By Greg Palast
Thursday 04 November 2004
Kerry won. Here's the facts.
I know you don't want to hear it. You can't face one more hung chad. But I don't have a choice. As a journalist examining that messy sausage called American democracy, it's my job to tell you who got the most votes in the deciding states. Tuesday, in Ohio and New Mexico, it was John Kerry.
Most voters in Ohio thought they were voting for Kerry. CNN's exit poll showed Kerry beating Bush among Ohio women by 53 percent to 47 percent. Kerry also defeated Bush among Ohio's male voters 51 percent to 49 percent. Unless a third gender voted in Ohio, Kerry took the state.
So what's going on here? Answer: the exit polls are accurate. Pollsters ask, "Who did you vote for?" Unfortunately, they don't ask the crucial, question, "Was your vote counted?" The voters don't know.
Here's why. Although the exit polls show that most voters in Ohio punched cards for Kerry-Edwards, thousands of these votes were simply not recorded. This was predictable and it was predicted. [See TomPaine.com, "An Election Spoiled Rotten," November 1.]
Once again, at the heart of the Ohio uncounted vote game are, I'm sorry to report, hanging chads and pregnant chads, plus some other ballot tricks old and new.
The election in Ohio was not decided by the voters but by something called "spoilage." Typically in the United States, about 3 percent of the vote is voided, just thrown away, not recorded. When the bobble-head boobs on the tube tell you Ohio or any state was won by 51 percent to 49 percent, don't you believe it ... it has never happened in the United States, because the total never reaches a neat 100 percent. The television totals simply subtract out the spoiled vote.
And not all vote spoil equally. Most of those votes, say every official report, come from African American and minority precincts. (To learn more, click here.)
We saw this in Florida in 2000. Exit polls showed Gore with a plurality of at least 50,000, but it didn't match the official count. That's because the official, Secretary of State Katherine Harris, excluded 179,855 spoiled votes. In Florida, as in Ohio, most of these votes lost were cast on punch cards where the hole wasn't punched through completely-leaving a 'hanging chad,'-or was punched extra times. Whose cards were discarded? Expert statisticians investigating spoilage for the government calculated that 54 percent of the ballots thrown in the dumpster were cast by black folks. (To read the report from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, click here.)
And here's the key: Florida is terribly typical. The majority of ballots thrown out (there will be nearly 2 million tossed out from Tuesday's election) will have been cast by African American and other minority citizens.
So here we go again. Or, here we don't go again. Because unlike last time, Democrats aren't even asking Ohio to count these cards with the not-quite-punched holes (called "undervotes" in the voting biz).
Ohio is one of the last states in America to still use the vote-spoiling punch-card machines. And the Secretary of State of Ohio, J. Kenneth Blackwell, wrote before the election, “the possibility of a close election with punch cards as the state’s primary voting device invites a Florida-like calamity.”
But this week, Blackwell, a rabidly partisan Republican, has warmed up to the result of sticking with machines that have a habit of eating Democratic votes. When asked if he feared being this year's Katherine Harris, Blackwell noted that Ms. Fix-it's efforts landed her a seat in Congress.
Exactly how many votes were lost to spoilage this time? Blackwell's office, notably, won't say, though the law requires it be reported. Hmm. But we know that last time, the total of Ohio votes discarded reached a democracy-damaging 1.96 percent. The machines produced their typical loss-that's 110,000 votes-overwhelmingly Democratic.
The Impact Of Challenges
First and foremost, Kerry was had by chads. But the Democrat wasn't punched out by punch cards alone. There were also the 'challenges.' That's a polite word for the Republican Party of Ohio's use of an old Ku Klux Klan technique: the attempt to block thousands of voters of color at the polls. In Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida, the GOP laid plans for poll workers to ambush citizens under arcane laws-almost never used-allowing party-designated poll watchers to finger individual voters and demand they be denied a ballot. The Ohio courts were horrified and federal law prohibits targeting of voters where race is a factor in the challenge. But our Supreme Court was prepared to let Republicans stand in the voting booth door.
In the end, the challenges were not overwhelming, but they were there. Many apparently resulted in voters getting these funky "provisional" ballots-a kind of voting placebo-which may or may not be counted. Blackwell estimates there were 175,000; Democrats say 250,000. Pick your number. But as challenges were aimed at minorities, no one doubts these are, again, overwhelmingly Democratic. Count them up, add in the spoiled punch cards (easy to tally with the human eye in a recount), and the totals begin to match the exit polls; and, golly, you've got yourself a new president. Remember, Bush won by 136,483 votes in Ohio.
Enchanted State's Enchanted Vote
Now, on to New Mexico, where a Kerry plurality-if all votes are counted-is more obvious still. Before the election, in TomPaine.com, I wrote, "John Kerry is down by several thousand votes in New Mexico, though not one ballot has yet been counted."
How did that happen? It's the spoilage, stupid; and the provisional ballots.
CNN said George Bush took New Mexico by 11,620 votes. Again, the network total added up to that miraculous, and non-existent, '100 percent' of ballots cast.
New Mexico reported in the last race a spoilage rate of 2.68 percent, votes lost almost entirely in Hispanic, Native American and poor precincts-Democratic turf. From Tuesday's vote, assuming the same ballot-loss rate, we can expect to see 18,000 ballots in the spoilage bin.
Spoilage has a very Democratic look in New Mexico. Hispanic voters in the Enchanted State, who voted more than two to one for Kerry, are five times as likely to have their vote spoil as a white voter. Counting these uncounted votes would easily overtake the Bush 'plurality.'
Already, the election-bending effects of spoilage are popping up in the election stats, exactly where we'd expect them: in heavily Hispanic areas controlled by Republican elections officials. Chaves County, in the "Little Texas" area of New Mexico, has a 44 percent Hispanic population, plus African Americans and Native Americans, yet George Bush "won" there 68 percent to 31 percent.
I spoke with Chaves' Republican county clerk before the election, and he told me that this huge spoilage rate among Hispanics simply indicated that such people simply can't make up their minds on the choice of candidate for president. Oddly, these brown people drive across the desert to register their indecision in a voting booth.
Now, let's add in the effect on the New Mexico tally of provisional ballots.
"They were handing them out like candy," Albuquerque journalist Renee Blake reported of provisional ballots. About 20,000 were given out. Who got them?
Santiago Juarez who ran the "Faithful Citizenship" program for the Catholic Archdiocese in New Mexico, told me that "his" voters, poor Hispanics, whom he identified as solid Kerry supporters, were handed the iffy provisional ballots. Hispanics were given provisional ballots, rather than the countable kind "almost religiously," he said, at polling stations when there was the least question about a voter's identification. Some voters, Santiago said, were simply turned away.
Your Kerry Victory Party
So we can call Ohio and New Mexico for John Kerry-if we count all the votes.
But that won't happen. Despite the Democratic Party's pledge, the leadership this time gave in to racial disenfranchisement once again. Why? No doubt, the Democrats know darn well that counting all the spoiled and provisional ballots will require the cooperation of Ohio's Secretary of State, Blackwell. He will ultimately decide which spoiled and provisional ballots get tallied. Blackwell, hankering to step into Kate Harris' political pumps, is unlikely to permit anything close to a full count. Also, Democratic leadership knows darn well the media would punish the party for demanding a full count.
What now? Kerry won, so hold your victory party. But make sure the shades are down: it may be become illegal to demand a full vote count under PATRIOT Act III.
I used to write a column for the Guardian papers in London. Several friends have asked me if I will again leave the country. In light of the failure-a second time-to count all the votes, that won't be necessary. My country has left me.
