November 24, 2004 4:00 AM PST

E-voting faces new scrutiny

news analysis A newly announced federal investigation of the November election will bring fresh scrutiny on the performance of e-voting machines, but election experts said they believe any impact will be limited to future political contests.

On Tuesday, five Democratic representatives said the Government Accountability Office agreed to their request to review complaints that election machine technology and procedural issues had prevented some votes from being counted in the recently completed presidential election.

News.context

What's new:
The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, agreed to look into anomalies in the November election.

Bottom line:
Experts do not expect an inquiry to result in a dramatic challenge of the November election results, but it could lead to important changes in ongoing reforms of the election process.

More stories on e-voting

Though most observers have concluded that election technology performed reasonably well Nov. 2, a variety of anomalies have cropped up, fueling calls for a deeper review of complaints from voters and election watchdog groups over possible mistakes.

"On its own authority, the GAO will examine the security and accuracy of voting technologies, the distribution and allocation of voting machines, and the counting of provisional ballots," the five members of the House of Representatives said in statement Tuesday. "We are hopeful that GAO's nonpartisan and expert analysis will get to the bottom of the flaws uncovered in the 2004 election."

The pending GAO inquiry offers the latest sign that the postelection healing called for by politicians has yet to emerge for critics of e-voting machines.

Experts said they do not expect an investigation to result in a dramatic challenge of the November election results. But it could lead to important changes in ongoing reforms of the election process sparked by the famous "hanging chad" ballot problems in Florida during 2000's closely fought presidential race.

Congress in 2002 passed the Help America Vote Act, or HAVA, to help states fund an overhaul of antiquated voting systems with new e-voting machines. But those attempts have themselves sparked heated criticism over often poorly planned changes that some believe offer citizens less secure and reliable voting procedures than they had before.

Calls for reforms
Criticism has focused on the lack of national voting machine standards and the failure of some voting districts to require that e-voting machines produce a paper ballot receipt that could be used in the case of an audit.

"The $64,000 question is whether or not the GAO finds enough problems in the 2004 election results to spur Congress to help the Help America Vote Act," said Doug Chapin, director of Electionline.org, a nonpartisan voting-information site. "Election reform is driven by either consensus or crisis, and in the absence of either, reform will move slowly, if at all, in the next Congress...There is some concern that if there are only a number of smaller problems, they might just slip under Congress' radar."

One problem voters faced in the November elections was that after choosing one presidential candidate, they were presented with confirmations that they had voted for the opposing candidate, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and VerifiedVoting.org said in a release earlier this month. The Verified Voting Foundation is an e-voting critic that has called for independent technical experts to monitor and test voting machines and results, among other things. The groups added that another common error was that machines crashed and rebooted without evidence of whether the votes were counted.

The groups sent letters to voting officials in eight counties with the worst problems urging them to allow for independent machine tests. The counties included Broward and Palm Beach in Florida, Mahoning and Franklin in Ohio, Mercer and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, Harris in Texas, and Bernalillo in New Mexico.

Calls for increased scrutiny of e-voting systems are heating up as the technology is rapidly taking root in election districts across the country. Some 50 million voters used electronic ballot machines

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They never get it wrong when counting money
Many of these e-Voting machines also make systems used in finacial transactions (such as Diebold). If they can get the count right in fincial transactions why not in something equally important (our elections). I am a programmer my self and it doesn't seem like it should be all that hard to accurately count how many people voted Bush and how many voted Kerry (same for the election senators etc). It doesn't require alot of code to set up and interface that allows the user to pick on canidate or the other.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
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18 Amazing Facts about this "Election"
Every American should know these 18 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA

Did you know....?

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diebold" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diebold</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.essvote.com/HTML/about/about.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.essvote.com/HTML/about/about.html</a>

2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0916-04.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0916-04.htm</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html</a>
3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&#38;S are brothers.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/private_company.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/private_company.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html</a>

4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/28/sunday/main632436.shtml" target="_newWindow">http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/28/sunday/main632436.shtml</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1647886" target="_newWindow">http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1647886</a>
5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&#38;S. He became Senator in a surprise upset, with votes counted by ES&#38;S machines.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2004/03/03_200.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2004/03/03_200.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/031004Fitrakis/031004fitrakis.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/031004Fitrakis/031004fitrakis.html</a>
6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&#38;S by the Senate Ethics Committee.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.blackboxvoting.com/modules.php?name=News&#38;file=article&#38;sid=26" target="_newWindow">http://www.blackboxvoting.com/modules.php?name=News&#38;file=article&#38;sid=26</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.hillnews.com/news/012903/hagel.aspx" target="_newWindow">http://www.hillnews.com/news/012903/hagel.aspx</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.onlisareinsradar.com/archives/000896.php" target="_newWindow">http://www.onlisareinsradar.com/archives/000896.php</a>
7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_28/b3689130.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_28/b3689130.htm</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://theindependent.com/stories/052700/new_hagel27.html" target="_newWindow">http://theindependent.com/stories/052700/new_hagel27.html</a>
8. Kenneth Blackwell co-chaired George Bush's Ohio election campaign. As Ohio secretary of state, he left no stone unturned to surpress the democratic vote.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/113004Y.shtml#1" target="_newWindow">http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/113004Y.shtml#1</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/894" target="_newWindow">http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/894</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://67.15.90.110/article.pl?sid=04/10/29/1414219" target="_newWindow">http://67.15.90.110/article.pl?sid=04/10/29/1414219</a>
9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.itworld.com/Tech/2987/041020evotestates/pfindex.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.itworld.com/Tech/2987/041020evotestates/pfindex.html</a>

