Secure, Transparent Ballot Hand Count

Unity4MRP, a statewide team of grassroots conservatives, developed a system for hand-counting ballots in a verifiably secure, transparent manner, when they realized that the Michigan Republican Party was using insecure tabulator machines to count the votes at State Conventions.  All elections, including party conventions, are a matter of national security.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a bombshell report on June 3, 2022 confirming the multiple vulnerabilities in voting systems.  Vulnerable election systems pose a threat to the security and survivability of our state and nation.

“The people are commonly most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those [toward] whom they entertain the least suspicion.

– Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist Papers, No. 25, p. 164

Ballot Processing System Requirements

      • Efficiency: Approximately 90 minutes to complete
      • Full Transparency: Performed in full view of all convention attendees desiring to watch
      • Multiple Crosscheck Verifications: Occurring at each stage of counting and aggregation
      • Ballot Chain of Custody: Visually verifiable by attendees and poll challengers desiring to watch
      • Candidate-Appointed Poll Challengers: Present at all counting tables and state vote aggregation table
      • Trusted outcome through verifiable ballot processing security: Randomly selected counting table tellers from a pool of statewide precinct delegate volunteers.  No one counts ballots from their own district.

Watch this video for proof an efficient, transparent, verifiable hand count CAN be performed at State Convention in under 90 minutes!

Step 1: Credentialing & Voting

Voters shall vote by district. Ballots shall be sequentially numbered for each district and be separated into stacks by district. Voters shall be called by district to the 3-step ID, credential check/punch and voting tables. Worker #1 shall check in voters and compare IDs to the voter roll. Worker #2 shall punch credentials. Worker #3 shall hand a ballot to the voter who shall move forward to the voting table, vote, then place their ballot face-down into the clear ballot box.

After a lot of 50 ballots is handed out, Worker #3 shall verify that all 50 ballots have been deposited into the clear ballot box, then signal to the ‘ballot runner’ (described in Step 2) that the ballot box is ready to be transferred to the counting tables, before placing an empty clear ballot box for the next lot of 50 ballots.

Step 2: Transfer of Ballots from Voting Area to Counting Tables (with visual chain of custody maintained)

One person shall be a ‘ballot runner.’ The runner is responsible for carrying the district-labeled ballot box to Teller #1 at the district counting table(s) marked with the same district # as the ballot box. After arriving at the district table, the runner shall open the lid of the ballot box in view of attendees and poll challengers. Then, Teller #1 shall remove the 50 ballots and place them immediately to the left of Teller #1 for processing. Runner shall close the lid and quickly return the empty ballot box to the voting area.

Step 3: Counting Table Setup

There shall be a roped-off section at the state convention hall, in view of all state delegates caring to watch, for the sole purpose of counting ballots by hand. Two (2) rectangular counting tables per congressional district shall exist for ballot processing: District #? Table A and District #? Table B. (Districts with fewer than 100 voters shall have one (1) counting table instead of two (2).) There shall be four (4) “Additional Counting Tables” to assist in the event of a recount or a bottleneck as the result of a slow batch count.

Three persons shall be tellers at each counting table, with two counting tables (A & B) per district. District Table A shall have Tellers #1A, #2A and #3A. District Table B shall have Tellers #1B, #2B and #3B.

There shall be no tablecloths, table skirts or anything else present in the counting area which could be used to conceal ballots.

Step 4: Batch Tally & Cross-Check Verification

Teller #1 shall have a Tally Sheet, tally each ballot, and pass the ballot to Teller #2. Teller #2 shall have an identical Tally Sheet and tally each ballot for the second time. This process shall continue until an entire batch of 50 has been counted.

Tellers #1 and 2 shall total their tally marks for the batch of 50: then, they shall compare Tally Sheet results to ensure matching results. If the Tally Sheet results do not match, tellers shall recheck their own tally mark count first. If a discrepancy is found in actual tally marks (rather than the counting of the tally marks), a recount of the batch of 50 is needed. Upon verification that tally sheets match, Tellers #1 and 2 shall sign each Tally Sheet.

