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Stein recount campaign files motion to enforce PA settlement agreement, decertify unverifiable voting machines

Jill Stein for President Recount Team
Contact: Dave Schwab 418.610.2708 schwab@jill2016.com

PHILADELPHIA - Jill Stein and the 2016 recount team filed a motion today in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to enforce the settlement agreement in Stein v. Cortés by ordering the PA Department of State to immediately decertify the ES&S ExpressVote XL voting machine. 

Leading election integrity experts including Dr. J. Alex Halderman agree that the deeply flawed ExpressVote XL violates the 2018 settlement of the Stein recount lawsuit guaranteeing all Pennsylvania voters the right to voter-verifiable, auditable paper ballots by the 2020 election. Recent developments such as the ExpressVote XL’s disastrous debut in 2019 local elections underscore the urgency of decertifying and replacing these untrustworthy machines as soon as possible.

“Instead of listening to the widespread public outcry against the unreliable ExpressVote XL, including from leading national election integrity experts, Pennsylvania officials have insisted on ramming these machines through in a secretive, heavy-handed process,” said Stein. “They’ve left us no other option but to ask the court to enforce our settlement agreement to ensure that Pennsylvania voters have a voting system they can trust in time for the 2020 elections.”

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Stein Recount Campaign Demands State of PA Decertify Unverifiable ES&S ExpressVote XL Voting Machines

Jill Stein for President Recount Team
Contact: Dave Schwab 518.610.2708 schwab@jill2016.com

PHILADELPHIA - Jill Stein and the 2016 recount team announced today that they have served notice to the state of Pennsylvania that the ES&S ExpressVote XL voting machine, recently recertified by the state, violates the terms of the settlement agreement in Stein v. Cortés. This 2018 settlement of the Stein recount lawsuit guarantees all Pennsylvania voters the right to voter-verifiable, auditable paper ballots by the 2020 election. Against public outcry and expert warnings, Philadelphia County has decided to purchase ExpressVote XL machines for use by all voters. The state has 30 days to respond, after which the plaintiffs can ask the federal court that brokered the agreement to enforce it.

“The ES&S ExpressVote XL violates our agreement in several ways and should never have been certified,” said Stein. “Instead of paper ballots, they use ‘summary cards’ that are difficult for voters to verify, research shows. Even if voters do verify the written text, what counts as your vote is not the text but printed barcodes, making it impossible to verify your actual vote. The state of Colorado recently banned barcodes for counting votes for the common-sense reason that humans can’t read barcodes. Even more troubling, these machines can be programmed to change your ballot after you submit it, meaning there’s no reliable paper record and no way to verify the election results through auditing.”

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Court Rules for Stein Recount, Denying Attempt to Prevent Public Disclosure of Voting Machine Inspection

Stein Recount 2016
Contact: Dave Schwab, schwab@jill2016.com 518-610-2708

Today, former Green Party Presidential nominee Jill Stein announced another win in her push for election integrity in the 2016 recount follow up. She hailed a Wisconsin court ruling that denied a request by voting equipment corporations that would have barred any public disclosure of the findings of a groundbreaking examination of voting machine software that the Stein campaign will conduct. The voting machine corporations sought the gag rule in the wake of a Wisconsin Elections Commission decision allowing the Stein campaign to inspect this software and review its accuracy and reliability.

“This decision is a huge win for voters everywhere, and for the common-sense principle that the  accuracy and reliability of our voting system is more important than shielding corporations from scrutiny,” said Dr. Stein. “As the Wisconsin Elections Commission ruled and the court affirmed, the law is unambiguously on our side. If the voting machine corporations had their way, we’d be prohibited from disclosing our findings under penalty of law, even if we discovered evidence of problems that could have changed the outcome of the election.”

“The only reason for voting machine corporations to push for a gag rule was to prevent us from revealing any problems with their machines, which would threaten their ability to keep profiting off our elections. It’s outrageous that we’ve had to go to court to argue that the integrity of our elections is more important than protecting  corporations.”  

Read Entire Press Release

Read the Court Decision


PA Recount Settlement a Victory for Voters Everywhere


Stein Recount 2016
Contact: Dave Schwab, 
schwab@jill2016.com 518-610-2708


Historic PA recount settlement is a victory for voters everywhere - Jill Stein.

Today, Green Party 2016 Presidential nominee Jill Stein announced the formal settlement of her 2016 lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania. The lawsuit called for an end to the use of paperless voting machines known to be vulnerable to hacking, tampering and error, and for the reform of unworkable recount procedures that prevent verification of the vote. The settlement guarantees that Pennsylvania will provide new voting systems using paper ballots by 2020, followed in 2022 by automatic robust audits after every election to confirm the accuracy of the vote before results are certified.

