Elections Manipulations Ten-Page Summary
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The eye-opening excerpts from media articles below reveal major manipulations of the elections process. This is not a partisan matter. Fair elections are crucial to all who support democracy. Few have compiled this reliable information in a way that educates the public on the great risk of using electronic voting machines, which have alarmingly inadequate protections from potential manipulation. You can make a difference by casting your vote at the ballot box and by spreading this information on elections manipulation far and wide.
It only takes $26 to hack a voting machine
MSNBC News, Sept. 28, 2011,
Researchers from the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois have developed a hack that, for about $26 and an 8th-grade science education, can remotely manipulate the electronic voting machines used by millions of voters all across the U.S. The researchers ... performed their proof-of-concept hack on a Diebold Accuvote TS electronic voting machine, a type of touchscreen Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting system that is widely used for government elections. Diebold's voting-machine business is now owned by the Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, whose e-voting machines are used in about 22 states. Roger Johnston and Jon Warner from Argonne National Laboratory's Vulnerability Assessment Team demonstrate three different ways an attacker could tamper with, and remotely take full control, of the e-voting machine simply by attaching what they call a piece of "alien electronics" into the machine's circuit board. The electronic hacking tool consists of a $1.29 microprocessor and a circuit board that costs about $8. Together with the $15 remote control, which enabled the researchers to modify votes from up to a half-mile away, the whole hack runs about $26.
Voting Machines Put U.S. Democracy at Risk
CNN News, Sept. 20, 2006,
There is little assurance your vote will count. As we've been reporting almost nightly...for more than a year, electronic voting machines are placing our democracy at risk. These machines time and again have been demonstrated to be extremely vulnerable to tampering and error, and many of them have no voter-verified paper trail. Only 27 states have laws requiring the use of voter-verified paper trails. During the 2004 presidential election, one voting machine...added nearly 3,900 additional votes. Officials caught the machine's error because only 638 voters cast presidential ballots at that precinct, but in a heavily populated district, can we really be sure the votes will be counted correctly? [In] the May primary election in Cuyahoga County, Ohio...the electronic voting machines' four sources of vote totals—individual ballots, paper trail summary, election archives and memory cards—didn't even match up. The [official] report concluded that relying on the current system for Cuyahoga County's more than 1.3 million people should be viewed as "a calculated risk." A 2005 Government Accountability Office report on electronic voting confirmed the worst fears of watchdog groups and election officials. "There is evidence that some of these concerns have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes." Are we really willing to risk our democracy?
Could e-voting machines in Election 2012 be hacked? Yes.
Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 26, 2012,
Rapid advances in the development of cyberweapons and malicious software mean that electronic-voting machines used in the 2012 election could be hacked, potentially tipping the presidential election or a number of other races. [A University of Pennsylvania] study concluded "virtually every important software security mechanism is vulnerable." Most at risk are paperless e-voting machines, which don’t print out any record of votes. Four swing states – Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, and Florida – rely to varying degrees on paperless machines. Alex Halderman, a researcher at the University of Michigan, and a colleague at Princeton University hacked into a paperless touch-screen voting machine in 2010 and installed the video game Pac-Man. Similarly, he and Princeton researchers in 2006 demonstrated that if someone could get a few minutes’ unattended access to a paperless machine, that person could install a software virus that could spread to other machines and switch those machines’ votes before deleting all traces of itself. For a savvy hacker, the time and access needed to infect a machine is so small that it could be done while in a voting booth. A hacker could in theory use the Internet to target an e-voting machine company, which would then unknowingly infect its own machines when it serviced them. It's impossible to know if newer machines and software are really secure because their source code is largely unavailable for analysis. Voting-equipment makers frequently say their software is a trade secret.
Major Problems at Polls Feared
Washington Post, Sept. 17, 2006,
In Maryland last Tuesday, a combination of human blunders and technological glitches caused long lines and delays in vote-counting. The problems, which followed ones earlier this year in Ohio, Illinois and several other states, have contributed to doubts among some experts about whether the new systems are reliable. In Montgomery County, the breakdown came when election officials failed to provide precinct workers with the access cards needed to operate electronic voting machines. In Prince George's County, computers...failed to transmit data to the central election office. At least nine other states have had trouble this year with new voting technology. For several years, prominent computer scientists have taken aim at the electronic voting machines. In analyses of the software that runs widely used models of the machines...scientists have shown how they could manipulate the machine to report a vote total that differed from the actual total cast. In the Nov. election, more than 80 percent of voters will use electronic voting machines.
