Skip to comments.IF YOU THINK YOUR VOTE COUNTS
Posted on 03/16/2014 9:14:44 AM PDT by drypowder
Bev Harris is an American writer, activist, and founder of Black Box Voting Inc., a national nonpartisan, nonprofit elections watchdog group. She helped popularize the term Black Box Voting, while authoring a book of that title. Original investigative work by Harris has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, CBS, Fox News, and NBC, as well as by the Associated Press, NPR, and many other mainstream news outlets. Contents [hide] 1 Diebold Investigation 2 Hacking Democracy 3 Other investigations 4 Diebold lawsuit 5 VoteHERE investigation 6 References Diebold Investigation
In 2003, she discovered the source code of voting machine manufacturer, Diebold Election Systems, which now operates under the name Premier Election Systems. After examining these files, Harris wrote an article on July 8, 2003 detailing how to bypass passwords and manipulate election results on the Diebold GEMS central tally system. The information in Harris's article was subsequently confirmed by internal memos written by Diebold's own engineers. Researchers at Rice University and Johns Hopkins University also studied the programs she obtained and found security weaknesses which afforded opportunities for abuse Diebold officials and state election officials disputed the findings of the Rice and Johns Hopkins researchers. Hacking Democracy
Main article: Hacking Democracy A nonprofit organization founded by Harris, Black Box Voting, was invited by Ion Sancho, Leon County, (Florida) Supervisor of Elections to conduct a series of tests election of Diebold's GEMS central tabulator and Diebold's optical scan voting machines. The tests took place February 14, 2005; May 2, 2005; May 26, 2005 and December 13, 2005 and allege to prove that Diebold machines were not secure and could be hacked and results altered. Her work to expose security weaknesses in electronic voting systems was assisted by Kathleen Wynne and is featured in an HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy. The film follows a series of investigations, many of them captured live on videotape by Kathleen Wynne. Harris discovered that counterfeit audit records[unreliable source?] had been provided to Black Box Voting in a public records request. Harris subsequently found some of the original records in the garbage at a Volusia County warehouse. Florida Fair Elections Coalition founder Susan Pynchon and Broward Election Reform Coalition founder Ellen Brodsky found more original poll tapes in the garbage behind the Volusia County elections office. Harris, Wynne, and Andy Stephenson audited the originals against those given out by Volusia County in public records requests. Data on several of the poll tapes found in the garbage did not match data on the tapes provided in public records; many key audit items were missing, and unusual errors (such as a date-stamps 16,000 years in the future on one tape) indicated the alterations appeared to be due to alterations in programming the device that produces the poll tapes. Harris, Wynne and Emmy-nominated Hacking Democracy Researcher/Producer Russell Michaels, arranged for a series of hacking demonstrations on the "GEMS" central tabulator and also the hacking of memory cards. The finding of the records in the trash, along with the hacks, can be viewed in the HBO documentary "Hacking Democracy," which premiered November 2, 2006. Other investigations
In March 2006, a nonprofit organization founded by Harris, Black Box Voting, was contacted by elections official Bruce Funk, from Emery County, Utah. Black Box Voting again secured the services of Harri Hursti and Dr. Herbert Hugh Thompson and examined the Diebold TSx touch-screen (DRE) system. Hursti, Thompson, and a member of the Black Box Voting board of directors, Jim March, found flaws which prompted emergency warnings and last minute corrective actions in Pennsylvania, California, and other states. Harris's investigations into the testing labs that examine voting system software were revealed in a hidden camera interview in the HBO film "Hacking Democracy"; she also obtained test lab reports which showed that the Ciber Laboratories omitted security testing on the machines.[unreliable source?] Harris also identified and broke the story on the criminal records of a number of individuals who owned, programmed, and printed ballots in the elections industry.[unreliable source?][unreliable source?] Diebold lawsuit
