There is a movement afoot in the Republican Party to squelch any and all technology solutions from elections. While understandable from a certain perspective, this strategy is reckless and short-sighted. Sure, they got their arses handed to them in 2020 and 2022, but to overreact like this is similar to banning all guns. These folks were supposed to be 2nd Amendment advocates, right? What happened? C'mon, guys, let's have some consistency here. Don't trust technology? What about flying commercial aircraft or many other systems that are now fully automated in today's world? Should these be abandoned as well?
Don't throw the baby out with the bath water... !
Operating from a place of Fear
So what's driving all of this? Taking some really bad advice, the Republican Party has succumbed to fear. In a desperate attempt to right what they see as a stolen election, the Republicans have turned against technology. They have found a bogeyman, and it is
So their alleged path forward is to simply not use any machines because they don’t understand them and they don’t trust them. And who can blame them when you’re not allowed to look inside any of those black boxes? You might get arrested not only for trying to, but now for even talking about it!
Not long ago, Democrats had the same complaint. In fact, they were the first to show how easy it is to break into many of these machines. And if there were no other alternative, that might be the only path forward.
But it’s not.
But before we talk about why it’s not, let’s look at this plan to employ hand counts of paper ballots exclusively all across the country, replacing all machine counts. Is this even feasible?
Why the Republican's latest “Big Plan” will fail
First of all, I can’t even get four people to show up at my very conservative precinct - even to vote for precinct leaders! How in the world are you going to mobilize say 25-100 people to conduct a hand count election in each and every precinct across the country? The answer is … you’re not. So from nothing but a purely logistical standpoint, this plan is not going to work. It’s not that people should be discouraged from doing this if they really, really want to, but the likelihood of it happening at scale is very low - and that's not even considering the costs involved nor the onerous task of attempting to remove existing machines and their associated contracts already in place. And all of this well before the November 2024 election? No matter if you share our pessimism or not, you have to admit it’s a very long shot.
Secondly, it will never happen in areas that are controlled by the opposition party. They are not going to allow any changes when they are in power and in control - so you're not going to gain any ground there. The only hope here is to offer something to them that is palatable, solves problems common to everyone and allows them to stop having to focus large amounts of resources on arguing about elections. This is a problem for both parties. A lot of time and money is being put into fighting a battle that neither can really afford to fight. It’s an expensive distraction that’s never going to go away and in the long run, there are no winners.
Thirdly, people LIKE machines. They are fast, efficient and relieve humans of many burdens offering capabilities that are not possible otherwise. Granted, the election machine systems that are in place now across the country may be atrocious, but they don't have to be anymore because EIP has hit the scene with a fully functional replacement for all of them (and a recipe for others to do the same). Seems that might be a better way to go, or at least in tandem with hand counts. But banning machines altogether is ignorant, juvenile and frankly, stupid.
Finally, it’s not allowed in some states. For example, in some circles in Colorado we are surrounded with people who are clamoring for paper ballots, but it’s literally against the law here and nobody is doing anything about changing that law. It’s a lost cause because the party in power simply won’t allow it - and they never will. A ballot Initiative is the only option here, but it’s not even clear that elected Republican politicians would even support it, let alone the public at large - which is now addicted to convenience. So why do hand count advocates keep pretending like it’s a viable path? It's not, and the sooner we face that reality, the better. Instead of hoping for a fantasy, people need to embrace EIP-T* along with hand counts as a way of moving toward paper ballots in the future, if that's what the people desire.
To be fair, even EIP-T* will face opposition when competing against mail-in ballots because that process will require people's attendance at local precincts as well. But this added inconvenience will be much less painful than a hand count because the newer automated count process is so much faster and requires fewer resources. It's also better than absentee voting because you can truly trace your vote (rather than being lied to and told that you can with a phone call or email saying it's been counted - WHAT A JOKE!). Those currently in power really do think voters are gullible. Let's show them that we are not. Rather than worshipping a golden turd, let's implement a platinum standard. It's also empowering to hold your vote on your device and to be able to track it along with the election results in real time. Preliminary indications are that the public at large will really like this!
