Co-founders & coordinating council

Our founding members bring significantly diverse backgrounds, prior experience in this field, and a demonstrably high level of commitment to our organization's purpose. We include below, brief summaries of the prinicipals' background and experience.

Jonathan Simon

Jonathan Simon, a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law, is a member of the Bar of Massachusetts. As a result of his prior experience as a political survey research analyst for Peter D. Hart Research Associates in Washington, he became an early advocate for an exit poll-based electoral "burglar alarm" system, independent of media and corporate control, to detect computerized vote shifting in Election 2004. In the absence of such a system, he was nevertheless able to capture and analyze critical official exit poll data briefly posted on the web prior to its election-night disappearance, data which served as an initial basis for questioning the validity of Election 2004.

Dr. Simon is a member of Alliance for Democracy and We Do Not Concede, and has worked closely with several key election integrity organizations, including National Ballot Integrity Project and National Election Data Archive. He has authored or coauthored several papers addressing statistical anomalies and other evidence of computerized election fraud, and has collaborated with Bruce O’Dell in the development of an effective handcount sampling protocol to be deployed as a check mechanism where computerized vote tabulation is used.

Because he believes that restoration of fair and honorable elections will depend upon exposure of the systemic fraud currently nullifying American democracy, and because he is deeply skeptical about the impact of proposed federal electoral reform legislation, Dr. Simon has focused much of his effort on the introduction of working hand-counted paper ballot voting methods and/or airtight handcount sampling protocols at the state and local levels.

Sally Castleman

Sally Castleman has had close to 50 years working on political campaigns, both for candidates and for issues. Her work on the 2004 election, recruiting and training attorneys for election protection roles, led her to conclude immediately that the reported results were fraudulent. Her participation in the 2004 Ohio recount solidly confirmed this belief as she witnessed how Ohio's recount laws were flagrantly violated to falsify the recount.

Since then she has worked with a Boston-area group, Coalition against Election Fraud (CAEF), focusing her efforts on educating the general public, election officials, and decision-makers around the country about the prevailing conditions in our election system.

Ms. Castleman played a vital role in the Election Assessment Hearing (EAH) (http://electionassessment.org), held in Houston in June 005.

With two other colleague, Ms. Castleman organized two days of strategy meetings with election-reform leaders at the September, 2005 Portland Summit to Save Our Democracy. Some of the strategies ElectionDefenseAlliance.org will be implementing came out of those meetings.

In her professional life Ms. Castleman has several times conceptualized, designed, implemented and managed programs. She has also been a professional fundraiser. In her work on local political issues, she has often played the roles of publicist and strategist.

Dan Ashby

Dan Ashby has been volunteering full-time as an election integrity researcher and organizer since Nov. 3, 2004, when he realized that the exit polls were correct, the official election results were corrupt, and that both major parties and the national news media were complicit in election deception. For nine months prior he had worked within the electoral system recruiting a network of more than 500 volunteers participating in phone-banks to register new voters in the swing states of Oregon and Nevada.

Dan co-organized the 51 Capital March in Sacramento, CA on December 12, 2004 to protest the Electoral College seating of the Ohio electors, and was an organizer in the Bay Area coalition that persuaded Senator Boxer to stand in protest January 6. He produced one of the nation's first two public forums on the contested election in a January 4 Rally for the Republic in Herbst Hall, San Francisco. On January 30, 2005 he traveled to Columbus Ohio to help found the J-30 Coalition of Ohio election activists.

In early 2005, Dan recruited many leading activists to join United for Secure Elections, the first national election integrity discussion list. Working with the Voting Rights Task Force, he co-produced the February 2005 National Teach-In on Election Rigging in Oakland, CA and the Elections in Crisis film festival and speakers' program in September 2005. He attended both the Nashville and Portland national election reform conferences.

As the Northern California coordinator of StudyCaliforniaBallots.org, Dan has helped design that organization, conduct parallel elections, and write or edit many of its publications, including the guide to parallel elections. He independently distributes election action alerts to mailing lists he has developed that reach more than 1000 citizens, news reporters, elected officials, political parties, and electoral integrity groups in California and the nation. He works with the Voting Rights Task Force in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, is a researcher, organizer and media spokesperson with the California Election Protection Network (CEPN) and has testified at numerous state and county voting system certification hearings.

Bruce O'Dell

Bruce O'Dell is a senior IT consultant with 25 years’ experience designing large-scale computer systems in the financial services industry. He has in-depth experience applying mathematical modeling and statistical methods to the simulation of the performance of high-volume, time-critical transaction processing systems. In 2004 he co-founded US CountsVotes, a volunteer scientific research project to investigate the accuracy of elections in America. He left that organization in 2005 but has continued as an advocate of auditable, transparent elections. Recently he collaborated with Jonathan Simon to simulate the accuracy of a variety of proposed paper ballot auditing protocols under conditions approximating real-world elections.

Judy Alter, Ph.D.

Judy Alter, emeritus UCLA professor, began working on election justice issues four days after the October 2003 California gubernatorial recall election. She volunteered for the New Mexico recount of the 2004 presidential election, and subsequently obtained and analyzed voting machine records from Santa Fe County, NM, finding evidence of vote-shifting. She has presented her findings at numerous conferences including the Nashville Conference on Election Reform, the Houston Election Assessment Hearings, and the Portland Summit to Save Our Democracy.

Ms. Alter organized the first parallel election in California, for a San Diego mayoral runoff election in July 2005, which resulted in a partial recount and the subsequent founding of a statewide volunteer organization, StudyCaliforniaBallots.org (). As founding director and Southern California coordinator, Ms. Alter makes frequent speaking appearances and to date has enlisted 250 volunteers in 16 California counties to participate in election monitoring, conduct citizen parallel elections and recounts, circulate petitions for hand-counted paper ballot elections, and obtain legal access to recount the 2004 ballots in California.

Parallel election teams developed by Ms. Alter have conducted 17 parallel elections to date with several more scheduled through the primaries and a large California effort planned for November 2006. The methods Ms. Alter has developed for recruitment and training of volunteers in multiple tactics of research, election monitoring, and public education, are fundamental to the county-based organizing strategy we propose for this national election integrity coalition.

Victoria Marie Lovegren, Ph.D.

Dr. Lovegren is a senior-level data architect, systems and business analyst, educator, and for more than 35 years a decision-science specialist with extensive background in operations management and analytical decision support systems (DSSs). Currently a Lecturer and Project Coordinator at Case Western Reserve University, she has taught college-level courses in mathematics, computer science and business since 1973.

In 2003, Dr. Lovegren was a delegate with US Academics for Peace and traveled to Iraq. She is also a governing board member of Common Cause Ohio, and a board member of the Economic Justice and Empowerment Committee of Northeast Ohio.

Dr. Lovegren founded Ohio Vigilance, one of the early watchdog and investigative organizations focusing on election reform. She has organized, led and spoken at numerous peace rallies, meetings, teach-ins and forums, and has forged collaborations with other progressive institutions. Dr. Lovegren continues to be an outstanding critical thinker and a leader in organizing events, leading campaigns, and creating materials, templates and tools for other election-reform activists.