Princeton Prof Hacks E-vote Machine
MSNBC/Associated Press, Sept. 13, 2006,
A Princeton University computer science professor added new fuel Wednesday to claims that electronic voting machines used across much of the country are vulnerable to hacking. In a paper posted on the university's Web site, Edward Felten and two graduate students described how they had tested a Diebold AccuVote-TS machine they obtained, found ways to quickly upload malicious programs and even developed a computer virus able to spread such programs between machines. The machine Felten tested...was the same type used across Maryland in its primary election. Felten and graduate students Ariel Feldman and Alex Halderman...say they designed software capable of modifying all records, audit logs and counters kept by the voting machine, ensuring that a careful forensic examination would find nothing wrong.
Note: The full paper is posted on Princeton's website along with an excellent video demonstrating how election results can easily be corrupted: http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting. Similar and even less secure machines have been used in several previous elections. As there was no paper trail, we have no way of knowing if elections results were manipulated in the past.
In Search of Accurate Vote Totals
New York Times, Sept. 5, 2006,
Six years after the disasters of Florida in 2000, states still haven't mastered the art of counting votes. The most troubling evidence comes from Ohio. A recent government report details enormous flaws in the election system in Ohio's biggest county, problems that may not be fixable before the 2008 election. Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland...recently adopted Diebold electronic voting machines that produce a voter-verified paper record. Investigators compared the vote totals recorded on the machines after this year's primary with the paper records produced by the machines. The numbers should have been the same, but often there were large and unexplained discrepancies. The report also found that nearly 10 percent of the paper records were destroyed, blank, illegible, or otherwise compromised. Some of these problems may be explored further in a federal lawsuit challenging Ohio's administration of its 2004 election.
Pull the Plug on Electronic Voting
Forbes, Sept. 4, 2006,
You don't like hanging chads? Get ready for cheating chips and doctored drives. I am a computer scientist. I own seven Macintosh computers, one Windows machine and a Palm Treo 700p. So why am I advocating the use of 17th-century technology for voting in the 21st century? While computers are very proficient...we should not rely on computers alone to count votes. The people who program them make mistakes. They are more vulnerable to manipulation than most people realize. A power glitch could cause a hard disk to fail or a magnetic card that holds votes to permanently lose its data. In a 2003 election in Boone County, Ind., [voting machines] recorded 144,000 votes in one precinct populated with fewer than 6,000 registered voters. Consider one simple mode of attack...called overwriting the boot loader. An attacker can, for example, make the machine count every fifth Republican vote as a Democratic vote, swap the vote outcome at the end of the election or produce a completely fabricated result. To stage this attack, a night janitor at the polling place would need only a few seconds' worth of access to the computer's memory card slot. [And] you can't easily discover if they've been tinkered with. It's one thing to suspect that officials have miscounted hanging chads, but something else entirely for people to wonder whether a corrupt programmer working behind the scenes has rigged a computer to help his side.
Activists Sue to Block Electronic Voting
ABC News/Associated Press, July 13, 2006,
Computerized voting was supposed to be the cure for ballot fiascos such as the 2000 presidential election, but activist groups say it has only worsened the problem. Lawsuits have been filed in at least nine states, alleging that the machines are wide open to computer hackers and prone to temperamental fits of technology that have assigned votes to the wrong candidate. New York University's Brennan Center for Justice released a one-year study last month that determined that the three most popular types of U.S. voting machines "pose a real danger" to election integrity. More than 120 security threats were identified, including wireless machines that could be hacked "by virtually any member of the public with some (computer) knowledge." Lowell Finley, co-director of Voter Action...said, "We had dozens of affidavits from voters in New Mexico who said they touched one candidate's name, but the machine picked the opponent." In the state's biggest county...touch-screens machines purchased from Sequoia lost 13,000 votes.
A Single Person Could Swing an Election
Washington Post, June 28, 2006,
To determine what it would take to hack a U.S. election, a team of cybersecurity experts turned to a fictional battleground state called Pennasota. The experts...concluded in a report issued yesterday that it would take only one person, with a sophisticated technical knowledge and timely access to the software that runs the voting machines, to change the outcome. While 26 states require paper records of votes, fewer than half of those require regular audits. Republican Reps. Tom Cole (Okla.) and Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, joined Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.) in calling for a law that would set strict requirements for electronic voting machines.
