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Since it is easier to rig an electronic voting system than it is to rig a Las Vegas slot machine, citizens are rightly concerned about who is counting the ballots and how we can be sure that the real winners are sworn in.” --Linda Poniktera, executive director, Psephos


By Miriam Raftery


June 29, 2010 (San Diego) - Psephos, a San Diego-based nonprofit dedicated to election integrity, is sponsoring an expert panel on the 2010 Midterm Elections with co-sponsors including 10 News, Common Cause of San Diego, Plan of Action in a Changing Era (P.A.C.E.) and the Peace and Democracy Action Group of the First Unitarian Universalist Church. The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 6-7 p.m. at the 10 News station, 4600 Air Way, San Diego.


“Psephos and its co-sponsors are pleased to convene this nonpartisan public discussion of issues affecting citizens’ conduct of their elections," said Linda Poniktera, executive director of Psephos. "San Diego demographics are shifting. It’s no secret that there are standing concerns about the chain of custody of the ballots and the lack of transparency when using electronic systems to count ballots. Since it is easier to rig an electronic voting system than it is to rig a Las Vegas slot machine, citizens are rightly concerned about who is counting the ballots and how we can be sure that the real winners are sworn in.”


Moderated by award-winning journalist and Managing Editor of 10 News J.W. August, the panel will feature:


Steven F. Freeman, PhD (www.mastermediaspeakers.com/stevefreeman/index.html) Dr. Freeman is a Senior Lecturer and Resident Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the founder of the Election Integrity forum (www.electionintegrity.org) and co-author of Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count (New York: Seven Stories Press). He has published papers and presented findings demonstrating mass-scale election fraud to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Public Opinion Research, American Statistical Association, and the American Political Science Association as well as the National Hispanic Congress, the Free Press National Media Reform Conference and the United States Congress. Dr. Freeman holds a Ph.D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Master of Science from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.


Francine Busby (http://francinebusby.com/) Fresh off a landslide victory that sealed her nomination as the Democratic candidate in the 2010 race for California's 50th Congressional District, Francine Busby is once again challenging incumbent Brian Bilbray (R-50) in a district that voted for President Obama over Sen. John McCain by 51 to 47 percent. While pundits generally consider the district gerrymandered to ensure a Republican will hold it, others say the seat is vulnerable. Busby has built name recognition and a well-developed campaign infrastructure to battle what some see as impossible odds and the formidable GOP funding machine behind Bilbray.


Mark Price (http://www.markpriceministries.com/biography.html) is a San Diego businessman, consultant and actor whose record of community service includes roles as the founding Chairman of the San Diego Association of Republican Elected Officials and as Co-Chair of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Education Coalition. He is a frequent moderator and organizer of Town Hall Forums focusing on Illegal Immigration, Welfare Reform, Transportation and Taxation including Internet Taxation. Mark holds a Masters degree in Governance and is Founder of The Mark Price Foundation, working to increase investigation and prosecution of elder abuse nationally.


Ken Karan, Esq. (http://psephos-us.org/aboutPsephos.html) Co-Founder of Psephos, Inc. and co-counsel in the high profile 2006 San Diego election contest (Jacobson v. Bilbray). Notably, this is the only case cited in the official OSCE/ODIHR international election observers' report for the 2006 Election in the USA. Karan also filed writs in support of voters' rights to obtain paper ballots and to be informed of that right at the polling place. Karan drafted the Psephos supported complaint to the California Secretary of State reporting various election law violations by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office and demanding an investigation. Karan attended law school at the University of Arizona.


Accountability of San Diego Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler continues to be a major issue, Poniktera said.“Citizens’ groups have identified numerous gaps in transparency and verifiability in the chain of custody for handling and counting the ballots. We held many meetings with the Registrar trying to improve related policies and procedures. In fact we tried for weeks to confirm Ms. Seiler as a panelist in this nonpartisan forum, to promote constructive dialogue. She declined with no explanation.”


Seiler formerly worked for the Diebold electronic voting machine company, which had some voting machine models decertified by California's Secretary of State after tests revealed the ease with which tampering could occur.  San Diego continues to use Diebold equipment in its elections.


Psephos, Inc. is a nonprofit firm whose services support educational, policy development and litigation efforts related to election integrity, constitutional law and the law and values of democracy. As a nonpartisan organization, Psephos does not support political parties but defends the rights that make political parties possible. The Psephos mission is to preserve the rights of the people of the United States to observe, question and actively participate in vote counting and all other aspects of their elections. Formed in April 2007, Psephos is based in San Diego, California (www.psephos-us.org).


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