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Election Integrity Voiced At Supervisor Meeting

Sep 7, 2022 (0)

  The District Courtroom at the Holt County Courthouse was the venue for a group of citizens led by Grace Colman who wished to convey their concerns over voter integrity on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

"I am very concerned over the safety of the elections to be held in November. If we cannot be assured that our election results are secured, then we should forget the process and accept the candidate that has been chosen for us. I'm sure you have heard of the discrepancy in the 2020 elections since then. We believe our safest elections were held when we had ballots that we could write on and were counted by hand and held onto for re-counting if necessary," said Colman.

"The differences in elections became evident when electronic tabulators were starting to be used in the late 1900s and early 2000s.

We are not questioning the Holt County government but are concerned about the tabulating software. We the Holt County citizens have the right to change how we vote.

This isn't about the state elections but also about local elections.

"We are here today because of the software. This is a non-partisan issue. Everyone wants a fair counted vote. We believe that paper ballots and hand counting were more precise. 

"Investigations are ongoing throughout the United States, and you will hear about the results from these testimonies," said Barb Otto

"I attended a conference in Omaha this past weekend that was quite informative. The speakers were computer science PhDs. ES&S was also invited to this meeting. Based in Omaha, they did not show up to this event to defend their equipment, which I thought was odd.

ES&S were our secretary of state's personal choice for voting machines which the state spent upwards of $20 million of taxpayer money on using. ES& S is secretive, uncooperative and involved in lawsuits. This company is involved in counting 56 percent of the ballots in this country. If our County Clerk were to crack open our ES&S machines to look for a modem, the county would be fined $35,000," said Otto.

"So why would our secretary of state sign a contract that would not allow that to happen? What is the big secret that is being hidden from some scrutiny? What are they hiding?

I want to tell you a little story that has a Nebraska connection. Currently ES&S is based out of Omaha and has a close relationship with Chuck Hagel. It was 1996 and Mr. Hagel was walking down the street in the St. Patrick's Day parade and I'm saying who is this guy, an unknown, running against Don Steinberg for the U.S. Senate seat? Is he crazy, or is he the president of ES&S. Sure enough and oddly enough, he beats the favorite in the primary. And then in the general election, he beats sitting Senator Ben Nelson, considered the biggest GOP upset in the nation.

By law, when a person files for office they are required to file their financial information with the office of accountability and disclosure. Oddly enough Hagel forgot to mention his close ties to ES&S."

Mrs. Otto quoted the Hollaman testimony from Arizona in which computer experts explained how voting machines are easy to hack and vulnerable to cyber-attacks. They report malicious software either physically or remotely, that can alter votes. Among election experts, they say that modern software systems by design are too complex and unreliable to determine elections.

ES&S has specific program files on tabulators that have to be prepared for particular races or initiatives on each ballot. All require a different program file made by ES&S or Dominion. The unique program file on these tabulators need something to trigger them to begin the selection process rather than a legitimate election. The experts say not only is there a trigger in the software but it can vanish in a few hours with no trace.

Otto said there is fraud on both sides of the aisle.

Otto then asked Cathy Pavel if the county has a contract with ES&S. Pavel stated that the Nebraska Secretary of State handles the contract.

Mrs. Otto turned the floor over to more speakers from the crowd. The rest of the speakers talked about how electronic elections cannot be trusted and that some states have gone back to counting by hand and that we should consider going back to a hand-counting ballot elections.

The meeting concluded with Holt County Attorney Brent Kelly addressing the crowd.

Kelly looked at the information provided by the crowd which showed that Holt County's election was run clean. "I would be very shocked to find out that there was anything wrong with the way Holt County ran its elections,"said Kelly. 

He asked the crowd if they knew of any problems with data from the 2020 election. The number of voters or any of the raw data. 

Jason Schindler asked if there was any way they could get away from the tabulator and going back to counting ballots by hand like elections used to be run.

Kelly commented on state statute 32-1041 that says the county clerk may use optical scan ballots or voting systems approved by the secretary of state. Kelly stated that statue says the clerk may use the scanning ballots or may not.

"I called the secretary of state this morning because I had a handout from them saying that is not the case. The secretary of state's office said the clerk could not do hand counting. They said before 2006 this was a hand count situation. The legislature did away with those laws that approved hand counting by statute in 2007. So in 2007, pursuant to the Voting Act, you need approval from the secretary of state for any method. The secretary of state has not approved hand counting. They have approved the scanners from these particular companies. Your county clerk is not allowed to have an election with hand counted ballots.

The county clerk cannot defy the secretary of state in this matter, said Kelly.

Bill Tielke dismissed the session as the time for discussion had run out.

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