Teller #2 shall transfer the Tally Sheets and ballots to Tellers #3A or #3B, at which point the counting process for a new batch of 50 may begin.

Step 5: District Vote Aggregation & Cross-Check Verification

Tellers #3A and #3B shall transfer totals from the Tally Sheets to the “Table Aggregation Sheet” for each batch of 50. Then they will clip both batch Tally Sheets onto the 50-ballot batch with a binder clip to create a Batch Stack.

After the two counting tables dedicated to each district finish counting the entire district’s ballots, Tellers #3A and Teller #3B shall cross-check each other’s “Table Aggregation Sheets” for accuracy. Then, each Teller #3 shall aggregate the two “Table Aggregation Sheets” into a single “District Aggregation Sheet” of their own, which they shall then cross-check for accuracy and write their signatures on each. (For districts with one counting table, Teller #3 from one of the “Additional Counting Tables” shall cross-check for accuracy.)

Step 6: Transfer of Ballots & District Count Data from Counting Tables to State Vote Aggregatioon Table

Teller #3A shall place one of the two identical “District Aggregation Sheets” on top of all the Batch Stacks and “Table Aggregation Sheets,” insert all into a manilla envelope, and deposit the envelope at the “Final Data Records Box” at the State Vote Aggregation Table.” Teller #3B shall hand the second identical “District Aggregation Sheet” to the “State Count Manager.”

Step 7: State Vote Aggregation Table Setup

There shall be a “State Vote Aggregation Table,” within visibility of all state delegates, for the purpose of receiving and totaling the “District Aggregation Sheets” and providing final results. A laptop shall be at this table. The laptop shall have a “Digital Master Count Sheet” for entering the totals, which shall be projected on to a screen, visible to all state delegates.

Three persons shall be present at the “State Vote Aggregation Table”: “State Count Manager,” “State Count Manager Assistant,” and “State Count Verifier.”

Step 8: State Vote Aggregation & Cross-Check Verification

The “State Count Manager” shall receive each “District Aggregation Sheet” and enter the totals into the “Digital Master Count Sheet“. The “State Count Verifier” shall verify that each number was entered correctly.

The “State Count Manager Assistant” shall write the totals from each “District Aggregation Sheet” on a “Physical Master Count Sheet” to keep a written version of the “Digital Master Count Sheet”. The “State Count Verifier” shall verify that the totals were copied correctly.

The “State Count Manager Assistant” shall add together the totals from all congressional districts on the “Physical Master Count Sheet”. The “State Count Verifier” shall verify that these totals match the “Digital Master Count Sheet”.

Step 9: Presentation of Results

The “State Count Manager” and “Assistant” shall confer to determine the winner of each race and the need for a run-off. They shall then highlight the winner on the “Digital Master Count Sheet” and place a star next to the winner on the “Physical Master Count Sheet”.

The “State Count Manager” shall make photocopies of the “Master Count Sheet” and distribute one to each district chairperson and candidate. Then, the “State Count Manager” shall clip the “Master Count Sheet” on top of the “District Aggregation Sheets” with a binder clip and deposit all into the “Final Data Records Box”.

Step 10: Other Necessary Security & Efficiency Requirements

Tellers, Ballot Runners, Floor Manager, State Count Manager, State Count Manager Assistant and State Count Verifier shall be chosen from a state-wide pool of precinct delegates who volunteer by submitting their name and district number on a website to add their name to a volunteer pool. Names of all volunteers submitted on the website shall be printed on slips of paper, placed on a table in view of an uninterrupted live-stream video camera, such that volunteers can verify their name is in the random drawing pool, then gathered and placed in a clear container from which all ballot processing volunteers (approximately 100) and alternates (approximately 75) shall be selected and announced on live-stream. All volunteers and poll challengers shall attend a training session(s) where they are trained to fill each role defined in this process.

