The new push for internet voting is being spearheaded by charities, think-tanks and policy wonks that are in bed with right-wing fundamentalists, union-busters, unreconstructed cold warriors, semi-retired intelligence agents, child sex traffickers, militarists, and an odd progressive or two brought along for the apparent appearance of bi-partisanship. These forces, working together with an electronic election industry already fraught with ongoing allegations of fraud and partisanship, seem poised to push one more layer of obfuscation and unaccountability into an already deeply flawed system that is the American election system.

Tracing who is funding this strange alliance and magnifying their voices offer insight into who’s lobbying for hackable internet voting.

In a recent article appearing at, M. Mindy Moretti castigated various local government officials in Maine for turning down free electronic voting machines provided by the secretary of state's office. The voting equipment consists of tabulators made by ES&S. Free Press editor and Green Party congressional candidate Bob Fitrakis sued ES&S in November 2012 over allegedly illegal and completely untested software patches installed in thirty-nine Ohio counties at the last minute before the presidential election.

The Humphrey School of Public Policy at the University of Minnesota publishes Moretti's publication. In 2007, the Humphrey School established the Program for Excellence in Election Administration that bills itself as a “non-partisan, non-advocacy clearinghouse” on election reform. Despite the progressive monikers of Humphrey and Mondale attached to various programs, the Humphrey School had little problem partnering with the more moderate Brookings Institute to bring the Republican National Convention to Minneapolis in 2008. During the convention there was widespread suppression of demonstrators’ civil rights and politically-driven show trials of progressive activists.

The Program for Excellence in Election Administration is largely funded by grants from the Pew Charitable Trust. Despite out country’s history of widespread irregularities in electronically administered elections and the fundamentally insecure nature of voting over an open network, the Pew Trust continues to fund organization advocating internet voting.

The Pew Trust is one of the country's largest foundations and has founded its own Election Initiatives think tank. In addition to publishing its bi-annual Election Performance Index, Pew apparently funds major initiatives to improve voting through the internet, by way of large grants and conference sponsorship. Through its Pew Center on the States, the Pew Charitable Trust has thrown its considerable weight behind internet voting, largely through funding initiatives designed to partner industry, government and non-profits to help military voters get their absentee ballots on time.

Overseas military voters cast ballots at a lower rate than stateside citizens. This led to a series of congressional acts that have put federal money and interest in enabling internet voting by service people overseas.

The Pew Center Charitable Trust funds the Overseas Voting Foundation sponsored annual summit. These summits are a key program of the foundation and bring together participants from the voting machine industry, state and federal government and the military to implement better overseas voting by Americans (primarily uniformed service people, their dependents and military contractors) through the internet. Every major election systems manufacturer, including Hart Intercivic and ES&S, has been represented as a panel speaker at one or more summits.

Paul DeGregorio, the Bush administration’s federal Elections Assistance Commission Chair from 2003-2007 who oversaw the controversial election of 2004, was a featured speaker. DeGregirio serves on the board of an internet voting firm called Everyone Counts. Everyone Counts received federal funding in 2010 to develop ballot delivery technology for the military voters. Another summit panelist was notorious industry shill Michelle Shafer, who has been the lead PR person for three out of the top five voting machine manufacturers and communications chief of the voting machine industry lobbying group the Election Technology Council.

The Overseas Voting Foundation produces its own ballot delivery software, based on applications written by its CEO Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, an American living in Munich. In addition to its own software, the OVF partnered with the Barcelona-based internet voting firm Scytl to deliver ballots to military voters for the 2012 elections right after the latter purchased Florida based SOE software as its entry into the US market. Despite multiple American partners and subsidiaries, as of October 2012, Scytl's USA corporate headquarters was still a residential living room or garage.

Not to be outdone, the Overseas Voting Foundation lists its address as the home of its former CFO Jeff Doyon, a tidy little $1.5 million dollar craftsman in Arlington, Virginia. Its board includes John B. “J.R.” McDonald, Jr., a Lockheed-Martin executive and former project head for the F-22 next generation stealth fighter program. Also included are Matt Dunlap, former Maine secretary of state, and Pat Hollarn, former Supervisor of Elections in Okaloosa County, Florida.

In the wake of the 2000 presidential election that stole the White House, Hollarn was instrumental in bringing Accuvote machines to her county in 2002. These machines were manufactured by Diebold, whose CEO famously promised to win Ohio for Bush in 2004. She was also appointed by George W. Bush to the National Task Force on Election Reform in 2001.

