the 22 primary. It shows that our processes need to be reevaluated to eliminate these sorts of issues.

Election Transparency is Needed Even MORE Now Than Ever

Michael E Covert 23 MAY 2023

“Election integrity is crucial in the United States, as it forms the foundation of a functioning democratic system. Free and fair elections are fundamental to ensuring that the will of the people is accurately represented and that elected officials are legitimate representatives of their constituents.

The United States is a representative democracy, where citizens have the right to choose their leaders through periodic elections. The integrity of these elections is essential for upholding the democratic principles upon which the country was founded. When elections are conducted with
integrity, it fosters public trust in the electoral process, promotes political stability, and strengthens the legitimacy of the government.

Ensuring election integrity involves various aspects, such as voter registration, ballot access, and accurate vote counting, preventing voter fraud, and protecting the right to vote for all eligible citizens. This includes measures to guarantee the security of voting machines and systems, maintaining accurate voter rolls, providing accessible voting options, and implementing transparent and robust auditing processes.

By upholding election integrity, the United States aims to prevent any undue influence or manipulation of the electoral process, ensuring that every eligible citizen has an equal opportunity to participate and have their vote counted accurately. It also helps to safeguard against potential issues like voter suppression, disenfranchisement, or the interference of foreign entities in the democratic process.

As a democratic society evolves and faces new challenges, it is essential to continuously evaluate and strengthen mechanisms that safeguard election integrity. This can involve implementing policies that enhance cybersecurity, updating voting technology, providing voter education and outreach programs, and promoting transparency and accountability in campaign financing.

Overall, election integrity is a cornerstone of democracy in the United States, and maintaining and enhancing it remains crucial to preserve the democratic principles and the trust of the American people in their electoral system”.

The first six (6) paragraphs of my paper were not written by me; rather, they were a response from ChaptGPT, an AI “machine” so to speak, done completely on purpose. That purpose was to show how dangerous the electronic world is in having almost complete supervision over and implementation of our voting system. To that end, I will say over and over, “The election machines are corrupted and are corruptible.”
My own story is an interesting one as prior to 2022, I was not “100%” convinced of this whole election stealing, voting corruption etc. thing being talked about. Not that I didn’t agree that elections and voting should be completely above board, but I had not witnessed it, had not “felt” the impacts of it. Then, 2022 Primaries came along.

The 2022 Primary season had already been a rough one full of corruption from multiple levels here locally from the County GOP to several GOP “groups” and “Clubs” to people inside the system, all due to money and power. On the last day of early voting, my wife and I decided to go to vote about 5 minutes prior to the closing of the polls. As a candidate for local office and previous elected official, I understood the demands of actual “Election Day” and that going to vote would be problematic. We chose right before closing because of being a former elected official and public figure in this area, I did not want to bring any attention to the voting process etc.

We were the only 2 voters there aside from the poll worker staff and one poll watcher. We both went to our assigned electronic machines to do our voting. After stepping though the questions, I came to the end where you touch “SEND” or “VOTE”. I did not see my County Council race, so I went all of the way back to the beginning and did it over. Still, no County Council race. I looked over at my wife who had a look of question on her face— I told her to NOT HIT SEND. I called over this elderly man who was part of the poll staff and advised him that there must be something wrong as there wasn’t the County Council race on my ballot. (I did NOT ever say to him my name or my candidacy at any time) He said politely, “Sir, the ballot is the ballot. Please hit SEND to vote and let’s get done”. I then said, “Sir, my choice for County Council is not on my ballot and I am not going to hit SEND with it not on there”. Growing a tad uneasy, the man said, “The ballots are correct. Please finish voting so we can all go home”. It was then I decided to give the man a piece of my mind. “Sir, my County Council choice is NOT on my ballot and the candidate is ME. I will not hit SEND.”

