We won't win another race until we improve the terrain and demand removal of the machines at the local level.
Unless hundreds of thousands of citizens publicly demand at local meetings that clerks and canvassing boards withhold certification and funding for systems that facilitate fraud, we will lose.
The election codes across the country are being rewritten at this very moment to make cheating even easier with no accountability.
Machines optimize the environment for fraud. The ballots are merely the paper trail to cover it all up.
Every worthy candidate that wants to represent us, needs to make this part of their message.
- David Clements
My name is Erik van Mechelen and I'm one of the writers here on Project Minnesota. It is a place for all Minnesotans to share the news. We're not here to monetize the gossip, to repeat someone else's propaganda, or to avoid tough questions. Instead, we are guided by the truth.
In 2022 Midwest Seeds published over 90 articles on election process, laws, data, and electronic systems.
Months before, in the foyer of the Dakota County Government Center, Rick Weible suggested I look at a complaint filed against Judge Sarah Grewing.
Soon after, this article was published with background on that complaint, which related to a sequence of unprecedented changes to Minnesota's election process in 2020, I returned to the next county commissioner meeting in Dakota County, after which Rick invited me to learn more. In the next hour, while government employees went about their business around us, we sat at a table where he shared more about what he'd been up to.
With a background as the 10-year Mayor of St. Bonifacius in Hennepin County as well as involvement in the Minnesota Republican Party, Rick already had an interesting constellation of experiences in and surrounding elections to go along with his overpriced undergraduate political science degree. (Can relate as I too have an overpriced degree, ironically in economics.) But perhaps most important was his computer security background. This technical knowledge meant he could read and comprehend software and hardware manuals, study standards, analyze tabulator test decks, piece together voter histories and registrations, and grok the inner workings of devices on the fly: case in point, in 2016 Rick declined the KnowInk Poll Pad contract after hacking into the iPad during the sales pitch. (The details of this exchange have not been released by Hennepin but may still be available in a data records request from St. Bonifacius.)
In Spring 2022, Rick articulated to me the election process, made note of Minnesota's election statutes, and pointed out weak points in the overall electronic voting system, from the absentee process through to the recording and transfer of results.
Elections are the portal to understanding how well our government is run, and where it is headed.
At the time, Rick was effectively supporting multiple emerging grassroots advocates and working double time, driving from South Dakota to show up wherever meetings were being had in Minnesota to educate citizens and their local representatives alongside other powerful voices like Susan Shogren Smith, an expert in Minnesota's election laws and perhaps one of few people who carefully reads them at all.
A seed was planted when Rick said there might be a role for me to provide local government accountability and oversight through written communication and research. That seed sprouted as the year went on.
I traveled between county commissioner meetings, township board meetings, and city council meetings in about a dozen counties.
In the beginning, I documented. (I recommend this to those just starting out as well—go to your commissioner meeting simply to observe... then figure out your plan from there. If you are near the Anoka area, go observe and learn from their approach.)
While these meetings appeared dull on the surface, I sensed these settings represented the beginning of change in our election process and systems. And these meetings remained far from boring as time went on and more indicators of election fraud emerged everywhere.
Furthermore, I didn't realize that what was more important even than basic accountability to a higher standard was the beginning of a healthy dialogue between citizens and their representatives.
Gaining confidence, but still with so much to learn, I eventually contributed to the public record during public comment in an April commissioner meeting in Sherburne County. I had only months prior digitally met Jeffrey O'Donnell who with Dr. Walter Daugherity wrote Mesa County Report #3, analysis of the server images which proved manipulation of Dominion's Election Management System servers in Mesa County, Colorado. Sherburne County was also on contract with Dominion and therefore vulnerable to a similar exploit. (In fact, their contract lapsed briefly in mid-2022.)
I closed my three minutes asking the board to consider that they could become the first county in all of Minnesota's 87 counties to move to a safer method of vote tallying, recording, and storage, away from highly vulnerable electronics. I doubt Sherburne will be the first to make this decision, but anything is possible.
Learning continued through:
- conversations with commissioners before and after meetings. Further sessions were held with auditors and election staff in separate closed door meetings
- submitting public data requests trying to track down information such as cast vote records
- looking up court cases (was a petitioner on A22-1081, which went to the Minnesota Supreme Court just before the August 9, 2022 primary election)
The nearly 100 articles that I wrote and published on Midwest Seeds in 2022 provided a quick sketch and light documentation of observations and findings and questions. This work was also useful background for the Minnesota Secretary of State campaign which was announced May 3, 2022 from the back of a pickup truck in the parking lot of the Sherburne County Government Center before that day's commissioner meeting.
The campaign's sole purpose was to raise awareness about the lack of election integrity and transparency throughout Minnesota.
The establishment-controlled Minnesota Republican party, in the near term, succeeded in preventing me from moving beyond the primary into the general (far from their only transgression) where additional awareness raising might have been done in debates with the likes of current MNSOS, Steve Simon.
But in that 90-day campaign the needle was moved in Minnesota significantly. Over 110,000 votes were cast for a complete unknown who didn't campaign traditionally but who campaigned through joining his fellow man and woman in county commissioner meetings and courthouses throughout the state to learn together and hold our elected officials to a higher standard.
