Sunday, June 18, 2006

CEPN Calls No Confidence in San Diego, Demands Hand Count


For Release Monday, June 19, 2006

Contact: Dan Ashby 510-233-2144

Contact: Jim Soper 510 258-4857
technical specialist


The California Election Protection Network (CEPN), a nonpartisan coalition of more than 25 election integrity organizations throughout California, is calling for a full hand count of all ballots and paper audit trails from San Diego County's June 6 primary election. CEPN has posted a Voters' Resolution of No Confidence on its website citing violations of California and federal election regulations, and describing the vote counting process as "secret," without means for verification by voters, elections officials, or the newsmedia.

"There is no proof of this election's legitimacy," said CEPN member Jim Soper. "Despite a mountain of proof that these machines are easily hackable, Secretary of State McPherson certified the system claiming a set of handling procedures would keep the machines safe. Now we learn that machines were unsecured in pollworkers' homes before the election, rendering those procedures useless."

In February, Secretary of State Bruce McPherson released a security report he had commissioned of Diebold touch screen (DRE) and optical scan voting machines. The report authored by University of California computer scientists concluded that the machines should never be left in the presence of fewer than two people, because one person alone could implant malicious code that could alter vote-counting functions without leaving any detectable evidence.

In San Diego County--as well as other California counties using Diebold machines--poll workers were allowed to take the machines for "sleepover" storage in their homes for days prior to the election.

The state report, "Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuBasic Interpreter," also said the machines could not be used unless the secret "interpreter code" was removed or the law changed to allow it. Neither was done. This same report confirmed several previously reported vulnerabilities in the Diebold systems, and announced the finding of 16 additional previously undisclosed security risks. Despite these clear threats to election security, McPherson certified the machines for use in California elections.

"These elections were conducted under illegal conditions. The results could very well have been compromised, and we have no basis for confidence in the reported results," said CEPN member, Dan Ashby.

Soper, a software engineer, added, "The public needs to understand that no amount of testing will ever detect hidden computer code that can be secretly activated on election day. Nobody, and no machine, should be counting our votes in secret."

"Not only that, but the voters' ballots are being treated as a side-issue," said Ashby. "Even before all the votes were counted, Secretary McPherson declared Brian Bilbray the winner of the 50th District Congressional run-off election. On that basis--not the actual vote count--Republican members of Congress staged a swearing-in ceremony in the Capitol. They did this while tens of thousands of absentee and provisional ballots remained uncounted."

CEPN is calling upon San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas and Secretary McPherson to invalidate all reported results until the outcome of each race can be verified through a hand count of all legally cast votes. Calling it a "Free-Count" rather than a recount, the CEPN citizen watchdogs insist that this manual counting of the ballots be conducted without charge to the voting public.

"The San Diego election department's violation of legal election procedure invalidated the original machine count," said Ashby. "It is the San Diego registrar's obligation to conduct a proper election, not bill the people to pay for his blunder."

With historical undertones, the CEPN Voters' Resolution of No Confidence draws from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which says the "just Power" of the government comes from the "Consent of the Governed."

"Under these illegal election conditions, the Consent of the Governed is being assumed, not sought," said Resolution author Dave Berman, a CEPN member from Humboldt County's Voter Confidence Committee. Quoting from the Resolution, Berman continued, "We, The People, DO NOT CONSENT to transferring power and authority to candidates claiming victory in this illegitimate election. We will do everything within our Constitutional and Human Rights to protect and preserve possession of this power that is inalienably Ours to be given but never taken away."

The CEPN notes that its position is in solidarity with the No Confidence stance taken by the Progressive Democrats of America, Tribune Media Services columnist Bob Koehler, and the election integrity organization, which is circulating an online petition calling for a hand count of the San Diego ballots.

The CEPN Voters' Resolution of No Confidence can be read at:

The Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuBasic Interpreter can be read at:

The Velvet Revolution online petition can be read and signed at:


The Voters' Resolution of No Confidence

The California Election Protection Network hereby declares:

Whereas an election is the legal process by which We The People transfer power to our governmental representatives; and

Whereas the legitimacy of this power, according to the Declaration of Independence, derives entirely from the Consent of the Governed; and