Block the Vote
New York Times, May 30, 2006,
In a country that spends so much time extolling the glories of democracy, it's amazing how many elected officials go out of their way to discourage voting. States are adopting rules that make it hard, and financially perilous, for nonpartisan groups to register new voters. Florida recently reached a new low when it actually bullied the League of Women Voters into stopping its voter registration efforts in the state. The Legislature did this by adopting a law that seems intended to scare away anyone who wants to run a voter registration drive. In Washington, a new law prevents people from voting if the secretary of state fails to match the information on their registration form with government databases. There are many reasons that names, Social Security numbers and other data may not match, including typing mistakes. Colorado recently imposed criminal penalties on volunteers who slip up in registration drives. Protecting the integrity of voting is important, but many of these rules seem motivated by a partisan desire to suppress the vote...rather than to make sure that those who are entitled to vote [can] do so.
Will Your Vote Count in 2006?
Newsweek, May 29, 2006,
A report by Finnish security expert Harri Hursti analyzed Diebold voting machines for an organization called Black Box Voting. Hursti found unheralded vulnerabilities in the machines. Experts are calling them the most serious voting-machine flaws ever documented. It requires only a few minutes of pre-election access to a Diebold machine to open the machine and insert a PC card that...could reprogram the machine to give control to the violator. The machine could go dead on Election Day or throw votes to the wrong candidate. Worse, it's even possible for such ballot-tampering software to trick authorized technicians into thinking that everything is working fine, an illusion you couldn't pull off with pre-electronic systems. If it so happens that someone not supposed to use the machine—or an election official who wants to put his or her thumb on the scale of democracy—takes advantage of this fast track to fraud, that's not Diebold's problem. "When you're using a paperless voting system, there is no security," says David Dill, a Stanford professor who founded the election-reform organization Verified Voting.
A New Election Lawsuit in Florida
Time, May 18, 2006,
The League of Women Voters has been signing up voters ever since women won the right to vote. But now, for the first time in the League's storied history, a branch of the organization has shut down its operations to protest a new Florida law that the League claims will have a chilling effect on voter registration. The League...joined several other pubic interest and labor groups, including the Florida AFL-CIO, in challenging the constitutionality of the law. They are asking the U.S. District Court to immediately suspend the fines which the groups say could bankrupt their voter registration budgets. The challenged law imposes civil fines of $250 for each voter registration application submitted more than 10 days after it is collected, $500 for each application submitted after any voter registration deadline, and $5,000 for each application [not] submitted.
Reversing Course on Electronic Voting
Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2006,
Some advocates of a 2002 law mandating upgrades of the nation's voting machinery now worry the overhaul is making things worse. Proponents of the Help America Vote Act are filing lawsuits to block some state and election officials' efforts to comply with the act. [The act] called for upgrading election equipment to guard against another contested outcome such as the 2000 presidential vote. At the time, the electronic voting machines were seen as a reliable contrast to the older technology. The lawsuits—nine so far—coincide with a stampede by state and county officials to spend $3 billion allocated by Congress to help pay for upgrades. The 2004 presidential campaign and some early primary elections this year have provided evidence that [electronic] machines don't always work smoothly. Several states...abandoned them to return to optically scanned paper ballots. Typically, paper ballots require a voter to use a pencil to fill in a circle. The system is less costly to buy and maintain, and provides a paper record of ballots that can be reviewed in close or disputed elections. In Indiana, an ES&S [major voting machine supplier] employee alerted local-election officials that another ES&S worker had installed unauthorized software on the machines before the election. That and other disputes led to a multimillion-dollar settlement.
New Fears of Security Risks in Electronic Voting Systems
New York Times, May 12, 2006,
With primary election dates fast approaching in many states, officials in Pennsylvania and California issued urgent directives in recent days about a potential security risk in their Diebold Election Systems touch-screen voting machines. "It's the most severe security flaw ever discovered in a voting system," said Michael I. Shamos, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. "This is the barn door being wide open," said Douglas W. Jones, a professor of computer science at the University of Iowa. The new concerns about Diebold's equipment were discovered by Harri Hursti, a Finnish computer expert who was working at the request of Black Box Voting. As word of Mr. Hursti's findings spread, Diebold issued a warning to recipients of thousands of its machines, saying that it had found a "theoretical security vulnerability" that "could potentially allow unauthorized software to be loaded onto the system." Aviel Rubin, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University, did the first in-depth analysis of the security flaws in the source code for Diebold touch-screen machines in 2003. After studying the latest problem, he said: "I almost had a heart attack. The implications of this are pretty astounding."
