Electronic Voting Machine Problems
Media Report Major Problems With Electronic Voting
Below are quotes from key revealing articles in the major media and links to a powerful documentary exposing serious problems with electronic voting machines. Note that though some of these articles are several years old, many electronic voting machines being used now are 10 years old or more. Then read excerpts from an excellent article which explains vital problems within the elections system.
Though one party may benefit more than others, this is not a partisan issue. We invite all who care about democracy to join in working towards fair elections which truly reflect the will of the people. For how you can make a difference, see the "What you can do" section at the end.
Major Media Articles Reveal Major Electronic Voting Machine Problems
MSNBC – A 2011 article titled "It only takes $26 to hack a voting machine" states, "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 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."
Christian Science Monitor – A 2015 article states, "Computer security experts have warned for years that some voting machines are vulnerable to attack. In Virginia, the state Board of Elections decided to impose an immediate ban on touchscreen voting machines used in 20 percent of the state's precincts. When state auditors investigated [they found that] while using their smartphones, they were able to connect to the voting machines' wireless network, which is used to tally votes. Other state investigators easily guessed the system's passwords — in one case, it was 'abcde' — and were then able to change the vote counts remotely without detection."
Washington Post – An article titled "A Single Person Could Swing an Election" describes the test of a team of cybersecurity experts. The article states, "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."
Christian Science Monitor – An 2012 article is titled "Could e-voting machines in Election 2012 be hacked? Yes." It shows how easy it continues to be for voting machines to be manipulated. The article states, "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. 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."
Miami Herald – An article titled "CIA expert: Electronic voting not secure" presents the troubling results of CIA cybersecurity expert Steve Stigall. "Computerized electoral systems can be manipulated at five stages, from altering voter registration lists to posting results. Stigall said voting equipment connected to the Internet could be hacked, and machines that weren't connected could be compromised wirelessly. The [Election Assistance] Commission has been criticized for giving states more than $1 billion to buy electronic equipment without first setting performance standards. Numerous computer-security experts have concluded that U.S. systems can be hacked."
Note: The Herald strangely removed this article from their website, but it is still available here.
MSNBC – A 2009 MSNBC article describes five county officials, including the circuit court judge, the county clerk, and election officers, who were accused of blatant election corruption. "These alleged criminal actions affected the outcome of federal, local, and state primary and general elections in 2002, 2004, and 2006. Clay County Circuit Court Judge Russell Cletus Maricle, 65, and school superintendent Douglas C. Adams, 57... caused election officers to commit acts of extortion, mail fraud, and bribery. Clay County Clerk, Freddy Thompson, 45, allegedly ... instructed officers how to change votes at the voting machine."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29778909 - 3/21/2009
Note: MSNBC strangely removed this article from their website, but you can read how the defendants were all found guilty and convicted in a federal jury trial on the FBI website at this link.
For a treasure trove of media articles revealing elections corruptions on a grand scale, click here.
Powerful Documentary on Electronic Voting Machine Problems
The above media articles reveal only a few of the many problems with electronic voting machines and elections corruption. How many millions of votes may have been changed or disappeared that we don't know about? We may never know. And why isn't this getting wide media coverage? For a likely answer, click here.
For additional powerful information on this, the excellent documentary Votergate takes viewers on a fact-finding mission across the US revealing stunning evidence of defects and outright fraud in electronic voting. Engaging interviews with whistleblowers and courageous Americans, including members of Congress and top elections officials, reveal critical information which the mass media has given very little coverage. Watch this powerful 30-minute documentary available at this link. A second highly revealing HBO documentary titled "Hacking Democracy" is available here.
Even Deeper. Below are excerpts from a riveting article which goes to the very core of the problem. The author's father and uncle uncovered serious elections fraud years ago and suffered severely for trying to reveal the truth. In 1992, they published the book Votescam which exposed major elections fraud, only to have it effectively banned. They both died young in the 1990s. Please pass on this powerful information which is so vital to the future of democracy. Invite all of your friends and colleagues to forward this message, and to join together in calling for election reform.
