The 2020 General Election exposed many flaws and raised doubts about the way states conducted their elections. This has the dangerous impact of undermining the public’s confidence in future election outcomes. Look Ahead America’s state policy objectives are intended to eliminate these flaws and restore faith in our electoral system.
These objectives were informed by the lessons learned by the Voter Integrity Project in the aftermath of the 2020 election, the decades of election administration experience of Look Ahead America’s team of experts, and hundreds of ideas suggested by the public.
Each of these policy objectives satisfies three key requirements: (1) eliminating vulnerabilities in our election system, (2) practicality of implementation, and (3) harmony with current state and federal laws and established legal precedence.
1. Thumbprint Authentication of Absentee Ballots.
A single machine-readable thumbprint on the affidavit envelope of an absentee ballot will limit the ability of an individual other than the voter of record to cast that ballot. Multiple ballots cast by a single individual will be easily detectible.
When paired with a thumbprint requirement on the absentee ballot request or as part of the voter registration process, it practically eliminates fraudulent absentee ballots. This process also eliminates many of the problems with ballot signature verification, witness signatures, and unscrupulous ballot harvesting.
The state will encrypt the captured thumbprints as alphanumeric values with a one-way hash using a secure key, and will be prohibited from sharing raw thumbprint data with any other government agency.
2. Mandated and Public Voter List Hygiene.
The state will be required to engage in several processes to ensure the list of registered voters contains only those legally eligible to cast ballots.
Further, whether or not these processes result in a voter record’s removal, the findings of these processes will be reflected in the publicly available voter list (not applicable to Social Security numbers). This will allow citizens or organizations to use this information to take additional steps to ensure only legal ballots are cast.
These processes will include, but are not limited to:
Shared Interstate Residency Databases. The state will cooperate with other states to build a secure, transactional database to detect when an individual has registered in another state or taken other steps that would indicate a loss of residency and therefor voter privileges. This database will rely on a match of name, date of birth and the last four digits of the Social Security number. Any records matched through this process must be publicly flagged in the state’s voter database.
Non-Citizen Matching Using the USCIS’s SAVE Database. The state will take advantage of the USCIS’s SAVE database to flag non-citizens and remove them from the voter list. Any records matched through this process must be publicly flagged in the state’s voter database.
National Change of Address, Social Security Death Index, and Master Death File Matching. The state will match the voter list against the NCOA permanent moves, SSDI, and MDF on a monthly basis. Any matches will require a follow-up to ensure whether or not the voter is still eligible to cast a ballot and, if not, they will be removed from the voter list. Any records matched through this process must be publicly flagged in the state’s voter database.
3. Ban on the Use of “Black Box” Voting Equipment.
“Black Box” voting equipment uses proprietary, non-public software and hardware designs, and according to a study by Princeton University, are susceptible to undetected hacking and manipulation.
The alternative is to mandate that all election equipment use open-source software and design that is available for inspection and review by the public and technology organizations to ensure the validity and accuracy of vote counting.
Open-source election software and hardware, paired with paper ballots, will remove the potential for tampering as well as the suspicion of tampering.
4. Appointment of a Citizens Elections Supervisory Committee.
The public must have assurance from those they trust that elections are conducted in accordance with the law. A Citizens Election Supervisory Committee will help restore the trust of the public in election outcomes.
The committee shall consist of trusted citizens who represent various political parties as well as non-partisan organizations. Each committee member will be granted access to the election process that is the equivalent of the state’s election director and any county election director. These representatives will have the responsibility of documenting the lawful execution of the election at every level.
5. Creation and Sufficient Funding for a Dedicated Voter Fraud Investigation Division within the State’s Attorney General’s Office.
Many states have little to no standing effort to investigate voter fraud. Dedicating a sufficient level of staffing and funding to a permanent division within the state’s attorney general’s office will help to defend the integrity of our elections.
6. Equitable Distribution of Private Contributions to Election Operations.
While private individuals and corporations may choose to sponsor improvements to election operations with direct donations of funding or material to government election agencies, these contributions may not be geographically targeted and must be equitably distributed throughout a state based on voter populations.
This restriction will only be applicable to contributions beyond a certain threshold to allow incidental contributions to continue, such as a club allowing its headquarters to be used as a polling place.