Attorney Paul Lehto, Acting Coordinator, Legal

Paul Lehto is an Everett, Washington business law and consumer fraud attorney, a retired governor of the Washington State Bar Association and was voted “Rising Star” in 2003 and 2004 by Washington State Law and Politics magazine.

In January 2005, Lehto and Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman were co-authors of a significant paper entitled “Evidence of Election Irregularities in Snohomish County, Washington, General Election 2004” involving Sequoia touchscreen “DRE” electronic voting machines. Sequoia’s claim of proprietary trade secrets and refusal to allow production of data and information regarding the 2004 election thwarted further scientific investigation, which then led to a lawsuit by Lehto and co-plaintiff John Wells seeking to void the purchase contract for the Sequoia electronic voting machines on numerous public policy and state constitutional grounds.

These grounds revolve around the illegality of secret vote counting in democracy, and the inappropriateness of secrecy in general in the process of legitimate democratic elections. The relief sought includes declarations of law that trade secrets are not valid in elections, that democracy can not be outsourced in order to minimize or eliminate the public’s rights, that the right to count votes can not be made secret and given to a single corporate party, and that the public’s rights to know and observe elections are fundamental, non-waivable and non-delegable, and must be such in order for “government by the people” to exist.

Lehto has written and spoken on election justice issues, the future of the legal profession, and various consumer fraud and business law issues. He presently serves by appointment of the Washington State Supreme Court to the board in Washington State that has regulatory authority over continuing legal education requirements for Washington state attorneys.