Stein declared, “This is a critical victory for everyone concerned with the integrity of our elections. We congratulate the state of Pennsylvania for raising the bar not only for Pennsylvanians, but for voters everywhere. By agreeing to end the use of paperless voting machines, Pennsylvania is not only safeguarding its citizens’ right to vote. By example, the agreement is also a big step towards the retirement of paperless voting machines that one in four voters across the nation are still required to use, despite their demonstrated vulnerability to hacking, tampering, and error. Automatic robust audits provide an essential safeguard by cross-checking paper ballots against machine totals using hand counts and the human eye to make sure every election is verified before the results are official. These two reforms are a first step to restoring confidence in our broken elections.”

Read Entire Press Release

Read the Settlement Agreement


Election Protection and Voting Justice

Elections we can trust, that are accurate, secure & just

In 2016, a multi-state recount campaign was conducted in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania by Jill Stein’s Green Party presidential campaign on behalf of thousands of concerned voters across the nation. Together we brought into the national spotlight the urgent call for elections we can trust, that are accurate, secure and just, and free from Jim Crow in our elections.

The recount was motivated, in part, by widespread concerns about potential meddling with our vulnerable voting system - whether by foreign nationals, criminal networks, or domestic partisans. Protecting our voting system from cyber-threats is critical in an age when everything from hospitals to nuclear power plants are being hacked. But cybersecurity and an accurate vote count are just the tip of the iceberg for safeguarding our votes, when the US election system is largely designed to protect the power of the economic and political elite. There are many serious threats to our voting system, from voter suppression schemes to the stranglehold of big money over the political system, biased election coverage by corporate media, exclusionary debates and more. The Cambridge Analytica-Facebook scandal reveals another cutting-edge tool with which oligarchs like Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica’s major funder, can influence elections, using massive privacy violations, state of the art micro-targeting and manipulative, dishonest messaging. To bring real democracy to America, we need a broad agenda for voting justice that addresses all of these threats, and builds a unified movement to achieve real solutions.

As a first step towards restoring trust in our elections, we call for a nonpartisan Emergency Commission for Election Protection & Voting Justice. Click here for more.

The 2016 Recount & the Continuing Fight for Voting Justice  

The 2016 Recount campaign affirmed the power of the American people to demand election integrity and a voting system free from modern-day Jim Crow in our elections. We pushed forward in three states, defiant in the face of political blockades, bureaucratic hurdles and financial intimidation. Over 10,000 volunteers and more than 161,000 donors made this historic recount effort possible.

The Recount lifted the veil on serious problems in our voting system – out-of-date laws and overly complex recount procedures, politicized courts, machine failure and vulnerability, and flagrant racial inequities. Our efforts have brought attention to the urgent need for reforms to our electoral system, and to the recounts that are essential in order to safeguard our votes. We look forward to continuing our work together to make those reforms a reality.

For further discussion on each of these issues, please visit the links provided. While this list is by no means exhaustive, and does not signify an endorsement of organizations featured, we offer it as a starting point. We can build a better future together.

The Recount campaign called for Americans of all political backgrounds to unite behind key principles of voting justice, including the following basic goals:

1. Ensure Election integrity - Count Every Vote, Prevent Tampering with the Vote Count

There are too many questions about whether elections can be rigged to thwart the will of the people. We need four things to ensure the integrity of our votes across all communities – including low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.

1) Paper ballots, which can't be hacked and create an enduring record;

2) Routine rigorous post-election audits to detect and investigate any potential problems;

3) Training and technical support for cybersecurity best practices, made available to local election officials on the front lines of voting integrity;  

4) Capacity to recount the vote as needed if questions of interference or error arise.

These needs must be met particularly in under-resourced black, brown, poor and immigrant communities which are most likely to have outdated voting equipment prone to malfunction. The appropriation in the March 2018 Congressional spending bill is a good start, but more is needed to meet the urgent need before the 2018 elections.

Citizens for Election Integrity

Election Defense Alliance has compiled a regional list of election integrity organizations

No More Stolen Elections 

Verified Voting

Greg Palast 

2. End Voter Suppression - End the "New Jim Crow" of Interstate Crosscheck

Under the false pretense of fighting practically nonexistent “voter fraud”, partisan operatives have launched voter suppression schemes targeted primarily at preventing people of color from voting. This “New Jim Crow” assault includes the Interstate Crosscheck program used to strip millions of people from the voting rolls in 2016. While Interstate Crosscheck is supposed to remove voters who are registered in more than one state, researchers have found that over 99% of voters purged by the system are wrongly removed from voting rollsVoter suppression programs like Voter ID also disproportionately affect young and low-income people as well as people of color.

Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights

NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

SIIP: Strategic Institute of Intersectional Policy

SPLC: Southern Poverty Law Center

3. Protect Voting Rights: Universal Voter Registration, Restore Voting Rights to Felons & Make Election Day a Holiday

The United States puts up more barriers to voting than almost any other modern democracy, because ruling elites don’t want more people voting. To protect voters from disenfranchisement, we need to enforce and expand the Constitutional right to vote (including a new amendment if necessary). We must end voter suppression, stop new obstacles to voting, and instead protect voting rights for all with reforms like universal voter registration, restoring voting rights to felons, and a national Election Day holiday.