About that same time with voice raised and the little old man looking like he saw a ghost, the Manager of the Building came out squeaking, “Mr. Covert! Mr. Covert! What is wrong?!!?” I told her that I was not on the Ballot for the County Council District 6 seat, but even worse—neither was my opponent. Her look was as well, like she saw a ghost. She ran to her office with me in tow, and she proceeded to contact the Voter Registration Office in the City of Beaufort, approximately 40 minutes away. I was there with her, right beside her as she talked, and hit buttons on her computer with “Vernon” on the other end. I intently watched her screens and could see where she had my information pulled up and it said I lived in District 7. I went to my phones and pulled up my voter registration and my tax records. One said District 6 and the other said District 7. After about 10 minutes, I interrupted her and said, “Ma’am, I think I see your error. The error is right here (pointing at my phones and information) between the tax records and voting records. When you all completed the re-drawing of the District lines, you didn’t do a dry run to ensure that all was completed properly”, from redistricting. (Remember, SC had just gone through re-districting) She said she didn’t understand. “Ma’am, your tax record and your voting records have not been fully integrated”, I told her.

She now was borderline flipping out with Vernon on the other end. I continued to watch her as she talked and gave instructions to Vernon. I could hear him on the other end of the line explaining he was “doing this and doing that….and that he would have it fixed in a minute.” About five (5) minutes later, she looked at me and proudly said, “Okay, it is now fixed. You and your wife can go vote.” I said to her— “Wait…wait…wait. How did you or Vernon “fix” this, if my voting machine is stand alone and not connected anywhere?” “Well, he got into your and your wife’s machine and just fixed it”, she exclaimed. I looked over at the Poll Watcher and both of our eyes were as BIG as bowling balls. We knew, at that very moment, what had happened. I went back to the machine, started the process again and yes, there I and my opponent were on the ballot. We voted, gave the paper to the older man who was visibly mad that he was still there, and he put it into the tabulator. I opened both of my phones at that very moment and went to look for Wi-Fi signals. I had gotten onto the internet earlier as I looked up my tax records and voting records— but wait, AREN’T THESE MACHINES SUPPOSED TO BE NOT CONNECTED TO

We saw and witnessed with our OWN EYES, that yes, they ARE! Once we got outside, the poll watcher was there waiting for us where we discussed what was going on. Some phone calls were made to several people and we ended hiring an Attorney right there on the spot from Columbia to continue what I will call a protest and Election violation. Unfortunately, ultimately my situation was not remedied.

So how do we fix this? I believe I have the answer to this question:
1) When there is redistricting done due to census counts, the Secretary of State should require via certification a complete electronic report form each county showing results of “dry runs” of the voting software vs tax records. (This is done EVERY SINGLE DAY in the business world when any new software product is released, called “run-in Prod”, “run in Test” and then “Go-Live”. Testing BEFORE it goes public.
2) Same-day voting period, except for military members or people who reside more than 50% of the time overseas.
3) All voting to be done on paper. Utilizing a paper voting style that mimics our current paper currency with secret paper linings, security devices, watermarks etc. that are currently available.
4) Proof of identification and residency is non-debatable.
5) All votes to be counted at THE PRECINCT LEVEL. Utilizing voting in private, opening in public them.

Lessons learned- election issues start at the local level

Musings from the SC GOP convention:

This is a reminder that elections are about process. As you know our group doesn’t like to be super political or partisan but everyone can appreciate and accept our election outcomes when the process is fair, transparent, and efficient.

  1. It is essential that everyone qualified shows up. Turnout matters

2. Everyone needs to feel confident that those in charge of the vote are being fair.

3. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and their vote and shouldn’t be pressured or coerced to vote a certain way.

4. Only qualified credentialed voters should be allowed to vote

5. The voting process shouldn’t be arduous and lengthy. Long lines or times reduce participation

6. Everyone voting should feel comfortable with the rules.

7. Our votes are secret but counting is not. Observers welcome.

We will get there my friends.
God bless all the people who participate in the process.
May we continue to make improvements. 🙏

How our elections are being hacked

KEY POINT: INDEPENDENT POLLING IS CRITICAL to provide external data to compare with election ‘results’. If polling results are inconsistent with election results, there should be further investigation.

