How Systematic Voting Failures are a Real Threat to Our Democracy

Shelby Advocates for Valid Elections (S.A.V.E.)

Voting problems and vulnerabilities within Shelby County (Memphis), Tennessee

The Voting on Thin Ice report pulls back the curtain from the voting systems in Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee to reveal the truth that voting systems across our country are vulnerable at multiple points in the voting process. S.A.VE. began its work in 2012, long before the recent reports of interference in our presidential elections.

We have uncovered many weaknesses and vulnerabilities which may apply in other counties. We are not computer experts, and do not attempt to provide a technical analysis. Rather, we observe how these machines are used in real life in one particular county, and open the door so others can learn about systematic problems that 'common sense' says could lead to inaccurate results, disputed elections, and a decline in voter confidence in the electoral process.

Everything in this base report is backed by objective documentation from open records requests and other original research from our own investigation.

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The Voting on Thin Ice Report was submitted to U.S. Senator Mark Warner, Vice-Chairman on September 1, 2017 for dissemination to the U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee.

The Voting on Thin Ice Report was then submitted to the Tennessee Election Commission on May 25, 2018 and testimony was given by Mike Kernell, Carol Chumney and Joe Weinberg on July 9, 2018.


  • States should rapidly replace outdated and vulnerable voting systems. At a minimum, any machine purchased going forward should have a voter-verified paper trail and no WiFi capability. If use of paper ballots becomes more widespread, election officials should re-examine current practices for securing the chain of custody of all and verify no opportunities exist for the introduction of fraudulent votes.
  • States should consider implementing more widespread, statistically sound audits of election results.
  • DHS should work with vendors to educate them about the vulnerabilities of both the machines and the supply chains.


The most succinct declaration of what is now needed in a great number of voting jurisdictions was said by Chairman Roy Blunt, of Senate Rules Committee after a security briefing: "That's critically important, if the American people feel that what really happens is what happens. One of the reasons I'd like to see us move toward paper ballots, some kind of tangible ballot that a voter can hold in their hand that can be recreated after election day in either an audit or recount."
(GSPAN, August 22, 2018)

S.A.V.E. Federal Lawsuit Documents