Brennan Center for Justice

The Sentencing Project

Voice of the Experienced (formerly Voice of the Ex-Offender)

4. End the "Spoiler Effect", Promote Majority Support and Fair Representation - Implement Ranked Choice Voting and Proportional Representation

The obsolete US voting system has produced a two-party trap where voters are told they have no choice but to vote for “lesser evil” out of fear. Ranked Choice Voting would end fear-based voting and free all Americans to vote for the candidates they truly believe in. It ensures that if your first choice loses, your vote is automatically re-assigned to your second choice – eliminating the possibility of “splitting of the vote” and inadvertently benefitting a candidate you don’t support. For legislative elections, proportional representation would result in a much more responsive and accountable government that would truly represent every voter. We need ranked choice voting and proportional representation to make every vote count and bring real democracy to America.

ACE Electoral Knowledge Network



5. Get Big Money Out of Politics, Get People Back In: End Legalized Bribery

Over 90% of elections are won by the candidate who raises and spends the most money. This creates a government full of politicians who owe big favors to big donors. We need full public financing of elections to eliminate the corrupting influence of big money, and level the playing field for candidates who don’t take bribe money from corporate elites.

Every Voice

Public Citizen

6. Open Debates and Free Public airtime for candidates: Create an independent Citizens Debate Commission

Most political debates, including the presidential debates, are controlled by the corporate political establishment to keep their competition from being heard. American voters have a right to know who their choices are in any given election, and inclusive debates are critical for helping empower voters with that knowledge. In the case of the presidential election, candidates should be included who have qualified for the ballot for a majority of voters. We need a Citizens’ Debate Commission to fight for open debates. We should also provide free public airtime for candidates to communicate their message to the public.

Open Debates

Open Debate Coalition

Save Our Elections

7. One Person, One Vote: Dismantle the Electoral College

Replace the obsolete, undemocratic Electoral College with direct election of the President via national popular vote using ranked choice voting.

National Popular Vote


8. Remove Barriers to Running for Office: Fair, Reasonable Access to the Ballot for All

Voters’ rights are meaningless without the right to run for office, yet many states have discriminatory laws that make it as difficult as possible for regular people to run for office unless they are backed by party bosses or wealthy elites. We must repeal unreasonable, anti-democratic barriers to getting on the ballot and other laws designed to prevent political competition for the establishment parties.

Ballot Access News


COFOE: Coalition for Free and Open Elections

9. Rights for People, Not Corporations - Abolish the Court-Created Doctrine of Corporate Constitutional Rights

Most political debates, including the presidential debates, are controlled by the corporate political establishment to keep their competition from being heard. Until all candidates who have qualified for the ballot are included in debates, we do not live in a democracy. We need a Citizens’ Debate Commission to fight for open debates. We should also provide free public airtime for candidates to communicate their message to the public.

American Promise

Move To Amend

The Alliance for Democracy

Wolf PAC

10. Representation for All: Statehood for DC and Self-Determination for Puerto Rico

The US is one of the only democracies to deny a voice in government to large numbers of people under its rule, particularly in the District of Columbia and colonial territories like Puerto Rico. These disenfranchised areas are populated predominantly by people of color. We need immediate statehood for the District of Columbia and self-determination for Puerto Rico and other colonial territories still under US rule.

DC Statehood Coalition 

Stand Up for Democracy

Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano

11. End Partisan Election Oversight: Establish Independent, Non-partisan Election Commissions

Our elections should be managed not by partisan officials with a vested interest in the result, but by independent officials who are accountable only to the voting public. Elections should be run by independent, non-partisan election commissions.

Common Cause 

12. Abolish Gerrymandering: Voters Should Choose Their Elected Officials, Elected Officials Should Not Choose Their Voters

The widespread practice of gerrymandering, where politicians intentionally manipulate voting districts, has made a mockery of our democracy by promoting hyper-partisanship and removing the accountability that comes with competitive elections. We must replace partisan redistricting with independent redistricting commissions to end the corrupt practice of gerrymandering. Also, by moving to proportional representation for legislative elections, we make gerrymandering obsolete.

The Advancement Project

End Gerrymandering Now

Independent Map Amendment


Other Organizations

AALDEF: Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Black Box Voting

Californians for Electoral Reform

Color of Change

Democracy 21

Democracy Matters


Election Integrity Project: EIP

Fair Districts Colorado

Fair Districts Ohio 

Fair Districts PA

League of Women Voters

MALDEF: Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fun

Open Pittsburgh

WILPF: Women's International League of Peace and Freedom


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  • David Eaglesfield
    commented 2018-07-09 08:15:20 -0400
    This is a perfect summary of what needs to be done to correct the cumulated anti-democratic debris of over 200 years. Thanks to Jill Stein and the others for this article and for sticking with the recount effort and its follow-up. Ranked Choice Voting! Down with Citizens United! Down with obstructive regulations like Pennsylvania’s! One person, one vote (which means scrapping the Electoral College)!