(Opinion) Last February our democracy died (again).
I was a firsthand witness to it.
I have to share my testimony and I’m choosing to do so now as it is intertwined with our ability to emerge victorious from both the grips of the pandemic and in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
We must face the issue that for too long has plagued our democratic voting systems–Election Integrity.
Without it, we won’t be able to elect the politicians who fight for our communities, pass the laws that are necessary to uphold justice or make the changes we wish to see in the world.
Here is my testimony:
Sunday, February 23rd around noon, Jonny Tsunami and I stand at a closed down voting center (located inside a sleepy retirement community) that was supposed to be open.
Tsunami asks an elderly woman as she passes by.
“Do you know if any voting is taking place today?’
She says, “I’m not sure...I heard it might happen next weekend.”
Just like we thought–The ‘open’ locations listed on the lavote.net website were bunk.
We didn’t know it yet, but the journey we were about to go on would damn-near prove that the integrity of the Los Angeles election was actively thwarted and part of a larger effort to secure the Democratic Presidential Nomination for Neo-Con Candidate, Joe Biden.
According to the structure of the new Vote Center Model used by city election representatives, Los Angeles is supposed to have eleven days of voting. But word on the street was that some of their locations were not ready to go, and apparently this location was one of them.
So we set off to the next spot–an elementary school about a mile away.
We get there and it's all quiet on the school front. Makes sense. It is Sunday, no one should be at a school on Sunday. It’s also the second day of early voting and I mean, we’re not expecting crowds. But where was the polling center? Jonny and I looked around for an open door, a space reserved for a polling center.
Something. Anything? Nothing.
While standing there, I suddenly realized something --
“How would a vote center actually operate during school hours?”
It doesn’t seem possible. A school full of kids? A bunch of voters? Seems like a big cluster-F, if you ask me. Oh, and it TOTALLY contradicts the things we were directly told by the current elected officials.
Let’s remember back to June 2019, when Registrar Dean Logan, along with his assistant Jeff Kline, promised us (The Convo Couch) that all vote centers would be open for a full eleven days prior to the March 3rd Super-Tuesday vote.
If you’re a regular fan of The Convo Couch, you’ll remember...
For everyone else, here’s a little history.
Fiorella spoke to Jeff Kline directly about the problems we could face with the new voting procedures when we attended the ‘new voting experience’ meeting last year. We were there to voice our opinion against lowering the total number of vote centers in Los Angeles (they were lowered from 4800 centers to 1000 centers). Specifically, we worried that the registrar’s office wouldn’t get the word out to voters (that they now had more days to vote, but less voting centers to vote at), and Fi expressed our concerns that the lowering of the centers would cause a bottle-neck throughout the city on the last day to vote, with low-income areas being affected the most.
Mr. Kline assured Fi that they ‘had a huge media budget’ and that ‘they would get the word out’ and that they would reach people in ‘any way possible’. All of this media would be designed to get people out and vote early.
Sure...What he said.
Look, we now know that the early vote media blitz was pitiful. It was so non-existent that even a person like myself (a journalist covering election integrity) was having major trouble navigating the vote centers on day one.
Let’s be real. The early vote stations weren’t expecting any early voters because there lacked any serious push–from the LARRCC–to inform Los Angelenos about it.
And the early vote center/deserted school Jonny and I were at was a ghost town.
At the time, we didn’t actually know why. We were just starting to see the bigger picture revealed. Reality would hit us...Once again, our vote was being manipulated.
This time, right in front of our very eyes.
Just like the first spot, this school, turned early vote center, was empty. Nothing. Just empty basketball courts behind a chain-link fence. I was trying to look like I had a reason to be there and Jonny was searching for info on his phone.
“Oh my God -- Only SELECT voting centers are open for eleven days. The majority of the voting centers are only open for four…?” Jonny shakes his head in defeat.
There’s nothing left for us to do but leave.
Jonny and I, two journalists investigating voting centers, didn’t learn that only 233 of the 1000 centers are open early until we were actually standing at our second early vote center on the second day of what was supposed to be LA County’s early voter push.
This wasn’t what Jeff Kline told Fiorella when pressured in person. He promised a huge media blast, and open voting centers with minimal problems. In fact, when Fiorella asked about the reduction of voting centers, he admitted that yes, going from 4000 voting centers to 1000 was a lot “smaller” but that they would have 11 days to vote. When Fiorella posed what would happen if people waited to the last minute and we had way fewer voting centers, he said we would have enough media, like TV, radio, internet, “any way possible,” to make sure that doesn’t happen. He then caught himself and instead of saying 1000, he switched it to “up to” 1000 to cover his arse. Jeff Klein along with Dean Logan delivered ineffective communication, and 23% of the centers open. It was WAY off and it disenfranchised millions of voters.
This was used to suppress the lower-income/minority/more-likely-to-vote-for-Bernie vote. And it happened right in front of us, in plain sight.
And it doesn’t stop there. All of this was exacerbated by a plethora of problems.
