I hope that this will be a place where you can find information quickly regarding our election system. Many of us have learned that election integrity has been a problem for decades, but now it has come to a head. We need information to correct the results of this election and prevent it from happening again. I hope you will find useful information here. I've learned much since I first started this project and in the coming days and weeks, I'll be updating this site and adding more content. Let's roll.
I read of this case a long time ago and I searched for any results that came from the examination. I haven't been able to find any. I haven't even been able to find an article talking about it for several months.
A few days ago this popped up in a search. I followed a link that had an email address in it and sent them a message. I've also sent this to a couple of people that might have resources that could do a better job of chasing info down. I've seen no mention of this in the circles I monitor.
It's possible it was appealed and lost on appeal, but I'd like to know for certain.
This week I’m working on some issues that came up at the Secretary of States election law conference. I’ve been generally aware of some operational issues with our elections that I haven’t had time to dig into. This would be kind of like me signing off one of the big airplane inspections, but I left out a couple of inspections.
I’m trying to find a way to approach the issue with the SoS in a way that might gain some traction. Counties have been operating in what almost certainly is a non-compliant manner for quite time with the SoS concurrence. I’m hoping that with new blood there, that maybe a fresh look will be given to the situation.
Windows shut down on it's own last night. I thought I had this thing configured so that it wouldn't do that anymore. The document that I was going to send to the SoS attorney was not saved properly and did not come back up. I'll never learn. As soon as I have some breathing room, I'm going to tell Microsoft to kiss my ass forever and move to Linux.
My office is a disaster and I’m trying to bring it back from the abyss. I haven’t been able to spend any time in the shop this week, it’s been hotter than the dickens anyway.
I have watched three movies/documentaries in the past week that are centered around our current situation. Sound of Freedom is in theaters, and it is not light entertainment. I really haven’t delved much into the child trafficking thing, but there are a lot of smart people that are telling us we are underestimating it by a bunch. I’m having a hard enough time dealing with the evils I’m well aware of and I don’t know that I have the capacity to deal with that kind of evil. I also watched “Out of the Darkness”, and “Into the Light”. These are two documentaries that explore influencing populations in a modern age. There wasn’t much there that was new to me, but they would be recommended viewing for people that are just becoming aware of the level of corruption and attempted control we are living with.
Everyone is trying to influence you including me, and they are using every possible medium to do it including your everyday entertainment. Never has there been so many ways to run an influence operation as are available now. I will not knowingly lie to you and although I’m not perfect, I am a bit careful of what I put forward.
Into the Light will capitalize on a quote from Sam Adams:
It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. Samuel Adams
I kind of like that. It could easily describe what I’m trying to do with posts like this. I will never have the power or the resources to make a big impact on the corruption, but I can start some brushfires by bringing attention to, and taking on issues I’m aware of.
Do something - Go start a fire, stand in a gap, shine a light, roll down the isle...
When I stop posting for a while it’s because I’m working on stuff. Last week I attended the Secretary of States, Election Law Conference. I have to cough up some fairly serious bucks to do things like that, but I think it was worth it. That was three days at the start of last week.
The new Elections Director for the Secretary of State is Christina Adkins. I consider this to be a step up from where we were, and I will say that my impressions of her were more positive than of her predecessor. That wouldn’t be hard to do, within 5 minutes of meeting him, we were adversaries. Ms. Adkins did take some time to listen, but she still may be a product of a bureaucracy that has not served us well. I will say that there were at least two places that I was pleased with the way she presented legislative issues. The first was the way she framed HB5180 to the elections workers at the conference. I thought it was very fair. This bill should help with the document access issues although there are some issues around that still needing attention. I hate to be a tease, but I don’t remember what the second item was. I’ll just say that there was another mildly pleasant surprise.
I will begin to address some operational issues with the elections division this week, that are due to significant misinterpretations of the election code, but from comments I’ve already received, I think it will be an uphill climb. I'll make the climb.
