This page on election reform has 6 sections:




Auditing Elections

Scanned Ballots

Reform Efforts


books (borrow from libraries or buy:

Election Administration in the United States, by Joseph P. Harris, 1934, (Chapter 9 covers election fraud)

Turning Point, by Jimmy Carter, 1992 (long term theft of Quitman County, GA, elections, stopped by Jimmy Carter)

Birth, by Peter Harris, 2010 (fraud in counting first free South African election in 1994))

Border Boss, by J. Gilberto Quezada, 1999 (specific frauds in Texas)

Votescam, by James & Kenneth Collier, 2000 (stresses falsified counting & reporting of results)

Paradise Screwed, by Carl Hiaasen, 2001 (Florida “politicians, municipal employees, judges, lobbyists, zoning boards, evangelists, athletic franchises, environmental scofflaws”)

Black Box Voting, by Bev Harris, 2003 (hacking election machines, also at

Stealing Elections, by John Fund, 2004 (Wall Street Journal writer, specific frauds, and voting machine failures)

Deliver the Vote, by Tracy Campbell, 2005 (1742-2004 history of US voter frauds & intimidating people not to vote)




Types of election fraud:

·       canceling registration

·       poor registration laws

·       switching voters' parties, to limit primary participation

·       diversion/sale of mailed ballots

·       poor ID laws

·       ballots and records poorly locked/sealed

·       shortages of ballots, machines, polling places

·       switch votes during voting or counting

·       inaccurate counts and summation

·       expensive recounts

·       inaccurate recounts


Vote counting machines programmed to count fractional votes; programmer; specifications (Bev Harris), 20 minutes


Voter suppression (Greg Palast), 58'


Biased management of 2016 primary in Los Angeles, 41'

"UNCOUNTED: The True Story of the California Primary"


Electronic voting problems for precinct workers' in 2006 primary in Maryland


Nevada had sham recount, where observers could not see what was going on.


Diebold machines are locked with skeleton key easily available


Exit polls report that Clinton won Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Florida, though computer counts of the votes said Trump won.


The US State Department says, "Detecting fraud: Exit polls provide data that is generally indicative of how people voted. A discrepancy between the aggregated choices reported by voters and the official results may suggest, but not prove, that results have been tampered with."


Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century" "


Federal government research on fraud risks

"A single clever, dishonest programmer in a voting machine company could rig an entire statewide election if a state uses mainly one kind of system"


British ballot-stuffing by mail

here or here

Massive election theft, through postal ballots in England in 2004. The judge notes that the official in charge was one of the most qualified in the country, but several candidates (a) requested absentee ballots in the name of other voters, to be mailed to addresses of convenience, (b) picked ballots out of letter boxes, (c) picked up completed ballots from voters & post office workers & changed them with white-out.

update in 2010


In Canada robocalls were hired to falsely tell opposing voters their polling station had been moved, an interesting way to change the election result, especially for voters with limited time.


Venezuela connected to US voting machines

auditing elections

Rules & reports for each state, with costs for some

Compare methods: video or 15 pages


scanned ballots / ballot images


Most election machines create an electronic scan of each ballot as it is counted. These pdf or tif files can be cheaply downloaded where the public can get the images and count them. These places keep the scanned electronic images:

These places let the public access images:


States have their own rules for releasing records to the public, under each state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)


MuckRock helps file and track FOIA requests to all levels of government in the US. They cooperate with FoiaMachine, free, which lets users track requests, while MuckRock offers a "full service" which submits requests, follows up, and posts results online.


BlackBox advice


reform efforts


40% of US voting machines keep an electronic scan of all ballots (anonymous of course), which could be disseminated for open source recounts:



Trachtenberg: how he counted scanned ballots


Multistate researchers' recommendation for risk-limiting audits (public ballot images would be more efficient if available)


Collection of state recount policies (including Carter/Ford National Commission on Federal Election Reform) National Committee for Voting Integrity


Presidential Candidate "Rocky" De La Fuente saw votes being switched by counting officials during televised counting "I reached out to the Sanders campaign because he was the leading anti-establishment candidate and could have spoken up at the time, but I never received a response."


He lists activities going on before the election: