Conveners Joel Segal and Harvey Wasserman have been working on election protection issues since 2004.
Our Advisory Council currently includes (as below) Glencie Rhedrick, Dorothy Fadiman, Bob Fitrakis, Mimi Kennedy, Michael Merenstein, Andrea Miller, Greg Palast, Cynthia Perry, Charles Stephenson.
Reverend Glencie Rhedrick, an ordained Baptist minister and a Womanist Theologian. She currently serves as an associate minister at First Baptist Church-West, where she leads the Bereavement Ministry and facilitates an engaging weekly adult Bible study class. Additionally, she served as Interim Pastor for Life Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC.
A graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, Reverend Rhedrick received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with honors and a Master of Science Degree from National Louis University in Evanston, Illinois in Human Resources Management and Development with a concentration in Organizational Behavior. She received her Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Pastoral Care from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. She is certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains, a distinction that few African Americans have achieved.
A local and national community activist, Rev. Rhedrick is the former president of Mecklenburg Ministries, an interfaith organization of approximately 100 houses of faith. She is also an active member of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (DVFRT). Currently she holds the following positions: Chair of the Social Justice Committee for United Missionary Baptist Association (UMBA), Co- Chair for Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, Co-Chair of Clergy Southern Piedmont Circle for the Poor People’s Campaign: The National Call for a Moral Revival for Charlotte-Mecklenburg and surrounding counties; Chaplain for the 12th Congressional District and Co-Chair for the Lecture Series Committee and Social Justice Chair for Minister’s Conference. Recently she has been accepted to the Board of Directors for the National Jobs for All Coalition. She also hosted a national Blog talk radio show on the PDA Network entitled Women: Change Agents.
Rev. Rhedrick is a humble woman of God. She is the proud mother of one son Justin and one energetic granddaughter, Marleigh. She lives by one of her favorite Scriptures Romans 12:1-2, I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Fitrakis is a Political Science Professor in the Social Sciences department at Columbus State Community College, where he won the Distinguished Professor Award in 2012. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Wayne State University and a J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. He was a Ford Foundation Fellow to the Michigan State legislature and currently serves as a Near East Area Commissioner.
He co-authored “What Happened in Ohio: A documentary record of theft and fraud in the 2004 election” (New Press, 2006), and has authored or co-authored 12 other books including six on election integrity. Fitrakis is the editor of the Free Press, freepress.org and columbusfreepress.com.
See also: https://fitrakis.org/about-bob/
Greg Palast has exposed some of the biggest scandals of the last century. The award-winning investigative reporter, four-time New York Times Bestselling author, and documentarian seeks justice and shines a light on the truth. His investigations have become instrumental in exposing historic controversies including the Shoreham Nuclear Power Station Project, Exxon Valdez, the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election, and Deepwater Horizon. Palast turns his attention to the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election with his latest book, How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt For America’s Vanished Voters. For more visit: https://www.gregpalast.com/about-greg-2/
A political and cultural activist is the best way to describe the life and work or Charles C. Stephenson, Jr. A New York native, he worked his professional life in Washington, D.C. as the Legislative Director for Congressman Ronald V. Dellums. As a community activist he worked on many campaigns focusing his efforts on GOTV and voter education. He also was the co-chair of the annual Malcolm X Day Celebration in Washington, DC, which was the largest and longest running event to honor El Hajj Malik El Shabazz. As the former chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities he opened up the arts to serve all the residents of Washington, DC. In 2012 he relocated to Raleigh, NC and has continued his activism becoming the First Vice Chair of the Wake County Democratic Party. He was a board member for the African American Cultural Festival. He is also the past precinct chair of 05-05, the African American Caucus and was a member of the State Executive Committee of the NC Democratic Party.
