Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fact Checking Dr Laura Pressley’s Texas Electronic Voting Corruption Case

Dr. Laura Pressley has been making the rounds speaking to Texas conservative political clubs about her legal case against her opponent in the Austin City Council 2014 Runoff - claiming electronic voting corruption.
As a former volunteer for True the Vote, an election worker, currently a Republican member of Harris County Early Voting Ballot Board, and an active citizen at the Texas Legislature working to improve our Texas Election Code, I went to hear her presentation, ready to take notes on improvements needed in our election processes.

As I listened to her story and viewed her “evidence,” I realized that many of the claims and accusations she made were not consistent with my own experience working elections. So I explored a little deeper when I got home. 

I found so much evidence to refute her implications and allegations that I would need to write a book to cover it all. Because she changed her pleadings at least six times, it is too confusing to cover all her points. So I chose just five of her claims to offer a brief summary.  I am not an attorney so I am including links to documents from her lawsuit so you can read all the details for yourself to make up your own mind.

I am also including a very concerning “coincidence” that I found doing research on this case, because Texas conservatives deserve to know the WHOLE TRUTH.

Claim #1 – Dr. Pressley is a strong, active Republican 

When I heard her speak, Pressley claimed to be a Republican Precinct Chair and Delegate to the 2016 Texas State GOP Convention. Both are TRUE.

The Travis County GOP confirmed that she was appointed Chair of Precinct 140 to fill a vacancy on Feb. 9.  She was a delegate at the 2016 Texas GOP Convention in Dallas.


Pressley has a Democrat voting history.  

She voted in the Democrat Primary in both 2012 and 2014.

According to the Austin Bulldog, “Pressley said she does not identify with any particular party, saying, “I’m not a Libertarian, I’m not a Democrat and I’m not a Republican. I’m an Independent, and I vote that way.”

Pressley’s campaign treasurer, Fidel Acevedo, is a strong Democrat.

Not only did he run for 

 he is a delegate 

to the 2016 
National Democratic Convention.

Pressley has made political donations to Democrats in both State and Federal elections.

Examples: John Kerry, Hillary Clinton,

ActBlue Texas, and  Capital Area Democrat Women.

 Full report: here

 Full report: here

Claim #2 – Pressley claims electronic ballot images are not stored according to Texas Law 

Texas Election Code (TEC) is divided into chapters, each covering a different election topic.

In her talk, Pressley quotes Chapter 52 covering paper ballots and then applies the same requirements to electronic ballots.

Pressley does not quote Chapter 124 covering electronic Voting System ballots or Chapter 129 covering Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Voting Machines – the machines used in Harris and Travis Counties.

She also does not quote the Texas Secretary of State (SOS), the chief election officer of the State of Texas, who is responsible for legal interpretations of election law.

The SOS defines an electronic “ballot image” stored by our electronic voting system as “Electronically produced record of all votes cast by a single voter.”

Pressley doesn’t argue that the machines are not recording votes cast. She argues that the printout of the voter record is not a legal “ballot image” because basically it doesn’t look the same as a paper ballot. 

Claim #3 – Pressley claims a legal recount in Texas can’t be done in counties using electronic voting 

The Texas SOS outlines the procedure for a recount from votes cast on electronic voting machines.

Cast Vote Records (CVR), also called “ballot images,” are printed on paper – one per voter - then counted by hand.

Court records show Pressley admitted she was present at her runoff re-count. She personally observed all (aprox. 4000) CVRs printed, sorted and re-counted. She also admitted that she had poll watchers present. She even admitted that the Secretary of State’s Office had an observer present.

She also admitted that the Texas Secretary of State’s Office sent her a letter confirming their representative was present and that a legal recount did take place.

Yet, Pressley still claims a legal recount did NOT take place because of the same argument she used in #2. She doesn’t feel the CVR is a legal “ballot image,” therefore the recount was not legal.

She uses the same argument to claim in her talks that “4000 ballots are missing,” even though she witnessed about 4000 CVRs printed and re-counted.

Pressley argues the electronic “ballot images” as defined by the SOS don’t qualify as ballots, therefore  about 4000 ballots are actually “missing.”

Court records also show Pressley refused to agree that she had received letters from the Texas Secretary of State, even when the letters were on Texas Secretary of State letterhead, because, as Pressley argued, the Texas Secretary of State didn’t actually write the letters herself.

