If you care about the integrity of our elections, PLEASE read this:
Via Tim Canova.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,
After our reported loss to Debbie Wasserman Schultz in last year’s primary, I heard from many of you – and from election experts – expressing concerns about the integrity of the ballot count.
We heeded your call and put in a public records request to inspect the ballots in a dozen precincts. Unfortunately, the Broward County Supervisor of Elections stonewalled us for months and I filed a lawsuit against the Supervisor this past June under Florida’s public records law.
What our lawsuit has uncovered so far is both incredible and disturbing. Please excuse the length of this email, but we would like to bring you up to speed about these late breaking developments.
What our Lawsuit Has Revealed
Our efforts to inspect the ballots were spearheaded by Lulu Friesdat, an award-winning journalist and election integrity expert. We initially requested to inspect both the paper ballots and digital scanned images. Last November 2016, the Supervisor informed us they did not conduct any digital scanned ballot images in our race. This seemed very strange to us since the paper ballots are passed through scanning machines at the time of the initial vote count.
Undeterred, we sought to inspect the paper ballots in a dozen precincts. Just weeks ago, in early November 2017, the Supervisor said we could inspect only the digital scanned ballot images — the scanned images that we had been told a year earlier did not even exist!
Then we learned very recently that the Supervisor ordered our ballots destroyed this past September, in violation of federal requirements that the ballots be maintained for 22 months. POLITICO published a well-researched article today, “Experts: Broward’s elections chief broke law in destroying ballots,” reporting the conclusions of seven election-law experts that the Supervisor early that a single violation is a felony punishable by up to a year in prison.
Destruction of ballots prevents any reliable audit of the election results. We are left dependent on scanned ballot images created and sorted by scanning software that requires inspection by software experts. But the scanning software is considered proprietary software, owned and controlled by the private vendors, and often protected from independent inspection and analysis.
In ordering the destruction of ballots, the Supervisor also certified that the ballots were not subject to a pending lawsuit, which she knew was a complete falsehood given that she had been personally served as the defendant in our lawsuit nearly three months earlier, and even though we had already made public records requests and pre-trial discovery demands to inspect the ballots.
The ballot destruction raises serious questions: Why engage in this blatant lawbreaking? To cover up something worse? What has the Supervisor of Elections been hiding?
What Can Now Be Done
This destruction of ballots undermines people’s faith and confidence in the integrity of our elections and this election in particular.
We are calling for state and federal investigations into the ballot destruction and prosecution of illegal wrongdoing. We are also calling for Florida’s governor to replace the Broward Supervisor of Elections and her directors and top staff. This was done several years ago, when then Governor Jeb Bush replaced Broward’s previous Supervisor of Elections.
Moreover, Congress must hold public hearings on the circumstances of my primary, including inspection and analysis of the scanned ballot images and the scanning software. Congress must investigate the relationships between the vendors that control the electronic voting machines and software, their officers and directors, the Broward Supervisor of Elections office, Democratic party officials, and candidates for public office, including Debbie Wasserman Schultz, her staff and consultants.
What You Can Do to Help Us Prevent Rigging in Our Next Election
We are determined to prevent any rigging in next year’s election against Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The Broward Supervisor of Elections is now on notice that we are prepared to challenge election results and sue for a recount next time around, whether it’s reported that we lose by one vote or ten thousand votes.
We are also working with Democracy Counts, a nonprofit tech company that has developed a real-time election audit system, on plans to conduct an audit of our election next year. We will be using trained volunteers and state-of-the-art technology to conduct an exit-vote that provides a parallel accounting of polling place results. Democracy Counts will analyze the data and report on it soon after the polls close. If votes are stolen or suppressed, their audit system will provide evidence of those crimes and of whether they would have affected the results.
All of this will cost money to conduct the Democracy Counts audit and to be prepared to sue the Supervisor of Elections, if need be.
I am asking for your help. Please contribute what you can to help provide us with the resources to finish the job, conduct a fair election, and force Debbie Wasserman Schultz from office. Last year, our average contribution was $17. Thousands of you heeded our call, some with donations of only a dollar, others with $2700, the maximum donation. I urge you to please help us now in our hour of need.
You asked for us to fight for Election Integrity and we heeded your call. Our highest ideal is a Democracy of, by, and for the People. We will not waver and we will never back down.
Thank you for your support and keep the faith!