Cynthia Perry worked in the banking industry for over thirty years in Anchorage, AK, Seattle, WA. and Chicago, IL. She retired as a Managing Director from BMO Harris, Chicago, and moved to the Charlotte, NC area. Upon her arrival, she began volunteer work for AARP and continued with them for over three years traveling throughout the state of North Carolina, speaking primarily to the more vulnerable senior citizen communities on the topics of Fraud, Scams and Identity Theft. During that same period, she decided to use her professional skills to coach her much younger friends in career and business interests, one of which she helped from the pre-planning stages to full operation in the opening of an interior design business. Cynthia continued volunteering her time with other organizations and coaching friends before moving into the political realm. Initially, she joined the Union County Senior Democrats in 2010 and worked on elections, alternating between an Election Worker and Poll Greeter. It wasn’t until the spring of 2017, after the 2016 elections that she became more entrenched in political grassroots efforts.
As a community organizer with AMP America, Michael Merenstein is helping to lead the Reclaim Our Vote initiative to combat and overcome multi-tiered voter suppression in the state of North Carolina. He also currently serves both on the board of directors for Health Care Justice North Carolina and as their acting co-chairperson of the Legislative Committee.
Michael is a Florida barred, pretrial civil litigation attorney with experience representing both plaintiff and defense side clients. He has drafted and successfully argued appeals in Florida’s Third DCA and provided legal advice to local municipalities and zoning agencies including local ordinances with first amendment implications. He spent eight years teaching American Government, Public Affairs and Law, coached the school’s mock trial team, founded its Legal & Public Affairs Society and restarted a then, dormant International Fair. Michael is a graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law and earned his Master of Science degree from Florida State in Applied Political Science. In his spare time Michael is an avid day hiker and environmentalist.
Andrea Miller is an election turn-out strategist working with under-represented voters in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, Arizona, North Carolina and Texas. She is the founding Tri-Chair of the Virginia Poor People’s Campaign. She helped launch National Women’s Political Caucus of Virginia and is currently Acting President.
She has worked as a lobbyist, legislative and political director and was a regional organizer for MoveOn.org. Andrea is both an organizer as well as a digital advocacy expert. In 2008 she was the Democratic nominee from the Virginia 4th Congressional district.Steven Rosenfeld is a national political reporter at the Independent Media Institute’s Voting Booth project covering voting rights and election technology. His reports are published on many progressive outlets. He has written five books, including profiles of political campaigns, voter suppression, voting guides and a WWII survival story set in Holland. His latest book is Democracy Betrayed: How Superdelegates, Redistricting, Party Insiders, and the Electoral College Rigged The 2016 Election. (Hot Books, March 2018).
Karl Grossman is a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York./College at Old Westbury. He is a specialist in investigative reporting. He has taught a course in Investigative Reporting at SUNY/Old Westbury since 1979. He is the author of six books—including Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Nuclear Power. For 29 years, he has hosted the nationally-aired television program “Enviro Close-Up with Karl Grossman.”
Research Assistant Susan Pynchon is working with AUDIT USA as part of its core team leading up to the 2020 election. Ms. Pynchon is assisting with research, and preparation of “track condition reports” in targeted states. She assists AUDIT USA Director John Brakey in building and supporting coalitions of election-integrity advocates in those states.
Ms. Pynchon is also the Executive Director of Florida Fair Elections Coalition (FFEC), which she co-founded) in 2004. Under her leadership, FFEC has become a respected entity known for its nonpartisan dedication to fair, transparent, verifiable, accessible, and secure elections.
Ms. Pynchon fought against the use of paperless touchscreen voting machines in Florida and for optical scan voting systems that count hand-marked paper ballots. In 2007, then-Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced that Florida would switch completely to paper ballots in time for the 2008 General Election.
In 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida selected Ms. Pynchon as one of four recipients of its statewide, annual Nelson Poynter Civil Liberties Award for “defending voting rights in Florida.” Ms. Pynchon remains an advocate of hand-marked paper ballots. She is also a proponent of saving the digital ballot images of hand-marked paper ballots and using those digital images to assist election administrators and the public in auditing, adjudicating, and verifying election results.
John Roberts Brakey
is an election scrutineer/investigator, integrity advocate full time for the last 16 years. He is a co-founder of AUDIT AZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in Elections), which has expanded to become AUDIT-USA.