The random drawing used to assign volunteers to the processing-positions, and district they will count ballots for, shall not occur until the morning of state convention in full view of all state delegates caring to watch. All teller names and the district number they reside in shall be printed on slips of paper and placed in a container from which tellers shall be selected, beginning with district 1 counting table and ending with the state vote aggregation table. A teller shall not count ballots for the district in which they reside. If a teller’s name is selected to count in the district they reside, it shall be returned to the container, and a new name shall be chosen.

Any candidate shall have the opportunity to appoint one poll challenger per congressional district and one poll challenger for the State Vote Aggregation Table, each to challenge real-time as necessary, including but not limited to, the ballots themselves, the hand count of the ballots, the reading of the voting results, and other procedures and methods defining the process. All challenges shall be presented to the Ballot Processing Floor Manager and addressed without delay.

“Line spacing” shall be identical across ballots, tally sheets, table aggregation sheets, table total sheets and precinct aggregation sheets to increase efficiency and reduce error rate.

+ Tabulator Machines

The secure, transparent ballot hand count was presented to the Michigan Republican State Committee for consideration.  The majority of the 2021/2022 State Committee was unwilling to replace the tabulator machines with a secure, transparent ballot hand count process, and voted against even placing it on a meeting agenda for consideration and debate.  Many state committee members expressed their opinion that tabulators were convenient.  In other words, they were more concerned about conveniency than party unity, election integrity and national security.

The Unity4MRP team made it clear to state party leadership that failure to implement the ballot hand count process would alienate the many grassroots activisits necessary for beating Democrats in the upcoming elections.  The State Party Chair responded with a compromise – he would personally fund the tabulator machines, but would also establish an Audit Committee to hand count the ballots.

The Unity4MRP team worked with the Audit Committee to implement the secure, transparent system – they customized the system for the logistics and venue of the State Convention without sacrificing integrity, and they defined additional safeguards necessary for merging the Unity4MRP process with the vulnerable tabulator machines.  Review the Audit Committee’s customized version of the Unity4MRP system here.

Additional Safeguards

Machine Check: Visual verification that tabulators are “zeroed” and tabulator trays are empty immediately prior to voting

Candidate-Appointed Poll Challengers: Present at each tabulator machine and the tabulator tape aggregation table

* Workflow Diagram reflects the tabulator machines, which results in detailed description changes to Steps 1, 2, and 10.

Step 1: Credentialing & Voting

Voters shall vote by congressional district. Ballots shall be separated into stacks by district. At least one tabulator machine shall be available for each district. Immediately prior to voting, candidate-appointed poll challengers shall have visual verification that tabulator trays are empty and tabulators are “zeroed”.

Voters shall be called by district to the 3-step ID, credential check/punch and voting tables. Worker #1 shall check in voters and compare IDs to the voter roll. Worker #2 shall punch credentials. Worker #3 shall hand a ballot to the voter who shall move forward to the voting table, vote, then place their ballot into the tabulator machine.

After the voting for a district is complete, the tabulator tape shall be printed and carried to the Tabulator Tape Aggregation Table, where a candidate-appointed poll challenger may photograph the tabulator tape and observe the recording and aggregation of the voting results.

Step 2: Transfer of Tabulator Machines from Voting Area to Counting Tables (with visual chain of custody maintained)

One person shall be a ‘tabulator runner.’ The runner is responsible for wheeling the tabulator machine to Teller #1 at the district counting table(s) marked with the same # as the district of the voters who placed their ballots in the tabulator machine. After arriving at the district table, runner shall unlock and open the tabulator tray in view of attendees and poll challengers. Then, Teller #1 shall remove the ballots, divide them into stacks of 50, and place them to the immediate left of Teller #1 for processing. Runner shall close and lock the tabulator tray and wheel the tabulator machine to the voting area.