Claim #4 – Pressley claims Early Voting in Texas is corrupt because Zero Tapes are not printed 

During elections, before the poll opens, “ZERO TAPES” are printed to show, by INDIVIDUAL PRECINCT, “0” votes for each candidate on the ballot.

At the end of voting, Result Tapes are printed listing, by INDIVIDUAL PRECINCT, each candidate’s name and the number of votes each received. 

The image on the left shows the type of  machine used in Harris and Travis Counties.

The tape is similar to adding machine paper, only not as wide.

In her talk, Pressley shows a copy of a notice given to Travis County election workers stating, “DO NOT PRINT TAPES.” 

She implies in her talk that this is “corruption” and argues in her court case that it was illegal…even though the Texas SOS issued a waiver allowing a modified printing for Early Voting and countywide voting locations. (pilot program)

Why a waiver? Because when voters are allowed to vote at any polling location, and all candidate totals are printed by INDIVIDUAL PRECINCT, it would take so long to print, it would not be a feasible process.

I will use Harris County’s 2014 General Election as an example….

There were 200+ different races or propositions on our ballot and we had 1,069 precincts.

Estimating just 1 inch of tape to print the results per race…

How much time would that take?     Estimating 1 second per inch:

That is one reason WHY the SOS gives a waiver for printing full  tapes ON SITE during Early Voting or when countywide polling locations (pilot  program) are used.

Instead, a limited tape is printed on site and the numbers are reconciled with the other election records.

Zero and Result Tapes ARE produced, just in a different format and process. 

Court records show Travis County did produce Zero Tapes during Pressley's  election. 

Claim #5 – Pressley claims her charts prove mathematically that corruption occurred in her election

In her talk, Pressley showed the chart below on a large screen – as proof of corruption in her election. It charts the results of the general and runoff elections by candidate. Pressley implies the straight line formed by her election results shows, mathematically, that someone tampered with her election.

But, look at the chart more closely.

There were 18 precincts which voted in Pressley’s District 4 City Council race. Pressley chose to use only HALF in her chart – just 9 precincts - to chart a straight line. Yet, she used different amounts in the other charts.

But, I can do the same with the District 6 chart Pressley shows above. The one in the upper left hand side. If I remove some precincts, I can make a straight line with those results, too 

For REAL FACTS, to the left is the chart showing the results of ALL 18 precincts in Pressley’s race. 

As an extra test, I plotted Ted Cruz’s Republican Primary and runoff races in 2012, using  results from Pressley’s same 18 precincts.

Then I chose just 9 precincts (as Pressley had done) and was able to chart a straight line. It seems to indicate a voting pattern from the voters in those precincts rather than fraud. 

 Ted Cruz Results in Pressley's 18 Precincts
 Ted Cruz Results Using Only 9 Precincts

On the left, is my final test. 

I charted the results of all of 18 precincts which voted in Pressley's race in a different format.

The top represents Pressley’s races in 2014. 

The bottom shows the same 18 precincts in Ted Cruz’s Races in 2012.

 Both display a consistent pattern with a couple of expected variations. No extreme variations.
(Note: One precinct had from 0-5 voters per election. That is why the percentages are from 0-100.)

You can check the results for yourself at the links below:

Austin City Election Results 11/4/14: here
Austin City Runoff Results 12/16/14: here
Travis County GOP Primary Results 5/29/12: here
Travis County GOP Runoff Results 7/31/12: here

You can save time by using my Excell spreadsheet to produce your own charts: here

The judge didn't feel that Pressley produced the evidence needed to make her case of election corruption. I agree with the judge. But you can read the court documents below and decide for yourself.

Read Pressley's Sanction Order signed 7/23/15: Here
Read Pressley's Amended Final Judgement signed 7/23/15: here
Read Pressleys 4/16/15 Deposition: here
Read Pressley's Motion for Sanction Hearing report (Part 1) held 6/18/15: here
Read Pressley's Motion for Sanction Hearing report (Part 2) held 6/24/15: here

Something I read on page 216 of the 6/24/15 sanction hearing got me thinking when her opponent's attorney, Charles Herring, argued,
 "The case is really not about an election contest at's really about that ballot image. It's really about her testimony, 'I prefer to have paper ballots.' That's why we are here. There's a place for them to go and it's the legislature. There's another place for them to go, the Secretary of State, and say, 'No, you need to stop this.' They don't do that. They come to court..."
My experience tells me that:

Paper ballots + courts = liberal agenda.