Under Brakey’s leadership, AUDIT-AZ/USA spearheaded a successful Arizona election challenge. The plaintiffs succeeded in gaining access to “proprietary” election materials, which helped prove that a $2 billion local bond election had been rigged by individuals with official access to election machinery.
Brakey and AUDIT-USA have played a significant role in making Arizona elections more secure through advocacy and numerous litigations.
AUDIT USA has recently developed a new method of election verification: mobilizing the public to use digital ballot images created by digital scan voting machines to verify or challenge official vote counts.
Election transparency and public oversight are the goals that drive John to travel all over the country, speaking and educating people about the dangers in our current election system and what members of the community can do about it.
A dedicated election scrutineer, Brakey is determined to make sure no election insider or outside hacker can manipulate an election with impunity (exemption from punishment). Making it more difficult to rig or hack an election without getting caught and punished will serve as a deterrent to future election crimes.
Our core team has decades of combined experience on the front lines of our elections: monitoring live elections, investigating election problems, and litigating where necessary. We know that transparency in all election procedures allows citizens in a democracy to control their government by voting out those responsible for government corruption, bribery, and other malfeasance. However, elections must be transparent, trackable, and verifiable for this to occur.
Link to report on AUDIT’s History and what could be done to make elections transparent trackable and Publicly Verified: By John Brakey: https://bit.ly/History_of_AUDIT_USA
Donna Marie Woodson
Executive Board member of the Democratic Women of Mecklenburg County, Chair of Mecklenburg County Precinct 135 for the past two years, and 2020 Democratic National Convention District Level Delegate.
I’ve been involved in Charlotte politics since 2017, and I have memberships with the Democrats of North Mecklenburg, African American Caucus, Black Political Caucus, and volunteer as an Advocate Leader for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network representing the 12th District.
Wife and mother of two hailing from Detroit, Michigan.
Laurie Woodward Garcia is an organizer and activist. She is the founder of Broward for Progress, a nonpartisan, grassroots group committed to increasing voter registration and participation. Laurie has been recognized as a leader and been awarded training and travel by social justice organizations such as MoveOn, Indivisible, United We Dream, Daily Kos, Public Citizen, Emgage, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Friends of Miami Dade Detainees, and the Center for Popular Democracy. She has organized and led dozens of marches and protests on various issues with crowds of 30 to 1500. Recent accomplishments include receiving the President’s Award for Activism by the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida and working as an organizer in Utah to put pressure on Senator Mitt Romney to vote for impeachment — which he did! Laurie is currently focused on helping to mobilize voters in Broward County, push for progressive issues, and bring attention to the current SAVE ALL BALLOT IMAGES campaign in Florida.
Jennifer Watson Roberts is a former Mayor of Charlotte and a lifelong champion of issues related to education and equality. She is the first person to be elected to serve as both Chairman of the Mecklenburg County Commission and later as Mayor of Charlotte. She currently works as the Director of the Path to Positive Communities program with ecoAmerica, a national non-profit working to build institutional leadership, public support and political will for climate action in the United States.
Roberts was instrumental in creating a public/private partnership to build a new shelter in Charlotte for survivors of domestic violence and spearheaded the creation of Charlotte NEXT, an initiative dedicated to improving after school programs for at-risk teens. During her tenure as Mayor, the City of Charlotte set a goal of funding 5,000 affordable housing units over 3 years and is currently on track to exceed that goal.
Mayor Roberts also led the passage of a Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance that included the LGBTQ community. Though this NDA was later struck down by the NC General Assembly, this discriminatory action by the state led to national attention, boycotts, and eventual (partial) reversal of the law known as HB2. In addition, more transgender candidates than ever ran for office around the country in the year following, and many have been elected.