The Overseas Vote Foundation has a strategic partnership with the pro-military National Defense Committee, which included military overseas voting in its mission in 2010 (when it last filed a tax return) after the passage of the Military Overseas Vote Act. The NDC has made military voting the central focus of its organization, producing a number op-eds in support of internet voting for military personnel. It focuses on marshaling information technology academics to downplay security concerns as secondary to the rights of servicemen and women to vote. This op-ed campaign is dovetailed with slick print advertisements funded by Pew Charitable Trust.

The chairman and founder of the National Defense Committee, James J. Carey (Rear Admiral, US Navy, retired) is a Pew Trust Senior Advisor. The NDC's board features reserve and retired naval intelligence officers, including Paul Chabot, former advisor to drug czars under Bush and Clinton, who recently compared marijuana smoking to child pornography. Doubling down in another interview he claimed that alcohol prohibition worked in the 1920s. Chabot ran for a California State Assembly seat in 2011 and is the founder of a number of right-wing groups including Stars and Stripes United, which believes that America was founded on Christian principles and encourages supporters to place small white crosses in their front yards to affirm these principles.

Carey's far reaching philanthropic tendrils stretch into direct endorsement. He is the chairman of the National Defense PAC, which supports candidates who are veterans, deporting illegal aliens, protecting defense spending while balancing the budget, reducing taxes, and “free enterprise.” Unsurprisingly, Carey's PAC endorsed Chabot in his failed state assembly bid.

Carey's National Defense Committee along with another group he founded, the Flag and General Officers Network, and the Pew Charitable Trust, are part of a broad coalition called the Alliance for Military and Overseas Voting Rights. In an apparent effort not to be outdone, Carey's friends at the Overseas Voting Foundation (OVF) joined this alliance along with Operation BRAVO, which shares its board treasurer, Chip Levengood with OVF where he serves as board chair. Another OVF board member, Pat Hollarn, is board chairwoman at Operation BRAVO, where she worked with her former county, Okaloosa, and Scytl on a pilot internet voting project.

Heavy industry is also represented by the Alliance for Military and Overseas Voters as a registered political action committee, Business Industry Political Action Committee or BIPAC, which was founded by the American Manufacturers Association in 1963. BIPAC has transformed itself into a Super PAC since the Citizens United decision, and most of its campaign activities are much more difficult to track. The American Manufacturers Association has a 120 year history of virulent anti-unionism, harkening back to its turn of the 19th century formation of a network of citizen alliances to directly combat unions and America's young progressive movement.

Former head of the DoD's Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP) Bob Carey (Capain US Navy Reserves, retired), no apparent family relation to James J. Carey, is represented at the Alliance of Military Overseas Voters through his energy industry consulting firm Empire Capitol Strategies. Bob Carey is also a senior director at the Abraham Group LLC, another energy industry consulting firm founded around the former staffers of Spencer Abraham, former Michigan Senator and Secretary of Energy under George W. Bush.

With the military and industry's right-wing establishing firm representation in the Alliance, the industry of military is also represented through International Sustainability Operators Association (ISOA), formerly the International Peace Operations Association. The ISOA is a trade association for private military contractors that seeks to promote best practices and a code of conduct for its industry. One of its key members, DynCorp, which is praised on its website in their founding mission statement, was found to have engaged in widespread sex trafficking of children in Bosnia. Similar allegations surfaced against the company surfaced in Afghanistan, where DynCorp employees were allegedly “entertained” by child prostitutes. The release of embassy cables by Wikileaks revealed the US governments knowledge of these charges.

The Alliance for Military and Overseas voters has drawn in more mainstream groups like Rock the Vote. Rock the Vote's participation in the Alliance seems less obtuse when one considers that its President, Heather Smith, founded and directed Young Voter Strategies which was “a nonpartisan project in partnership with The Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts.” In 2007 Younger Voter Strategies was subsumed into Rock the Vote. The Alliance for Military and Overseas Voters has also includes an election integrity group Verified Voting. Verified Voting Foundation's program coordinator, Dan McCrea, is also the president of a group involved with the Alliance for Military and Overseas Voters, the Florida Voters Coalition.

