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For years, computer scientists have warned that electronic voting systems, which generally employ touch screens or keypads to record votes onto electronic storage media, are vulnerable to tampering. Citing such security concerns, influential business magazine Fortune recently named electronic voting the Worst Technology of 2003.
Compuware also discovered that Diebold encodes the poll supervisor's smart card with an unchangeable password of "1111," which Compuware guessed in less than two minutes. ESS hard-codes its supervisor cards with two three-digit passwords and allows the sole user-defined password to be disabled. Hart includes only an optional password into its source code and, on the Sequoia system, merely pressing a button on the back of the voting machine accesses supervisory functions.
Yes, you are handed paper. But don't you remember that you had to hand the paper over to a machine that electronically scanned the vote? (This machine is indeed manufactured by Diebold.)
Perhaps the most shocking occurrences that Stephenson witnessed were the two times that the computer crashed. He became aware that something was wrong when the Registrar's office personnel all began to desperately, "with long faces," scramble about.
Stephenson brought his video recorder along to help him accurately record the workings at hand. However, he was threatened by a person working for the Registrar to "turn off that thing or else." The "else" was the implied threat of arrest. Since elections in America are supposed to be free and open, the state laws governing open meetings always apply. (These laws are known as "open meeting laws.") It was illegal for threats to be made against Stephenson.
Election Certification Stupidity
The software development process is completely incompatible with the election certification process. To get certified, companies have to send their code to an independent testing facility which takes TWO YEARS to verify code - and they just go down a checklist of expected problems, not any unexpected ones. Voting software manufacturers have to PAY for the results of the test. So what happens when they find a bug? Their options are to 1) hide it, 2) report it and go through re-certification which takes years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, or 3) install the changed software on machines without getting it certified. This last option seems most reasonable, and indeed, modified software has been found on machines in Indiana, California, Arizona, and Washington. When caught, the software manufacturers showed how the old certified software actually mis-tabulated votes, something that was not caught in the certification process. Additionally, the contracts between voting software manufacturers and these testing agencies are secret.
"The technology had a trial run in the 2002 mid-term elections. In Georgia, serviced by new Diebold systems, a popular Democratic governor and senator were both unseated in what the media called ‘amazing’ upsets, with results showing vote swings of up to 16 percent from the last pre-ballot polls. In computerized Minnesota, former Vice President Walter Mondale—a replacement for popular incumbent Paul Wellstone, who died in a plane crash days before the vote—was also defeated in a large last-second vote swing. Convenient ‘glitches’ in Florida saw an untold number of votes intended for the Democratic candidate registering instead for Governor Jeb "L'il Brother" Bush. A Florida Democrat who lost a similarly ‘glitched’ local election went to court to have the computers examined—but the case was thrown out by a judge who ruled that the innards of America's voting machines are the ‘trade secrets’ of the private companies who make them."
Diebold’s Walden O’Dell, a top Bush fundraiser, publicly committed himself to delivering his home state Ohio’s votes to Bush. At Diebold, the election division is run by Bob Urosevich. Bob’s brother, Todd, is a top executive at "rival" ES&S. The brothers were originally staked by Howard Ahmanson, a member of the Council For National Policy , a right-wing steering group stacked with Bush true believers. Ahmanson is also one of the bagmen behind the extremist Christian Reconstruction Movement , which advocates the theocratic takeover of American democracy.
The four companies are interconnected; they are not four "competitors". Ahmanson has large stakes in ES&S, whose former CEO was Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. When Hagel ran for office, his own company counted the votes, and his victory was considered "an amazing upset". Hagel still has a million dollar stake in ES&S.
Sequoia is the corporate parent of a private equity firm, Madison Dearborn , which is partner in the Carlyle Group . (Also see here .)
Meanwhile, SAIC is referred to a "shadowy defense contractor". They have gotten into the vote count game both directly and through spinoffs by its top brass, including Admiral Bill Owens, former military aide to Dick Cheney, and Carlyle Group honcho Frank Carlucci and ex-CIA chief Robert Gates. SAIC’s history of fraud charges and security "lapses" haven’t prevented it from becoming one of the largest Pentagon and CIA contractors, and will doubtless encounter few obstacles in its entrance into the vote counting business.
The mad rush to install these unverifiable computers is driven by the Help America Vote Act, signed by Bush! The chief lobbying group pushing for the act (while we dumb asses sat out here and thought, ‘That sounds like a good idea!’) was a consortium of arms dealers including Northrup Grumman and Lockheed Martin .