I did finally file my response to the Dallas V. Paxton suit yesterday. This is one of several suits that concern the release of election documents to the public. I’ve been in this law for two years now, and I really feel that God has forced me to do things over and over again to try and get it right. I keep finding new things, and I added an entirely new argument just hours before I filed the document. Since we have the new law that clarifies access to these documents which will be effective 1 September, I’m not certain where these suits are going. Dallas amended a filing to say that they didn’t think the new law should be applied to old elections. Think they’re hiding something?
Many ideas proffered in this filing are my unique perspective on the election code. While some of the ideas are unique and have not been argued before, I support each and every one of them with statutes the legislature has written. Some of them will not be popular with the establishment. The establishment has been “interpreting” laws for their own benefit for too long. I don’t know where this work is leading, and at times I think it’s pointless, but someone has to stand up and challenge the status quo.
I have been fighting for documents so long that I have ignored operational issues within the election system, and there are some of significance that need addressing concerning the processing and counting ballots as the legislature intended. I will began to address this issue this week, but it too will be a very difficult job to accomplish. These interpretations should have been countered the day they were proffered, but they have been allowed to take root for ten or more years. It’s now a big stump to have to dig out.
I've posted my response to the Dallas filing at the end of the paragraph. I'm not posting theirs, because has a lot of technical stuff and a lot of individual contact information that's hard to weed out. My filing will paraphrase the meat from their arguments, and I have done so as fairly as possible. I attempted to keep mine as readable as possible. petition_for_declritory_judgement_2.pdf
I’m certainly not a writer. Almost everything you read from me has a minimum of three revisions and most have many more. I’m not particularly skilled with office productivity programs, I’m a lousy typist, and I hate filling out forms and such. I mean really hate it. Something like that filling are a very significant investment in time for me, but the rock doesn’t go up the hill on its own. We are where we are because no one pushed on that rock years ago.
While I'm preparing this post, I get a notice of the following link. My initial read makes this nothing but noise as I don't see anything specific that authorizes the withholding of information, but more study is needed. In ES&S letter, the code they cite simply points out that it meets the definition of critical infrastructure. They are advocating using state critical infrastructure law to withhold the information, and we have a defense against that in the election code. Judges will be quick to respond to the ES&S argument though. These people are hiding something.
There was a resolution filed earlier in the year in the Tarrant County Republican Executive Committee to call for changes to our election system. I supported it even though I didn't necessarily totally agree with it. This is a complicated issue and it was a far reaching resolution, agreeing with everything just isn't going to happen and sometimes you just need to move the ball. Debates on the floor are a good thing, but they aren't the place for detailed discussions on complicated issues. My thought then was that more background was needed to bring people to a more common understanding of the issues. This letter is way over due in coming but was my attempt to do just that. I am not posting the resolution, but I've tried to paraphrase some of its key tenants.
Greetings to all,
The idea to create this document came to mind during the debate over Susan Valiants election integrity resolution in May. Unfortunately, I’m quite busy and it’s taken a while for this to be a priority. This is long, but I promise that this is an issue that is deserving of the investment in time and I can go into much greater detail than I have here.
The resolution brought forth a great deal of conversation. It’s wonderful to have some debate on the floor of a meeting like that, but this is a pretty deep subject that is difficult to cover in such an environment, and there are a lot of misconceptions around this subject. As someone who has spent from 4 to 10 hours a day nearly everyday on this issue for two and a half years, I thought I’d add a little deeper perspective. There is much more happening around the country on this issue than most people realize.
I’ll touch on the resolve portion of Susan’s resolution as she freely offered that section up for debate, and then I’ll move on and address some of the comments that I heard during the debate.
