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.