The Rise of the Machines In U.S. Elections


Election Integrity is about Trust and The People, Not the Government

I was monitoring the primary elections in Lewis and Clark County, Montana recently and my post was near the help desk and the ballot drop box. I chose that location for a few key reasons:

1. I wanted to see what questions people asked and the answers given.

2. I wanted to gauge the attitude of the voters.

3. I wanted to see how many people would come in with more than five ballots and drop them all off.

What I did not expect to hear were so many comments from people talking about how they were dropping off their ballot because they know it’s their responsibility as a citizen, but they didn’t think it would make any difference anymore given how machines count votes in our elections and not people. They also don’t trust the people in elections oversight who are required to verify the integrity of the results.

The battlefield of election integrity is filled with its own version of “the fog of war.” There are too many people who waited for the kraken to get released but only saw a minnow in the end. The Maricopa audits were fraught with half-truths and lies that in the end also generated very little in the way of results. Groups sprung up across the nation begging for funding, few did the hard work and achieved positive results. Those smaller groups are the ones who didn’t receive millions of dollars, they are the grassroots organizations seeking to find people of honesty and integrity and who will do the hard work even if it means self-funding their efforts. Groups like WEICU in Washington, Audit the Vote PA, and New Mexico Audit Force.

Cutting through this fog of war at times requires a hatchet, and sometimes a scalpel. What I learned having been involved in election integrity since November 2020 is that it all comes down to one simple statement: we the people and citizens of the United States must be able to trust that our vote counts in a free and fair election. Whether this last election was as claimed “the most secure in history” is not the measure we should use. Whether we can trust the system is what matters, and We the People simply don’t trust what is happening. That is enough to require massive change in how elections are run nationwide. I do not advocate for a federal takeover of elections for that would make the problem worse, but I do seek to highlight the biggest problem of all, the system is hidden from the people and those who run it don’t think we are owed a look into it even though we pay for it.

Trust – that’s what matters. Voters don’t trust machines and want something else. Machine manufacturers hide behind contracts restricting access to the inner workings of the hardware and software that all citizens should be able to examine. When the people are told they can’t see the inner workings of the machines counting their votes they are right not to trust them. What are the companies hiding from those of us who vote? Why do the manufacturers provide so much money to organizations like The National Association of Secretaries of State? This is a clear conflict of interest that violates even the most basic ethics considerations. This fact alone means every county commission in the United States should remove the counting machines.

We must make the only litmus test about trust, not the presence of absolute and irrefutable proof that the machines are changing counts. Failure to act to remove these machines means people will continue to lack trust in the system and further the divide in America. Dominion, ES&S, ballot printing companies, drop box manufacturers, and any company supporting elections must lay everything out for the public to see and be transparent to the extreme. Our state lottery systems are more secure than our elections and that is sad. It’s no longer up to the people to prove there was election fraud, it’s up to these companies to prove there wasn’t.


Lt Col (ret) Darin Gaub is a Co-founder of Restore Liberty, an international military strategist and foreign policy analyst, an executive leadership coach, and serves on the boards of multiple volunteer national organizations. The views presented are those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, or its components.

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2 thoughts on “The Rise of the Machines In U.S. Elections”

  1. It’s no longer up to the people to prove there was election fraud, it’s up to these companies to prove there wasn’t.

    I’m not much of a fan of this approach of insisting that someone prove they didn’t, say, commit fraud without specifying what constitutes an acceptable proof. I’m also convinced there are very few people that can identify that process of proof without also creating logic traps that can be used by, in this case, the Democrats against the people that are demanding the proof.

    I’m not saying it can’t be done, I’m suggesting… and it’s a suggestion based on years of working with people that have survived by operating in the gray zones where ‘proof’ is hard to come by because it somehow gets pushed into the definitional realm where some clever schmuck wants to argue about what the definition of ‘is’ is.

    What I think can be done is to build a quality assured system that rivals the clever people that receive, process, track, and credit investments that we make in our 401Ks, IRAs, REITs, and every other investments that 10s or 100s of millions of Americans make daily. We can build a nearly infallible system but we are kidding ourselves if we think we can take a flawed system and demand proof that it worked without error or abuse and… when, not if, we find errors we won’t be able to correct them when we find them.

    One suggestion I’d make… one that we use during software validation… is to try to get to the point in the system design where we can treat the voting system as if it were a black box, and incapable of direct inspection, and feed a large block of known inputs into the system and monitor and analyze what comes out the other side in vote totals.

    • I agree with you. It’s not an either or approach it’s both. Constitutional minded often get wrapped in singular solution paths and won’t accept that we have to do multiple things. Let’s open up the machines to the public and see everything, stop hiding behind a contract. I have a whole list of things to do that wouldn’t fit in a short article because people tend to not read more than 700 words.

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