'Election Center' Becomes Latest Election Reform Group to Have Sold Their Souls to Diebold
Credibility Matters
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2005, 4:02pm PT  

Something stinks to high heaven about these people and their new report. And not simply because they're based in Houston, TX, (though it certainly doesn't help their case) but the fact that they are directly funded by Voting Machine companies such as Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia immediately destroys any credibility they might have otherwise had when it comes to making decisions about our Electoral System in desperate need of reform.

ElectionCenter.org claims to be a non-profit, non-partisan, professional organization of Elections Workers. Today, they have released a new report [large PDF] with recommendations on how to improve America's Electoral System.

The AP covered the new report in a story yesterday which shines a fairly positive light on it yet manages to include a couple of paragraphs which jump out as huge red flags. Here's a couple of them from the AP story [emphasis added]...

In a new, sweeping report, state and local officials focus much of their attention on voters and poll workers rather than voting machines --- the subject of so much debate ever since the 2000 presidential stalemate in Florida.
...
The report also urges state legislators to consider an "independently verifiable" record of each voter's ballot from ATM-style touchscreen voting machines that could be electronic, video or some other form --- pointedly downplaying a widespread push for paper receipts from touchscreens.
...
The Election Center has come in for criticism after reports that the nonprofit, nonpartisan group accepts contributions from voting machine manufacturers. Two members of the task force are former local election administrators who've formed their own election-related businesses.

So here we have yet another "nonprofit, nonpartisan" organization dedicated to Election issues, who have a clear conflict of interest due to their financial alliance with the Voting Machine Companies instead of the American Citizens whose interests they claim to represent.

Unlike the now-discredited "American Center for Voting Rights", a phony front group founded by GOP operatives as a smokescreen for real Election Reform issues, Election Center has been around for a number of years. But their claims that their mission is to "improve service to voters, the public, the taxpayers and to government" is completely belied by the companies they keep...or that keep them...

Here's a screenshot of the agenda from their upcoming August "National Conference" in Beverly Hills/Hollywood. It will likely tell you all you need to know about this group:

A few Googles of the various election officials associated with this organization and their new report should answer any other questions you may have. These people (folks like Palm Beach's Theresa LePore and Los Angeles' Conny McCormack to name just a few) are certainly not in the business of fighting for the voters' best interests.

Suffice to say, if Election Center expects any recognition for their recommendations for Electoral Reform from the Election Reform community, perhaps they should have thought of that before selling that option off to Diebold and friends.