Two companies owned by a single family were directly involved with the “butterfly ballots” of 2000 and the corrupted Ohio 2004 recount. The family currently has its hands on Ohio’s voter registration system & voting machines!

Jennifer Cohn
9 min readJan 3, 2018

By Jennifer Cohn Jennifer Cohn
January 21, 2018

1. Most have heard that our electronic-based voting system is scandalously vulnerable to foreign and domestic hackers.

2. Many have heard that using hand marked paper ballots in conjunction with our voting machines will improve the integrity of our elections because the paper ballots can be hand counted at a later date to ensure no “funny business” occurred with the machine tally.

3. But few have heard about the shenanigans that occurred between Election Night and the 2004 recount in Ohio. That is the purpose of this article:

  • To show that post-election audits and recounts must themselves be conducted in public or they will do little to secure our elections.
  • To show the importance of a secure and transparent chain of custody between Election Night and any post-election audit or recount.


5. The above report is cited throughout this article. The report addresses the many disturbing problems that plagued the recount in Ohio after the 2004 election.

6. According to that report, Psephos Corporation supplied the infamous butterfly ballot used in Palm Beach County, Florida, in the 2000 presidential election. …

7. Todd Rapp is the president of Psephos.

8. I have been told that he is or was known in Ohio for his pro-life stance and this excerpt seems to back that up:

9. The Rapp family was not exactly ashamed of its role in the “butterfly ballot” debacle. After the 2000 election, it sold replica butterfly ballots as souvenirs.

10. The Rapp family also controls a company called “Triad.” Triad’s president, Brett Rapp, has been a “consistent contributor to Republican causes.” …

11. Triad and its affiliates were “the leading suppliers of voting machines involved in the counting of paper ballots and punch cards in the critical states of Ohio and Florida [during the 2004 election].” …

12. Triad and another voting machine vendor — Election Systems & Software — reportedly installed uncertified software patches just before the 2004 election in Ohio, an election that was plagued with anomalies.

13. This excellent article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., which was initially published in Rolling Stone, describes those anomalies and related concerns in detail.

14. Meanwhile, according to the GPO report, Triad “essentially admitted that it engaged in a course of behavior during the [Ohio 2004] recount in numerous counties to provide ‘cheat sheets’ to those counting the ballots.” …

15. The report further stated that the Hocking County Elections Director had “firsthand knowledge that Barbian [Triad] advised election officials how to manipulate voting machinery to ensure that a preliminary hand recount matched the machine count.” …

16. Moreover, although not described explicitly as “misconduct,” the Directors of the Election Boards in two Ohio Counties stated that Triad had remote access to the computer used in the recount! … [Link to 36-PAGE sourced Rolling Stone article by Robert Kennedy re: 2004 election irregularities and noting that voting machine company Triad was able to access the TABULATORS in at least two counties REMOTELY]

17. In Monroe County, when the 3% test hand count did not match the machine count, a Triad repairman reportedly brought a new machine. That one matched the hand count. …

18. In Harrison County, Triad (rather than county election officials) “handled all ballots during the machine recount and performed all tabulation functions.” …

19. Meanwhile, the Board in Harrison County (during the Ohio 2004 recount) kept the voted paper ballots “in a room open to direct public access” and had “placed voted ballots in unsealed transfer cases stored in an old wooden cabinet…” …

20. Equally problematic, many counties during the Ohio recount pre-selected the precincts to be recounted, rather than selecting them at random as required by law. …_____

21. In two counties, “ballots were marked or altered, apparently to ensure that the hand recount would equal the machine count.” …

22. In addition, Triad altered voting machine tabulators before the recount. …

23. Rep. John Conyers — yes, the one recently forced to resign based on revelations of sexual misconduct — “called on the FBI to impound vote-tabulating computers in at least one county, stating that Triad’s conduct was “‘inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering.”

24. “Doug Jones, Iowa’s chief examiner of voting equipment and a computer scientist at the University of Iowa who has been a leading critic of electronic voting machines, said the matter was less likely a case of election tampering than poor election procedures and oversight.”

25. Triad’s president (of the “butterfly ballot” family) admitted that Triad made changes to tabulators in all 41 counties before the recount-but insisted the changes were necessary so that the recount would only display the presidential race. …

26. As noted by Jones, however, “ even if no one tampered with votes, the fact that someone had unsupervised access to tabulating equipment before the recount was a breach of security procedures and might even violate Ohio election law.”

27. Moreover, Mr. Rapp’s explanation as to the tabulator alterations does not explain why Triad provided “cheat sheets” or why Triad advised election officials how to manipulate voting machinery to ensure that a preliminary hand recount matched the machine count. Nor does it explain why Triad replaced a tabulator that didn’t match the hand count or why it had remote access to the election computers.

28. Here is a link to the final Conyers report, which discusses the many irregularities during the election itself and in the recount. Everyone who cares about the integrity of our elections should read it.

29. As explained in this excellent article in Harpers, the Conyers report could have been the basis for an election challenge. But Democrats wimped out, mainstream publications largely ignored the report, and Republicans accused Democrats of spinning baseless conspiracy theories.

30. In the end, two Ohio officials were indicted with respect to the Ohio 2004 recount.

31. A Cleveland news report later confirmed that “two election board workers were convicted of illegally rigging the 2004 presidential election recount so they could avoid a more thorough review of the votes.”

32. But it does not appear that Triad ever faced criminal charges for its conduct relating to the 2004 recount.

33. Instead, the whistle blower who told the media about that conduct was fired.

34. And whatever became of the Rapp Family? It seems they are busily supplying voter registration systems and related services and equipment to the state of Ohio.

35. In June 2012, Triad entered into a contract with the state of Ohio having to do with software for state and county voter registration systems.

36. The same year, it entered into a three year contract with Putnam County, Ohio involving “voting machines.”

37. In 2014, Triad entered into a contract to provide electronic pollbooks — used to confirm voter registrations at the polls — with at least one Ohio County (Miami County).

38. In 2016, Triad was one of three voter registration system vendors certified in the state of Ohio.

39. That year, its voter registration system in Miami County, Ohio experienced problems before the primaries.

40. Also in 2016, Triad released a Smartphone app that reportedly gives Ohio voters “Access to residence addresses currently on file, voting history, the status of your absentee ballot (if you have requested one), polling place information and viewing of available sample ballots for upcoming elections will be included. * * * It is also possible to update your address information…”

41. And in 2017, Triad entered into contracts with various Ohio counties to provide some sort of election-related services and equipment.

Example: [Montgomery County]

Example: [Coshocton County]

Example: [Allen County]



Jennifer Cohn

Attorney and Election Integrity Advocate #ProtectOurVotes #PaperBallotsNow @jennycohn1