Likewise, the nation’s largest DRE company, Election Systems & Software (ESS), is owned by Michael McCarthy, campaign finance director for Nebraska’s Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel. Hagel, a former CEO and chairman of ESS, still held ESS shares even as his finance director’s voting machines tabulated the majority of Nebraska’s election, from which Hagel emerged victorious.
VoteHere, a software company seeking to install cryptography devices into all the other companies’ voting machines, has on its board of directors Robert Gates, the former CIA director who now works at the George Bush School of Business, and VoteHere’s chairman is Admiral Bill Owens, a member of the Defense Policy Board and close supporter of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Most of this information has come to light thanks to the efforts of Bev Harris, a Seattle-based literary publicist who quit her day job in order to work on a forthcoming book, Black Box Voting, and a website, www.blackboxvoting.org, along with a team of 22 computer scientists.
“I was just on my lunch hour and I decided to search LexisNexis and find out who owns [the voting technology companies]. No big deal, right?” says Harris. “But the name that pops out was Chuck Hagel, a Republican Senator running for office at the time. So I thought, ‘Well surely this has been reported,’ but it hadn’t. Then I thought, ‘Well surely he disclosed it,’ and I looked at his disclosure documents and he hadn’t. So then I thought, ‘My goodness!’”
That discovery was the first of several that Harris would make in the ensuing months. When Diebold left thousands of internal documents available on an unprotected website, Harris downloaded them. What she found included hundreds of internal memos discussing the company’s security problems. The problems were not entirely theoretical, either. One memo discussed an “unauthorized upload” during the 2000 presidential election which negated 16,000 votes for Al Gore and added 4,000 for George W. Bush in Florida....“The memos are quite clear about this. In fact, in one, one programmer wrote, ‘Be careful. The boogieman might be reading these.’”
Virtual Democracy On January 7th and 8th, a committee formed by the Texas secretary of state’s office met behind closed doors to test four computerized voting systems for use in the 2004 election cycle. While county officials have final say on which voting systems to use, they can pick only systems that the secretary of state has certified. So far, those choices don’t look too appealing.
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/Black Box Voting - Fraud Suit Filed Against Diebold, Proceeds May Fund Black Box Voting - 7-9-04.txt
“To err is machine” — Voting machines have been found to miscount. Some miscounts are ridiculous (i.e. Allamakee County Iowa, 2000 national election, counted 4 million votes though just 300 voters showed up to vote). Many miscounts, if they are less obvious, are never flagged at all.
Voting software has been found to contain hidden “back doors” that allow end runs around the voting system.
New systems are designed to replace the poll book sign in with a computerized, digital system made by private companies, using proprietary software that the public is not allowed to examine. Such a system, improperly used, would enable whole cemeteries to sign in and vote.
Election officials are often appointed, not elected. In many states there is no requirement for election officials to disclose personal financial information, inviting conflict of interest...
Even when paper ballots exist, in many states it is now illegal to compare them to computer counts, even in a recount.
Absentee voting: In most locations, there is no way to know whether all the ballots mailed in were counted. At no point is there a comparison of the count received by the Post Office with the count received by the elections division.
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/AP - FL Court Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Paper Trail - 8-6-04.txt
Florida Court Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Paper Trail for Touchscreen Voting Machines
By Jill Barton Associated Press Writer
Published: Aug 6, 2004
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A state appeals court dismissed a lawsuit that sought a paper trail for Florida's new touchscreen voting machines, ruling Friday that voters are not guaranteed "a perfect voting system."
U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., had argued that the new machines will not allow for an accurate manual recount - such as the one needed during the 2000 presidential election fiasco. He sued Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore to force them to add a paper trail to the computerized machines.
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/AP - Voting Machine Test Results Off Limits To Public - 8-23-04.txt
Voting machine test results 'off-limits' to the public
By BILL POOVEY
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The three companies that certify the nation's voting technologies operate in secrecy and refuse to discuss flaws in the ATM-like machines to be used by nearly one in three voters in November.
Despite concerns over whether the so-called touch-screen machines can be trusted, the testing companies won't say publicly whether they have encountered shoddy workmanship.
They say they are committed to secrecy in their contracts with the voting machines' makers — even though tax money ultimately buys or leases the machines.
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/AP - Suspiciously Coincidental Vote Totals - 11-8-02.txt
Three candidates all win races with same number of votes
By The Associated Press
(11/8/02 - New Braunfels) — Officials in Comal County in Central Texas can only shake their heads at a statistical oddity from Tuesday's elections.
After all the votes were counted, County Judge Danny Scheel had received 18,181 votes in defeating Lois Duggan.