Greg Palast, contributing editor to Harper's magazine, investigated the manipulation of the vote for BBC Television's Newsnight. The documentary, "Bush Family Fortunes," based on his New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, has been released this month on DVD.
William Rivers Pitt http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/printer_110804A.shtml Long article, VERY thorough, and well worth reading. Too long to put in here, unfortunately- and with many resource links. Many links to various voting irregularities. CLIP: Is there any evidence that these machines went haywire on Tuesday? Nationally, there were more than 1,100 reports of electronic voting machine malfunctions. http://www.whtm.com/news/stories/1104/184856.html A few examples: * In Broward County, Florida, election workers were shocked to discover that their shiny new machines were counting backwards. "Tallies should go up as more votes are counted," according to this report. "That's simple math. But in some races, the numbers had gone down. Officials found the software used in Broward can handle only 32,000 votes per precinct. After that, the system starts counting backward." http://www.palmbeachpost.com/politics/content/news/epaper/2004/11/05/a29a_BROW VOTE_1105.html * In Franklin County, Ohio, electronic voting machines gave Bush 3,893 extra votes in one precinct alone. "Franklin County's unofficial results gave Bush 4,258 votes to Democratic challenger John Kerry's 260 votes in Precinct 1B," according to this report. "Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct. Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, said Bush received 365 votes there. The other 13 voters who cast ballots either voted for other candidates or did not vote for president." http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/news/state/10103910.htm * In Craven County, North Carolina, a software error on the electronic voting machines awarded Bush 11,283 extra votes. "The Elections Systems and Software equipment," according to this report, "had downloaded voting information from nine of the county's 26 precincts and as the absentee ballots were added, the precinct totals were added a second time. An override, like those occurring when one attempts to save a computer file that already exists,is supposed to prevent double counting, but did not function correctly." http://www.newbernsj.com/SiteProcessor.cfm?Template=/GlobalTemplates/Details.c fm&StoryID=18297&Section=Local * In Carteret County, North Carolina, "More than 4,500 votes may be lost in one North Carolina county because officials believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could hold more data than it did. Local officials said UniLect Corp., the maker of the county's electronic voting system, told them that each storage unit could handle 10,500 votes, but the limit was actually 3,005 votes. Officials said 3,005 early votes were stored, but 4,530 were lost." http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-4596394,00.html
This was from my cousin on the other side of the family:"It seems that there is now pretty clear evidence that Kerry actually won the election but was cheated by manipulation of the machines that have no possible vote verification. The exit poles accurately tracked with the reported results in districts where recounts are possible but diverged widely in favor of bush where no recounts are possible. Read and draw your own conclusions. Bill Here are a few Links to stories about the recent Vote Fraud and the stolen election. http://www.legitgov.org/pressrelease_stolen_election_2004_110404.html Citizens for Legitimate Government - The second group conducting a thorough investigation into 2004 Election Vote Fraud BREAKING NEWS - Through chicanery, lies, deception, polling intimidators (Brownshirts), Swift Boat Liars for Rove, Diebold, touch screen 'voting' machines, Kenneth Blackwell, Wally O'Dell, Therese LeGOPWhorePore, Dictator Bush now has 269 electoral votes, according to MSNBC. Why did exit polling indicate a Kerry victory? The same reason that exit polling indicated a Gore victory, in 2000: because Gore won. Another Bush coup d'etat is underway... http://www.senderberl.com/ *"SenderBerl is going to give you an important and grave responsibility. We are going to beg you to contact every Senator, Congressmen (in the hope that some honest ones remain), every newspaper, every Internet site, and anyone else you deem relevant to tell them how to prove the election fraud." (Excellent & extensive compilation of the HARD EVIDENCE) http://onlinejournal.com/evoting/110504Chin/110504chin.html *The stolen election of 2004: welcome back to hell - Nov. 5, How the Bush Election Machines were fraudulenly manipulated in 2002 & 2004 http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/stolennation.html *A Stolen Nation - Excellent detailed summary, from the easily manipulated Voting Machines to who comes up with the numbers (TV Networks) http://www.gregpalast.com/ Kerry Won - It's my job to tell you who got the most votes in the deciding states. Tuesday, in Ohio and New Mexico, it was John Kerry. http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1104-38.htm The Ultimate Felony Against Democracy - Privatizing the Vote Counters, Nov. 4 article on Commondreams.com by Thomas Hartmann http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/3/52213/1921 Florida Numbers compared to 2000 numbers - Something is wrong! Detailed analysis by Daily Kos Weblog on Nov. 3 http://inn.globalfreepress.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=980 More election theft stories - Large number of stories related to election theft and vote fraud in Election 2004 Check 'em out!
I have completed a county by county comparision of registered voters vs polls for the state of new mexico. The following anomalies were found First off, I am not a statistician, but forward this data for more expert interpretation. That said, there are a number of red flags that come up. The state is approximately 50% Democratic, 32% Republican, and the remaineder 15% unaffilated. As of 10 am 11/7/04 GW Bush is ahead by 6,939 votes. with 96% of precincts reporting. Statewide Republican turnout seems to run incredibly near 100%, Democratic turnout seems to hover at 60% except urban areas.
Patriotic CBS insider says that her corp. & others on "lock down" about Nov. 2 vote fraud!
On Friday I received a phone call from a good friend who works at CBS--I've known her for years and she is a Producer for some of the news programs, one well known one in particular. She tipped me off that the news media is in a "lock-down" and that there is to be no TV coverage of the real problems with voting on Nov. 2nd.....
I swear: I'm on vacation (Keith Olbermann)
SECURE UNDISCLOSED LOCATION— Golly, I’ve never been the subject of a conspiracy theory before.
Yet, there it is, flying around the Internet under the byline of a Peter Coyote: that when I attempted to break the “lock-down” of coverage of the voting irregularities story in the media during Friday night’s edition of Countdown, I was fired, and left the studio in the middle of the program."
There's more. Steve, much as I'm believing it - I like Indymedia! - I guess we should watch this to see how it turns out. I certainly won't disregard it! I don't really doubt the lock-down for a minute, and think it's been going on for some time on various subjects. They want us to know what they want us to know and that's all. Hopefully, others will speak out like this producer without having to fear what will happen to them. I'm very interested to see what happens after the 22nd, when he's back from vacation.
Columbus Dispatch, Thursday, November 25, 2004, p. A6
Complaint volume wins congressional probe of vote count
By Larry Margasak
WASHINGTON -- Congress' investigative agency has begun to look into the Nov. 2 vote count, including the handling of povisional ballots and malfunctions of voting machines.
The presidential results won't change, but the studies could lead to changes.
The Government Acocuntability Office usually begins investigations in response to specific requests from Congress, but the agency's head, Comptroller General David Walker, said the GAO acted on its own because of numerous complaints it received from around the country about ballot counting.
Our whole country is in a lock down. Bush controls everything from soup to nuts in the White House, will appoint whomever he wants to appoint to high office positions, and cares less about what we think.
He said he wants to reach out to the 55 Americans who did not vote for him. The only way he can reach out to us satisfactrorily is to step down, admit the election was a total fraud all across the country, however, he will not do that. He isn't finished rewarding his cronies for their support in getting him re-elected. The new Katherine Blackwell thinks he's going to get a seat in Congress like Katherine Harris did, but the problem with him getting a seat is going to be more difficult. Katherine was banging Jeb Bush on the side, though Jeb denies the affair. It doesn't take a genius to see what was going on. Since Blackwell wasn't banging Dubya he isn't going to get a seat in Congress. He might end up getting the shaft instead, and that would be a good thing.
