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Our Most Important Voice: My Letter On S1487

Electronic Voting/No Paper Trail

I am providing testimony or comments for submission into the record of S1487 hearings. Debbie Boen, Clarksville, TN 37040

After the election of 2004 mainstream media would not research or publish the following accusations about electronic voting. Along with no mainstream media attention or public outcry, these facts still exist.

  • 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.
  • There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.
  • The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.
  • The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”
  • Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.
  • Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.
  • Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush’s vice-presidential candidates.
  • ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.
  • Diebold’s new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.
  • Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.
  • Jeff Dean, Diebold’s Senior Vice-President and senior programmer on Diebold’s central compiler code, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.
  • Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a “high degree of sophistication” to evade detection over a period of 2 years.
  • None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.
  • California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold’s claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it!
  • All, not some, of the voting machine errors detected and reported in the Florida 2004 elections went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.
  • A Republican computer programmer came forth and testified that he had been employed to make an untraceable hacking device for voting machines.
  • Our exit poll results were worse than the discrepancies in the Ukraine exit polls which caused them to demand a redo of their election; and we saluted them for demanding it.

I took part in a group from Nashville called “Gathering to Save our Democracy” in an effort to make a difference in Tennessee. I and others attended a three day meeting of hundreds of election officials in our state. What became clear to me at this meeting was that these people have strong convictions and integrity to delivering neutral and ethical elections. They know that nothing unethical happens under their noses, at their polls, and it was an effort for them to consider that electronic voting machines can be hacked without their knowledge. Their trust in the system needs to be defended.

At this meeting we all heard a speech given by an election official and Bush supporter who said that if we question the integrity of the voting process as it now exists, then we are questioning the integrity of the United States of America. Considering the honorable people I had met there, this statement was an insult to all present.

Sirs and Madams, I question the integrity of our voting machines in the United States. I have most certainly lost and I request that you restore faith in this system. This issue is essential to all parties but as a registered Republican, I expect the protection of integrity and honesty in this, our most important voice.

Verifiable elections and independent audits are something attainable and essential to our freedom.

Thank you,
Debbie Boen

Debbie Boen
Debbie Boen
Debbie and her family moved to Clarksville slightly after the tornado of 1999. Debbie founded the group, Clarksville Freethinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties, in 2004. She participated in Gathering to Save Our Democracy, a group dedicated to obtaining free and verifiable elections in Tennessee. She has supported groups including the NAACP, Nashville Peace Coalition, PFLAG, Friends of Dunbar Cave and the Mountain Top Removal Series of Films and speakers. She participated as an artist in the ARTZ gallery group in Clarksville and won Best of Show, First and 2 Second Place awards for four of her sculptures. She won a voter's choice award for a performance at the Roxy Regional Theatre. She is a wife, mother and cancer survivor. She is always amazed at the capabilities of the human spirit, and the wisdom to find humor when there is none.


  1. Jeff from Cookeville wrote to me:

    I share you concern about touchscreen voting systems. However, the system you use in Montgomery Co could not and does not even have the same level of testing and system security as the Diebold and ES&S machines. The MicroVote
    machines have more problems and more security risks than the others. They have been outlawed in all but 2 states, Indiana and Tennessee.


    I answered:
    Thanks for telling me Jeff. When we were in Memphis and spoke to our two Montgomery county election officials who chose this machine, they were at least as strong in opinion as we and would not consider our objections. We felt that we were too little too late with them and wished we could spend more time in our busy lives, trying to convince them to at least look at more data. We talked to the salesman who represented the machine and he was not pleasant.
    Later on when Montgomery County announced it was going to buy new voting machines, Bill Larson did a lot of research on “our” machines and the results were terrible. We made printouts and called our county reps and begged them not to use them; about 12 of us went to the county commissioners meeting where they would vote in the machine. We were not allowed to speak there. We had some county reps beleiving us from our phone calls and our printouts but without our voice, they couldn’t be told what to chose that was better. Our election official convinced them it was the only choice she had. We really needed more effort into this; one of many things we were fighting here.

    Thanks for writing. Yikes.

  2. This letter was sent to me by Eleanor from S. Carolina (Thanks Eleanor!)

    The League of Women Voters of South Carolina just
    finished a study of ES&S iVotronic voting machine, used throughout SC. Among those positions supported are:

    Random testing of voting machines should be
    conducted during every election.

    Replacement voting machines purchased by the
    State of South Carolina should include a paper ballot for the purpose of allowing the voter to verify his/her vote, and, also, for use whenever a vote recount is required.

    Source code should be open for inspection.

    As part of the study, we developed a paper-and-pencil demonstration of how these particular voting machines work. We found this very effective in explaining to those who are not computer literate.

    Our (LWV South Carolina) extend the positions of the National LWV (attached).

    Keep up the good word!



    LWV-US position. Adopted Monday, June 12, 2006

    Resolution related to program requiring a voter-verified paper ballot or paper record with electronic voting systems.

    Whereas: Some LWVs have had difficulty applying the SARA Resolution (Secure, Accurate, Recountable and Accessible) passed at the last Convention, and

    Whereas: Paperless electronic voting systems are not inherently secure, can malfunction, and do not provide a recountable audit trail,

    Therefore be it resolved that:

    The position on the Citizens’ Right to Vote be interpreted to affirm that LWVUS supports only voting systems that are designed so that:

    1. they employ a voter-verifiable paper ballot or other paper record, said paper being the official record of the voter’s intent; and

    2. the voter can verify, either by eye or with the aid of suitable devices for those who have impaired vision, that the paper ballot/record accurately reflects his or her intent; and

    3. such verification takes place while the voter is still in the process of voting; and

    4. the paper ballot/record is used for audits and recounts; and

    5. the vote totals can be verified by an independent hand count of the paper ballot/record; and

    6. routine audits of the paper ballot/record in randomly selected precincts can be conducted in every election, and the results published by the jurisdiction.

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