Baby Steps…..The REIN act is a start but….

Over one year after the 2020 election, the people of South Carolina are still concerned that their vote didn’t possibly count. It doesn’t matter that Trump won our state. This isn’t about a particular party or who won an election, it is about the fact that we are suspicious of the election process that records, tabulates, and reports our votes. I think most of us can agree that something seemed very strange and wrong on election night and what transpired thereafter.

Legislators want to move forward to 2022 and to that end a bill called the REIN act (Restore Election Integrity Now) has been proposed by some courageous House members who want to make a difference. To their credit, they are looking to draft legislation that can be passed. We the people and particularly our group EFAC have been studying and analyzing the SC voter issues for over a year. We want an exhaustive study done of our elections here in SC so that we feel comfortable that our vote is indeed being counted.

Here are some additional issues that should be addressed with the REIN or other legislation:

Ballot security and verification of our vote are essential but the best way this can be accomplished is with paper ballots that are blockchain verified, watermarked, and can be then checked by the voter for accuracy.
Here is a great video on this topic by Arizona’s Mark Finchem:
(Note that this will also reduce the budget for elections as the cost is roughly around $.25/ballot as per the Arizona Election Integrity Project.)

Click here for a short 3-minute video:

Get rid of the machines. This was proposed by a number of IT experts including election expert Duncan Buell. Any electronic system is hackable. Full stop. Furthermore, we continue to verify that our machines have and can be connected to the internet.

Evaluate our voter roll registration and maintenance process. Unfortunately, the ERIC system is not doing an adequate job of cleaning our rolls.

While uniformity in the election process is necessary from a quality control standpoint, we also need to ensure that our state doesn’t centralize elections at the state level such that there is more control. Centralization can create too much power at the top with little oversight. Oversight is needed for accountability. This is why it is essential that the role of the SEC is evaluated as well as the impact of the judiciary on the election process.
For example, although the state supreme court ruled in favor of our AG regarding the use of witness signatures on absentee ballots, the verification of these signatures was not enforced. The SEC told the various county Board of Elections to not bother. Why would they do that?

The REIN bill calls for a forensic audit on 3 counties for the 2020 primaries and general elections but only calls for an evaluation of the witness signatures on the absentee ballots. What exactly will that entail? We have spoken to experts that did this analysis in Maricopa but were limited in their scope. This cannot happen here. In addition, the bill makes no mention of the paper ballots scanned by the machines or the machines themselves. We need to examine the machines, routers, and most importantly the program source codes, etc. to determine if and how these machines were possibly altered to manipulate vote counts. The Jason data from Edison showed our votes being flipped and reduced during the “counting.” This is disconcerting. We are happy to bring in expert Lisa Smith who did this analysis to review it with legislators or Laura Scharr can step through her summation of Lisa’s work.

One large concern about the REIN bill is who the committee of 7 is comprised of. This committee could be potentially be stacked with people who do not want to see transparency and disclosure of the election process. The selection of the committee members is crucial to a credible outcome of the results and the report. There should also be adequate input from ‘The People’ regarding the audit, how it is conducted, who is involved etc. We saw how Arizona was corrupted due to the involvement of people who are perhaps not willing to allow all of the evidence to be turned over nor the entire results to be provided to the public. It is essential that outside experts who are not biased be involved.

The fact that one committee member is appointed by the governor is also concerning as the SEC board members are appointed by him and under his purview so that could be a potential conflict of interest.

We understand that creating legislation is a messy process and like sausage-making requires many steps, ingredients and perhaps isn’t so pretty when observed in person. EFAC wishes to partner with these key legislators who care about the veracity of our vote so that we can create a process we are all confident about.