  • Law Enforcement
    • Push out good officers to make room for bad officers that will not uphold the constitution.
    • Media attack on law enforcement
    • Turn citizens against police, police against citizens
    • Force retirement of law enforcement by making it miserable to be a good officer
    • Compromised and blackmailed judges/prosecutors
  • Media
    • Push the message of security and accuracy until people start believing it.
    • Discredit any entity that questions security or accuracy of election, so the people ignore the presented facts.
  • Political Parties
    • Make non-partisan positions, partisan.
      • AZ Clerk and Recorder
      • DASS – Democratic Secretaries of State
      • etc
    • Do not adhere to (or don’t know) their duties to provide Election Judges, Poll Watchers, and Audit and Canvass Board members
    • Don’t exert their authority over election operations as representatives of the electors, which is greater than that of the clerks and SOS who are “elected”
    • Don’t hold the election officials accountable for providing honest elections
    • Fail their constituents by not demanding honest elections
    • Are likely gaining power or monetary benefits by their complicity in election manipulation
    • There are no teeth (consequences) in many of the laws, therefore nothing to prohibit people breaking the laws.
  • Legislation
    • They inundate legislators with so many bills, nobody has a chance to read them.
    • They get naïve legislators to carry ‘election integrity’ bills as a good ‘compromise’
    • They disguise bills building in trojan horses
    • They create legislation, then later change the definition of the terms used in the previous legislation. Bait and switch.
    • They create a sacrificial bill to put on the ballot that gets a certain group riled up in order to increase biased voter participation.
  • County Clerks Association
    • NGO paid by counties and unaccountable to county’s electors
    • Instruct clerks they serve as “Agents of the Secretary of State”
    • Instruct clerks to trust machines and vendors
    • Convince clerks that electors are dangerous and to be feared
    • Instruct clerks to “forget” to notify (Republican) party chairmen to appoint Canvass Board members, so clerks can appoint them on behalf of party
    • Intimidate Canvass Board members who don’t certify elections
    • Work closely with Secretary of State/Election Commission to pass rules, statutes, and laws centralizing elections under government control
  • Primaries – Cheat every way possible to control the endorsed candidates
    • Bribe others to run to split the vote
    • Hire people to Bad-mouth opponents
    • Open-Primaries – These can be used to cheat! They allow the opposing party to control who is on the ticket. Open-Primaries are a trojan horse.
    • Cheat using the voting system
      • Allow ‘delegate’ votes, then control the delegates
      • Add ‘anonymous’ votes during voting process (see CA GOP)
      • Pre-make slides to show pre-determined outcomes, and show those instead of the real-time votes (citizens don’t know the difference)
  • Polling Places
  • Illegal Immigration
    • Mass immigrants and census that counts them allows justification for higher population, which creates more headroom of justifiable registered voters (or more accurately, voting records that don’t actually need to be tied to an real citizen – the record itself allows a ballot to be created, mailed, cast, and tabulated)
  • Voter Rolls
    • Motor-Voter system is a gateway for illegitimate voter registrations. They utilize weaknesses in obtaining driver’s licenses in order to create a voter registration record.
      • Voter Reg Entries are also being created for those too young to vote, but old enough to drive.
    • Mass change of party affiliation to unaffiliated in order to manipulate – Look for affiliation changes before and after primaries
    • Change of party affiliation prior to becoming poll-workers in order to pose as different party.
    • Leaving bad records in
    • Injection of bad records
    • Loose security in access controls
    • Loose access logging
    • No change-tracking
    • Duplicate entries of individuals with name changes (maiden/married names)
    • Addresses modified (street names) to send ballots to know bad addresses
  • Mail ballots – Injection of ballots with broken chain of custody
    • Declare an emergency to force the use and relax/ignore other election laws
    • Real-time tracking systems allow bad actors to track ballots to gain realtime information to abuse.