No one paid attention to the potential fraud that had been reported last summer, especially when the Jeb Bush gestapo were hitting minority neighborhoods intimidating black voters. Nothing unusal about that though. Everyone knew the black vote would be deadly for Bush's re-election, so they just found another way to get it done, and get it done they did.
I disagree with Kerry's conceding as being etched in stone. It isn't, not by a long shot. Kerry's conceding is not legally binding and he can uncocede whenever he wants to and demand a hand couted recount. But then again it is like what was reported. The election commission will decide which ballots are counted. Many have already hit the shredder, and the voting machines with no paper trail, well you can forget about them. If the first count was wrong so will the second count. Yet all of this was predicted back in June, and no one did anything about it. Ken O'Dell kept his promise and gave the Ohio Republicans what he promised. "I will gurantee Bush will win in Ohio. Ohioians aren't stupid, and they know it was rigged, but there isn't much that can be done it about now. The right wing have pulled off another scam, with Karl Rove at the helm pulling the strings. He knew where and how to hit, and he hit hard. But then he had been planning this since the 2000 election. If Karl Rove learned anything from Lee Atwater it was how to play dirty politics, stay on the attack, and lie like hell, and keep pushing the lie until it becomes truth.
Dan Rather of CBS is stepping down in light of the Bush AWOL affair, and that is not fair. 25 years washed down the drain, and Bush had something to do with this. I know he did, but I just can't prove it.
Our representatives in Congress and the Senate are outnumbered, we can send them mail until our fingers bleed from writing, but their hands are tied just as ours are. All we have is each other to piss and moan to. But at least we have eachother...
Since the whole country is rushing into this outsourcing thingie, do you think it makes sense to outsource our vote recount efforts to the Ukrainians?
I personally called Triad and diebold, im sure no one would be interested in what they had to say to me though,,,but all ill say is they are running the show now,,First we have ben& Jerry, George and Gracie , and now we have the fabulous Traid /Diebold Brothers. I always wondered what happen to the Smothers Brothers.
Did we rig the Iraqi election, nooo ,,,, the fabulous triad/diebold brothers did,, soon to be performing in Las vegas for a four week stay at the Mirage. Get it Mirage and voting?,,,lol
Some suggestions to ensure that votes are counted correctly:
1) Electronic voting with a paper trail.
2) Establish autonomous, independent commissions to oversee elections in all states, to replace the partisan politicians who currently oversee them.
3) Work hard to have electoral observers in every polling precinct. As a first step, the political parties have to work to make sure this is done.
4) Open U.S: elections to international observers. We ask others to do this, why isn't it done in the United States?
5) Replace punch-card voting with more modern systems.
6) Educate voters about the mechanics of voting, so that all votes are counted. Since most votes that are rejected are in poor and minority areas, people in these areas must be instructed about the mechanics of voting.
7) Change Election-Day to a Sunday. It should be easier for some people to get to the polls on a Sunday, rather than a Tuesday, when most people work.
8) Eliminate voter-registration, or allow same-day registration.
9) Allow prisoners and ex-cons to vote.
10) Relax rules on absentee voting.
None of these ideas is really new, but I think they're worth repeating.
12-point type used to aid the visually impaired.
Please view this
By JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writer Thu Aug 11, 3:08 AM ET
WASHINGTON - Despite a zero-tolerance policy on tampering with voters, the Republican Party has quietly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide private defense lawyers for a former Bush campaign official charged with conspiring to keep Democrats from voting in New Hampshire.
James Tobin, the president's 2004 campaign chairman for New England, is charged in New Hampshire federal court with four felonies accusing him of conspiring with a state GOP official and a GOP consultant in Virginia to jam Democratic and labor union get-out-the-vote phone banks in November 2002.
A telephone firm was paid to make repeated hang-up phone calls to overwhelm the phone banks in New Hampshire and prevent them from getting Democratic voters to the polls on Election Day 2002, prosecutors allege. Republican John Sununu won a close race that day to be New Hampshire's newest senator.
At the time, Tobin was the RNC's New England regional director, before moving to's 2004 re-election campaign.
A top New Hampshire Party official and a GOP consultant already have pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors. Tobin's indictment accuses him of specifically calling the GOP consultant to get a telephone firm to help in the scheme.
"The object of the conspiracy was to deprive inhabitants of New
Hampshire and more particularly qualified voters ... of their federally
secured right to vote," states the latest indictment issued by a
federal grand jury on May 18.
the rest is here
"Our California participants used the system we created specifically for them to send messages to their individual members of the CA legislature and the governor to help get SB 370 PASSED AND SIGNED, a pioneering voter verified paper audit trail bill that can now serve as the model for the rest of the country."
For commentary and analysis on SB 370, see this article on VerifiedVoting.org.
ROD's Drive-in, but I'll start here first. Bradblog has the video of Catherine Crier on CourtTV, regarding US elections. See http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3041 , and just scroll down a bit.
>Catherine Crier offered a devasting editorial recently on Court TV in regard to election integrity. Her piece was spurred by RFK's Jr.'s Rolling Stone exposĂ© on the theft of the '04 Presidential Election, but covers a panoply of current threats to our electoral system — described as "a full frontal attack on Democracy" — including guys like Ohio's J. Kenneth Blackwell, convicted RNC/White House phone-jammer James Tobin and the Electronic Voting Machine Menace of Diebold and other private companies who have usurped our public election system. <snip>
A little to read, a lot to see.
is there ANY MEMBER OF our CONGRE$$ sponsoring legislation to correct the voting irregularities?
John Kerry decided not to fight Ohio, so we should forget about that. We must think about ways to ensure that future elections are fair.
The move to establish a paper trail is now a struggle at the state level. Fortunately, most of the states have accepted this demand.
already, blackwell is already on the rampage to steal another election. he has proposed new laws that will make it virtually impossible for any organization to do mass voter registrations and the voting in the state of ohio decided to uphold these unconstitutional rules.
also, blackwell is telling every precinct to turn in their programmable cards, the ones that run the voting machines, with their pass codes to a central office in columbus. why would anyone put all of the voting pass codes in one place?
also, the company that programs the voting machines is diebold, and they have been proven to have purposefully left out the security codes that would make it impossible to hack into the voting results. so why is this state still using diebold?
also, diebold says it's impossible to make a voting machine with a paper trail. or rather, it is much more difficult. however, diebold is the company that oversees and programs all of those atm machines that are located around the world, and what spits out of the atm when you finish your transaction? isn't it a paper receipt? oh my...
programming is extremely easy. it is very easy to put several lines of code into a 10,000 line program that can easily change the votes.
Thanks, Terri for the wake-up call!
Hey folks, we DO need to be vigilant. Are these voting machines in use where you vote? Are YOU poll-watching? Will your vote count, or will we have another election stolen?
From the same report (My Italics):
"Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine:
Ariel J. Feldman, J. Alex Halderman, and Edward W. Felten
For more information and the full text of this study, see http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting.
The Diebold AccuVote-TS and its newer relative the AccuVote-TSx are together the most widely deployed electronic voting platform in the United States. In the November 2006 general election, these machines are scheduled to be used in 357 counties representing nearly 10% of registered voters. Approximately half these counties — including all of Maryland and Georgia — will employ the AccuVote-TS model. More than 33,000 of the TS machines are in service nationwide.