Step 3: Counting Table Setup

There shall be a roped-off section at the state convention hall, in view of all state delegates caring to watch, for the sole purpose of counting ballots by hand. Two (2) rectangular counting tables per congressional district shall exist for ballot processing: District #? Table A and District #? Table B. (Districts with fewer than 100 voters shall have one (1) counting table instead of two (2).) There shall be four (4) “Additional Counting Tables” to assist in the event of a recount or a bottleneck as the result of a slow batch count.

Three persons shall be tellers at each counting table, with two counting tables (A & B) per district. District Table A shall have Tellers #1A, #2A and #3A. District Table B shall have Tellers #1B, #2B and #3B.

There shall be no tablecloths, table skirts or anything else present in the counting area which could be used to conceal ballots.

Step 4: Batch Tally & Cross-Check Verification

Teller #1 shall have a Tally Sheet, tally each ballot, and pass the ballot to Teller #2. Teller #2 shall have an identical Tally Sheet and tally each ballot for the second time. This process shall continue until an entire batch of 50 has been counted.

Tellers #1 and 2 shall total their tally marks for the batch of 50: then, they shall compare Tally Sheet results to ensure matching results. If the Tally Sheet results do not match, tellers shall recheck their own tally mark count first. If a discrepancy is found in actual tally marks (rather than the counting of the tally marks), a recount of the batch of 50 is needed. Upon verification that tally sheets match, Tellers #1 and 2 shall sign each Tally Sheet.

Teller #2 shall transfer the Tally Sheets and ballots to Tellers #3A or #3B, at which point the counting process for a new batch of 50 may begin.

Step 5: District Vote Aggregation & Cross-Check Verification

Tellers #3A and #3B shall transfer totals from the Tally Sheets to the “Table Aggregation Sheet” for each batch of 50. Then they will clip both batch Tally Sheets onto the 50-ballot batch with a binder clip to create a Batch Stack.

After the two counting tables dedicated to each district finish counting the entire district’s ballots, Tellers #3A and Teller #3B shall cross-check each other’s “Table Aggregation Sheets” for accuracy. Then, each Teller #3 shall aggregate the two “Table Aggregation Sheets” into a single “District Aggregation Sheet” of their own, which they shall then cross-check for accuracy and write their signatures on each. (For districts with one counting table, Teller #3 from one of the “Additional Counting Tables” shall cross-check for accuracy.)

Step 6: Transfer of Ballots & District Count Data from Counting Tables to State Vote Aggregatioon Table

Teller #3A shall place one of the two identical “District Aggregation Sheets” on top of all the Batch Stacks and “Table Aggregation Sheets,” insert all into a manilla envelope, and deposit the envelope at the “Final Data Records Box” at the State Vote Aggregation Table.” Teller #3B shall hand the second identical “District Aggregation Sheet” to the “State Count Manager.”

Step 7: State Vote Aggregation Table Setup

There shall be a “State Vote Aggregation Table,” within visibility of all state delegates, for the purpose of receiving and totaling the “District Aggregation Sheets” and providing final results. A laptop shall be at this table. The laptop shall have a “Digital Master Count Sheet” for entering the totals, which shall be projected on to a screen, visible to all state delegates.

Three persons shall be present at the “State Vote Aggregation Table”: “State Count Manager,” “State Count Manager Assistant,” and “State Count Verifier.”

Step 8: State Vote Aggregation & Cross-Check Verification

The “State Count Manager” shall receive each “District Aggregation Sheet” and enter the totals into the “Digital Master Count Sheet“. The “State Count Verifier” shall verify that each number was entered correctly.

The “State Count Manager Assistant” shall write the totals from each “District Aggregation Sheet” on a “Physical Master Count Sheet” to keep a written version of the “Digital Master Count Sheet”. The “State Count Verifier” shall verify that the totals were copied correctly.