Electronic Voting Switch Threatens Mass Confusion
Financial Times, May 1, 2006,
In Florida...the election supervisor for Leon County allowed anti-electronic voting activists to try breaching security in the county's optical scan voting system, prompting the big three electronic voting systems companies—Diebold, Election Systems & Services, and Sequoia—to refuse to sell the county new machines.
Election Whistle-Blower Stymied by Vendors
Washington Post, March 26, 2006,
Ion Sancho is something of a hero. The maverick elections supervisor in Leon County, Fla., last year helped show that electronic voting machines from one of the major manufacturers are vulnerable...and would allow election workers to alter vote counts without detection. Now, however, Sancho may be paying an unexpected price for his whistle-blowing: None of the state-approved companies here will sell him the voting machines the county needs. "I believe I'm being singled out for punishment by the vendors," he said. The trouble began last year when Sancho allowed a Finnish computer scientist to test Leon County's Diebold voting machines. Some tests...showed that elections workers could alter the vote tallies by manipulating the removable memory cards in the voting machines, and do so without detection. California elections officials arranged for experts to perform a similar analysis of the Diebold machines and also found them vulnerable—noting a wider variety of flaws than Sancho. A spokesman said Diebold will not sell to Sancho without assurances that he will not permit more such tests, which the company considers a reckless use of the machines.
The Business of Voting
New York Times, Dec. 18, 2005,
Diebold, the controversial electronic voting machine manufacturer, is coming off a tumultuous week. Its chief executive, Walden O'Dell, resigned. It was hit with a pair of class-action lawsuits charging insider trading and misrepresentation, and a county in Florida concluded that Diebold's voting machines could be hacked. The counting of votes is a public trust. Diebold, whose machines count many votes, has never acted as if it understood this. Mr. O'Dell made national headlines when he wrote a fund-raising letter before the 2004 election expressing his commitment to help deliver the electoral votes of Ohio—where Diebold is based, and where its machines are used—to President Bush. The company was accused of installing improperly certified software, which is illegal, in a 2002 governor's race in Georgia. Across the country, it reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the California attorney general last year of a lawsuit alleging that it made false claims about the security of its machines.
Note: Kevin Shelley, the California attorney general mentioned here, was forced out of office by an aggressive media campaign accusing him of things we know are done by most politicians. For reliable information on this, see http://www.wanttoknow.info/050207kevinshelleysresignation.
N.C. Judge Declines Protection for Diebold
ABC/Associated Press, Oct. 28, 2005 http://abcnews.go.com/Technology...
One of the nation's leading suppliers of electronic voting machines may decide against selling new equipment in North Carolina after a judge declined Monday to protect it from criminal prosecution. Diebold...is worried it could be charged with a felony if officials determine the company failed to make all of its code...available for examination by election officials in case of a voting mishap. The requirement is part of the minimum voting equipment standards approved by state lawmakers earlier this year following the loss of more than 4,400 electronic ballots in Carteret County during the November 2004 election. The lost votes threw at least one close statewide race into uncertainty for more than two months.
Election Day Leftovers
USA Today, Dec. 27, 2004,
A review of election results in 10 counties
nationwide by the Scripps Howard News Service found more than 12,000 ballots
that weren't counted in the presidential race, almost one in every 10 ballots
cast in those counties. When the mistakes were pointed out to local
officials, some were chagrined; others said they didn't want to be bothered
33,000 Ballots Lost In Shuffle
Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 13, 2004,
Voters in Utah County had more than a one in five
chance that their ballots did not get counted in the initial, unofficial
tally from Election Day. A programming glitch in the punch-card counter
dropped 33,000 ballots from the totals—all of them straight-party ballots.
That was more than 22 percent of the 145,769 ballots cast in the Republican
stronghold. "The card readers were fine; it was just the way it was programmed initially," Utah County elections coordinator Kristen Swensen said Friday. "It was just off by one letter."