This paper reports on our study of an AccuVote-TS, which we obtained from a private party. We analyzed the machine's hardware and software, performed experiments on it, and considered whether real election practices would leave it suitably secure. We found that the machine is vulnerable to a number of extremely serious attacks that undermine the accuracy and credibility of the vote counts it produces.
Computer scientists have generally been skeptical of voting systems of this type, Direct Recording Electronic (DRE), which are essentially general-purpose computers running specialized election software. Experience with computer systems of all kinds shows that it is exceedingly difficult to ensure the reliability and security of complex software or to detect and diagnose problems when they do occur. Yet DREs rely fundamentally on the correct and secure operation of complex software programs. Simply put, many computer scientists doubt that paperless DREs can be made reliable and secure, and they expect that any failures of such systems would likely go undetected.
Previous security studies of DREs affirm this skepticism, but to our knowledge ours is the first public study encompassing the hardware and software of a widely used DRE. The famous paper by Kohno, Stubblefield, Rubin, and Wallach studied a leaked version of the source code for parts of the Diebold AccuVote-TS software and found many design errors and vulnerabilities, which are generally confirmed by our study. Our study extends theirs by including the machine's hardware and operational details, by finding and describing several new and serious vulnerabilities, and by building working demonstrations of several security attacks.
Main Findings The main findings of our study are:
- Malicious software running on a single voting machine can steal
votes with little if any risk of detection. The malicious software
can modify all of the records, audit logs, and counters kept by the
voting machine, so that even careful forensic examination of these
records will find nothing amiss. We have constructed demonstration
software that carries out this vote-stealing attack.
- Anyone who has physical access to a voting machine, or to a memory
card that will later be inserted into a machine, can install said
malicious software using a simple method that takes as little as one
minute. In practice, poll workers and others often have unsupervised
access to the machines.
- AccuVote-TS machines are susceptible to voting-machine
viruses — computer viruses that can spread malicious software
automatically and invisibly from machine to machine during normal pre-
and post-election activity. We have constructed a demonstration virus
that spreads in this way, installing our demonstration vote-stealing
program on every machine it infects.
- While some of these problems can be eliminated by improving Diebold's software, others cannot be remedied without replacing the machines' hardware. Changes to election procedures would also be required to ensure security."
Voting Expert: Widespread Election Fraud Again
Harris tells Alex Jones Show she has acquired software for big three companies, stories of mass voter intimidation, arrests, machine meltdowns proliferate
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Vote fraud crusader and rights activist Bev Harris has told the nationally syndicated Alex Jones Show that she is in possession of voting software used by the big three voting systems companies and is now in a position to completely expose the true scale of electronic vote fraud, as a cascade of stories about voter intimidation, arrests and machine meltdowns arrived on election day.
"They aren't even being sneaky about it now," said Harris in summarizing the widespread voting machine failures and election fraud that unfolded throughout the day, referring to policies whereby voting precincts have imposed complete blackouts on any indication of their results until the official confirmation from headquarters is given.
Precinct reports are now being treated as illegal and individuals are being charged for even suggesting that precincts keep tally counts of votes so comparison checks can be conducted later.
Harris also related stories of arrests of those merely trying to ensure checks and balances are taking place as voting machines fail nationwide, including an entire county blackout in Indiana.
Harris also discussed dirty tricks in Los Angeles, whereby polling precincts remain closed anything to an hour after they were supposed to open and election workers are putting green lines through ballot papers to denote the location of voting, knowing full well that this invalidates the paper during the subsequent optical scan. Pollsters were caught telling colleagues in hushed tones not to let voters know about this scam.
Widespread reports of scanning machines rejecting ballots are also flooding in, with voters told to "go home" if their ballot is rejected three times by the machine.
Harris featured in the recent blockbuster HBO documentary Hacking Democracy and said that since appearing in the program she has received death threats warning "we are going to get you," and "I hope you die a horrible awful slow death."
She has also been the target of anonymous Internet bloggers who slander voting activists. In one instance further research uncovered the fact that one of these "agent provocateurs" was a Diebold employee.
But Harris remains undeterred and is now in a position to expose the length and breadth of the fraud after acquiring the software programs for the other big three voting systems companies aside from Diebold.
Harris exclusively told the Alex Jones Show, "I have now got a hold of the software of the other three major vendors and won't be releasing it," stating she was in possession of the code used by Election Systems & Software, Sequoia and Hart Intercivics.
"We're going to be able to compare what they give us with very specific information - dates, times, and serial numbers of the machines," said Harris.
Election Could Have Been Thrown, Says Fraud Expert
Harris considers token victory for Democrats fixed to quell dissent on mass voting fraud, liberal bloggers begin to attack anyone who doesn't jump on the Pelosi bandwagon
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Voting rights activist Bev Harris fears the mid-term elections may have been thrown in order to quell suspicions about vote fraud in anticipation of a major 2008 coup. Liberal blog sites are already naively telling whistleblowers and "conspiracy theorists" to keep quiet now that the left arm of the establishment, the Democrats, have re-emerged.
"I think it's gonna be interesting to see which election reform groups decide that it's not such a bad problem after all now that they have Democrats in there because I think that some of them are actually closet partisans," Harris told the Alex Jones Show.
"The issue here is not change in the last 24 hours - voting machines can't be authenticated, they're not necessarily accurate, they're tamper friendly - nothing has changed about that in 24 hours."
"We shouldn't really try to say well some Democrats are in there so now it's OK - it's not."
However, that's exactly what a lot of left-leaning establishment types are parroting, claiming a Democrat victory proves "American democracy still works," and that questions about electronic voting machines should be tossed aside.
Glenn Greenwald, an attorney and highly regarded liberal blogger, today went on the attack against those who many in the establishment left had previously allied with in order to take on the Neo-Cons.
"Chronic defeatists and conspiracy theorists — well-intentioned though they may be — need to re-evaluate their defeatism and conspiracy theories in light of this rather compelling evidence which undermines them," states Greenwald, "Republicans don't possess the power to dictate the outcome of elections with secret Diebold software. They can't magically produce Osama bin Laden the day before the election."
Greenwald's naivety is rivaled only by his arrogance and we are already beginning to have flashbacks to the Bill Clinton era, when liberals associated their authority with the Democrats and defended their every action without recourse.
Greenwald seems to have had a memory bypass that prevents him recalling anything from over two years ago. The fact is that the Republicans did produce Osama bin Laden before the 2004 election and Republicans have been caught engaging on vote fraud across the board, including via Diebold systems. Diebold's own Chief Executive, Walden O'Dell, committed himself to "helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president," before the 2004 election.
Ludicrously, Greenwald claims that six years of repeated Bush administration assaults on the Constitution, imperial jaunts that have killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of innocents, the degradation of how America is viewed abroad, and the very integrity of the country, has all been reversed by the empowerment of a party rhetorically led by Nancy Pelosi, a pro-torture, pro-war, mobbed-up establishment sycophant who has already agreed to protect Bush and his cronies from criminal investigations.
"All of the hurdles and problems that are unquestionably present and serious — a dysfunctional and corrupt national media, apathy on the part of Americans, the potent use of propaganda by the Bush administration, voter suppression and election fraud tactics, gerrymandering and fundraising games — can all be overcome. They just were," smarts Greenwald.
Harris encouraged people to take a look at which Democrats got voted in and what their stance was on the issues that were supposedly the root of voter discontent in the first place.
"I keep seeing reports on how these are the people who everyone can get along with, so what does that mean?"
