Election Center: The Fox Guarding the Henhouse Updated
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Contributed by Joyce McCloy, NC Coalition for Verified Voting
January 15, 2006
The Election Center Wants To "Improve" Democracy - And The Profit Margins Of Their Corporate Sponsors
are back at it again, the ethically challenged Election Center.
They have a new web-page, nice layout, though many of the links
still don't work.
Amazing that they are first to recommend electronic solutions
for voting and registration, yet they can't design a working
website. I am sure these broken links are just "glitches" that
happen when skeptical computer scientists try to perform time
travel! But while the Election Center may have a new website, the
mission is the same: promote expensive unreliable and unverifiable
voting machines and the vendors that make a profit from them.
They have a new logo to boot - and now they've given
themselves a subtitle: "The National Association of Election Directors.
But who are they? Near the top of the Election Center's "about" page, it describes itself as more or less a heroic group dedicated to democracy..
After that encouraging, patriotic, and heart warming description of
the Election Center and its focus on democracy, have alook at what is
buried near the bottom of the page - the "money changers" clause.
"The Election Center’s purpose is to promote, preserve, and improve democracy."
The Election Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting,
preserving, and improving democracy. Its members are government
employees whose profession is to serve in voter registration and
"The Center’s members also include suppliers of election
products and services, including voting systems, voter registration
software, voting booths, ballots, election supplies, etc. Members are able to visit with the providers of those goods and
services at the national conference where members can learn what is
available in the latest technology and election products."
How ethical is it for corporations to be members of
an organization that trains, advises, and represents our election
Just how much does the Election Center cares about Democracy? Take a look at the Election Center's List of Election Legislation
- nowhere do you see even a negative reference to HR 550, considered
the "Gold Standard" by the Verified Voting Foundation, and strongly
endorsed VoteTrustUSA, Common Cause, Working Assets, MoveOn, Electronic
Frontier Foundation and voting integrity organizations across the
country. HR 550 has more co-sponsors than all the bills listed from
both chambers combined. But then HR 550 might actually help ensure
verifiable elections and wouldn't provide a windfall for the voting
industry - no reason for the Election Center to even mention it!
The Election Center is offering a Special Workshop in
Albuquerque, NM Feb. 22-26 With a welcome by Diebold along with some
classes and workshops. These workshops are reminiscent of how those
Home Improvement stores give classes on how to use the merchandise that
you are going to buy from them (hint hint) - kind of like product
placement, or a flat out endorsement of that technology.It must be safe
and reliable, since the Election Center recommends it. and Diebold must
be good, they are hosting the Welcome Reception.
Just where does the Election Center's funding come
from. As a non-profit corporation, their tax reports are supposed to be
filed and available for public view. But their 2004 reports are still
unavailable. I guess they are reluctant to release them after activists
used their previous returns to embarass top state election officials
such as the North Carolina Elections Chief, Gary Bartlett, who was also
a member of the Election Center Board of Directors.
It is not fun to have reporters ask you - about the Election
Center, how much money does it get from the voting machine companies.
The formal answer by Mr. Bartlett - "about 10 percent ". We still have questions
about those nasty little 2003 financials, like where did they get all
of that cash? And do they own stock? If so, do they own stock in any
election related companies?
Well, it certainly is nice to see that the Election Center has a new website. Unfortunately the message is still the same.
the Election Center had $874,759 in cash on hand at end of 2003.
the Election Center also had unrealized gains of $142,916
Doug Lewis paid himself $100,164
NC Elections Chief Gary Bartlett worked 10 hours per week (unpaid)
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