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Who is R. Doug Lewis?
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By New Yorkers for Verified Voting (www.nyvv.org)
October 08, 2005
Doug Lewis is the Executive Director of the Election Center in Houston,
a private, “non-profit organization that serves the elections and voter
registration profession” by sponsoring training and certification
programs for election administrators and vendors. The Election Center
has about 1,000 dues-paying members, including state and county
election officials and "suppliers of election products and
Prior to taking over the Election Center in 1994,
Lewis was president and director of Micro Trade Mart, a company that
traded in used computer parts. He claims political experience as a
presidential assistant, aide to Texas governor John Connolly, and
chairman of state Democratic parties. Lewis has developed a continuing
education program for election officials and the first Code of Ethics
for voter registrars and elections administrators.
He has organized committees, associations, and task forces that
bring election workers together around shared concerns, notably the
National Association of State Election Directors (NASED). He serve[d]
as the director of the Voting Systems Program for NASED, where he
[until mid-2004] was responsible for managing the qualification,
testing, and approval of voting equipment in America through
independent authorities and sat as a member of the national
Voting Systems Board to develop and update the Federal Voting
Systems Standards.” During that period, Independent Testing
Authorities (ITAs) did not answer questions about testing procedures
but referred all questions about the certification of voting machines
to R. Doug Lewis at the Election Center. 
Why worry about Lewis’ influence?
professionals, citizens’ groups and independent media committed to the
goal of secure, reliable, verifiable and cost effective elections worry
about his control over certification of voting machines and his
influence on election administrators and workers, with good
reason: Under Lewis’ leadership the Election Center accepts
substantial donations from manufacturers of voting machines and sees no
conflict of interest in doing so:
• Lewis set up and
participated in a meeting for vendors to raise money for a massive
campaign to influence public opinion.
• The Election Center admits to taking large
donations from manufacturers of electronic voting machines. See
Election Center presents itself as an impartial organization for
election officials, but its conferences (e.g., Washington D.C., August
2004) feature expensive events sponsored by voting machine companies.
While Lewis is proud of developing the first Code of Ethics for
election workers, he sees “no conflict of interest or breach of
ethics” in accepting donations from manufacturers at the same time
as he plays a crucial role in training election workers and
certifying voting equipment. Lewis regularly promotes the
interests of the electronic voting machine industry:
Soon after the 2000 election, his “Failures of Law’ article placed 95%
of the problems on weaknesses in the law rather than on failures of
election technology or election administration. To this date, he has
not publicly expressed concern about DREs that recurrently failed after
certification under his oversight.
• In response to
computer scientists and security experts who are nearly unanimous in
warning of the security dangers of DREs that do not include a voter
verification feature, Lewis issued an Election Center Letter that
dismisses the concerns of “highly educated and respected [people] who
scare voters and public officials with claims that the voting equipment
and/or its software can be manipulated to change the outcome of an
election.” David Dill, Stanford University Professor of Computer
Science and founder of VerifiedVoting, says this letter
“demonstrates profound disturbing complacency and a serious lack of
understanding of computer security” and directs our attention to a the
point-by-point rebuttal by David Jefferson, a senior computer scientist
and electronic voting expert at
The Election Center Letter only defends costly DREs and pays no
attention to other current voting systems, such as the optically
scanned paper ballots that many citizens advocate because they are more
• Lewis’s speeches and writings aim to
encourage “faith in the process” of American elections  in a way
that encourages unquestioning trust in the voting machine industry.
Could that be because his organization includes as members and receives
substantial funds from "suppliers of election products and services"?
1 Report of the National Symposium on Presidential Selection, University of Virginia, 67
3 Report of the National Symposium on Presidential Selection, University of Virginia, 67
4 Harris, Bev, Black Box Voting, (Renton, WA: Talion Publishing, 2004) 60. also at www.blackboxvoting.com
Quoted from the Philadelphia Inquirer in Myth Breakers: Facts About
Electronic Elections by Ellen Theisen, 60-61.
6 Lewis, R. Doug, “Will America Hold Fair Elections,” University of Virginia, Oct. 4, 2004.
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