Susan was wanting us to resolve to use hand marked, sequentially numbered paper ballots on counterfeit resistant paper. Frankly I’d have a hard time arguing with any of that. The Ballot Marking Devices (BMD’s) that we currently use in Tarrant County are expensive. They must be stored, transported, tested, and updated. The wait for a BMD is the cause for most delays during an election, and they are the cause of most technical problems. The following pictures show a bit of that testing and gives a little of an idea of the number of boxes involved. Each one weighs about 25lbs and costs roughly $3K. Storage space, updates, transportation and manpower must be considered. While tabulators also come in those boxes, the vast majority are either BMD's or their controllers. There's another stack of boxes that can't be seen in that picture.
BMD’s take the human element out of the voting process and introduce doubt as to a ballots authenticity. Today the only reconciliation procedure is to balance the poll book check ins, to the vote totals. Before SB1 was passed in the 87th legislature, we didn’t even have that. There was no reconciliation procedure specified. Unbelievable. The fact that we have this is due to the work of the mighty Alan Vera who passed away this year at the state capitol while there to testify on election issues. I would expect a requirement to balance the ballot stock against the ballots produced by the BMD’s, and then against the poll books and the totals in the tabulator. He and I were discussing legislation to require just that.
Some of you are likely saying that we record all those numbers, and you would be right, but no one checks them. The ballot inventory is quite often wrong, and Mr. Garcia freely admitted he didn’t check it because he knew they were going to be wrong. No one looks at the BMD totals, and Mr. Garcia could not describe the ballot numbering system from the BMD’s. After two years of hard work I can’t either. I might have enough information now to do so, but I haven’t had time to dig into it. It’s totally inexcusable, and it is totally unacceptable that we don’t have a clear understanding of ballot numbering in this county. In fact it’s mind blowing that something like sequential numbering has become so complicated.
BMD’s are capable of producing an endless supply of perfect ballots that can’t be distinguished from any other ballot. Now we have exacerbated that situation with stand alone BMD’s that aren’t reliant on the controller to produce a ballot. Couple that with the lack of understanding of the numbering system and there is a real potential for nefarious activity. I know why they were purchased - at least ostensibly, but I also know how they can be misused. Having faced fraud most of my adult life, I find the trade unacceptable. The astute among you will pop up and tell me that if ballots were printed at will, that we should be out of balance with our poll books. You would be right. Read on.
I’m certain by now that someone will be thinking that we have to have BMD’s for ADA compliance. That is partially true. We have to have one per voting location. That’s actually a dumb requirement that we can debate separately, but that’s another of those ostensible reasoning's, and it is no justification to have the number of BMD’s that we do have.
The countywide voting program is popular, but its primary purpose is almost certainly to help to hide the ball. We calculate votes by precinct. When we use vote centers, it becomes more complicated to do audits. Accounting should not be complicated. It should be very straightforward. Audits can be done, but not in a simple and streamlined manner. In a 12 or 14 day voting period, a voter is highly likely to be near his home at least once, so voting in a home precinct shouldn’t be an issue for people. One of the problems with the program is that it requires an internet connected poll book. This is the largest single vulnerability in the election system, and I have in my possession evidence of manipulation of that data during the last primary election. The information that I have is not terribly different than what was discovered in New Mexico from the 2020 general election in two different counties, and of course we also have evidence from Dallas in this past November's election. No, that manipulation has not been debunked.
Until recently we didn’t even pull the tapes from the early voting machines to compare to anything. The only reason we are doing so now is that an undaunted young woman made a stink about not having the tapes, and didn’t stop doing so until Mr. Garcia acquiesced and agreed to produce them. Others of us jumped on the bandwagon and we are beginning to get reports from the servers that should match those tapes. Those reports are the voting center cumulative reports that are now on the County’ website. Election judges should be able to match their tapes now. The concerned citizens have no stated putting this data together well yet, but we are working on making that happen. It’s been quite a fight just to get it and it come in fits and starts.
I personally do not believe the write once memory device that was in the resolution is doable, although there was a requirement in the election code for some equipment to have that capability by 2026. That requirement was done away with in the last legislative session.
We could debate the exact method that Susan proposed as an audit, but what we are doing now is inadequate. It would not meet the standards that I had to meet in any business or industry I’ve participated in. More is required. Much more.
Cleaning the voter rolls is an inarguable need. As teams have looked at the rolls across the country, they have found that between 10 and 30% of the registrations have issues of one type or another including people that simply do not exist. I had such a registrant at my own address. While they might range to the smaller end of that spectrum here in Tarrant County, we know we have problems. To date, we haven’t done a good job of documenting that. Hopefully the new committee will take that work seriously and we will begin to get that documentation. Additional legislation is needed, as well as improved cooperation from the county.
I’m going to try to address some of the comments that were made during the debate, but I’m working from my poor memory, and from Bill Eastlands recording. I’m afraid the audio quality isn’t much better than my memory, and this old Crew Chiefs ears don’t work well either.
One speaker spoke on the issue of hand counting and as I recall I personally agreed with most of his comments. I’ll also point out that this resolution wasn’t asking for a total hand count as the counting method for the election. It doesn’t matter what the counting method is, if it’s opaque as ours is currently, it can easily be cheated. If the machine method is opaque, there’s no reason to suppose that hand counting won’t be as well. Regardless of the process, it has to be completely open, and in my view, today it is anything but. One election integrity group, “Texas First” states that elections should be Accurate, Transparent and Accountable, and I agree with that statement. So does Senator Bob Hall, in fact I think he came up with it.
The issue of certification was brought up during the meeting. We were told that these systems are federally certified, and then are certified again by the Secretary of State. These are meaningless facts. If the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and its approved testing contractors were stellar organizations, and they most assuredly are not, after certification the systems are then released into the wild where they are extremely vulnerable. Because all the software has to be certified, the systems will not receive security patches for the operating system, or for any other software on board. Our systems in Tarrant County are operating on Windows Enterprise 10 with a 2019 license and the version number is 10.0.17763. I promise you that any hacker worth his title knows the vulnerabilities of that aged version and patch level, and is well prepared and able to manipulate it. The following picture was taken from within the Tally Room, and while the items of concern likely are there for very innocuous purposes, they would make anyone with experience in securing critical computer systems cringe.
There is not an agency in the federal government that has any credibility when it comes to computer security. Within weeks of Chris Krebbs famous statement on the 2020 election, we learned that a huge number of the computers owned by major industries and various governments were now “owned” by nefarious actors. The attack had gone undetected for weeks by the vaunted CISA and most every other Cybersecurity firm. I’m writing about the Solar Winds fiasco. If you are not aware of the details to this, it was a supply side attack of an incredibly insidious nature according to the people that know about such things. Being a supply side attack means that it was in the programming from the start and would have likely been undetectable by a hash validation. It also went unnoticed for a considerable period of time, and then when it was first noticed, it still garnered no attention. The Office of Personnel Management also happened to lose the security classification application of myself and tens of thousands of other people. Somebody has no doubt put that information to good use. As for the Secretary of States certification, I’ve read a majority of the reports written by the inspectors for certification of these systems. As an aircraft mechanic and maintenance manager that had to test and certify airplanes and their critical systems for flight, I’m not only unimpressed, but I’m appalled. There is no written inspection protocol. The inspectors “test’ against the very minimalist standard set in Chapter 121, but they pull the standards they will use to make their determinations ….never mind where they pull them from. Tarrant County is going to process over 800K ballots in the next election. I would expect to know that this system has processed a half million to a million ballots and to know exactly what the expected accuracy rate should be in the real world. I want the test that determines that to be well documented so we can adequately judge the mechanical accuracy. Do you think that’s extreme? Before a new airplane is put into service, a wing will be flexed thousands of times, and then it will be tested to failure. It’s a very dramatic and telling test. I’ll bet you audit the ATM every time you use it, and I guarantee the bank is reconciling that ATM and expecting 99.999+% accuracy. What is the mechanical accuracy rate of a Hart Verity scanner or tabulator? Nobody knows.