A Brief History of Computerized Election Fraud in America
By Victoria Collier
Squadrons of shiny new touch screen Trojan horses are being rolled into precincts across America. Not, as we are told, to make voting easier or more accurate. The real reason America is being flooded with billions of dollars worth of paperless computerized voting machines is so that no one will be able to prove vote fraud. These machines are not just unverifiable, they are secretly programmed. Their software is not open to scrutiny by election officials or computer experts. They are also equipped with modems accessible by computer, telephone, and satellite.
We the People are responsible for taking back the control of our democratic process. No one else will do it for us. We cannot afford to be naive, or uneducated at this time in history. In order to fully understand the extent of the corruption we are dealing with, and to avoid making dangerous mistakes based on ignorance, we must understand the history, and the power structure, behind vote fraud in America.
I grew up with two men who spent twenty-five years investigating vote fraud in America: James and Kenneth Collier, my father and uncle. Their book, Votescam: The Stealing of America was published in 1992 and immediately banned by the major book chains, which listed the book as "out of print" and actively worked to prevent its sale. Votescam chronicles the Collier brother's groundbreaking investigation into America's multi-billion dollar election rigging industry, and the corporate government and media officials who control it. [First six chapters available free online]
The Votescam investigation began in 1970, in -- surprise! -- Dade County, Florida, where Ken ran for Congress (with Jim as his campaign manager). Ken was rigged out of the election through a vote scam, which the Colliers later discovered was used throughout the country for decades. It went like this: The local newscaster would announce during the broadcast of election returns that the election "computer has broken down." Instead of giving official returns from the county courthouse, the networks would be running vote "projections" for the rest of the night.
Jim and Ken, who had garnered 30 percent of the vote, noticed that when the vote totals came back on the screen after the announcement, they had mysteriously lost 15 percentage points. They didn't get another vote for the rest of the night. When they examined the "official" election results from for the September primary, October run-off and November final election in Dade County, the record listed a total of 141,000 votes cast for the governors race in each election. The exact same number of total votes were cast for three elections with a different number of candidates running each time. The same identical figures were listed for the Senate race in the primary, run-off and final election. This, of course, is a statistical impossibility.
When they compared the "official" vote results with a print-out of the vote "projections" broadcast by the TV networks on the final election night, they found that channel 4 had "projected" with near perfect accuracy the results of 40 races with 250 candidates only 4 minutes after the polls closed. Channel 7 came even closer; at 9:31 pm, they "projected" the final vote total for a race at 96,499 votes. When the Colliers checked the "official" number . . . it was also 96,499.
The networks then made the astonishing claim that the results from a single voting machine somewhere in Dade County were run through a computer program in order to get these vote projections. Elton Davis was the computer programmer responsible for the magic formula that could convert one machine's vote results into near perfect projected vote totals for 40 races and 250 candidates. When Jim and Ken confronted Davis in his office at the University of Miami, he responded: "You'll never prove it, now get out."
Finally the networks claimed that members of the League of Women Voters were out in the field on election night, calling in vote totals to channels 4 and 7. When the Colliers confronted the head of the League, Joyce Deiffenderfer, she admitted that there were no LWV members out in the field that night. She broke down crying, saying "I don't want to get caught up in this thing."
When the TV networks claimed that the courthouse computer had broken down, and they would no longer be reporting actual vote totals, they were lying. They had never been reporting actual vote totals. The final shoe dropped months later when an official press release appeared from Dade data processing chief, Leonard White, which stated emphatically: The county computer at the courthouse was never down, and it was never slow.
