- Bush Appointed Chair of U.S. Election Assistance Commission
Says 'No Standards' for E-Voting Devices, System Ripe For Stealing Elections.
- This is a transcript from an interview which the major
broadcast networks refused to air with former U.S. Elections Assistance
Commission (EAC) chair Rev. De Forest Soraries. He was on KTLK in Los Angles
on the "Harrison on the Edge" show.
- Soaries was appointed by George W. Bush as the first
chair of the commission created by the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
in the wake of the 2000 Presidential Election Debacle. Soaries says that
he was 'deceived' by both the White House and Congress, and that neither
were ever 'really' serious about election reform.
- "We know more today about how to build a machine
to take pictures of rocks on Mars than we know how to build a machine to
safeguard the American right to vote" stated Soaries.
- "We didn't begin our work until January 2004 and
we spent the first three months of our work looking for office space. Here
we were, the first federal commission, responsible for implementing federal
law in the area of election administration and for the first three months
we didn't even have an address. I was basically deceived by the leader
of the House, the Senate and the White House.
- "Someone in America has got to hold America accountable
for protecting the most fundamental right in a democracy and that is the
right to vote".
- Transcript August 2006 Unaired Interview
Rev. DeForest Soaries, FORMER U.S. Elections Assistance Commission
- "I resigned, effective April 30th, 2005 after having
served through 2004 elections and concluding that neither the White House
nor the Congress was really serious about election reform."
- "Florida 2000, the whole world watched America express
embarrassment over the status of the Election Assistance Administration
and by November 2004, we had not only made significant changes but in many
ways, had made things worse through the passage of the Help America Vote
- "After Florida 2000, the politicians were all on
the soap box promising that we would 'repair' the problem and the problem
was much more than hanging chads and lever machines. For instance, the
Help America Vote Act mandates that an electronic voting machine be in
EVERY precinct in the country and that mandate preceded the funding of
research necessary to ensure that there is some prototype or standard for
such machines. If every home were mandated to have a microwave without
the prerequisite kinds of safety standards for microwaves, it would be
considered scandalous. But we know more today about how to build a machine
to take pictures of rocks on Mars than we know about how to build a machine
to safeguard the American right to vote."
- "There is no prototype. There are no standards.
There is no scientific research that would guarantee ANY election district
that there's a machine that can used to answer these very serious questions.
And so, my sense is that in politicians in Washington have concluded that
the system can't be all that bad because, after all, it produced them.
And as long as an elected official is an elected official, then whatever
machine was used, whatever device was used to elect him or her, seems adequate.
There's an erosion of voting rights implicit in our inability to TRUST
the technology that we use and if we were another country being analyzed
by America, we would conclude that this country is RIPE for stealing elections
and for FRAUD."
- "What was ironic was each of us accepted our appointment
knowing that the EAC had no statutory authority to regulate. But what we
were told was that EAC would have sufficient money to do research. And
while regulatory authority was not present, we felt that if we could do
the proper research, no state would be caught dead using equipment that
didn't met up to the standards that our research proved were acceptable
standards. Well, in the absence of regulatory authority and in the absence
of money to do the research we were basically asked to make bricks without
- "Well, the states were forced to comply and they
were asking us for guidance. We were ill-equipped to provide guidance.
We didn't begin our work until Jan 2004 and we spent the first three months
of our work looking for office space. I was basically deceived by the leaders
of the House, the Senate and the White House. And I decided that it just
made more sense to spend my time watching my sons play basketball than
to participate in this charade."
- "While we're spending a billion dollars a week in
Iraq (its 2.4 billion JM), we're told at EAC, by both the White House and
the Congress, here is how much we're going to give you. You tell us what
you're going to do with it. They never asked us the question, what would
it really take to lead election reform in this country. How much money
should the country really spend not only on buying new equipment, but on
doing the proper research before using that equipment and how much will
it cost over the long haul to keep that equipment up to date and to repair
such equipment. Those questions were not asked. So in my view, it was just
a charade that I would choose not to participate in."
- "Most people who really know, like election officials.
They pray on Election Day that the election is not close. Because if an
election is not close, then the flaws are HIDDEN. But it's when you have
this perfect storm of equipment failures like Florida and a close election
there's a call for recounts and an inability to determine WHO won right
away, that's when the glaring issues emerge and when election officials
begin biting their nails."
- "Either EAC or some agency must have the capacity
to hold the entire system, elections officials, public officials and the
manufacturers of voting equipment accountable. Where there is no accountability,
then you're open for fraud and for inefficiency. EAC has regulatory authority
over the National Voting Rights Act but that's such a small piece of the
voting process. Someone has got to be able to say, no one in America should
use machine "A" ever again. And if it's not EAC, its got to be
SOMEONE. Someone in America has got to hold America accountable for protecting
the most fundamental right in a democracy and that is the RIGHT TO VOTE.
- Note: In my opinion no corporate entity should ever be
trusted anywhere near the people's vote especially when this is all
done in secret with no oversight. Without credible elections we are
nothing but a banana republic pretending to be a Representative Democracy
all smoke and mirrors. See: Hacking Democracy