Lynn Landes 
 The Landes Report ...

Go back to Voting Machine Webpage

Don't disabled voters need voting machines? (some of the information below may be out-of-date)

No. HAVA does not require election officials to purchase eletronic voting machines. Voting machines can cheat the disabled just as easily as the able-bodied voter. And, the evidence so far is that these machines are difficult for the disabled to use. Voting machines companies admit that it takes the sight-impaired voters ten times  longer to use a touchscreen machine as able-bodied voters. 

There is a way for the sight-impaired to vote privately and independently using tactile paper ballot templates with audio assistance.  Templates are used around the world and in some states such as Rhode Island.  (Ballot Templates)  Two organizations for the blind, The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), are ardent supporters of paperless touchscreen voting machines.  They also have received over $1 million dollars from the voting machine industry.

Articles & Links:


----- Original Message -----

From: Teresa Hommel
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2005 11:15 PM
Subject: Jim Dickson info

Hi Lynn,
Someone sent me this info, and asked me to pass it on to someone who would "run with the ball."

Teresa Hommel

1. From AAPD 990 tax returns displayed at
AAPD's income per year, in dollars:
1998      277,549
1999      778,000
2000      565,367
2001      684,796
2002    1,635,935

2. In 2002, AAPD received approximately $1,000,000 more in "direct public
support" than they had received in previous years. Yet this was the year after
9/11/01, when most non-profits were receiving less due to 9/11 charitable

3. In Feb. 2002, AAPD held their first gala. It is unusual for a civil rights
organization to get so much funding from IT, telecommunications,
pharmaceutical, etc.

Common Cause has a list since 2002 of soft money donors who give to Republicans
and Democrats, and they are the same companies who began to fund AAPD.

4. Documentation for lobbying activities by AAPD, NOD, JFANOW, and Jim Dickson
is in the newsletters of AAPD, NOD, and JFANOW.

JFANOW is Justice for All,, an organization dedicated to
lobbying Congress for disability rights. Some 2037 issues of their
newsletter are archived on-line. These document the group's activities
since it was founded in 1995 by a handful of people including Justin Dart:

"Justice For All was formed on January 6th to defend and advance
disability rights and programs in the 104th Congress." --
Article by Justin Dart,

In 2001 the JFANOW email list was turned over to AAPD and it became the
foundation of their activists email list. Before AAPD owned the list they sent
their press releases about their lobbying to JFANOW.

NOD is the National Organization on Disability,

5. AAPD lobbies Congress all the time, in areas of concern to the disabled, for
example Medicaid, Housing, etc. Jim Dickson lobbies all the time, and when he
moved to AAPD he began to lobby. For example, Jim Dickson testified before the
House Judiciary Committee on 12/5/01 (see below).

Why did AAPD's Form 990 mention lobbying only in 2002, and not in previous
years? Lobbying expenses would include telephone, copying, travel.

6. From NOD 990 tax returns displayed at
Jim Dickson worked 40 hours/week for the NOD as head of the Community
Partnership program and director of the Vote! 2000 program. He earned:
1998    $53,318
1999    $59, 036
2000    $65,200

7. In June, 2001, Dickson moved to AAPD. and, his assistant moved with him.
Documentation is in AAPD newsletters.

This significant because it raises many questions:
--Why did NOD let go of a successful program, and the two staff who were
running it?
--Nonprofits hire people when the money is in the bank, not before (pledges are
not always followed by a check; donations can be a one-time gift). Where did
the money or expectation come from in June 2001 when they made the hiring
decisions for 2 new employees?
--It is unusual for people in the nonprofit world to quit one organization and
start a new job at a new organization unless they see that it will be a
continuous job, that is, the new organization has money to continue paying
their salary.

8. In 2001, Jim Dickson was employed by NOD and AAPD for about 6 months each.
His income would be smaller than $50,000 from each, so the organizations
wouldn't have to report it on their Form 990 (salaries of $50,000 and over must
be reported). However, in 2002, he worked the entire year at AAPD, but their
Form 990 did not report his income. Did his income go down from the $65,200 he
made at NOD in 2000, to less than $50,000 at AAPD in 2002?

His salary at AAPD should still show up somewhere as an expense. Where is it?
Is he being paid by someone else even though he is VP of AAPD?