As you know, we here at The Convo Couch have been investigating election integrity for some time. We’ve gone to meetings, read and discussed all the new laws and plans with several different people, talked with activists, voters, and election officials alike, and followed up with the voting process at several voting centers throughout the country. But that moment at the school, it hit me hard. We lost. Once again our election was rigged and engineered to benefit the establishment candidate. Utter bullshit.
Couple all of this with the shocker we learned in New Hampshire-that the ballot counting machine being used there had SIM cards in them. We observed a lead poll worker in New Hampshire confirming the presence of SIM cards in their machines (watch that video here). And, well, SIM cards can be controlled via remote by even the lowest level hacker. Everyone knows it (Prove it to yourself - Read here, and here, and here).
The fix really is in and the American progressive movement is the palooka (If you don’t know what a palooka is, think Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction).
Let’s be blunt: There’s no need for a SIM card in any type of voting machine unless the presence of a SIM card is there to SPECIFICALLY alter the true vote count by giving an unlocked back door to any would-be (or inside-job) hacker. Furthermore, the software being run by the voting machines are proprietary, and, therefore, the source code is not open to the public. There’s no way to ensure their integrity.
Knowing this, it’s no surprise that our exit polls are all off (here, and here, and here). It’s almost as if the exit polls told us nothing of the true vote count. What a coincidence.
Getting back to Jonny and I standing at the empty school. It’s obvious that the fix was in there too. It’s obvious that the LA Registrar and his office hid the locations and opening dates. We were on the front lines of the shit show and it needs to be a major discussion for LA Voters BEFORE we have another election.
Eventually, Jonny Tsunami and I continued on our trip. We decided to go to the only polling location listed as being open on the lavote.net website. A polling stop in Panorama City less than 3 miles away.
On our drive, I couldn’t stop thinking about how wrong I wished I was. The whole Couch Fam feels the same way. We don’t want to be right about this. We want to believe in free and fair elections with true integrity. I mean, who actually wants to be right about something as sinister and vile as the stealing of an election?
Not me. Certainly not me.
But it seems that this new Los Angeles Primary plan was designed to suppress the ‘late’ vote as much as possible. This is a big problem.
Everyone knows that early voters tend to be older, more conservative, and whiter. We also know that late voters tend to be younger, more liberal, progressive, and more ethnic. We all agree so much on those assumptions, we might as well call them facts.
So in this case, it’s pretty safe to assume that Joe Biden (the neo-liberal conservative in progressive clothing candidate) was likely to benefit from the early voters, but also likely to lose any beneficial ground from late voters. Bernie on the other hand was far less likely to benefit from early voters and would depend on late voters being able to vote easily and often. In a way, it was his only chance at winning. He needed the late voters to show up in droves, stand in line, and actually vote. Without it, his numbers would be doomed.
The Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, knew this too. It was his job to ensure voting integrity throughout the state. And he delivered once again. For the establishment, that is. Just like he did in 2016 when he was supporting Hillary over Bernie, he made sure to devise a system that would ensure Biden got enough of the California vote to keep him in the race. In this case, he needed to see to it that Joe got over the 15% threshold he needed to receive any California delegates. In reaching the 15% threshold, Joe would shave enough off of Bernie’s lead to keep the lead nationally and keep everyone convinced that he was the leading candidate.
And, well, it seems that the Secretary of State Alex Padilla delivered. Joe crossed the 15% threshold, and the rest is history (almost).
Why does this matter, you ask? Let me explain...
California has a HUGE amount of delegates (most of all the states). We have almost 500 delegates. Plus, we have a HUGE Latino community. They’re the backbone of California. The Latino community is HUGE in all parts of California, and they overwhelmingly support Bernie. If you support Biden (like Alex Padilla and Dean Logan), then you need to suppress the Latino/Progressive/Bernie vote at all costs, or your guy could be doomed (not just in California, but nationally, too).
So what did Padilla and Logan do? They decided to maintain order by instituting chaos. They created an actual human-chain algorithm to effectively suppress the votes they wanted to suppress.
- PURPOSELY REFRAIN FROM PROPERLY TRAINING POLL WORKERS.
- a. This was the main tactic used to discredit votes in 2016. Watch the TYT documentary ‘Uncounted’ for more info on that. In 2020, Dean Logan gave all his volunteer workers one (1) single eight-hour training session. Even with all the new laws (AB 207), and the new voting machines, and the new voting procedures, he gave them one marathon session to get trained on what they were supposed to do. And, well, it worked well on election day. Lines grew at Vote centers. Wait times grew and grew. Los Angeles vote center volunteers were overloaded, overwhelmed, and undertrained. It was a perfect set-up for the establishment of information channels (MSN, CNN, Fox) to continue their narrative that low youth turnout really spelled doom for Bernie. The vote center volunteers were used like pawns in the grand chess game being played by the elites.
