R. Doug Lewis

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R. Doug Lewis is executive director of the Election Center, which describes itself as "a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, preserving, and improving democracy. Its members are government employees whose profession is to serve in voter registration and elections administration." [1]

In March 2006, Lewis was identified in the Congressional Quarterly as the executive director of the National Association of Election Officials. [2] He is also listed as a member of the Advisory Board at electionline.org. [3]

Until recently, very little information has been available about Lewis's career prior to joining the Election Center. What little information was available from biographies sanctioned by Lewis appears to have been spun to talk up his extremely slim Democratic credentials (he worked for Democrat defector John Connally), and has neglected to mention his very solid Republican credentials (he was executive secretary of the Republican Party in Kansas, executive director and finance director of the Texas Republican Party, and ran the 1976 Gerald Ford reelection bid in Texas).


Biography

1966-1980

According to a short biography in The Report of the National Symposium on Presidential Selection [4], during this period, R. Doug Lewis:

  • "managed campaigns for Congress, U.S. Senate, governor, and the U.S. presidency"
  • "served as Executive Director of the Democratic Party in Kansas and Texas"
  • "worked as Regional Political Director in the DNC"
  • "served as Assistant to the President at the White House"
  • "managed political affairs for former Texas Governor John Connally"

However, this account appears to either misrepresent, or provide incomplete information about, key elements of Lewis's CV during this period:

  • 1973-1974: Executive secretary of the Kansas Republican party, according to articles in The Great Bend Tribune. This appears to contradict the biographical details given above.[5][6][7]
  • 1976: Executive director of the Texas Republican Party.[8] Again, this appears to completely contradict the biography given by the National Symposium on Presidential Selection.[9]
  • 1976: Texas Chairman for President Gerald Ford's unsuccessful reelection campaign.[10][11]
  • 1977: Finance director of the Texas Republican Party.[12]

After 1980

  • 1980-1986: This period is noteworthy as Lewis appears to have disappeared entirely from public life. There is no mention of him in either the Nexis archive or the Google News archive.
  • 1986 - June 1993: Lewis ran a Texas used-computers business called Micro Trade Mart, Inc. (according to e-voting activist Bev Harris) [13]
  • 1994: Lewis was appointed to his position at the Election Center [14].

Other Accomplishments

Lewis, "the director of a nonprofit organization of election officials", served as one of three members—along with State Auditor Marion Higa and Penelope Bonsall of the Federal Election Commission—of the 1998 Election Oversight Committee for the recount of the general election in Hawaii. [15]

According to a bio for Lewis published by the Center for Governmental Studies, University of Virginia Center for Government Studies, in regards to the 2001 "Presidential Selection: A Guide to Reform":

"Among his other accomplishments are the development of the first Code of Ethics for voter registrars and elections administrators, the establishment of the Joint Elections Officials Liaison committee (JEOLC), the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), the National Association of County Recorders, elections officials, and Clerks (NACRC), the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials, and Treasurers (IACREOT), and the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC). Lewis also established the National Postal Task Force, the National Task Force on Voting Accessibility, and the National Elections Reform Task Force to study and propose solutions to the problems of the 2000 Presidential election.
"Lewis serves as the director of the Voting Systems Program for NASED, where he is responsible for managing the qualifications, testing, and approval of voting equipment in America through independent test authorities, and sits as member of the national Voting Systems Board to develop and update the Federal Voting Systems Standards, and serves as a member of California's Internet Voting Advisory Committee."

In October 2002, Lewis was executive director of the National Association of Secretaries of State's election center. [16]

On September 9, 2003, Lewis, identified as executive director of CERA (Certified Elections Registration Administrator), gave testimony for U.S. Senate Hearings On Disasters and Special Elections, Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Constitution. [17]

A bio attached to a 2005 article written by Lewis identifies him as "R. Doug Lewis, CERA". [18]

R. Doug Lewis's defense of his qualifications to run the Election Center

Bev Harris wrote in her 2004 book Black Box Voting that, in a telephone conversation with her, Lewis defended his qualifications to run the Election Center as follows: "My background is that I owned a computer hardware and software business. I've never claimed to be an expert. That's the reason we have laboratories, nationally recognized laboratories."

Lewis's work for John B. Connally

Lewis's work for John B. Connally, a Democrat who defected to the Republicans, included running the John Connally Citizens Forum. According to the Washington Post in 1978, when Connally was contemplating a run for the Republican nomination,

This political action committee, based in Connally's hometown of Houston, has raised nearly $450,000 as far from board-room executives whose interests and other businesses [sic]. It is the Citizen Forum, with a staff of seven, that has financed Connally's travels to 39 states to speak on behalf of Republican candidates since the fall of last year... "It's [sic] gruelling schedule, especially since we took August off," says R. Doug Lewis, executive director of the Citizens Forum, referring to Connally's travels.[19]

In another article from the same period, Lewis says of the $1 million Henry Kissinger raised in 1977-8 for Republican House and Senate candidates: "That ain't shabby". The same article says that by that time, Connally had himself "raised $1.2 million for Republican candidates". [20] A later article quotes Lewis on FEC campaign spending limits:

"It's enormously important," said Connally consultant R. Doug Lewis. "If you guess wrong on the spending decision, you may guess wrong on the election." [21]

The Micro Trade Mart years

A magazine article in 1989, from when Lewis was running a second-hand computer store in Texas, shows that he has some prior experience of dealing with public skepticism about computer technologies:

"There's something that nags at them about buying used, and they just don't know what it is," says R. Doug Lewis, president of Micro Trade Mart, a Houston-based seller of used PC equipment... [T]he Micro Trade Mart also offers a 30-day warranty on parts and labor and provides regular service for the used IBMs, Compaqs, Commodores, Ataris, and Apples that fill its 3,000-square-foot store.[22]

According to the records of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Micro Trade Mart, Inc. was registered on December 1st 1986, with R. Doug Lewis as the director [23].

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