10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.diebold.com/solutions/default.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.diebold.com/solutions/default.htm</a>

11. Exit polls are usually excellent predictors of election results. Reputable analyses could not find and explanation of the discrepancy between exit polls and results of the 2004 presidential election.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://ucdata.berkeley.edu/" target="_newWindow">http://ucdata.berkeley.edu/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.buzzflash.com/alerts/04/11/Unexplained_exit_poll_discrep_v00l.pdf" target="_newWindow">http://www.buzzflash.com/alerts/04/11/Unexplained_exit_poll_discrep_v00l.pdf</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/23/international/europe/23ukraine.html?ex=1102245800&#38;ei=1&#38;en=3a3c24b7e64fe49" target="_newWindow">http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/23/international/europe/23ukraine.html?ex=1102245800&#38;ei=1&#38;en=3a3c24b7e64fe49</a>

12. A Diebold subsidiary employed 5 convicted felons as senior managers and developers. These people helped write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,61640,00.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,61640,00.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/301469.shtml" target="_newWindow">http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/301469.shtml</a>

13. Jeff Dean, senior programmer on Diebold's central compiler code, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how" target="_newWindow">http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf" target="_newWindow">http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf</a>
14. Jeff Dean was served jail time for planting back doors in his client's accounting software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how" target="_newWindow">http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf" target="_newWindow">http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf</a>

15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.globalexchange.org/update/press/2638.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.globalexchange.org/update/press/2638.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/10/26/loc_elexoh.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/10/26/loc_elexoh.html</a>
16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it!
(See the movie here with the chimp&lt;<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://blackboxvoting.org/baxter/baxterVPR.mov" target="_newWindow">http://blackboxvoting.org/baxter/baxterVPR.mov</a>&gt;.)
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,63298,00.html" target="_newWindow">http://wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,63298,00.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4874190" target="_newWindow">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4874190</a>

17. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,65757,00.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,65757,00.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.rise4news.net/extravotes.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.rise4news.net/extravotes.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&#38;name=News&#38;file=article&#38;sid=950" target="_newWindow">http://www.ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&#38;name=News&#38;file=article&#38;sid=950</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00227.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00227.htm</a>

18. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.computerworld.com/governmenttopics/government/policy/story/0,10801,97614,00.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.computerworld.com/governmenttopics/government/policy/story/0,10801,97614,00.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/tens_of_thousands.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/tens_of_thousands.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1106-30.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1106-30.htm</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/110904.htmlhttp://uscountvotes.org/" target="_newWindow">http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/110904.htmlhttp://uscountvotes.org/</a>


Based on a list compiled by Angry Girl <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://nightweed.com/usavotefacts.html" target="_newWindow">http://nightweed.com/usavotefacts.html</a>
______________________________________________
Were American's votes were deliberately miscounted?

If this was done, it means, quite literally, that we are no longer living in a democracy.

When I read the list a few days ago, some of the allegations just seemed too preposterous to believe. Like:

"Jeff Dean, senior programmer on Diebold's central compiler code...served jail time for planting back doors in his client's accounting software and using a 'high degree of sophistication' to evade detection over a period of 2 years."

I tracked down the author of the list, who graciously responded with a list of references for each allegation. I checked out this Jeff Dean thing in particular. It didn't take long to get to this:

According to the findings of fact in case no. 89-1-04034-1 (Washington State):
"...Defendant's thefts occurred over a 2 1/2 year period of time, there were multiple incidents, more than the standard range can account for, the actual monetary loss was substantially greater than typical for the offense, the crimes and their cover-up involved a high degree of sophistication and planning in the use and alteration of records in the computerized accounting system that defendant maintained for the victim, and the defendant used his position of trust and fiduciary responsibility as a computer systems and accounting consultant for the victim to facilitate the commission of the offenses."

Another one of the references led to a detailed account of the double database technique pioneered by Mr. Dean to enable electronically tabulated votes give a false total while still presenting accurate details in case of spot audits.

In combination with the constellation of undisputed circumstantial evidence and open conflicts of interest, these last details are just too damning to ignore.

A cloud over the validity of the American electoral process is not acceptable.
Posted by granny6x (2 comments )
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