Today our state's “certification” tests are full of glitches, poorly documented, and filled with excuses and less than satisfactory answers to problems. ES&S was allowed to get away with known hash validation issues for quite some time. Hashes of course are another one of the things that’s supposed to give us comfort. I’m more computer literate than many working full time as election administrators, and I’m not certain that I would have picked up on ES&S’s hash validation issue. Not to mention that if there are programming issues from the beginning, the hash is simply going to validate the bad programming.
It was mentioned that the State receives the source code and I didn’t believe that was correct, so I checked. I was surprised, but we do get the source code, or we are supposed to. It really doesn’t matter. We don’t have anyone on staff that’s qualified to do a dive on that, nor is there a record of the source code being checked by any independent entity for any of the three major election equipment manufacturers in the history of using this equipment. The SoS does have authority that isn’t being used, and wasn’t used even during the vaunted “full audit” that was just completed. Election Code 122.002 and 122.0334(c) give the secretary broad discretion in the inspection of these devicesNo state that I’m aware of, including Texas has a program to inspect the contents of the drives of a device post election. The idea that this isn’t being done in one or more of the main metropolitan areas of any state is simply dumbfounding. Another area that is never looked at are the thumb drives that provide the election definitions to the equipment and then act as the portable storage device to transfer the information. I personally identified this as a potential vulnerability, and I have it on good authority that my concerns have been validated in other states.
Lastly, we are assured that the logic and accuracy testing that’s done prior to an election proves that things are running properly. Again, this is theater using some cool words to provide comfort to a poorly informed public. In the first place, the machines are in a test mode. What’s the difference between test mode and the regular operating mode? Nobody really knows. The one simplistic answer I was given was that in normal operation, the system wouldn’t accept test ballots. Just what’s the difference between ballots other than the word test? Dunno. Elections folks don’t either. Some facts to consider when thinking about election equipment; The older systems were triggered to start certain actions like to start tabulating ballots for pct 1504 by “header cards”. These were pieces of paper that triggered certain actions by the computer and were read optically. What that means is that a set of marks on a piece of paper such as a ballot, can cause certain programs to execute. Those marks could be as mundane as voting three particular races in a particular order. The following picture shows that the device is in test mode, see the small yellow marker at the bottom of the screen.
My truck locks the doors automatically at around 12 MPH. It knows it’s going 12 MPH because there are sensors on the wheels that tell it how fast they are rotating. The truck knows what size tires are on it and can do the math to see how fast it goes. All of those parameters are variable and can be changed. I reprogrammed the tire size on my truck when I changed tires, and now when the wheel sensors “vote”, the vote is counted differently. Ford really doesn’t want you to do that, but smart people figure things out. I could make that speedometer read anything I want it too. the odometer too. My simple F-150 has many triggers that cause different actions based upon different circumstances. The voting machines are no different. Lots of things could trigger small programs. Finding those smaller programs or triggers buried in 4M lines of code is not an easy task and no one is really even looking. When you consider that malicious code can be added after the fact, can execute and then clean up after itself, finding problems can be nearly impossible. In fact, I would offer that it is impossible under current circumstances.
I’m not anti-machine. I’m a technician and a craftsman. I’ve been making machines do what I want for more than 40 years, and computerized machines for more than 30. I’m not afraid of technology, I do understand it. I have a big powerful 6” jointer in my wood shop, but I also have a small manual block plane. Both do basically the same thing, and both can be the right tool for the job under differing circumstances.