Roberts has also been a life-long advocate for clean air and water and for environmental justice. While Chair of the Mecklenburg County Commission, she championed a Park and Rec Master Plan, supported energy reduction and conservation in County operations, and headed a Clean Air Works initiative to reduce carbon emissions in area businesses and the County’s carbon footprint. As mayor, she signed the Mayor’s Climate Pledge and introduced a Clean Energy Resolution for the City of Charlotte.
She has worked as a diplomat for the State Department, as an international banker, as an adjunct professor at UNC-Charlotte, and as a high school math teacher. She currently serves on numerous community boards and commissions, including the Corporate Climate Alliance, NC Climate Solutions Coalition, Meck Ed and Mecklenburg Ministries.
Roberts is a proud recipient of the Maya Angelou Women Who Lead award, the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Public Policy Leader of the Year award, and Equality North Carolina’s Ally of the Year award. She received her B.A. with highest honors in English from UNC-Chapel Hill, a Masters in European History from the University of Toronto, and a Masters in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. She and her husband Manley live in Charlotte, but can usually be found on the weekends hiking the NC mountains. They have two college aged children.
Dorothy Fadiman has been producing award-winning documentaries focusing on human rights and social justice since 1976. Many of her films have been broadcast on Public Television stations nationwide.Honors for Fadiman’s work include an OSCAR nomination, an EMMY, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Medal. Subjects range widely, including spinal cord injury, nuclear arms control, progressive approaches in education, and women’s rights around the world.
One of Fadiman’s major projects is a feature length documentary STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote. The film focuses on election rights, election integrity and election theft. The film follows Presidential races that election analysts report had significant irregularities such as suspicious vote tallies, reports of faulty machines, widespread voter disenfranchisement in low income neighborhoods and many other indications of election manipulation.
STEALING AMERICA won The CHOICE Award for Best Documentary Feature from Broadcast Critics of America.
Mimi Kennedy – actress/activist
Mimi Kennedy is an actress on stage and screen. She is currently seen as veteran 12-stepper “Marjorie” on MOM (CBS) but is also known for “Dharma&Greg” “In The Loop” (2007 anti-war film, dir. Armando Iannucci) and “Midnight In Paris.” Her activism started in college opposing the Vietnam War. She opposed Reagan’s wars in Central America and met Reverend James Lawson, with whom she studied nonviolence (MLK called Lawson “The Teacher” for his role in the early civil rights movement.) Her Election Integrity activism was launched when the Democrats were silent after Florida 2000 and the subsequent perpetual wars. She traveled with the Dennis Kucinich campaign (2003-4) because of his commitment to nonviolence as the organizing principle for US policy. She helped establish Progressive Democrats of America as its founding Advisory Board Chair under Tim Carpenter. She remains on PDA National Board and leads its election integrity strategy. In 2006 she helped elect Debra Bowen who, as CA Secretary of State, saved the paper ballot against a GOP push to install Diebold and ES&S e-voting machines. She served on LA Registrar Dean Logan’s Voting Systems Advisory Principles panel, where she helped secure the paper ballot against a new push for voting on remote devices. She has served on many election panels and organized others with Harvey Wasserman, Bob Fitrakis, Bev Harris, John Brakey, Jon Simon, and Bennie Smith, to name a few. Her article about the stolen election and Rove-led prosecution of ex-Alabama Governor Don Siegelman appeared in Huffington Post and was reprinted whole in Bob Ney’s confessional memoir, “Sideswiped.” Her theater memoir, Taken to the Stage; The Education of an Actress (Smith & Kraus, 1996) was about her acting career. She intends to write another focusing on the responsibility of artists with free speech to spread that privilege to the rest of the world.
Founder and president of Sautter Communications and Films, Chris Sautter is a nationally recognized political media strategist, award-winning documentary filmmaker, election attorney, and university professor.
Sautter is best known for his expertise in election disputes, having worked as an attorney or consultant on nearly every major national recount since helping Democrat Frank McCloskey win a four-vote victory in 1984-85 in Indiana’s “Bloody 8th” congressional district—a race that remains the closest U.S. House race in modern history.