Harris is absolutely right in identifying the fact that yesterday's charade was nothing more than re-arranging deck chairs, and this is proven again by the fact that likely speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has already vowed to protect Bush from criminal impeachment and the two have agreed to work together on advancing common cause agendas, such as the mass amnesty of illegal aliens that Bush couldn't get through under a Republican controlled House, an issue even Rush Limbaugh is now screaming bloody murder about.
Harris called for the temporary bias of favoritism for either the Republicans or the Democrats to be set aside in favor of the pursuit of trustworthy voting systems and the integrity of the electoral process in the long-term. Indicating that she had received more substantive complaints about vote fraud than in any other election, Harris said the possibility remained strong that this election had been thrown in order to re-invest artificial trust in electronic voting machines and stop the momentum of voting rights activists.
"Supposing I was really wanting to make sure that I could control elections through voting machines," said Harris, "I would probably throw a fight now and then because right now we have so much momentum going to get real change and then if you make it look like 'well there's nothing to look at here, move along,' then we won't get it fixed by 2008."
Will liberals continue to frolic around totally oblivious to the fact that the battle has just begun, or will they finally wake up and realize that it takes more than the re-election of Team B to stop the juggernaut of tyranny driven by both parties that has steamrollered America since t
Video the Vote is a website where people can upload video footage that they have taken on election day. The aim is to stop voter suppression by observing the vote and sharing the results.
Tuesday, 7 November 2006, 2:34 pm
Previously Unreleased 200-Page Report Said to Document Some 180 Security Flaws and Recommendations Made to Diebold and the State
Still Unclear as to Who Made Changes, Additions, Redactions to Publicly Released 40-Page Version of Report…
On Friday night, we broke Rebecca Abrahams's exclusive story concerning the long-sought yet never-released complete "Risk Assessment Report" of Diebold's electronic voting systems as commissioned by the state of Maryland from the Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in 2003.
Tonight, The BRAD BLOG is releasing that report exclusively in full as given to us by Abrahams, who says she obtained it from a source described to us as "a patriotic high-level state official." She says the source is "someone very close to this situation" in the Maryland government.
The original, never-before-released SAIC report was nearly 200 pages in all, and details a number of extraordinary security vulnerabilities found in Diebold's AccuVote-TS (touch-screen) voting systems as deployed by the state of Maryland initially in 2002. The version of the SAIC report that was eventually released to the public, after extreme redaction, was a mere 38 pages long.
It was reported by Abrahams that neither the full MD State Board of Elections, nor even the Governor himself, was ever allowed to see the full report.
Regarded by many in the computer science, security, and election integrity community as "The Pentagon Papers of E-Voting," the report as released by MD's State Election Administrator, Linda Lamone, was edited, changed, and, of course, highly redacted by someone.
To this date, it remains unclear whether or not Diebold itself was responsible for the changes, edits, and redactions, but according to several computer scientists and security experts with whom we discussed the matter today, the company currently seems to be the leading candidate responsible for changing and removing information from the independently commissioned SAIC report. Those with whom we spoke questioned the propriety of Diebold having such final control over an independent report concerning its own systems. Systems, we might add, that will be used across the state and indeed across the entire country this November 7th, despite the information withheld from the public in this 2003 report.
Also unclear — since the state and virtually the entire computer science and security community have been unable to review the complete, original report until now — is whether or not any of the various 180 or so recommendations for changes contained in the report have ever been addressed and corrected by either Diebold or the state of Maryland.
Myriad independent reports on Diebold systems have shown, over the last several months and years since the SAIC report was completed, that scores of serious security vulnerabilities still remain on Diebold's voting systems — including their paper-based optical-scan voting machines, touch-screen voting machines, and even their central tabulator software.
Reports of these serious vulnerabilities have now been documented by Finnish computer scientist Harri Hursti, the computer security firm Security Innovation, and BlackBoxVoting.org in both Leon County, FL and then in Emery County, UT; by a team of scientists at UC Berkeley commissioned by the CA Sec. of State; by Princeton University; and even by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team (as The BRAD BLOG originally reported in September of 2005 after a tip from a Diebold insider).
Whether or not the vulnerabilities revealed in those subsequent studies — made mostly over the last year or so, but some, such as the Dept. of Homeland Security's CERT alert came even prior to the 2004 Presidential Election — were discovered previously in the full 2003 SAIC report has been widely questioned until now.
If, in fact, such vulnerabilities were indeed found in 2003 by SAIC but subsequently kept covered up by Diebold or their allies within the MD State Elections division, such as longtime booster Lamone, the question of accountability — and even the specter of malicious out-and-out fraud — has been raised.
During an interview with Abrahams and Stephen Spoonamore, the CEO of computer security firm Cybrinth Inc., on a radio program we co-hosted yesterday, they suggested that an FBI investigation may currently be under way in Maryland concerning several events surrounding the use of Diebold machines in the state.
We've not yet had time to review the entire unredacted report as posted below. However, given the importance of this never-before-released information — and after close consultation with Abrahams and several others — The BRAD BLOG feels the national public interest in the information contained in this report requires full and immediate release and disclosure.
The report, therefore, is released here for the first time…
Nonetheless, the header on each page describes the document with a SAIC tracking number, with a date of September 2, 2003, and contains the title "Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting System and Processes Risk Assessment." The publicly released redacted version (also linked below for comparison) has the same date and tracking number. The title for that version is the same, but with "Redacted Final" added to the header.
As well, this version contains many unexplained strike-throughs, additions, and rewrites. As Abrahams detailed in her Friday exclusive, some of those edits were included in the final redacted release version of the report, while other sections were simply removed entirely. It is unclear as to who made the suggested edits and additions seen in the version of the report we are making available here.
Note also that there are several handwritten comments and marginalia which were apparently made by Abrahams and others during their review of the document and comparisons with the publicly released redacted version.
We discussed the issues of both the dates and the various edits with Spoonamore this afternoon. He told us that he previously reviewed this document "in great detail" in conjuction with Abrahams's initial report.
As to its authenticity, since we are unable to get comment from the state of Maryland, SAIC, or Diebold at this time, Spoonamore told us, "The report is certainly a Diebold risk assessment for the state of Maryland." He says that he "would give a 99% assessment that this document is the real thing."
Spoonamore adds that the SAIC tracking number is an "authentic tracking number for the state of Maryland and matches the sequence for mid-2003 assignment by SAIC."
With regard to the content of the report, Spoonamore, a Republican of 22 years, explained in our conversation late this afternoon, "There is no one on that public commission [in Maryland] that has the skills to use that document." After his review of the report, he says that "the real value in this document is what it's not saying. It's clear that even SAIC was not allowed to review the source code or the computer interfaces" for the complete Diebold AccuVote-TS voting system.
Nonetheless, he says that the report clearly reveals that the security in place in these systems is wholly inadequate for the threats faced when used during an election. That danger is one described this week to the LA Times as "a matter of national security," by computer scientist David Jefferson of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He added, "The legitimacy of government depends on getting elections right."
Jefferson served on the UC Berkeley panel convened by California Sec. of State Bruce McPherson to study several aspects of the Diebold voting system. That panel found more than 16 "serious vulnerabilities" in the system last February before McPherson certified the systems for use in California anyway. Jefferson continues to serve as one of the top technical voting systems advisors to McPherson.
"Microsoft has admitted that the Windows operating system in use in Maryland's Diebold voting systems is subject to at least 75,000 known exploits," Spoonamore told us. "The unredacted version [of the SAIC report] reveals that none of them have been defended against in these Diebold machines."