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Elections Irregularities
MSNBC, Nov. 7 - 9, 2004, (Click link on date listed below for link to original)
Note: The best
media reporting by far of elections manipulation has been by MSNBC's news anchor Keith Olbermann. Though clearly biased against the Bush administration, Mr. Olbermann is about the only one asking the tough questions. He has even asked why other major media aren't reporting
many of these crucial stories. His most excellent blog gave continual
updates of developments in the elections scandals of 2004. Here are a few key
quotes from three of the entries there:
Nov. 7, 6:55 p.m.:
Officials in Warren County, Ohio, "locked down" its administration
building to prevent anybody from observing the vote count there. Emergency
Services Director Frank Young explained that he had been advised by the
federal government to implement the measures for the sake of Homeland
Security. The majority of the media has yet to touch the other
stories of Ohio or huge margins for Bush in Florida counties in which
registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans 2-1.
Nov. 9, 12:55 a.m.:
The remarkable results out of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. In 29
precincts there, the County's website shows, we had the most unexpected
results in years: more votes than voters. I'll repeat that: more votes than
voters. 93,000 more votes than voters.
Note: Click on a link below to watch 16 minutes of the excellent MSNBC news program broadcast nationally on Nov. 11, 2004 covering this topic. For dial-up connections, use the 56K option.
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Glitch Gave Bush Extra Votes in Ohio
Fox News/Associated Press, Nov. 5, 2004,
An error with an electronic voting system gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in suburban Columbus, elections officials said. Franklin County's unofficial results had Bush receiving 4,258 votes to Democrat John Kerry's 260 votes in a precinct in Gahanna. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct. In one North Carolina county, more than 4,500 votes were lost because officials mistakenly believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could hold more data than it did.
Defective Software 'Lost' Votes
Miami Herald, Nov. 4, 2004,
Thousands of new votes on some constitutional amendment questions were discovered early Thursday, potentially forcing a recount. As absentee ballot counting wound down after midnight in Broward County's elections warehouse, attorneys scrutinizing the close vote on Amendment Four noticed that vote totals changed in an unexpected way after 13,000 final ballots were counted. The problem was caused by the Unity Software that pulls together votes from five machines tabulating absentee ballots. Because no precinct has more than 32,000 voters, the software caps the total votes at that number. From there, it begins to count backward. The glitch was discovered two years ago, and should have been corrected by software manufacturer ES&S of Omaha, Neb., according to Broward County Mayor Ilene Lieberman.
Note: The counting of paper ballots, such as the absentee ballots above, is clearly vulnerable as shown with the problem above. The tally from any voting machine—computerized or not—is fed to other machines for higher level tabulating. The software of any of these machines can malfunction or be manipulated.
E-Vote Problems 'Troubling but Anecdotal'
Fox News/Associated Press, Nov. 3, 2004,
Voters nationwide reported some 1,100 problems with electronic voting machines on Tuesday, including trouble choosing their intended candidates. There were also several dozen voters in six states...who said the wrong candidates appeared on their touch-screen machine's checkout screen. Roberta Harvey, 57, of Clearwater, Fla., said she had tried at least a half dozen times to select Kerry-Edwards when she voted Tuesday at Northwood Presbyterian Church. After 10 minutes trying to change her selection, the Pinellas County resident said she called a poll worker. Harvey said it took about 10 attempts to select Kerry before and a summary screen confirmed her intended selection. The Election Protection Coalition received a total of 32 reports of touch-screen voters who selected one candidate only to have another show up on the summary screen.
E-voting Irregularities Raise Eyebrows, Blood Pressure
USA Today, Nov. 3, 2004,
Concern over electronic voting technology was not assuaged Tuesday as glitches, confusion and human error raised a welter of problems across the country. In Volusia County, Fla., a memory card in an optical-scan voting machine failed Monday at an early voting site and didn't count 13,000 ballots. Most of the ATM-style machines, including all of Florida's, lack paper records that could be used to verify the electronic results in a recount. The Electronic Frontier Foundation's VerifiedVoting.org, which has been monitoring the implementation of e-voting machines in the U.S., warned on Monday that over 20 percent of the machines tested by observers around the country failed to record votes properly. "A request filed in King County, Washington...uncovered an internal audit log containing a three-hour deletion on election night; 'trouble slips' revealing suspicious modem activity; and profound problems with security, including accidental disclosure of critically sensitive remote access information to poll workers, office personnel, and even, in a shocking blunder, to Black Box Voting activists."