The World according to Paper
Having said all that, it's important to emphasize the value of the paper ballot hand count process:
Q: But I prefer paper ballots, and believe they are the only way to ensure an honest election result. Doesn’t EIP promote the use of machines over paper in the vote tabulation process?
A: No. EIP is a methodology [protocol] that can be implemented and/or incorporated with machine and/or paper vote counting and voter verification. Currently, those voters living in Colorado for instance, are subject to exclusive machine tabulation, and unless that method of vote counting officially is replaced with some other such as hand counting/tabulation, the subject of paper ballots is a moot point there. EIP nevertheless can work in tandem with existing voter machines [or paper ballots for that matter] to ensure honest, accurate, and verifiable election results - or it can replace them altogether with a faster, better, cheaper and fully transparent electronic implementation. It's a better mouse trap 🐁. So if you believe machines are inherently dishonest, EIP sidecars can convert all of them into "honest" machines. EIP has the added benefit of being able to retain election results both for access by the individual, and for future official audits should they be deemed necessary. So it's not a matter of the promotion of one implementation of the protocol over another, rather it's whatever the people choose. The protocol is flexible.
Whether you drive a Lamborghini or a Ford Pinto, you will still get to your destination - provided you travel on the EIP "highway" !
But let’s get back to the poor demonized machines ...
Machines are not your Enemy
The Republicans have done a great job of shooting themselves in the foot - yet again - this time by demonizing technology. They aren’t called “The Party of Stupid” for no reason. Think about that. In this day and age where the single most powerful tool that can be employed anywhere is technology and they are going to abandon it ... and replace it by removing people’s convenience? It’s hard to imagine how incredibly foolish that is. Sure, nefarious forces may have misused technology in the past, but technology is the only way you’re going to win in this battle, or even compete.
Furthermore, without the use of machines, you won't be able to track your vote, monitor the election in real time nor download the entire election and count the votes yourself.
Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger administering some tough love. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Here’s the reality, folks. In places where hand counts cannot be implemented or are undesired:
MACHINES ARE THE ONLY WAY FORWARD
So why not use technology to your advantage? That’s what EIP-T* does - without removing people from the loop. But it doesn’t just do it for the Republican or Democrat party, it does it for people all across the world. It’s not a partisan solution. It simply produces infallible elections, so why wouldn’t anyone want to at least take a look at it? Because it’s against church doctrine? Really??? It’s time to grow up, people.
So if you wanna get rid of those machines, then get rid of THOSE machines - not ALL machines!
IT’S TIME TO EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY
Like it or not, you don't stand a chance without technology - and EIP-TDL is the best way to accomplish that.
Hopium ... or a Real Solution?
When the 2020 election (and for that matter, the 2022 election) cycle completed, hordes of researchers began to comb through whatever data was available and began to notice an alarming number of statistical anomalies. Some would call these statistical impossibilities. That's all fine and good, but this focus on what happened in the past sidetracked thousands of people focusing on the wrong thing: the machines. The bottom line is that, okay, let's say you've now documented the obvious, but what are you doing to ensure this can't happen again? In other words, what is your SOLUTION? The amazing answer is:
As EIP advocates sat in disbelief watching all of this happen, we came to the uncomfortable realization that nothing was going to happen - except another speech or maybe another conference. Well, hopium may hold some people over, but it does nothing for the country. At best, it's little more than a distraction - we need to see real action on this front.
Where's the Beef?
Way back in March, someone called into the Mike Lindell show and he promised to take a look at EIP:
Unfortunately he never did, and we are still waiting. Hopefully he will make good on that promise - but the nation is quickly running out of time.
The common problem from all political persuasions is that none of them have come up with a SOLUTION. It's all talk. What is that solution?