Whereas the legality and legitimacy of any election is determined first by the conditions under which it is conducted, which must, at a minimum:

a) comply with applicable laws;

b) offer We The People sufficient transparency to judge the election's validity and whether to Consent to the power transfer inherent in such an event;

c) produce, preserve and accurately count a paper ballot for every vote cast;

d) provide a means by which voters can openly and easily verify (repeatedly if necessary) the method of counting the votes and the actual results of said count;

e) determine a conclusive outcome resulting from the counting of all legally cast ballots; and
Whereas the June 6, 2006 election in San Diego County, California, was conducted under conditions which:
1) failed to comply with California and federal regulations through the use of interpreted code, and through the security breach of poll workers keeping voting machines at their homes prior to election day;

2) violated chain of custody provisions and mitigation requirements mandated by Secretary of State Bruce McPherson as a condition of Diebold's certification, thus removing even the pretense of the machines' reliability and accuracy;

3) amounted to secret vote counting through the use of Diebold's proprietary programming;

4) lacked sufficient transparency for voters to verify the election's validity, based on the above;
Therefore, be it resolved that the June 6, 2006 election in San Diego County, California, does not meet the standard for a legal election and provides NO BASIS for confidence in the results reported; and

Therefore, be it resolved that the absence of proof of legitimacy is deemed to be proof of the election's illegitimacy; and

Therefore, be it resolved that to warrant the Consent of the Governed, and the authorization of the transfer of power to winning candidates, a full hand count of all legally cast ballots shall first be conducted. This hand count shall reflect the only official result and not be regarded as a recount in any way, including relieving voters of the obligation to pay for said count; and

Therefore, be it resolved that until such a hand count has been verifiably conducted and a conclusive outcome determined, We, The People, DO NOT CONSENT to transferring power and authority to candidates claiming victory in this illegitimate election. We will do everything within our Constitutional and Human Rights to protect and preserve possession of this power that is inalienably Ours to be given but never taken away.

The California Election Protection Network, June 15, 2006

Resolution author: Dave Berman,
of CEPN affiliate Voter Confidence Committee, Humboldt County

For more about Berman's actions, see:

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We Do Not Consent, Volume 1 (left) and Volume 2 (right), feature essays from Dave Berman's previous blogs, GuvWurld and We Do Not Consent, respectively. Click the covers for FREE e-book versions (.pdf). As of April 2010, paperbacks are temporarily out of print. Click here for the author's bio.

Back Page Quotes

"Give a damn about the world you live in? Give a damn about what you and I both know is one of the most shameful and destructive periods in American history? If so, do something about it. You can start by reading We Do Not Consent."

— Brad Friedman, Creator/Editor,; Co-Founder,

"If in the future we have vital elections, the "no basis for confidence" formulation that GuvWurld is popularizing will have been a historically important development. This is true because by implicitly insisting on verification and checks and balances instead of faith or trust in elections officials or machines as a basis for legitimacy, it encourages healthy transparent elections. It’s also rare that a political formulation approaches scientific certainty, but this formulation is backed up by scientific principles that teach that if you can’t repeat something (such as an election) and verify it by independent means, it doesn’t exist within the realm of what science will accept as established or proven truth."

— Paul Lehto, Attorney at Law, Everett, WA

"Dave Berman has been candid and confrontational in challenging all of us to be "ruthlessly honest" in answering his question, "What would be better?" He encourages us to build consensus definitions of "better," and to match our words with actions every day, even if we do only "the least we can do." Cumulatively and collectively, our actions will bring truth to light."

— Nezzie Wade, Sociology Professor, Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods

"Dave Berman's work is quietly brilliant and powerfully utilitarian. His Voter Confidence Resolution provides a fine, flexible tool whereby any community can reclaim and affirm a right relation to its franchise as a community of voters."

— Elizabeth Ferrari, San Francisco, Green Party of California

"This is an important collection of essays with a strong unitary theme: if you can't prove that you were elected, we can't take you seriously as elected officials. Simple, logical, comprehensive. 'Management' (aka, the 'powers that be') needs to get the message. 'The machines' are not legitimizers, they're an artful dodge and a path to deception. We've had enough...and we most certainly DO NOT consent."

— Michael Collins covers the election fraud beat for "Scoop" Independent Media

"What's special about this book (and it fits because there's nothing more fundamental to Democracy than our vote) is the raising of consciousness. Someone recognizing they have no basis for trusting elections may well ask what else is being taken for granted."

— Eddie Ajamian, Los Angeles, CA

"I urge everyone to read "We Do Not Consent", and distribute it as widely as possible."

— B Robert Franza MD, author of We the People ... Have No Clothes: A Pamphlet for every American