This was the beginning. The Collier brothers had slammed their boat into the tip of a giant iceberg. As they continued to investigate, they were horrified to discover vote fraud collusion among key individuals in every branch and on every level of the American political system. Those who were not benefiting from the fraud were too afraid to fight it. Their search for justice led to dead-ends. Their lives were threatened. They were vilified as conspiracy theorists by the mainstream press . . . and yet they persevered.
The next quarter century was spent compiling a wealth of FBI documented evidence proving that elections in the United States have come under the tight control of a handful of powerful and corrupt people. Jim and Ken both died young during the 90's, as heroes to many thousands who heard them speak on the radio and at political meetings across the country. They helped to guide individuals and groups working for clean elections in their communities. The Collier's last hope was that Votescam would be used as evidence in a serious Congressional investigation into election fraud.
Many people still in power have yet to be held accountable for their role in aiding and abetting vote fraud. I'll give you two important examples. Famous Miami lawyer Ellis Rubin brought the original Votescam evidence to the Florida assistant State Attorney at the time, Janet Reno. The evidence included the shaved wheels of lever voting machines, forged canvass sheets, and pre-printed vote tally sheets. Reno refused to prosecute, claiming falsely that the statue of limitations had run out on the crime. Years later, Rubin would tell my father that behind closed doors Reno had stated that she could not prosecute. Why? Because she would bring down many of the most powerful people in the state.
Another notable Votescam criminal can now be found sitting on the bench of the highest court in the nation. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, while still a Federal Appeals Judge, single handedly destroyed what would have been an historic lawsuit filed against Justice Department lawyer Craig Donsanto, who had refused to prosecute the extensive vote fraud evidence brought to him by the Colliers. The evidence included videotape of the League of Women voters tampering with ballots in a close door vote "counting" session. The women were illegally punching holes in already cast ballots.
I'd like to offer a brief list of important lessons learned from twenty-five years of fighting vote fraud in the trenches.
- Secret vote counting is illegal. Counting faster is not a justification for counting secretly.
- Lever machines were the first to appear, and they were riggable in a number of ways. One could rig the lever machine itself, or the electronic scanning machines that counted the ballots.
- Computerized voting machines are the easiest to rig. Their software is not open to public scrutiny, or the scrutiny of Election Supervisors. There are nearly infinite ways to program the machines to count votes fraudulently. Since they are accessible by modem, they can be controlled from a remote, centralized location.
- Voting machine companies operate with no federal oversight, certification process, standards or restrictions.
- Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been complicit in vote rigging for decades, to their mutual benefit. Vote rigging is NOT a partisan issue.
- The corporate major media networks play a vital role in perpetrating and covering up vote fraud.
- Election Day media polls are untrustworthy at best.
The gravest error of judgment these days comes from those vote reformers who honestly believe that the answer to the butterfly ballot and hanging chad problems in the 2000 election is to embrace the ballot-less computerized voting machine. With the ballot-less computer, there is no way to recount, no way to prove any discrepancy, inaccuracy or fraud. Just the fact that companies like ES&S and Diebold would even make a ballot-less machine should be cause for a Congressional investigation.
A most grave error of judgment also comes from those who think that returning to a hand-counted paper ballot system is somehow impossible. An MIT/Cal Tech study done in 2001 shows that manually counted paper ballots are the most accurate system out of the 5 systems used in the last 4 presidential elections. They are totally verifiable, and first-world nations across the globe still use them, including Canada which counted their last presidential election in four hours.
The bottom line is that a computerized vote count is a secret vote count, and that's illegal. Technology cannot supercede the constitutional and mandatory provisions of election law, which require open and verifiable elections. There is no way to do a public vote count with computers. The count must be done by hand, in public, video-taped, aired live on television, and the results posted on the precinct wall -- just like they used to be. Ballots should be counted on the same day as the voting takes place, making it much more difficult to alter ballots. Hand counted paper ballots and eternal vigilance are the only hope left for us.
About the author: A long time writer and political activist, Victoria Collier continues to educate the public on the subject of vote fraud in place of her father and uncle.
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