His work on behalf of Al Gore in the 2000 Florida recount was profiled in the New Republic, singled out by the late syndicated columnist Robert Novak, and praised by Jeffrey Toobin in his book Too Close To Call.
Sautter served as a lead attorney in Al Franken’s U.S. Senate 2008- recount in Minnesota. Jay Weiner, author of This Is Not Florida: How Al Franken Won the Minnesota Recount, pegged him “unquestionably the most experienced recount lawyer in the country” and “the go-to-guy on the Franken recount team.”
Sautter co-authored The Recount Primer (1994) and teaches election law including a course on recounts as an adjunct professor at American University.
More recently, Sautter served as an attorney for Bernie 2016, the Bernie Sanders for President campaign, directing voter protection activities. He also helped direct voter protection for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign in Florida during the 2016 general election campaign.
In 2018, he represented the Florida Democratic Party in two statewide recounts. Currently, Sautter is special counsel to AUDIT Elections USA, directing litigation for the organization.
Reverend Leo Woodberry
Pastor, Kingdom Living Temple and Executive Director, New Alpha Community Development Corporation
Rev. Leo Woodberry was born and raised in New York City, where he started organizing at an early age. He became involved in environmental work in the 1990s with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control around the issue of mercury emissions. In 1994, he joined the newly-formed African American Environmental Justice Action Network (AAEJAN), which was instrumental in uniting people of color across America, and in influencing foundations to support communities of color disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards. Rev. Woodberry has worked in the areas of water, air, and renewable energy with a host of organizations, including the Southern Organizing Committee (SOC), The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, The Environmental Protection Agency National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, The National and SC Wildlife Federations, Sierra Club, Coastal Carolina League, South East Climate Network, Green Faith. He’s one of the partners of the South Carolina Environmental Justice Network. In 2001, Woodberry attended the United Nations Conference on Racism and Xenophobia and contributed to the environmental statement added to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and subsequently signed by 161 countries. He’s has been recognized by the South Carolina State Senate for his years of community service. The boards of 7 National Organizations, 1 Regional Organizations board. He’s the regional Organizer of Justice First.
Chuck Pennacchio, Ph.D., is a 47-year issue, electoral, and union organizer; associate professor of history and politics at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia; president of the One Payer States network; senior advisor to Healthcare for All Pennsylvania; co-facilitator of Our Revolution PA; producer of the single-payer documentary “Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point”; former aide to four U.S. Senators and one U.S. House Member; 2006 Democratic candidate for the United States Senate (PA); 2016 Bernie Sanders delegate; and author/co-author of several books, book chapters, and articles on U.S. and European history, U.S. healthcare, and U.S. politics. More importantly, Chuck is the father of two children, Sophia and Ben, who are also politically and intellectually engaged citizens.
Founder, Transparent Elections NC
Election Integrity Advocate, Engineer
Lynn Bernstein earned a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder and spent her career integrating and testing satellites. Seeing the numerous issues with our critical election systems, she founded Transparent Elections NC and now uses her skills to ensure that each link in the chain-of-custody for North Carolina’s election systems is secure. She is driven to research and understand the technical details and processes involved in voting — starting with certification and testing of election systems all the way through to post election tabulation audits. Her belief is that voter confidence can only be achieved by using a transparent voting method that the public can understand, track and verify themselves. Voting is a sacred right and it is crucial that everyone has an equal opportunity to cast a vote that is counted accurately and audited for assurance.
Transparent Elections NC
We are a new non-partisan grassroots group of volunteers working to achieveevidence based elections through a transparent and publicly verifiable process.
Validate the Vote Project: ensure that all poll tapes are imaged and verified with what is reported to the counties and aggregated at the state.
http://validatethevote.org website expected to launch at the end of August.
Link for volunteer signup Validate the Vote
Former Air Force navigator and intelligence officer H. Bruce Franklin is a progressive activist and author or editor of twenty books and hundreds of articles that have won him the highest awards for lifetime achievement from the American Studies Association and other major academic organizations. See his home page: hbrucefranklin.com