Republican state Senator Jeff Wentworth also got 18,181 votes in Comal County in beating Democrat Joseph Sullivan and Libertarian Rex Black.
And Republican Carter Casteel got 18,181 votes in Comal County in her victory over Democrat Virgil Yanta in the race for state House District 73 race.
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/AP - Diebold Sued to Stop Harassment of Activists - 11-5-03.txt
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Free speech advocates sued a manufacturer of electronic voting machines Tuesday, demanding it stop sending legal threats to groups that publish company documents leaked by a hacker.
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/AlterNet - Republican Dirty Tricks - 10-15-04.txt
In Nevada, Voter Outreach of America is accused by former employees of shredding the registration forms of thousands of Democrats; in West Virginia, Voter Outreach of America employees say they were instructed to mislead voters into registering Republican and voting for Bush; in Oregon, yet another swing state, the state attorney general has opened a criminal investigation into allegations that Sproul's firm, which is Voter Outreach of America's parent company, was involved in intentionally destroying or discarding voter registration forms signed by Democrats. According to OpenSecrets.org, Sproul's firm received $125,000 this year from the Republican National Committee for voter registration and another $500,000 for "political consulting."
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/Common Dreams - Evidence Mounts That The Vote Was Hacked - 11-6-04.txt
Evidence Mounts That The Vote Was Hacked
by Thom Hartmann
When I spoke with Jeff Fisher this morning (Saturday, November 06, 2004), the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida's 16th District said he was waiting for the FBI to show up. Fisher has evidence, he says, not only that the Florida election was hacked, but of who hacked it and how. And not just this year, he said, but that these same people had previously hacked the Democratic primary race in 2002 so that Jeb Bush would not have to run against Janet Reno, who presented a real threat to Jeb, but instead against Bill McBride, who Jeb beat.
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/EcoTalk - Voting Machines Violate Constitution - 4-15-03.txt
Voting Machines Violate Constitution - Who Will Launch Legal Challenge?
by Lynn Landes 4-15-03
Wanted - one or more really good constitutional lawyers. Why? Voting machines. We need to challenge their use in our elections.
Voting machines violate the Constitution and threaten what's left of American democracy like no terrorist ever could. Only a handful of private companies sell and service the machines that register and tabulate votes in U.S. elections. And it's all done in complete secrecy. We've lost control of our election process and Congress doesn't seem to notice or care.
If this isn't fascism, I don't know what else to call it.
Over the last several years, particularly in 2002, election results in the U.S. have come under increasing suspicion due to widespread voting machine "glitches" and unexpected election upsets. In an overwhelming number of these questionable elections... Republicans won. That makes sense. Republicans, such as U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), long ago cornered the market in voting machine sales and service.
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/Global Research - Footprints of Electoral Fraud - 11-5-04.txt
One of the clear indicators of massive electoral fraud was the wide divergence, both nationally and in swing states, between exit poll results and the reported vote tallies. The major villains, it would seem, were the suppliers of touch-screen voting machines. There appears to be evidence, however, that the corporations responsible for assembling vote-counting and exit poll information may also have been complicit in the fraud.
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/NYTimes - Hack the Vote - 12-2-03.txt
Early this year Bev Harris, who is writing a book on voting machines, found Diebold software — which the company refuses to make available for public inspection, on the grounds that it's proprietary — on an unprotected server, where anyone could download it. (The software was in a folder titled "rob-Georgia.zip.")
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/NYTimes - How To Hack An Election - 1-31-04.txt
How to Hack an Election
Published: January 31, 2004
Concerned citizens have been warning that new electronic voting technology being rolled out nationwide can be used to steal elections. Now there is proof. When the State of Maryland hired a computer security firm to test its new machines, these paid hackers had little trouble casting multiple votes and taking over the machines' vote-recording mechanisms. The Maryland study shows convincingly that more security is needed for electronic voting, starting with voter-verified paper trails.
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/Oakland Tribune - Diebold Knew of Legal Risks, Knowingly Forced Uncertified Machines Into Use - 4-20-04.txt
Diebold knew of legal risks
Attorneys warned firm that use of uncertified vote-counting software violated state law
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/Palm Beach Post - Broward machines count backward - 11-5-04.txt
Broward machines count backward
By Eliot Kleinberg
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 05, 2004
www.guvwurld.org.../Voting/Washington Dispatch - Vote Results Not Believable - 11-5-04.txt
In Florida, exit polling data showed the opposite of the final results provided through the state. Even more surprising are the changes in votes per party that occurred on November 2nd....