The “State Count Manager Assistant” shall add together the totals from all congressional districts on the “Physical Master Count Sheet”. The “State Count Verifier” shall verify that these totals match the “Digital Master Count Sheet”.

Step 9: Presentation of Results

The “State Count Manager” and “Assistant” shall confer to determine the winner of each race and the need for a run-off. They shall then highlight the winner on the “Digital Master Count Sheet” and place a star next to the winner on the “Physical Master Count Sheet”.

The “State Count Manager” shall make photocopies of the “Master Count Sheet” and distribute one to each district chairperson and candidate. Then, the “State Count Manager” shall clip the “Master Count Sheet” on top of the “District Aggregation Sheets” with a binder clip and deposit all into the “Final Data Records Box”.

Step 10: Other Necessary Security & Efficiency Requirements

Tellers, Ballot Runners, Floor Manager, State Count Manager, State Count Manager Assistant and State Count Verifier shall be chosen from a state-wide pool of precinct delegates who volunteer by submitting their name and district number on a website to add their name to a volunteer pool. Names of all volunteers submitted on the website shall be printed on slips of paper, placed on a table in view of an uninterrupted live-stream video camera, such that volunteers can verify their name is in the random drawing pool, then gathered and placed in a clear container from which all ballot processing volunteers (approximately 100) and alternates (approximately 75) shall be selected and announced on live-stream. All volunteers and poll challengers shall attend a training session(s) where they are trained to fill each role defined in this process.

The random drawing used to assign volunteers to the processing-positions, and district they will count ballots for, shall not occur until the morning of state convention in full view of all state delegates caring to watch. All teller names and the district number they reside in shall be printed on slips of paper and placed in a container from which tellers shall be selected, beginning with district 1 counting table and ending with the state vote aggregation table. A teller shall not count ballots for the district in which they reside. If a teller’s name is selected to count in the district they reside, it shall be returned to the container, and a new name shall be chosen.

Any candidate shall have the opportunity to appoint one poll challenger per congressional district, one poll challenger for the State Vote Aggregation Table, and one poll challenger for the Tabulator Tape Aggregation Table to challenge real-time as necessary, including but not limited to, the ballots themselves, the counting of the ballots, the reading of the voting results, and other procedures and methods defining the process. All challenges shall be presented to the Ballot Processing Floor Manager and addressed without delay.

“Line spacing” shall be identical across ballots, tally sheets, table aggregation sheets, table total sheets and precinct aggregation sheets to increase efficiency and reduce error rate.

Bring the Secure, Transparent Ballot Hand Count System to Each Precinct!

On Saturday, April 23, 2022 at the Michigan Republican Endorsement Convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan, attendees witnessed a secure, transparent hand count of 2,120 ballots, successfully completed in approximately 90 minutes!  And the result?

The ballot hand count EXACTLY MATCHED the tabulator tapes in each district for both the initial vote and the run-off election vote.

Naysayers demanding ‘trust of digitized voting machines’ in an environment where anything digital is corruptible (representing a state and national security risk), may say this proves that ‘tabulator machines were not corrupted and therefore can be trusted for use in all future elections.’  But this is intellectually self-refuting.  The tabulator machines could not have been corrupted THIS TIME, because the ballot hand count would have exposed the corruption!

How can this secure, transparent hand count process be used to restore election integrity and national security across America?

A precinct in Michigan is no more than 2,999 active registered voters. The largest precinct could be counted in under 12 hours by a team of 15 election inspectors – and that’s a high estimate.

We do not need vulnerable tabulator machines!

Political party and government leaders are obligated to treat election systems commensurate with the state and national security risk they represent if not verifiably secured – because elections quickly affect national survival.

Replace every single tabulator machine in the USA with the secure, transparent hand count process designed by Unity4MRP.  Restore faith in our elections.  Restore national security.

Click here to see the Unity4MRP ballot hand count system customized for polling locations in every precinct.