Finally, as Abrahams reported last Friday, there is yet another report commissioned by the State of Maryland to examine whether the items in the SAIC report were adequately addressed. That report, completed by the firm Freeman, Craft and McGregor — a group which has come under fire from Election Integrity advocates for its close relationship with the voting machine companies such as Diebold — has also never been released to the public. We are told that we may soon be able to release that report in full as well. Stay tuned.
The complete SAIC Report documents follow in full below. The 200 or so pages have been converted into five separate PDF files for easier downloading…
What, Exactly, IS an Election Meltdown?
November 09, 2006
The saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." But what if it IS broke, and those who could fix it say that it ain't?
Paul DeGregorio, chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission; Doug Lewis of the Election Center; Doug Chapin of electionline.org; Dan Tokaji, Ohio State law professor; California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson and other secretaries of state tell us that the feared "meltdown" just didn't happen on November 7, 2006.
They agree that the election went "better than expected," "relatively smoothly," with "isolated problems", "just a few glitches," "minor issues," "no major problems."
So, with multi-hundreds of news reports of election problems across the country — a fraction of the problems that actually occurred — you have to wonder what a meltdown would have to look like.
In the 2006 general election, voters were given the wrong ballots and told the wrong polling place. They stood in line for hours waiting for equipment to be fixed or more ballots to arrive. They watched their votes disappear on the screen, or flip to another candidate, or even go up in smoke — literally, when an e-voting machine short-circuited.
If the Chairman of the Election Assistance Commission, Secretaries of State, and other influential names in election administration continue calling these dysfunctional election occurrences "normal glitches," when will the system get fixed?
(If you think it "ain't broke," see the VotersUnite.org problem log.)
ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE SLAYS NINE
Terrorizes Florida in Thrill-Kill Rampage
That headline was from a satirical column written by Andy Borowitz published last Monday, the day before Tuesday's midterm elections. Unfortunately, given the post-election coverage by some of the nation's leading media -- or at least their headline writers -- it seems that only an event such as a Diebold voting machine becoming "unmoored from the floor and...trampling everyone and everything in its path," as Borowitz wrote, would qualify as anything more than a "glitch," "hiccup," "snag" or "snafu."
"Voting System Worked, With Some Hiccups," declared the AP headline on Wednesday. "Polling Places Report Snags, but Not Chaos," echoed The New York Times. "Hiccups"? "Snags"? Try telling that to the thousands of voters around the country who were unable to simply cast a vote last Tuesday because new, untested electronic voting machines failed to work. Monumentally. Across the entire country.
"Not Chaos"? Apparently the Times headline writers failed to check with the folks in Denver who were lined up around the block for hours to vote. They didn't even bother to read the Denver Post article headlining the problem as a "Voting Nightmare" during the day on Tuesday and quoting voter Lauren Brockman saying, "We will not get to vote today," after he had shown up before work to vote at 6:45 a.m. at the Botanic Gardens only to wait on line for an hour before giving up.
They didn't check with Bill Ritter, the Colorado gubernatorial candidate, who had to wait almost two hours to vote, or with Sean Kelley, a Denver resident, who said to the Post, "I can't believe I'm in the United States of America," before he gave up and went home without voting after waiting three hours in line when electronic machines broke down. Despite an emergency request, the courts in Colorado refused to allow the city's new consolidated "Election Centers" to remain open for extra hours that night.
Similar problems led to slightly more responsible officials ordering polls to be kept open longer than scheduled in at least eight other states due to voting machine problems. In a Times story published the day before (which apparently the headline writers of the previously mentioned piece failed to read), it was reported that in Illinois "hundreds of precincts were kept open ... because of late openings at polling places related to machine problems" and in Indiana "voting equipment problems led to extensions of at least 30 minutes in three counties."
Other states where polls remained open late due to the inability of legally registered voters to vote when they showed up earlier in the day include Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio.
But the list of problems and, yes, meltdowns is still pouring in from around the country. My in-box has been beyond readability since polls opened on Tuesday morning, and my ability to keep up had already been near the breaking point in the weeks prior just from similar reported disasters that occurred with these failing, flipping and flimsy machines during the early voting period in Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas and California, just to name a few.
On Election Day, the Electronic Frontier Foundation had received about 17,000 complaints on its toll-free hot line by 8 p.m. Common Cause received 14,000 calls by 4 p.m. John Gideon at VotersUnite.org performed the herculean task of logging as many news reports as he could in a searchable online database of reported election problems that day.
The nation dodged a significant bullet when George Allen conceded in his Virginia Senate race Thursday. Had he not chosen to do so, America would have found itself smack-dab in the middle of another Florida 2000 crisis with the balance of Congress depending on voting machines that offer absolutely no way to recount ballots to achieve any form of accuracy or clarity in the race. The battle of the forensic computer scientists trying to figure out what happened would have been another long national nightmare.
But that didn't happen, so everything's cool. Right?
We dodged another bullet when Sen. Rick Santorum conceded. Earlier in the day, he and the Pennsylvania Republican Party sent a letter to the secretary of the commonwealth demanding that voting machines in 27 counties be impounded after they received reports of touch-screen votes flipping from the Republican candidate to his Democratic opponent.
Imagine, by the way, if Democrats had taken such a responsible position to impound machines every time votes were reported to have flipped from Democrat to Republican -- certainly the more commonly reported occurrence on Tuesday. There wouldn't be a voting machine left in the country. It's a pity the Democrats haven't figured that out. Yet.
They're so delighted to have won anything they haven't stopped to realize they might have taken 40 seats in the House instead of just 30 had they bothered to fight for an accountable, secure, transparent electoral system and instructed their candidates to concede nothing until every vote was counted, verified and audited for accuracy.
And still, the Times and AP headline writers -- who seem to have failed to read the stories they were headlining, given that each outlined a litany of such meltdowns -- believe there's nothing to be concerned about.
18,000 votes seems to have vanished into thin air via ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machines (no paper "trails," much less countable paper ballots ) in Sarasota County, site of Florida's 13th U.S. Congressional District contest between Vern Buchanan and Christine Jennings. There's currently a 368-vote difference between them, but there's no paper to to examine to figure out what may have gone wrong and explain how a 13% undervote rate was found in only in that race.
On the very same ballot above that race, the gubernatorial contest had only a 2.6% undervote rate. A hospital board election below it had only a 1% undervote rate. On absentee ballots for the Jennings/Buchanan race, the undervote rate was just 1.8%. Some of the 120 complaints from touch-screen voters that came into the Herald Tribune on Tuesday are published on the newspaper's site.
18,000 undervotes. In Florida. With no paper ballots to go back and check to see if all of those voters simply chose not to vote in that race for some inexplicable reason. Faith-based voting in a race that Florida election officials in the secretary of state's office have said they have no plans to investigate.
Good thing the balance of the U.S. House doesn't hang on that race. Or a presidential election. But why worry about something like that? After all, a mere 18,000 disappeared votes on an electronic voting machine in a single county in Florida could never affect the outcome of a national presidential race. (Again, for the sarcasm-impaired: Right.)
In San Diego, thousands of hackable Diebold voting machines were sent home for three weeks prior to the election with poll workers (most of them apparently high-school teenagers hired by the county's registrar of voters, Mikel Haas) on "sleepovers." As Princeton University demonstrated, a hotel mini-bar key and just 60 seconds of unsupervised time with a single machine is just about all a single person would need to steal votes from every machine in the county. Nobody would ever be able to prove it. Thus, there is no basis for confidence in any reported results from any election this year in San Diego County. 50th Congressional District candidate Francine Busby has, so far, appropriately refused to concede despite the wide margin being reported in her race from the tainted, effectively decertified voting machines Haas disgracefully used for the first time this year across the entire county.
