16 October 2014

Dear Friends and fellow citizens concerned with elections:

Psephos (pronounced SEA-foss) is the new nonprofit organization I will be working with to pursue our mutual and common interests in defending elections and defending democracy.  This Greek word is defined in my signature line below, and it relates deeply to elections.  Our tagline for Psephos is "In a Democracy, the People Count." 

Most recently these common interests all citizens share in defending democracy have led to productive discussions with leaders of PFAW on strengthening what can be accomplished in the restoration of our public elections.  Emerging from discussions like these is a new and perhaps more powerful formulation of what our mutual efforts are all directly about:

Specifically, it is my strong belief that our fundamental right to "toss the rascals out", which is the #1 inalienable right upon which the Declaration of Independence is built, must be secured.  And, in order for the right to change our whole government via elections to be secure, especially against "rascals" or corrupt governmental officials, this right and elections themselves must be secured FROM the government.   Of course, we need this right at all times and don't always know who the rascals or the corrupt are, until it's too late.

Under our system "guaranteeing and securing the rights of the people" is the very reason governments are formed in the first place.   So, given this purpose, how is it that total governmental/corporate control of elections (with the secret vote counting that occurs on all first counts on all forms of electronic voting machines) something that in fact secures us this inalienable right?    Whenever the government can gang up with a chosen vendor to count votes secretly and thereby defeat the public's right to know and supervise its own elections, our inalienable right to change our government or get rid of the rascals is, to say the least, insecure.   

Thus, the government is clearly failing to secure and guarantee to We the People our #1 inalienable right.  This is an extremely grave situation, a crisis for democracy.  This is the gravest threat and crisis our democracy has ever faced.   Freedom itself is not secure unless voting, the right that protects all other rights, is secured from any possibility of governmental interference.    

While these alone are huge stakes, it gets even more important when one realizes that under our American system of governance, elections simply don't pass legitimate power to elected candidates unless the consent of the governed, i.e., the consent of We the People, is validly and fairly obtained.  Today, with secret electronic vote counting, we are left with no evidence that this is fairly occurring.  Instead, all we get are "magic totals" and public officials and vendors who refuse (on grounds of trade secrecy) to perform simple acts of addition in public.  In the 2nd grade math class I attended, refusing to show your math work was grounds for either getting an "F" or having to do the work over!

Until publicly controlled elections are restored, our government is going to get an "F" from Psephos on securing and guaranteeing our rights, which is it's #1 responsibility and job.   There will be little or no rest for citizens who love liberty and democracy until elections are restored to We the People.  And, it should go without saying that there is nothing about modernity or computers or anything else that renders these inalienable rights and our elections a single whit less important, or more susceptible to compromise.  A compromise of a Right is a violation of that same Right.  In other words, Rights are things that trump other concerns. 

In significant part, Psephos will be dedicated to defending democracy for all citizens, and restoring our inalienable right to publicly controlled elections.   We hope you will join us in whatever way you can,  because with anything less than securing our elections from our government, we simply can not rest assured that our rights and freedoms will continue, or even that our government exercises legitimate power under the terms of our very own Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Thus, this illegitimacy is not a "charge" being made, it is a stated consequence under the long-established American way of not doing elections right and not obtaining the consent of the governed in a properly evidenced manner.

If any of you will be at the San Diego Convention Center for the DCCC event Friday April 27, please let's get introduced, say hello, or at least get a chance to see our short press conference.  Basic info is below.  Thank you. 

Many of us will also be attending the PDA event Thursday night at 730pm at the Scottish Rite Center in San Diego.

Paul R. Lehto
Juris Doctor
Co-Founder, Psephos
(858) 750-5906 (Psephos office)
Psephos means "pebble" in Greek, the original ballot. Psephology is the study of elections.