This local work in the field was augmented by nationwide relationships with some of the most well known names in election integrity and leaders across many states in this great nation in part by participation in The Cyber Symposium in 2021 and The Moment of Truth Summit delivering Minnesota's address in 2022, and the Election Crime Bureau's Minnesota update in 2023. At those events I met some very competent people who have helped to shape my comprehension of what is at stake and how to approach the various problems effectively.
2023 and Beyond
As we move into 2023 and beyond, it is time for We the People to reclaim control over our local government. This will be done through responsible, active, and consistent engagement with local officials. This proven method has already led to positive change throughout the country and in particular areas in Minnesota relating to election process and systems.
Rick Weible and Susan Smith have continued local presentations and Rick continues to partner with a number of counties to share data which can support commissioner conversations or inspire public data requests.
This engagement will be done at the county level, but also all the way down to the township and city council levels as every citizen learns how to fit into a nationwide plan to restore the republic, starting with elections.
This work cannot be limited to areas perceived to be more troubling than others. Perhaps the only way to know for sure that an election process is fair and that the results reported are accurate is to enact stricter standards, most likely involving paper-based systems of registration and paper voting livestreamed at the precinct level, which is then reported to the public before the county or state or media.
This is a nationwide movement and Minnesota has a specific role to play. Within Minnesota, each of the 87 counties has a particular part to contribute. It is therefore a unified movement that cannot be stopped.
We will gather data, share election related information, and investigate potential crimes alongside the county sheriffs. We will coordinate and collaborate between counties to understand the state of election processes in every locality, to share findings and success stories. By prioritizing integrity at the local level, the entire state can be transformed.
What To Do Now
Americans are fast learning what the world already knows, which is that elections are highly vulnerable to subversion. In the 1960s the 35th President of the United States also famously spoke of a global monolithic entity which relied "on subversion, instead of elections." More recently, nation-state vulnerability expert Jeffrey Lenberg has said that even above nuclear weapons, elections are the best option take over a country—much control is gained and no shot need be fired.
The highest priority as a bad guy would be to subvert our election system. The reason is: you can take over a country without firing a shot. If you can decide who the leaders are, if you can put judges, if you can answer constitutional questions any way you want, over a period of time—you’re not going to do it in one election, it’s going to take a bunch of elections—but you can take over a country. And that would be my top priority (as a bad guy). Nuclear weapons would be a close second, but the top one would be elections.
- Jeffrey Lenberg
But it is not enough to notice, or worse, to complain about what is now obvious nor to wish that someone else would do something about it. If you are here reading this now, this is your call to adventure.
If you have a voice, I invite you to step into your personal power to teach others and affect change. Here's a few ways to do that:
- If you enjoy speaking, learn how to engage with your public officials locally through commissioner meetings, city council meetings, and township supervisor meetings
- If you are a research-minded individual, learn how to submit a public records request (Minnesota's version of the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process) and keep detailed documentation of followups
- If you are a coordinator or connector, continue to bring people together to get learn and get things done
- If you are a writer or reporter, start a Substack or submit guest articles to be posted here on Project Minnesota—or better still, become a Contributor (reach out to email@example.com to learn more)
Citizens should feel empowered to join hands with their fellow citizens. To learn and grow together. And in doing so inspire courage in their local officials to make the changes they are duty bound to make.
Project Minnesota is a continuation and elevation of the initial journalistic and reporting efforts of Midwest Seeds, itself a seed planted by a man, Rick Weible, who I believe to be among perhaps the dozen most valuable people in the entire election reform movement, and encouraged by Susan Smith, perhaps the only lawyer in Minnesota courageous enough to help We the People right the many wrongs in our current election process, procedures, and systems.
This website is a resource for all the people of Minnesota and it is maintained and written by the people of Minnesota.
It is a resource that will remain free forever.
Not only will Project Minnesota report on election news (and related topics) unlike any existing Minnesota-based outlets, but also it is a friendly place for people to find educational resources shared from county to county, from township to township, from city to city, and local group to local group.
Alongside your neighbors you will make preparations to ensure a fair process and fully auditable result to warrant confidence in our elections.
Remember also Rick Weible's words:
Elections are the portal to understanding how well our government is run, and where it is headed.
With that in mind, let's make elections so good that our children and grandchildren will be proud not only of our work but also remember that dedication we had to ensure their votes mattered every single time.
In the past year it has become nearly a full time job to stay aware of the latest events, updates, and news in this arena.
All of these resources are available to you for free, although your support is invited so that I can immediately dedicate greater effort and attention without financial concern.
For the time being, paid subscribers will also gain early access to:
- an updated version of [S]elections in Minnesota: An Introduction to How Machines Controlled 2020 and Why We Must Return to Hand Counting Paper Ballots
- the Minnesota version of Missouri's Hand Count Guide (in progress, alongside hand count studies conducted throughout the state in late 2023 and 2024, the first having taken place in Big Lake, MN on July 13, 2023)
- a getting started guide for making or joining an existing election reform group
Let's make 2023 and 2024 a year where history is re-written.
Erik van Mechelen