In Orange County, Calif., voters were turned away without being able to vote at all when machines failed to work and there were not enough paper ballots for voters to cast their votes. Many reportedly opted to vote on Chinese and Vietnamese ballots when English emergency paper ballots had run out (in places where they even had paper ballots to chose from), just so they could exercise their franchise. Many voters were simply told to "come back later," when poll workers hoped the machines would be working again.
It is not yet a felony in the United States of America to turn a legally registered voter away from the polls without allowing him to cast a vote. But it damned well should be.
Victoria Wulsin currently trails Jean Schmidt by less than half a percentage point in their Ohio 2nd Congressional District race for the U.S. House. Wulsin has also appropriately refused to concede until every vote is counted, accounted for and verified. But a recount will rely on both the same hackable Diebold AccuVote TSx touch-screen machines used in San Diego and the same ES&S optical scan machines that were found to have mistabulated at least nine Republican primary races in Pottawatomie County, Iowa, last June.
Ten other House races still remain "too close to call." Many of them will rely on "results" reported by inaccurate, unreliable, untested electronic voting machines.
Fortunately, the balance of the House doesn't rest on any of those races either, so all is well.
When Warren Stewart of the nonpartisan VoteTrustUSA.org noted a number of Voting Machine Company apologists -- from the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission's Paul Degregorio to California's unelected secretary of state, Bruce McPherson, to the Election Center's Doug Lewis and ElectionLine.org's Doug Chapin -- joining the "everything's fine" crowd, he noted:
They agree that the election went "better than expected," "relatively smoothly," with "isolated problems," "just a few glitches," "minor issues," "no major problems."
So, with multi-hundreds of news reports of election problems across the country -- a fraction of the problems that actually occurred -- you have to wonder what a meltdown would have to look like.
What would it look like, indeed?
I guess before the voting machine company flunkies and Times and AP headline writers would notice, it would have to look like Borowitz' "Diebold Rampage" scenario. Though even that would likely have a predictable ending...
The touch-screen terror then cut a swath of death and destruction across the state, despite attempts by the state police to apprehend it.
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appeared on television later in the day to urge calm, telling residents, "Clearly, Florida's electronic voting machines are still very much a work in progress."
At the White House, spokesman Tony Snow did not directly address the issue of the voting machine's deadly rampage, choosing instead to make general remarks about the electoral process.
"This administration remains steadfast in its support of free and fair elections," he said, adding, "in Iraq."
Clear Evidence 2006 Congressional Elections Hacked
By Rob Kall
Friday 17 November 2006
Results skewed nationwide in favor of Republicans by 4 percent, 3 million votes.
A major undercount of Democratic votes and an overcount of Republican votes in US House and Senate races across the country is indicated by an analysis of national exit polling data, by the Election Defense Alliance (EDA), a national election integrity organization.
These findings have led EDA to issue an urgent call for further investigation into the 2006 election results and a moratorium on deployment of all electronic election equipment.
"We see evidence of pervasive fraud, but apparently calibrated to political conditions existing before recent developments shifted the political landscape," said attorney Jonathan Simon, co-founder of Election Defense Alliance, "so 'the fix' turned out not to be sufficient for the actual circumstances." Explained Simon, "When you set out to rig an election, you want to do just enough to win. The greater the shift from expectations, (from exit polling, pre-election polling, demographics) the greater the risk of exposure--of provoking investigation. What was plenty to win on October 1 fell short on November 7.
"The findings raise urgent questions about the electoral machinery and vote counting systems used in the United States," according to Sally Castleman, National Chair of EDA. "This is a nothing less than a national indictment of the vote counting process in the United States!"
"The numbers tell us there absolutely was hacking going on, just not enough to overcome the size of the actual turnout. The tide turned so much in the last few weeks before the election. It looks for all the world that they'd already figured out the percentage they needed to rig, when the programming of the vote rigging software was distributed weeks before the election, and it wasn't enough," Castleman commented.
Election Defense Alliance data analysis team leader Bruce O'Dell, whose expertise is in the design of large-scale secure computer and auditing systems for major financial institutions, stated, "The logistics of mass software distribution to tens or even hundreds of thousands of voting machines in the field would demand advance planning - at least several weeks - for anyone attempting very large-scale, systematic e-voting fraud, particularly in those counties that allow election equipment to be taken home by poll workers prior to the election.
"The voting equipment seems to be designed to support two types of vote count manipulation - techniques accessible to those with hands-on access to the machines in a county or jurisdiction, and wholesale vulnerabilities in the underlying behavior of the systems which are most readily available to the vendors themselves. Malicious insiders at any of the vendors would be in a position to alter the behavior of literally thousands of machines by infecting or corrupting the master copy of the software that's cloned out to the machines in the field. And the groundwork could be laid well in advance. For this election, it appears that such changes would have to have been done by early October at the latest," O'Dell explained.
In a reprise of his efforts on Election Night 2004, Jonathan Simon captured the unadjusted National Election pool (NEP) data as posted on CNN.com, before it was later "adjusted" to match the actual vote counts. The exit poll data that is seen now on the CNN site has been adjusted already. But Simon points out that both adjusted and unadjusted data were instrumental to exposing the gross miscount.
Simon, surprised that unadjusted polling data was publicly revealed, given the concerns after the 2004 election about the use of exit polls, downloaded as much of the data as he could in real time. Scheduled and planned revisions on the CNN site took place throughout the evening and by the following morning, the unadjusted exit poll data had been replaced with data that conformed with the reported, official vote totals. This was the planned procedure as indicated by the NEP's methodology.
Adjusting the exit poll data is, by itself, not a troublesome act. Simon explained, "Their advertised reason to do the exit polls is to enable analysis of the results by academic researchers - they study the election dynamics and demographics so they can understand which demographic groups voted what ways. As an analytic tool, the exit poll is considered more serviceable if it matches the vote count. Since the vote count is assumed to be gospel, congruence with that count is therefore assumed to give the most accurate picture of the behavior of the electorate and its subgroups.
"In 2004 they had to weight it very heavily, to the point that the party turnout was 37% Democrat and 37% Republican, which has never been the case - leading to the claim that Rove turned out the Republican vote. This was nowhere witnessed, no lines in Republican voting places were reported. As ridiculous as that was, the distortion of actual turnout was even greater in 2006. The adjusted poll's sample, to match the vote count, had to consist of 49% 2004 Bush voters and only 43% 2004 Kerry voters, more than twice the actual margin of 2.8%. This may not seem like that much, but it translates into more than a 3,000,000 vote shift nationwide, which, depending on targeting, was enough to have altered the outcome of dozens of federal races.
Simon concluded, "These machines are completely and utterly black box. The idea that we have this enormous burden of proof that they are miscounting, and there's no burden of proof that they are counting accurately - that, first and foremost, has to change."
Election Defense Alliance issued the following statement:
As in 2004, the exit polling data and the reported election results don't add up. "But this time there is an objective yardstick in the methodology which establishes the validity of the Exit Poll and challenges the accuracy of the election returns," said Jonathan Simon, co-founder of Election Defense Alliance. The Exit Poll findings are detailed in a paper published today on the EDA website.
The 2006 Edison-Mitofsky Exit Poll was commissioned by a consortium of major news organizations. Its conclusions were based on the responses of a very large sample, of over ten thousand voters nationwide*, and posted at 7:07 p.m. Election Night, on the CNN website. That Exit Poll showed Democratic House candidates had out-polled Republicans by 55.0 percent to 43.5 percent - an 11.5 percent margin - in the total vote for the US House, sometimes referred to as the "generic" vote.