    • Postal carriers instructed to NOT deliver ballots to the address in which no residents with that name reside so that the ballot can be routed elsewhere, thus avoiding alerting of multiple ballots registered to that address.
    • Addresses copied from one locality to another, but changing the street name, generating returned ballots
    • Mail ballots create many chain-of-custody vulnerabilities, which make it easy for error and manipulation to occur.
    • They claim drop-boxes have 100% surveillance, when they do not!
  • Legislation
    • Laws are created to give people the sense of security, which turns false because they then don’t follow the laws.
    • Laws are created to restrict access by the citizens, blocking us from being able to see or verify our own election system. This is done SUBTLY, and/or hidden in other legislation. They SNEAK THESE LAWS IN!
  • Drop-Boxes – Injection of ballots with broken chain of custody, avoiding any tracking by USPS.
    • Public/Private money funding setting these up all over
    • Many boxes that require surveillance cameras don’t have them
    • Public has limited/no access to surveillance footage
  • Data Breaches
    • Beyond the original breach are usually hidden higher-order breaches as a results that can be leveraged by bad-actors.
  • Poll Books
    • Real-time tracking systems allow bad actors to track ballots to gain real-time information to abuse.
  • Election ‘Day’
    • Allowing voting before Election Day allows bad actors to gain necessary information to more accurately estimate the results to manipulate the results by injecting ballots.
    • Allowing voting after Election Day allows bad actors to make final adjustments to the results by injecting ballots.
    • All of this turns the election into a feedback control system that bad actors can use the control the results of elections with high precision.
  • Tabulation
    • Ranked-choice voting – There are many reasons this is a bad idea. One of them is that it is so complicated that it REQUIRES a computer tabulate and LOCKS us into using computerized tabulation. That ALONE is reason to boot it.
    • Use different thickness ballot paper for different areas/voters
      • Use the thickness as excuse to determine which tabulators are used (Sacramento CA does this – they claim the ‘thin’ paper gets jammed in the Hi-Pro scanners, so they scan all the ‘thin’ ballots through the smaller desktop scanners – Mark Cook was told this first-hand)
      • Paper that is too thick used in BMD (Ballot Marking Devices) and tabulators may jam, allowing another path to segregate those ballots. This may have happened in AZ
    • Print the ballot image slightly shrunk so citizens don’t notice it, but the tabulators would be unable to scan, causing them to be segregated and an excuse to ‘re-create’ them. (This happened in AZ)
    • Print the ballot image lighter than normal so citizens don’t notice it, but the tabulators would be unable to scan, causing them to be segregated and an excuse to ‘re-create’ them. (This happened in AZ)
    • Someone could easily fill in undervotes in ballots to manipulate those races.
    • Induce error into the system to obfuscate manipulation (ballot programming mistakes, printing mistakes, mis-spellings, etc. – these aren’t all accidents)
    • Change database outside of voting system software
    • Incomplete tracking
    • Incomplete logging
    • Self-deleting logs
    • Back doors
    • Ability to be connected to alternate networks (including the internet)
    • Wireless devices installed in hardware
    • No visibility to the public
    • Secret source code
    • Incomplete verifiability
    • No way to guarantee they will always operate without error/abuse
    • Block all access to ballot images and paper ballots
    • Wipe hard drives to ensure no evidence of manipulation is left
  • Reporting
    • Election officials don’t even know what really happens to their totals when they leave
    • Totals can be changed and hidden inside aggregation without the public able to detect
    • No guarantee to the public that the shown state/fed totals are actually accurate
    • No public place that all totals are transparently and additionally posted
  • Records
    • Purposely misinterpret the 22-month minimum federal retention period to restrict access to election records for 22 months. That is not the purpose of the minimum retention period. The purpose of the retention period is to make sure the data is RETAINED for the time period so that people can look at it. I believe there is a legal case in some stage regarding setting the record straight on that.
    • Source: Mark Cook: compiled from multiple states