Hack The Vote 2004
Popular Mechanics, Nov. 2004 Issue,
team of former National Security Agency (NSA) computer experts
conducted a weeklong exercise with six Diebold machines and a server.
According to team leader Michael Wertheimer, the group uncovered "considerable
security risks." They found that the smart cards used to provide
supervisors with access to the machines could be easily hacked; the removable
media containing voting information was protected by flimsy locks that the
team picked in under a minute using bent paper clips. On the software
side, the most glaring weakness was in election headquarters servers: Dell
PCs ran the Windows 2000 operating system without Microsoft's security
upgrade patches, which left servers susceptible to viruses and worms,
enabling a remote attacker to tamper with election systems by phone."
Sorry, You're Vote Has Been: Lost, Hacked, Miscast, Recorded Twice
Popular Science, Nov. 2004 Issue,
In South Carolina, officials bought
machines too late for adequate testing. And on many of their onscreen
ballots, the presidential contest included names of candidates from local
elections. Several Texas counties are thousands of votes short because a bug
in the software failed to record Spanish-language ballots. In
Colorado, a group of hackers is boasting that they stole a box of electronic
smartcards used to activate e-voting machines and reprogrammed them to allow
multiple votes, just for fun. In virtually every state, officials failed to
invite outside technical experts to participate in the process of e-voting
machine selection. Because none of the major vendors of e-voting machines
release their code for security testing, states and counties are forced to
trust vendors' own assessments of their machines' reliability.
Two Strange Deaths Which Changed History
PBS, CBS, Fox compilation, Oct. 19, 2004,
Two strange deaths dramatically changed the balance of power in U.S. government for two recent years. Democratic Senate candidate Mel Carnahan died in a private plane crash on Oct. 16, 2000, just three weeks before the 2000 elections. Mr.
Carnahan went on to win the race as a dead man against his rival
John Ashcroft. Carnahan's wife was appointed to fill his position, but as she was appointed rather than elected, her Senate term was limited to two years rather than the normal six. She lost her 2002 race to her Republican opponent. On Oct. 24, 2002, just two weeks before the 2002 elections, Democratic Senate candidate Paul Wellstone was killed in a plane crash. His wife died with him. Wellstone had been projected to win the election. There are many suspicious circumstances surrounding Wellstone's death. The balance in the Senate for years 2002 to 2004 was 51 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and one independent. If both Wellstone and Carnahan had not been killed, the balance would have been 50 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and one independent. Isn't it quite a coincidence that these two Democratic candidates both died in plane crashes only two years apart, both just weeks before the elections? It's even more of a coincidence that both were very progressive Democrats. Wellstone was often labeled the most progressive member of Senate.
On the Voting Machine Makers' Tab
New York Times, Sept. 12, 2004,
of electronic voting's loudest defenders have been state and local election
officials. Many of those same officials have financial ties to voting machine
companies. Officials from Georgia, California and Texas argued that
voter-verifiable paper trails...are impractical. Former secretaries of state from
Florida and Georgia have signed on as lobbyists for Election Systems and
Software and Diebold Election Systems. When Bill Jones left office as
California's secretary of state in 2003, he quickly became a consultant to
Sequoia Voting Systems. His assistant secretary of state took a full-time job
there. The list goes on. While they may sincerely think that electronic voting
machines are so trustworthy that there is no need for a paper record of
votes, their views have to be regarded with suspicion until their conflicts
Secretive Testing Firms Certify Nation's Vote Count Machines
MSNBC/Associated Press , Aug. 23, 2004,
The three companies that certify the nation's
voting technologies operate in secrecy, and refuse to discuss flaws in the
regulators have virtually no oversight over testing of the technology. Michael Shamos, a Carnegie Mellon computer scientist and electronic voting
expert, told lawmakers in Washington, D.C. "I find it grotesque
that an organization charged with such a heavy responsibility feels no obligation
to explain to anyone what it is doing." The system for "testing and
certifying voting equipment in this country is not only broken, but is
virtually nonexistent," Shamos added.
2 Felons' Roles in County Elections Questioned
Seattle Times, Feb. 11, 2004, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com...