So I decided to dig a little deeper into Pressley's connections to the hand counted paper ballot people.

Is Pressley’s push for paper ballots just a coincidence?

Texas conservatives understand the importance of the November 2016 election. Not only to keep Texas RED, but to stop our runaway federal government.

Liberals know it, too. They try to block strong conservative voting laws in the Legislature. When they fail, they go to the courts to block implementation.

The current top three Liberal desires are:

  1. No photo ID to vote 
  2. Online voter registration 
  3. Return to paper ballots 

Photo ID for Voting Lawsuits

Without having to prove one’s identity before casting a vote, it is much easier for persons to
 “vote early, vote often.”   

That is why the liberals have been trying to get the Federal courts to stop Photo ID for voting in Texas before the 2016 Election. 

LULAC even  tweeted  it.

The lawsuit, Texas NAACP v. Steen (consolidated with Veasey v. Perry) was filed by a group led by the NAACP. You can read more about it: here.

Online Voter Registration Lawsuit

Registering to vote online, without any proof of identity, makes it much easier for fraudulent voter registrations to be filed.

A lawsuit was filed in Federal court by the Texas Civil Right Project on 3/14/2016. You can read more about it: here.

If you think this is not about using the federal courts to force Texas to move to online voter registration, just read the press release from the League of Women Voters:

“Texas adoption of online voter registration will end the confusion.”

Return to Paper Ballots Lawsuits

Stalin said it best. "It’s not who votes that counts,…it's who counts the votes!"

That is why Liberals have had an organized effort to return Texas to paper ballots (hand counted at the precinct level) since 2003.

In 2005, VoteRecue was organized in Austin focused on returning to hand-counted paper ballots.

In 2006, the NAACP filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against our Texas electronic voting machines. The suit traveled through the courts until 2009.  

Also in 2006, VoteRescue members, Abbe Waldman DeLozier and Vickie Karp, wrote the book, "Hacked! High Tech Election Theft In America,” attacking the reliability of electronic voting.

In 2007, Vote Rescue organized a state-wide coalition called, Texans for REAL Elections, which included:

In 2010, LULAC passed a resolution calling for hand counted paper ballots in all elections and…

A group in Austin released their own “election study” calling for hand counted paper ballots. 
That group included:

In 2014, Dr. Laura Pressley ran for office in Austin and consequently filed a lawsuit claiming she was harmed by electronic voting corruption in Travis County.

The Austin Chronicle reported that Pressley's attorney, David Rogers, said,
 "... previous challenges of that issue have failed for a lack of standing, and that a challenge by a defeated candidate 'who may have been harmed' by the process stands a better chance of being heard in court."
Could it be just coincidence that….???
  • Pressley testified that Abbe Waldman Delozier (VoteRecue & Hacked…) is her “friend” and was present at Pressley’s deposition and court hearing.
  • Pressley testified that her largest donor, Jenny Clark (VoteRescue), gave her “more than $10,000” for her lawsuit.
  • When asked in court how long he had known “the VoteRescue people,” Pressley’s attorney, David Rogers, replied, “Since 2006, … at a VoteRescue meeting.

Could it be just another coincidence that….???

 Full report: here

 Full report: here

Could it be simply more coincidence that….???

Nelson Linder, President of the NAACP Austin, who was a plaintiff in the 2006 lawsuit, was listed by Pressley as a “Key Leader supporting her campaign….and  on LinkedInPressley lists herself  as a member of Austin NAACP. 

Pressley served on a steering committee for Texans for Accountable Government (Texans for REAL Elections) and they endorsed her campaign. 

Could it be even more coincidence that …???

Pressley claims to have worked with Texas Eagle Forum the same year they issued a resolution for the Republican Platform stating,

 “the Republican Party of Texas urges that that all ballots in future elections be issued on paper ballots only.

And could it be just a remarkable coincidence that….???

After voting in the Democrat Primary in 2012 and 2014, Pressley voted in the 2016 Republican Primary which qualified her to be a delegate to the Texas GOP Convention, where a good portion of her effort was spent attempting to get a “return to paper ballots” plank into the Texas GOP Platform.

Read full article: here

All just coincidence?  You decide.

As for me. I am a fan of Gibbs on NCIS.
I tend to agree with his Rule #39 -

"There is no such thing as coincidence."

Colleen Vera


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