Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

SMART Elections: Reaching Across the Political Spectrum to Secure The Ballot Box

Author: TJ OHara
Created: 29 May, 2019
Updated: 15 August, 2022
2 min read

Lulu Friesdat is an Emmy award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose election security investigations have received over 4 million views on Now This and been featured on Politico, MSN.com, the Young Turks, The Hollywood Reporter, The Christian Science Monitor, Salon, Truthout, AlterNet and many other media outlets. She joins T.J. O’Hara to discuss SMART Elections, a new, non-partisan election integrity watch guard organization.

There are currently four main sectors in the election reform movement: voting rights, disability rights, anti-corruption (getting money out of politics), and security. These groups are powerful individually but tend to work in isolation of each other. Meanwhile, our nation’s elections remain in disrepair.

SMART Elections is dedicated to working cooperatively across the political spectrum to create a broad-based election reform movement. It is creating coalition partnerships that can bring the attention and resources necessary to protect and strengthen U.S. elections at the local and national level. Ms. Friesdat talks about the new organization and many of the challenges that are confronting the integrity of our elections.

While new hybrid voting machines are gaining popularity, they are fraught with problems. They can add votes without your consent, use barcodes that are only machine readable, and even be affected by cosmic rays in a manner that may create errors. In addition, voting machine vendors dominate the cyber-security committees that the government has tasked with developing guidelines for our elections. Needless to say, the guidelines may be more favorable to the machine vendors than to the voters when it comes to election integrity.

On a positive note, Ms. Friesdat talks about what can and should be done to restore integrity to our voting process. She touches upon The PAVE Act, sponsored by Senator Wyden (D-OR), and the improvements it is trying to secure. She also invites interested parties to join her and other members of SMART Elections on June 6th at 11:00 AM at the New York State Board of Elections meeting (40 North Pearl Street, Albany, NY) as they petition the Board to say:

  • YES to hand-marked paper ballots and secure well-maintained ballot-marking devices (BMDs) for voters with disabilities;
  • NO to hybrid voting machines;
  • NO to touch screen voting machines; and
  • NO to counting votes with barcodes.

Learn more about how insecure our voting system is and what you can do about it.

Photo Credit: Rob Crandell / shutterstock.com