9. AAPD's Form 990, displayed at, show the size of the Board
of Directors and staff.

Date,                        Board of Dir,        staff:
April 19, 1999                       21                1
March 13, 2001                    24                4
May 9, 2002                         25                9
March, 2003 or 5/2/03           23                9 (7 in Wash. DC and 2 in MA)

This is significant because all of a sudden AAPD opened a new office in another
state. This involves a long-term projection of income. You have to pay for
phone, rent, insurance, furnishings, setting up computers and paper files. If
you can't sustain the cost, you lose a lot of resources when you have to close
the office. HAVA passed Oct 2002, and was signed into law on Oct 29, 2002.
AAPD's new office opens in the year that HAVA passed -- before HAVA passed?
Where did the money and the expectation of a continuous flow come from?

Also, AAPD expanded rapidly. The number of AAPD employees rose fast, and
included entirely new positions, in jobs that did not exist before. This raises
the same questions listed under paragraph 7, about expectation of a continuous
flow of income.

Documentation for AAPDs expansion is in the AAPD newsletters and 990 tax

10. AAPD's Form 990 for 2000 and 2001 shows their Board members.
  The significance of the Board members:
The Board of a nonprofit sets policy, steers the organization, sets the agenda,
controls what projects are done.

Tony Coelho, whose article in the Washington Post suggests that he suffered
discrimination due to epilepsy, helped write the ADA. However, he has a
conflict of interest.
He is simultaneously on AAPD's Board, just when AAPD starts
lobbying aggressively for HAVA, and also a director of Election Services Corp.
Tony Coelho's association with AAPD is not mentioned in his bio at his company.
His association with an evote company is not listed in AAPD's 2003 Annual Report
list of the Board of Directors.  According to, Tony Coelho he
was connected to the Savings and Loan scandal.

Info on Tony Coelho
   OUR TEAM bio of Tony Coelho does not mention his association with AAPD

   Democrats Send Mixed Signals in Voting Technology Debate, Lynn Landes,

hju76555.000 BILL NUMBER: H.R. 3295 HEARING DATE: 12/05/2001
HEARING TITLE: Help America Vote Act of 2001
SUBCOMMITTEE: Full Committee
Dickson testimony begins on page 28

On 12/5/01 Jim Dickson testified before the House Judiciary Committee and its
Republican Chairman, Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (Wisconsin 5th District).
Three months later Mrs. Sensenbrenner was Advisory Committee Co-chair
of the first AAPD Gala.

QUESTION, requires search of Congressional Record --  Was this was the first
meeting between Rep. Sensenbrenner and Dickson? It seems like Dickson was
already connected to vendors. Transcript, page 36:

Mr. DICKSON. Mr. Chairman, I forgot to mention that two of the very accessible
machines are here today. There are eight manufacturers who have machines that
would allow people like myself to cast a secret ballot, and I would encourage
the Members of the Committee and those in the audience to look at these
exciting devices.

12. QUESTION, Looking at AAPD's Form 990s, the hours per week in all 5 years,
one year shows people working 40 hours, but other years show people working 1-4
hours a week. Who is doing the work? Are they paying less than $50,000 and is
that why you don't see any salaried employees listed? Where is Jim Dickson
getting paid from? Where is the 2003 return? If they are paying him at all, the
expense would show up somewhere. Where could it be? Is he paid as a temp? A
consultant? Is he on the payroll of another company, and reported solely as
donation in kind (of his time to AAPD)? Or paid via one of their contractors?

2002 Gala Home Page
Provides link to list of sponsors
Provides link to "Voting Machine Manufacturers Participate..."

2002 Gala List of Sponsors
Shows 3 voting machine vendors, Silver Sponsors ($5000)
Shows unusual corporate support for a first gala, 5 months after
9/11 when many non-profits were suffering sharp declines in funding

2002 Gala "Thank you"
"Voting Machine Manufacturers Participate in Leadership Gala"
Shows AAPD's "thank yous" and names the products of their e-vote donors.
Shows that 8 months before HAVA passed, there was already a "strategy"
of pushing acceptance of "equipment that is currently available," thus
forcing a false either-or between accessibility and verifiability.

Note, the "currently available" phrase, because this was Dickson's
excuse for not demanding auditable accessible voting equipment, or
criticising the ITAs for delaying certification of such equipment.
In fact, one reason he gave for not demanding such equipment was that
it wasn't certified yet, and certification takes a long time.

   ES&S, i-votronic System
   Hart Intercivic, E-Slate System
   Sequoia, AVC Advantage System

   "Because of the ongoing debate on Capital Hill regarding
   polling place accessibility, specifically the Equal Protection
   of Voting Rights Act of 2001, S.565, it is critical that AAPD
   and the voting equipment manufacturers continue to work
   closely together to ensure equal voting accessibility and
   voting rights for all Americans and to collaboratively educate
   the election officials regarding equipment that is currently

   "Additional thanks goes to the folks at Sequoia Pacific, who
   also brought equipment to the Leadership Gala for
   demonstration purposes and print materials, and who were
   present to respond to questions."