By contrast, the election results showed Democratic House candidates won 52.7 percent of the vote to 45.1 percent for Republican candidates, producing a 7.6 percent margin in the total vote for the U.S. House ... 3.9 percent less than the Edison-Mitofsky poll. This discrepancy, far beyond the poll's +/- 1 percent margin of error, has less than a one in 10,000 likelihood of occurring by chance.
By Wednesday afternoon the Edison-Mitofsky poll had been adjusted, by a process known as "forcing," to match the reported vote totals for the election. This forcing process is done to supply data for future demographic analysis, the main purpose of the Exit Poll. It involved re-weighting every response so that the sum of those responses matched the reported election results. The final result, posted at 1:00 p.m. November 8, showed the adjusted Democratic vote at 52.6 percent and the Republican vote at 45.0 percent, a 7.6 percent margin exactly mirroring the reported vote totals.
The forcing process in this instance reveals a great deal. The Party affiliation of the respondents in the original 7:07 p.m. election night Exit Poll closely reflected the 2004 Bush-Kerry election margin. After the forcing process, 49-percent of respondents reported voting for Republican George W. Bush in 2004, while only 43-percent reported voting for Democrat John Kerry. This 6-percent gap is more than twice the size of the actual 2004 Bush margin of 2.8 percent, and a clear distortion of the 2006 electorate.
There is a significant over-sampling of Republican voters in the adjusted 2006 Exit Poll. It simply does not reflect the actual turnout on Election Day 2006.
EDA's Simon says, "It required some incredible distortions of the demographic data within the poll to bring about the match with reported vote totals. It not only makes the adjusted Exit Poll inaccurate, it also reveals the corresponding inaccuracy of the reported election returns which it was forced to equal. The Democratic margin of victory in US House races was substantially larger than indicated by the election returns."
"Many will fall into the trap of using this adjusted poll to justify inaccurate official vote counts, and vice versa," adds Bruce O'Dell, EDA's Data Analysis Coordinator, "but that's just arguing in circles. The adjusted exit poll is a statistical illusion. The weighted but unadjusted 7 pm exit poll, which sampled the correct proportion of Kerry and Bush voters and also indicated a much larger Democratic margin, got it right." O'Dell and Simon's paper, detailing their analysis of the exit polls and related data, is now posted on the EDA website.
The Election Defense Alliance continues to work with other election integrity groups around the country to analyze the results of specific House and Senate races. That data and any evidence of election fraud, malicious attacks on election systems, or other malfunctions that may shed more light on the discrepancy between exit polls and election results will be reported on EDA's website.
A separate "Security Assessment of the Diebold Optical Scan Voting Terminal," released by the University of Connecticut VoTeR Center and Department of Computer Science and Engineering last month, concluded that Diebold's Accuvote-OS machines, optical scanners which tabulate votes cast on paper ballots, are also vulnerable to "a devastating array of attacks." Accuvote-OS machines are even more widely used than the AccuVote-TS.
Similar vulnerabilities affect other voting equipment manufacturers, as revealed last summer in a study by the Brennan Center at New York University which noted all of America's computerized voting systems "have significant security and reliability vulnerabilities, which pose a real danger to the integrity of national, state, and local elections."
The most prudent response to this controversy is a moratorium on the further implementation of computerized voting systems. EDA's O'Dell cautioned, "It is so abundantly clear that these machines are not secure, there's no justification for blind confidence in the election system given such dramatic indications of problems with the official vote tally." And EDA's Simon summarized, "There has been a rush by some to celebrate 2006 as a fair election, but a Democratic victory does not equate with a fair election. It's wishful thinking at best to believe that the danger of massive election rigging is somehow past."
EDA continues to call for a moratorium on the deployment of electronic voting machines in US elections; passage of H.R. 6200, which would require hand-counted paper ballots for presidential elections beginning in 2008; and adoption of the Universal Precinct Sample (UP handcount sampling protocol for verification of federal elections as long as electronic election equipment remains in use.
The Exit Poll analysis is a part of Election Defense Alliance's six-point strategy to defend the accuracy and transparency of the 2006 elections. In addition to extensive analysis of polling data, EDA has been engaged in independent exit polling, election monitoring, legal interventions, and documentation of election irregularities.
*The sample was a national sample of all voters who voted in House races. It was drawn just like the 2004 sample of the presidential popular vote. That is, precincts were chosen to yield a representative (once stratified) sample of all voters wherever they lived/voted - including early and absentee voters and voters in districts where House candidates ran unopposed but were listed on the ballot and therefore could receive votes. As such, the national sample EDA worked with is exactly comparable to the total aggregate vote for the House that we derived from reported vote totals and from close estimates in cases of the few unopposed candidates where 2006 figures were unavailable but prior elections could be used as proxy. It is a very large sampling of the national total, with a correspondingly small (+/-1%) MOE. There were four individual districts sampled for reasons known only to Edison/Mitofsky
Thomas - 1 hour ago - blackagendareport.com:80
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any updates on this??
MILWAUKEE Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Milwaukee Election Fraud Task Force has brought additional electoral fraud cases against five Wisconsin residents. The Department of Justice, acting as Special Prosecutor for Milwaukee County, has filed felony charges against Maria Miles, Kevin Clancy, Michael Henderson, Herbert Gunka, and Suzanne Gunka, all alleging election fraud arising out of the November 4, 2008, Presidential Election.
The integrity of elections is dependent upon citizens and officials insisting they be conducted lawfully. Wisconsins citizens should not have to wonder whether their vote has been negated or diminished by illegally cast ballots, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.
According to the criminal complaints, Miles and Clancy served as Special Registration Deputies (SRD for the City of Milwaukee in advance of the 2008 Presidential Election. Each worked for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN. Miles and Clancy are each charged with the felony offense of Falsely Procuring Voter Registration as Party to a Crime. The complaint alleges that Miles and Clancy submitted multiple voter registration applications for the same individuals, and also were part of a scheme in which they and other SRDs registered each other to vote multiple times in order to meet voter registration quotas imposed by ACORN.
Henderson is charged with one count of Voting by a Disqualified Person and one count of Providing False Information to Election Officials, both felonies. The complaint alleges that Henderson registered to vote at the polls on November 4, 2008, thereby certifying that he was a qualified elector. It also alleges that he then cast a ballot. At that time, Henderson was on an active period of probation for felony convictions from Rock County. A felon on an active period of supervision for a felony offense is prohibited by state law from voting in any election.
Herbert and Suzanne Gunka are each charged with the felony offense of Double Voting. The complaint alleges that they each voted in the November 2008 election by casting absentee ballots before the election. The complaint also alleges that after casting absentee ballots, they each voted in person at their polling place on election day.
Each individual charge carries a potential penalty of imprisonment up to 3 ½ years and a $10,000 fine. All defendants are ordered in for an initial appearance on April 20, 2010, at 1:30 p.m.
ACORN, the liberal group notorious for allegedly trying to inflate voter rolls through fraudulent practices, has seen its last election in Ohio.
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now will permanently surrender its Ohio business license by June1 as part of a legal settlement with the conservative Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, both sides said yesterday.
ACORN was active in Ohio in the 2006 and 2008 elections, working to register thousands of low-income people to vote and get them to the polls. The groups efforts were marred by irregularities, including one case in which ACORN workers allegedly induced a Cleveland man to register to vote 72 times, offering cigarettes as an incentive.