This page contains a link to all of the completed Photo Finish Analyst Results Reports (scroll down to bottom of page). All of these reports are preliminary and under review. We will post them directly to this page when they are complete and verified.
Photo Finish 2020, a project of ProtectOurVotes.com: Project Results, Partial Summary
The Photo Finish Project of ProtectOurVotes.com was successfully launched, in a pilot phase, on schedule, at the Louisiana Elections on July 11, 2020. We picked several states to monitor up to and including the 2020 November elections (below). This was a standard, small-scale poll-result monitoring project.
The Problem: Voting machines malfunction and nefarious actors manipulate election results. This goes undetected if there is not a system in place to monitor the vote tally process.
The Solution: Taking photos of Precinct Poll Tapes that are posted outside Precincts on election nights allows us to compare the precinct reported results with the county and state reported Results. If we detect discrepancies, we can FOIA the underlying election materials and investigate further.
An integral part of the Photo Finish Project involves achieving results and improvements in election integrity and transparency. We have a FOIA team set up to request public documents when we detect discrepancies in election results. This team has already made its first FOIA request and received its first documents from the Texas elections division.
The ProtectOurVotes.com Photo Finish Action Item was inspired by this toolkit by Bev Harris of Black Box Voting and the findings of Shelby County Election Commissioner Bennie Smith. Our team member, Jennifer Cohn, has written much about Precinct Poll Tape monitoring and their essential role in election integrity, transparency and detecting problems with voting machineshttps://whowhatwhy.org/2020/05/27/touchscreen-voting-makes-everything-easy-including-hacking/.
The project involves
Photographers – Volunteers took photographs of final precinct results poll tapes on election nights and upload those to us through our Photo Uploader.
Analysts – Our Citizen Analyst volunteers compared those results to the reported county results. We have an online volunteer sign-up form.
Automated Back Office – We have designed a propriety, automated back office so that we can scale the project up for big elections. It is conceivable that we could handles thousands of photos on election nights.
ProtectOurVotes.com picked several states to monitor up to and including the 2020 November elections. The elections that we targeted to run Photo Finish Action Item in 2020 were:
- July 11 Louisiana Presidential Primary
- July 14 Alabama state runoff
- July 14 Texas state runoff
- August 4 Michigan state primary
- August 6 Tennessee state primary
- August 11 Connecticut presidential primary
- August 11 Wisconsin state primary
- August 11 Georgia State Runoff
- August 18 Florida state primary
- September 8 New Hampshire state primary
- November 3 General Election 2020
Overall Description of the System
- Online Volunteer Sign-up Form to Excel Sheets
- Photo Uploader to internal viewer
- Internal Photo Viewer is sortable and has download function
- Analyst Report Download and Upload all online in our Google Drive
- Reviewer page with download and Upload to
- Public Results Page
Design and Function Review
The launch was a success. There were no problems with photo uploads. We had one glitch on the night of the Florida elections when the Uploader programmer was simultaneously updating the software at the same time. We are encouraging only photo uploads and for example, 3 photos for a long Precinct Poll Tape rather than a video, however videos up to 50 MB can be uploaded.
Keys to Success
- Automated back office
- Photo Uploads, Analysts
- Report Downloads and Uploads,
- Review Process is Human,
- Photo Upload through Website ProtectOurVotes.com, no app needed
- Backup Systems Planned for Elections
- Google Drives for Uploads
- Email for sending Photos
- Crisis Team on Call to Problem Solve
- Volunteers-200 plus volunteers working on this project
- Of those volunteers, half are photographers and half were both photographers and analysts
- Of the volunteers who signed up, 78 signed up from states where we ran a Photo Finish Action over the summer
- 120 additional volunteers have already signed up from other states, for the November 3rd Photo Finish Action.
- Experienced executive project management team, advisors and operations administrative support
The Photo Finish Project conducted by ProtectOurVotes.com received photos of precinct poll tapes from: 8 states, 13 counties and 58 precincts. We have precinct-level, election-day results for 49 of those precincts and are awaiting results for 9 precincts. Of the 49 precincts for which we have election results, we have 41 completed Analyst Results Reports (see below at bottom of page for link to reports). Within those results, we have 1 inconsistency in Montgomery County, TX for the ¨called out¨ results at 17.30 versus results on tally tape and reported results at end of day (see below for summary). This resulted in a FOIA and we are conducting a re-count.
We have analyzed the following states and counties:
Alabama – 1 county, 1 precinct
Florida – 6 counties, 25 precincts
Manatee County (report needs to be redone),
Large percentage of undervotes found in:
- Precinct 127 had 41 undervotes, or 23% of the total of 176 votes counted
- Precinct 112 had 14 undervotes or 13.5% of the total of 63 votes cast
In general, Florida no longer reports ANY returns for a precinct of any of the candidates receiving less than 30 votes cast. We consider this odd and will pursue.
Georgia – 1 county, 18 precincts
Louisiana – 1 county, 4 precincts
Orleans County: Discrepancies from possible misidentification of precinct
Michigan – 1 county, 2precincts
Tennessee – 1 county, 3precincts
Texas – 1 county, 1 precinct
Montgomery County (discrepancy found, FOIA result)
Wisconsin – 1 county, 3 precincts
We hare waiting for the analysts to complete results reports in the following states and counties (for which we have election returns):
New Hampshire: Hillsborough
We are waiting for election-day, precinct-level results for the following states and counties:
- Florida: Brevard, Seminole
- Tennessee: Williamson
- Wisconsin: Ozaukee
We already had out first result in Texas. One of our photographers stood outside the Precinct for the calling out of the results, which takes place in Texas every 2 hours (this involves a tally of the number of Republican voters and the number of Democratic voters only. No election results). Our volunteer was allowed to photograph the result sheet that recorded these 2-hour tallies.
At 5.30 pm, there were: Republican; 223 Democrat: 97 At 7 pm there were (we have this on video): Republican 273 Democrat: 71 On the county results for the precinct there were: Republican: 273 Democrat: 71
We sent in a FOIA for the Precinct Poll Tape (Audit Tapes or Election Results Tally Tapes in Texas). We received this. We then did a follow-up FOIA for the underlying election records, all electronic ballots and paper ballots upon which the election results were based, on election night only (not including early voting or absentee). We received the information we requested. We have reviewed all of the documents and have a volunteer group set to do a ballot count of the electronic ballot images imminently.
- Pilot Phase Completed
- Results: Technical success, Texas produced result of ¨missing¨ Democratic Ballots, Precinct Poll Tape Received, Follow-up FOIA completed, Florida revealed that not all election races are reported (if there are 30 or less of one type of ballot cast at that precinct). We will pursue this issue. Discrepancies found in 4 Florida precincts. The project allowed for us to ensure that a county in Alabama was going to post precinct poll tapes when they initially said they would not. Electronic ballot image re-count planned.
- Next election: General Election, November 3, 2020
What Resources do we need?
Partnerships, Volunteers (photographers and Analysts) and eventually Funding.
We are looking for organizations that are interested in election integrity and have volunteers, like poll watchers, who can easily take photos of Precinct Poll Tapes, at the end of election nights. We need funding to hire analysts, conduct FOIAs and pay for general computer costs.