During a brief cell phone interview with the Free Press, McCrea claimed that Verified Voting still adhered to an anti-internet voting policy “The Alliance is not an internet voting group, they are a [military overseas] voting group and they represent a segment of the population that has been historically disenfranchised.” Pamela Smith, the president of Verified Voting, spoke at a summit of the Overseas Voting Foundation in 2010. The same conference drew a debate panel of four secretaries of state, Barbara Owen (who is on record opposing internet voting), Maine's Matt Dunlap (now with OVF), Pennsylvania's Pedro Cortes (now working for Everyone Counts), and Ohio's Jennifer Brunner (now a member in her own right of the Alliance for Military and Overseas Voters).

Smith told the Free Press that Verified Voting is “categorically opposed” to internet voting. McCrea, when asked about Verified Voting's participation in OVF summits, responded: “We consider them colleagues, there are a bunch of places that we cross paths. Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat has done some great work with military overseas voters.” When asked if Verified Voting works with the Pew Center, McCrea stated that “We rub shoulders with them informally from time to time, we definitely consider them colleagues also.” Smith stressed that the Verified Voting Foundation participates in the Alliance for Military and Overseas Voters to influence them away from internet voting.

Together, these different players in electronic elections, old and new, work together to secure contracts at the state level to leverage access to federal money. These tactical alliances often force non-profits to compromise and work with intelligence community aligned companies and vendors with reputations for apparent electronic voting manipulation.

The State of Virginia cobbled together a proposal in 201l to partner with Scytl and ES&S to count and secure its military vote. In order to better reach military voters, the consortium sought to involve Rock the Vote and the Microsoft spinoff Democracy Live. The proposal was made with the assistance of the Overseas Vote Foundation. It also involved the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation who, despite their commitment to open source code and transparency, had no problem working directly with Microsoft and Democracy Live to integrate the latter's Ballot Live! technology into the system. Despite having the resources of Microsoft behind them, and despite substantial department of defense funds for overseas voting flowing into Microsoft subsidiary Vexcel Corporation, Democracy Live is not a Federal Election Assistance Commission certified vendor.

The Open Source Digital Voting Foundation is a California based non-profit that professes that the cure for security concerns is open source software that anyone (including would-be hackers) can examine. Tax records for OSDV are incomplete, confusing and scanty. Despite a slick website, they have no listed employees, no listed contractors and their majority expenditure in 2010 was for software development, with $121,000 being paid to unknown contractors and/or unlisted employees. The same return lists OSDV as receiving $120,000 in government grants. The granting agency was not listed in the return. In total for the years 2010, 2009 and 2007, the OSDV claims it received $361,000 in government grant money and spent a similar amount on software development. No tax return for the year 2008 could be located for OSDV. Searches of various government access portals failed to elicit any listing of the granting agency or purpose of the grant(s). Indeed, said searches failed to find any mention of the OSDV whatsoever.

The Open Source Digital Voting Foundation did list one single outgoing grant award of $6500 given to the Overseas Vote Foundation. Presumably this paid for access as both organizations’ co-executive directors, Gregory Miller and John Sebes, have spoken at OVF Summits which listed OSDV as a co-sponsor in 2011. Miller also appeared before the California Secretary of State to give testimony on internet voting alongside the Pew Center's Doug Chapin and representatives of most major voting machine manufacturers.

Doug Chapin has also appeared on panels with academic election fraud apologist Dan Tokaji, whose chair at the Ohio State University's Moritiz College of Law is endowed by Jones Day, the leading law firm representing voting machine manufacturers. The Pew Center also financed research by Tokaji and others on the state of absentee voting in America. Chapin has stepped down from Pew recently to become M. Mindy Moretti's boss at Electionline.

The Pew Center funded M. Mindy Moretti, who was quick to point out in her article the fact that election officials in Maine are paid overtime to count ballots as if this were some egregious example of hogs at the public trough, when said wages probably amount to less than $1000 per election in total. Meanwhile, her Pew sponsored friends lobby and compete for billions in federal, state and military funds that produce elections far more hackable and far less accountable than the old fashioned hand-counted ballots of New England, the cradle of American democracy.

The push for hackable internet voting is based around the historically under-franchised military vote, while little effort addresses the new Jim Crow and massive disenfranchisement of African American, young, elderly and poor voters in the nation’s inner cities, who typically vote Democratic. The key flaw in our political system is that we allow partisan, for-profit companies to secretly do the programming for our voting system. Many of them have a background in national security, espionage and military intelligence. To ask many of the forces that have toppled governments through illegal elections and blatant military operations to suddenly ensure transparent democracy for U.S. voters at home and abroad is absurd. The military industrial complex must be forced out of the election business and replaced with a fully transparent system with hand-counted paper ballots.