A BMD is a very expensive replacement for a Bic pen and a clipboard. Our tabulators do a very simple job, they count – in increments of one (at least they should be) but for some reason that software is totally hidden from us. The powers that be act if this information needs to be kept from the public and to say there is a logical fallacy there would be to understate the situation. The bad guys already know what they need to know. Hiding things simply means that problems won’t be discovered, With that in mind, why all the secrecy? We are pretty much living in the same conditions that the people in Athens Tennessee were. I’m not anti-machine, but I’m anti these machines under these circumstances. There is no rational reason for the county to pay for and own this many BMD’s, and operating the tabulation equipment like a true black box rather than a transparent voting process is unconscionable, and it is totally unacceptable.
Want secure elections? Secure the inventory, which is the voter rolls and the ballots. Then shine a light on everything. Release all the election information*. Shine a light on it all and leave no shadows. My experience tells me that however you count, there will be attempts to control the process, and the only defense is transparency. Funny how we use that word so much in politics, but then fight like the devil to prevent releasing information that could possibly show problems. Wonder why we would do that? The law actually gives us very good access to election documents here in Texas, yet the counties fight like the devil to keep from complying. I can discuss those laws in detail with anyone. Don’t ask unless you want to go deep into the weeds.
For what it’s worth, yes I will tell County Judge Tim O’Hare that I have reservations about his election. I actually have particular concerns about the primary but that’s a discussion for another day. This email will likely go to all commissioners.
*No, I don’t mean SSAN’s, DL’s, sensitive addresses and the like.
Regards Mike Brewster
The last Texas Governor's race raised in excess of 160 Million dollars. The last election cycle ran to the billions. International defense budgets run to the 100’s of billions and I have no idea what is spent on lobbying, diplomacy, spying etc, but certainly in the hundreds of billions. To suppose that there isn’t either the interest or the money to throw a few million at owning the election system would be folly. The only defense is to audit, audit, audit, and then audit some more. We do a few little sample counts and think we've done something. We have not
The fraud that I faced in industry was much less sophisticated than what our election system faces. I can go over the audit processes I experienced with anyone that’s interested. They were much more thorough than what is done for our elections.
A bit about my experience; I’m a career technician, with heavy experience as a first and second level operations manager. Down where he wheels meet the road. I worked in a number of highly technical industries, including aircraft maintenance, automotive maintenance, retail fuel sales, wholesale HVAC parts and equipment sales and warehousing, and I also have some cable, networking, and security experience. I have done extensive bookkeeping, and taught entry level bookkeeping and management for Exxon, while dealing with a significant amount of fraud. I’ve supervised employees that ranged from minimum wage cashiers, to very successful sales people, and on to some very experienced and smart technicians who dealt with very complex issues in all of the above industries. I interfaced with professionals of all types and spent a great deal of time reading and complying with many complex laws, regulations and technical requirements. Post retirement I worked with a team that found the cause of cruise control malfunctions that Yamaha engineers in both the US and Japan failed to find. I’ve studied elections in depth, and fought to lift the veil of secrecy from our election documents. There is no reason for secrets other than to hide malfeasance.I am very well informed as to the state of investigations around the country. Many are ongoing, and much is being learned. --
Yesterday I forgot one meeting and had to race out the door to get there, then as I headed out for a second meeting, I learned it was canceled. I'd put other stuff aside for it, but that's how it goes.
I'd also written a letter that I'll be sending to the other Precinct Chairs on election security. Last night I saved it wrong and lost the edits. While I was looking for some pictures this morning that I wanted to include with the letter, I got frustrated and started reorganizing files and managed to lose some of them. We'd win this war if I could keep it together administratively.
I have to run some errands this morning that are more shop related; my wife left me.....again so I'm a bachelor and having to do the domestic things too. I'm making cocktail tables for the shop. every shop needs cocktail tables, don't ya think? Pictured to follow.
I have started playing lawyer again in response to some filings from Dallas County. I Hope to have that filing done by the end of the week. I do keep finding better ways to express this law, but with our court system today, I don't think it matters. People - including lawyers and Judges read what they want to read and skip over what they don't want to consider. I hope to get the PC letter out by this evening provided I can find what I lost and properly save things, and to get some more work done on the filing as well.