Two convicted felons' roles in running elections in King County have raised new questions about the adequacy of safeguards to protect the integrity of elections. County election officials were unaware of convicted embezzler Jeffrey W. Dean's criminal background when he was named in 1999 to lead an outside team that would design a computer system for managing elections. Dean, who used his computer savvy to cover up his embezzlement of $465,341...was given keys to the election offices. He had unrestricted access to the elections office's high-security computer room where votes are tallied. John L. Elder, 48, a convicted drug dealer who was imprisoned with Dean...and worked with Dean on county contracts, supervises the printing of ballots and the sorting and mailing of absentee ballots. In 1988, [a] law firm confronted Dean over accounting discrepancies. Dean disguised his thefts by altering computer records. Dean was [later] appointed to the Global board of directors and named senior vice president with an annual salary of $144,000. When Diebold completed its purchase of Global in January 2002, Diebold reviewed employees' backgrounds and learned of Dean's and Elder's convictions. Dean lost his job but stayed on as a consultant. Radke declined to say whether Dean's criminal past played a role in his departure.
How to Hack an Election
New York Times, Jan. 31, 2004,
The State of Maryland hired a computer security firm to test its new machines. Paid hackers had little trouble casting multiple votes and taking over the machines' vote-recording mechanisms. Computer-security experts [who tried] to foil the safeguards and interfere with an election...were disturbingly successful. They were able to change votes from a remote location. The Maryland study shows convincingly that more security is needed for electronic voting, starting with voter-verified paper trails. Maryland's 16,000 machines all have identical locks...which can be opened by any one of 32,000 keys. The security team had no trouble making duplicates...although that proved unnecessary since one team member picked the lock in "approximately 10 seconds." Diebold, the machines' manufacturer, rushed to issue a self-congratulatory press release with the headline "Maryland Security Study Validates Diebold Election Systems Equipment." The study's authors were shocked to see their findings spun so positively.
Note: How is Diebold able to brag about its success when the tests clearly failed. Why didn't this and all news reported here make front page headlines?
What Really Happened in Florida?
BBC News, Feb. 16, 2001,
We are coming into Tallahassee. A very expensive contract between Governor Jeb [Bush]'s division of elections and a private company named DBT...accidentally wiped off the voter rolls thousands of Democratic voters. [We're now on the] 18th floor division of elections. We have come to ask Mr Clayton Roberts, the director, a few questions. "It says here in the contract that the verification is supposed to be done by DBT. That you paid them $4 million. It could look to others [like] you paid $4 million to purchase this election for the Republican party. Could you answer the question regarding the contract?" Instead, Mr Roberts called out State troopers. The difficult questions are: Did Governor Jeb Bush, his Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and her Director of Elections, Clayton Roberts, know they had wrongly barred 22,000 black, Democrat voters before the elections? After the elections, did they use their powers to prevent the count of 20,000 votes for the Democrats? Altogether, it looks like this cost the Democrats about 22,000 votes in Florida, which George Bush won by only 537 votes. In all, Palm Beach voting machines misread 27,000 ballots. Jeb Bush's Secretary of State, Katharine Harris, stopped them counting these votes by hand.
Note: You can watch a video of this and more fascinating information at the BBC link above. To read the brief summary of a key BBC reporter's coverage of the 2000 presidential election results in Florida, click here. Why wasn't this incredibly vital information reported in any American media?
Convicted Felons Worked for Electronic Voting Companies
Associated Press, Dec. 16, 2003,
At least five convicted felons secured management positions at a manufacturer of electronic voting machines. Voter advocate Bev Harris alleged Tuesday that managers of a subsidiary of Diebold Inc., one of the country's largest voting equipment vendors, included a cocaine trafficker, a man who conducted fraudulent stock transactions, and a programmer jailed for falsifying computer records. The programmer, Jeffrey Dean, wrote and maintained proprietary code used to count hundreds of thousands of votes as senior vice president of Global Election Systems Inc. Diebold purchased GES in January 2002. According to a public court document released before GES hired him, Dean served time in a Washington correctional facility for stealing money and tampering with computer files in a scheme that "involved a high degree of sophistication and planning." The former GES is Diebold's wholly owned subsidiary, Global Election Management Systems, which produces the operating system that touch-screen voting terminals use.
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reliable resources on elections manipulations and ideas on what you can do,
See our Elections Information Center: www.WantToKnow.info/electionsinformation