2002 Gala
AAPDnews, February, 2002, Special Leadership Gala Issue

Page 7, shows donation amounts for sponsorship levels. Silver is $5000
Page 11, shows Tony Coelho as Co-Chair of Gala
Page 11, shows Mrs. F James Sensenbrenner, WI, Advisory Committee Co-Chair.
        She is the wife of Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, head of the
        House Judiciary Committee before which Jim Dickson testified on
        12/5/04 re HAVA and existing voting equipment. Two months after
        Dickson's testimony, Mrs. Sensenbrenner helps with AAPD's first
        Gala. Did she help get sponsors, or help create the Gala after the
        vendors decided to fund Dickson because of his ability to lobby
        for their interests? See below, section 16, info on
        Mrs. Sensenbrenner
Page 11, announces Enable America!, a PAC, which was just formed or in
Page 12, lists AAPD Board of Directors

13. Suddenly there is a "Disability PAC" announced in the AAPD newsletter
of Feb 2002.
Check money in the PAC through FEC filings. Look at,
bottom of page, you can look up PACs.
The publicity said that it was the first disability rights PAC.


Organization headed by blind lawyer Richard J. Salem, who is currently a Board
Director of the National Organization on Disability, Jim Dickson's former
employer before AAPD.

Enable America is a federally-registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit tax-exempt
organization that was created to eliminate the significant barriers to
independent living, employment, civic involvement and social inclusion for
Americans with disabilities so that they may become fully engaged in our
economy, community and democracy.

The mission of Enable America is to assist people with disabilities in
achieving greater independence through employment, civic involvement and
community participation. We are an organization that is "in service" to those
who support Enable America's vision, including all individuals with
disabilities, organizations providing assistance to individuals with
disabilities and other advocacy groups.

Enable America was created in 2002 to provide a wide-range, comprehensive
approach to facilitate increased civic participation, independent living and
employment among people with disabilities. It is an educational, grassroots
organization with the goal to encourage, listen and train people with
disabilities in becoming active in public policy directly affecting their

As part of Enable America's grassroots efforts, we hold Town Hall Meetings
throughout the country. In 2002, Enable America held its first Town Hall
Meeting in Warwick, Rhode Island. Individuals from the disability community,
activists, parents, caregivers and legislators, both on the local and national
level, gathered to learn about issues facing employment of people with
disabilities. The Town Hall Meeting was a resounding success. Since then,
Enable America has held Town Hall Meetings in New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia,
Florida, Iowa and Colorado.

Enable America is funded through the United States Department of Education, the
Bob Dole Human Development Center at the University of Kansas, and the Charles
Stewart Mott Foundation.

In their list of resources, Lighthouse International (formerly Lighthouse for
the Blind, is not listed.

990 Tax Returns, AAPD year 2002
Obtained from
Create a login, then login, search on American Association of People with
Disabilities, click on "Form 990" in the left column of page

990 Tax Returns,
National Organization on Disability
1997 -- Tony Coelho is a Director, no income reported, 0 hours/week

1. AAPD's 2003 Annual Report lists their Board members, and most of them
have an organization or corporation that they are associated with.
Four members are listed without any association:
Coelho, Cheryl Sensenbrenner, Tim Holmes, and Lynn Rivers.

Cheryl Sensenbrenner, Wisc., co-chair of AAPD's annual Leadership Gala.
Sensenbrenner, is the wife of F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., chairman of the House
Judiciary Committee, who worked on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), is
a first-time nominee to the AAPD board. In 1972, Sensenbrenner sustained a
spinal cord injury and has since functioned from bed, a wheelchair, with
Canadian crutches and a cane.

Tim Holmes of Oregon earned the 2nd Annual Paul G. Hearne/AAPD Leadership Award
for advocacy for disability rights. He is/was? Chair of the Oregon State
Rehabilitation Council, Chair of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Tribal
Housing Authority, member and past Chair of the State Independent Living
Council, and is currently working with the Tribal Native American Vocational
Rehabilitation program.

Lynn Rivers is a former member of Congress from Ann Arbor, Mich. A first-time
nominee to the AAPD Board, Rivers served one term in the Michigan House of
Representatives and four terms as a Democratic congresswoman from Ann Arbor,
Mich. She used her position in Congress to educate the public about her personal
experience with bi-polar disorder.