Counties using e-touch voting machines in Florida showed an average vote gain of 29% for Republicans and a 23.8% increase for Democrats. However in the Florida, counties that used optical scan vote machines showed drastic differences. Republicans gained by 128.45% in counties using optical scan voting machines while Democrats had a -21% loss (yes, that is negative 21%). Some districts in Florida showed gains over 400% while one, Liberty County, gained over 700% for Republicans.
Originally posted by twitchy
Just a note for those NEOCONdtioned who keep saying give it up and go on with it, have you actually read this thread? Would you be willing to sit back and concede your point if your were on the receiving end of defeat in light of this information? Hell no, nobody should sit back and let this happen. Regardless of who won the election, it is how they won it that should be of the upmost concernt o everybody. There are three sides to every story, ours, theirs, and the truth.
Question for the MODs...
Do I need to transfer the research I have done to the electronic voting machine research thread?
Originally posted by twitchy
I find the lack of response to this thread form the ATS conservative base uniquely disturbing.
When Diebold machines were forced on Prince George's County, Maryland, the country's election administrator Robert J. Antonetti bitterly complained about them. He told the Baltimore Sun in 2003, "I feel very uneasy about it. There are too many loose ends."
On November 2, Prince George's County election officials reported a number of problems with Diebold encoders. The Prince George's County Gazette reported that a number of polling places opened up to 45 minutes late because the wrong Diebold encoder had been delivered to polling places and voters could not vote until a new encoder arrived.
It is not known how many records the Prince George's County maintained on problems with Diebold but it is very interesting that early in the morning of November 3, the Associated Press reported:
"Fire broke out Wednesday at the Prince George's County courthouse, engulfing a large section of the ornate building"...
Sequoia is the corporate parent of a private equity firm, Madison Dearborn , which is partner in the Carlyle Group. Source
"It is an industry that is so young, there is a lot of room for mistakes and a lot of room for opportunity,"
North Carolina's 2004 Election Starting to Look Like a Train Wreck
Corrected results in Guilford County were "a day late and a dollar short". Incorrect tabulation gave additional 22,000 votes to George Bush, other winners become losers....
November 6, 2004 Mecklenburg County, NC. First we have double counts, now we have undercounts....
Carteret County, N.C. Computer May Have Lost 4,500 N.C. Votes...
Craven County, vote totals in nine of the county's 26 precincts were electronically doubled....
Mecklenburg County, early voting machines counted some totals twice affecting as many as 4,000 ballots....
Yadkin County, about 1,000 ballots were accidentally counted twice....
Guilford County, early voting machines had capacity problems, which affected anywhere from 6,000 to 20,000 ballots....
Onslow County, a software error changed the order of finish in the county commissioners race....
Originally posted by twitchy
I find the lack of response to this thread form the ATS conservative base uniquely disturbing. Hundreds of threads have such replies as 'get over it you lost' or 'stop whining about the election' but they don't want to acknowlege this side of the issue at all. Considering the consolidation of the media and their total black out of this controversial issue, I wonder if they will ever see the forest for the trees. What is it going to take to make folks smell this? You think they are goign to cover the diebold ESS story on the major media?
Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
All the topics with the ticked boxes have vanished and the odd few "VOTE" topics at ATSNN surfaced for a short time then subsided into that place where things go. I don't know how that connects with the new-fashioned "politically correct" "enforcement" of "decorum" for member "discussion" of "politics", but it almost feels more like there is a force that does not want true expression of the extent of the fraud, here at ATS.
Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
Interesting fast food hypothesis there, saerlaith. I personally think media messaging and advertising bombardment have more to do with dumbing down, and GE modification and hormones and appetizing ingredients in the junk that passes for children's food have more to do with obesity and sloth.
I am hopeful that ATS does not become the junior burger of conspiracy fast food sites.
Originally posted by ZeddicusZulZorander
Hmmm...I wonder, have you ever said anything good about ATS or the direction it takes?
Personally disappointed by the constant path of negative karma.
If you head on over to www.democraticunderground.com...
they have a interesting clip.
When the president of Diebold, the maker of electronic voting machines as well as those paper ballot scanning machines, says that he'll do everything in his power to make sure Bush wins, we notice. When news reports come out of Republican-sponsered voter registeration drives tearing up Democrat applications, we notice. When newly-made citizens in Florida are handed voter registration cards with "Republican" already checked off, we notice. It's not our fault that Republicans don't like letting people vote how they want to, but we're damn well going to make it our problem.
Direct link to video
Will or can this lead to any wrong doing on this years election?
I would hate to think that no matter what we do,someone is already chosen no matter what you as a united states citizen does.To rig voting,is this the American way?