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Cynthia McKinney Writes to TN Election Authorities about Election Integrity

October 23, 2008

Tennessee Department of State
Division of Elections
Attention:  Grace Bonecutter or Shelley Adams
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
9th Floor, Snodgrass Tower
Nashville, TN  37243-1102

Via electronic mail
RE:  http://uncountedthemovie.com/blog/2008/10/20/vote-flipping-in-davidson-county-tennessee/

Ms. Bonecutter or Ms. Adams:

It has come to my attention that the early voting process in your state has revealed some real flaws in Tennessee’s touch screen voting machines that have presented voters with unnecessary difficulties.  Quite frankly, I have been issuing public warnings about the flaws of these electronic voting machines since their mass deployment across our country in 2000.  It saddens me that so little has been done to ensure election integrity in 2008.

It is my understanding that the wife of the maker of the film, “Uncounted” had a vote-flipping experience which is now being reported.  A copy of that report was forwarded to me for my information.  I do want to make it clear to you that I do not want any votes counted in my tally that do not reflect the will of the voter to cast a vote for me.  Conversely, in cases where it is the will of the voter to vote for my running mate, Rosa Clemente, and me, I do not want unreliable and untrustworthy electronic voting machines to incorrectly and unfairly tally, or undercount, McKinney/Clemente votes.

I do want you to be aware of these reports and I request that you take all possible steps within applicable rules and regulations to avoid these reported experiences in future voting, especially on Election Day.  Voters and candidates should have complete confidence that the announced election results are reflective of the will of the voters.  Please read the report below for more information.  I am including the reporter’s information on this message so you can contact her directly.  I wish you and the voters of Tennessee, and this country, a successful election free of flaws and voter disfranchisement.

I do look forward to hearing from you soon on this matter.


Cynthia McKinney

Mary Mancini Story Attached:

October 20, 2008

Vote Flipping in Davidson County, Tennessee

By Mary Mancini

This political season, more than any other in recent memory, is irony-filled. So why this incident involving my friend and the wife of UNCOUNTED filmmaker, David Earnhardt, surprises me, I can’t tell you.

My wife, Patricia Earnhardt, had an early voting experience here in Nashville, Tennessee, where she saw her vote momentarily flip from Barack Obama to Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney. She voted on a touch-screen paperless machine. Here is her story:

“A poll worker directed me to a touch screen voting machine & instructed me how to use it. I touched “Obama” for president & nothing lit up. I touched 2 or 3 more times & still nothing lit up. I called the poll worker back over to tell him I was having a problem. He said I just needed to touch it more lightly. I tried it 2 or 3 more times more lightly with the poll worker watching & still nothing lit up. The poll worker then touched it for me twice — nothing lit up. The third time he touched the Obama button, the Cynthia McKinney space lit up! The McKinney button was located five rows below the Obama button. The poll worker just kind of laughed and cancelled the vote. He hit the Obama button again & it finally lit up. I continued on to cast the rest of my votes. After completing the process & reviewing my votes, I went to the VOTE page, hit the VOTE button & nothing happened. Again after several tries, I called the poll worker over & he finally got the machine to register my votes.” Patricia Earnhardt – Friday, Oct. 17 – Howard School Building – Nashville, Tennessee

I also had similar problems with the machine I was voting on that same day, although no vote flipping. I would touch the screen numerous times before I could get my various candidate choices to light up. It was strange and very frustrating. When I finally got through my slate of candidate choices, I could not get the VOTE button to light up when I touched it. I finally called over a poll worker and he told me that I needed to touch lightly. I touched the VOTE button more lightly, but was only able to get it to work after several more failed attempts.

David Earnhardt
Producer/director/writer, “Uncounted”

Need more sad irony? The machines David and Patricia voted on in Davidson County, TN – ES&S iVotronic – are the same machines used in the West Virginia counties (Putnam & Jackson) where vote flipping is also being reported. Go to the election info page on the state of Tennessee and click on Davidson County. Or download this PDF.

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