- MACHINES/JAMMING MECHANISM
- This was the most low-priced, simple, tactic used by far. Ensure that the printers being used jammed more than they were legally allowed to jam. According to current regulations, the most a printer can jam for it to be used at a polling center is 1 out of 500 print jobs. According to independent tests - The printers used jammed as much as 1 out of every 103 print jobs -- Nearly five times as much as what was supposed to be allowed! As many as half of the printers were listed as being out of order. This problem was exacerbated when ill-informed volunteers pushed voters over to provisional ballots after their printers became too jammed or stopped working altogether.
- REDUCTION OF POLLING PLACES/PARKING
- Reduce the number of polling places. Under report the changes. Fail to deliver on the promises made regarding the change. Make sure to avoid the increased need for parking at these new locations. One location in San Fernando had only eight parking places located behind/around a crowded shopping center.
- PROVIDE INSUFFICIENT PAPERWORK/BALLOTS/INSTRUCTIONAL CARDS
- When visiting vote centers we asked about all the different ballot types and paperwork they were supposed to have. To no surprise, only one center came even close to having the information they were supposed to have. Instead of having all the different types of ballots, in all the required languages, with all the information cards regarding the new voting procedures, most centers had squat. Of the twenty locations we visited, only one location even had a volunteer able to even tell us about some of the new voting procedures.
- ENSURE THE PUBLIC IS NOT PROPERLY INFORMED
- About the new voting system, the Dates, the new laws, etc.
Fiorella pressed Jeff Kline about her concern with the registrar getting the word out.
Like it was written above: “yada yada yada, yada yada”.
Your media team did shit Dean Logan. Alex Padilla can thank you for a job well done.
- It’s easy to cause confusion if you just make sure to under-inform the people you’re supposed to inform. As we’ve already learned, Jeff Kline was warned by Fiorella that they needed to get the word out regarding the changes. But they didn’t. Surprise, surprise.
- CLOUD THE CHAIN OF CUSTODY OF BALLOTS
- Every night ballots were taken to nearby satellite stations yet there were (seemingly) no procedures put in place to protect their integrity. We have ZERO proof or evidence that shows these ballots were transferred with care. Yet we know ballots were transferred. And we know they could have been manipulated in their transfer. But we have no proof to show they were transferred with integrity other than Logan’s word.
- COUNTING MACHINES HAVE CLOSED- SOURCE/PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE
- By far the craziest part of this process. All of the above parts could be fixed, but this one is just...well...crazy. Any untoward actors could simply steal the election with this one part right here, alone. Closed-source software is owned by private corporations. We can’t even get a subpoena to look inside the machines. No one, except the proprietors of the software themselves, knows what’s actually being counted, and how the information is actually being tabulated. Why when we have so many open source solutions that could, by their very nature, keep the counting mechanisms honest? Think open-source technology here. Why aren’t we using similar tech to protect the integrity of our elections?
- NO PARTY PREFERENCE (NPP) STATUS
- An oldie, yet very effective, goodie. Force voters with No Party Preference listed as their preference request a special ‘crossover’ ballot if they want to vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary. When combined with all the measures above (especially the lack of training for poll volunteers), this one measure helped the Democratic Establishment shave a huge portion of voters off their rolls. Voters that, in this case, were far more likely to vote for Bernie over Biden.
- Mail-in Ballot Scandal
- This part can be deep. There is a lot of unpacking when explaining the many ways the Mail-in process can be heavily manipulated. The Convo Couch is learning new information every day and we will be producing a whole episode on this process but here are a few fundamental questions to get your juices flowing.
- Who makes and produces LA mail-in ballots?
- Where do they get mailed to?
- Who is in control of making sure that the producers of the ballots have the proper voter registration file?
In time we will bring you the full story here. For now, look into Kennedy beating Nixon and the accusation of thousands of dead people voting by mail.
And with that, the Primary (seemingly) goes to Biden. I’m calling bullshit.
Even when we arrived at a Vote Center in Mission Hills, when we found our 1st location that was finally open, it had more holes than a block of swiss cheese.
The biggest atrocity was that none of the poll workers were on the same page about the exact rules of the new crossover measure. A person now had the right to switch party affiliations and get an official party ballot. Everyone at this location gave us several different answers, and they lacked proper ballots and supplies.
Every one of the next 20 Vote Center locations we visited for the next two weeks had similarly confused staffs lacking all the proper paperwork and ballots, fully functional machines, and then some.
We documented it all and it’s just terrifying.
These cowardly tactics have brought the progressive movement to its knees. They’ve created a false narrative that the majority of the people in the country don’t want progressive change. You don’t have to listen to the mainstream media for more than a few minutes to hear them falsely proclaim that all of this, and many of the current social movements, are a rebuke of ‘Socialism!’
And they’re lying right to our faces.
We in the progressive community often debate about which is more important. Medicare for all? A Green New Deal? Ending Regime Change Wars? Criminal Justice Reform? Getting Money out of Politics? Yet none of these utterly important topics are the most important.
Not one single issue (that we care about) will ever be addressed without us first addressing election integrity, so we can be sure to hold fair, open, and accessible elections.
End of story, for now.