Together with Jim March, Harris filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that Diebold Election Systems had made false claims when selling their system to Alameda County, California. Diebold paid the state of California $2.6 million to settle the case, and paid approximately $76,000 to Harris, which she donated to the nonprofit Black Box Voting organization. VoteHERE investigation
She has been served with four cease and desist notices and in 2004, was interviewed by the US Secret Service Cybercrime Task Force five times in connection with a claim by the VoteHere company that their site had been "hacked" with their source code stolen. In connection with this, Harris received a gag order from a U.S. Attorney in preparation for a federal grand jury investigation. An article by The Seattle Weekly covered this. References
Jump up ^ "Inside a U.S. Vote Counting Program" July 8 2003, by Bev Harris Jump up ^ "End-run the database" October 18, 2001 Jump up ^ Analysis of an Electronic Voting System, May, 2004 Jump up ^ Krugman, Paul (December 2, 2003), "Hack The Vote", New York Times Jump up ^ Schwartz, John (November 3, 2003), "File sharing pits copyright against free speech", New York Times ^ Jump up to: a b HBO Documentary Films. retrieved November 6, 2006 Jump up ^ "Photocopies of Volusia County poll tapes, including mismatched tapes with strange errors" November 2004, from Black Box Voting forums, posted by Bev Harris Jump up ^ Technology Daily: States Still Concerned About New Voting Equipment, May 30, 2006 Jump up ^ Black Box Voting TSx Report, from Black Box Voting.org Jump up ^ Black Box Voting TSx Report Supplement, from Black Box Voting.org Jump up ^ "Photocopies of Ciber reports, Penetration Analysis 'Not Tested'" 2002 and 2003, from Black Box Voting.org Jump up ^ "Prison records of voting system programmer Jeffrey Dean" 1996, from Black Box Voting.org Jump up ^ "Prison records of Diebold ballot printing supervisor John Elder" 1996, from Black Box Voting.org Jump up ^ Vanity Fair: Hack the Vote; April 1, 2004 by Michael Shnayerson Jump up ^ Seattle Post-Intelligencer: No elections harmed by work of ex-cons; February 12, 2004 Jump up ^ Seattle Post Intelligencer: Election Activist Claims Victory; Voting Machine Maker Settles Over Her Whistle-Blower Lawsuit, January 25, 2005, by Michelle Nicolosi Jump up ^ "Guidestar public archive of Black Box Voting 990 forms" Jump up ^ "Seattle Weekly article 'Bigbrother.gov'" 2004
If you want to find the circumference of the earth, Wiki is fine.
If you want to know anything remotely political, you may as well read Mother Goose.
LOL.....if you’ll just send her $10.
The electronic voting boogieman was invented by liberal demoncraps that can’t figure out how to stuff ballots in the damn things!
All their teams of commie union members that used to fill out paper ballots all day in the weeks leading up to elections are now out of work.
Your vote matters only on the say it is cast. Past that, it means nothing.
For very 25,000 letters sent, 250,000 emails sent, and 1,000,000 phone calls made, there is a lobbyist giving your representative a check for $25,000 or $250,0000 to ignore you.
You are aware that Bev Harris is a notorious conman who fleeced dozens (if not more) of DUmmies, right?
It looks like Bev Harris has uncovered some shenanigans with this generation of voting machines.
A similar investivation was done many years ago by the Collier brothers, back in the day when vote machines had paper rolls in back ....
boxes of the votes would get lost and others substituted.
They wrote a book about it “votescam”.
That’s why I think strengthening the culture and character of your own neighborhood is far more important than worrying about whether the red puppet or the blue puppet sits on the velvet cushion in DC. Votes can be manipulated or ignored - wholesale cultural resistance to government initiatives (like the way young people are ignoring ObamaCare) is a lot harder for lobbyists and banksters and Communists to overcome.
Bev Harris duped a lot of freaks from DU out of their money. They hate her almost as much as conservatives. They also blamed her for stealing the savings of some weirdo named Andy, a regular at DU. Andy died and they blame Bev because of the stress she put him under. The threads regarding her bilking them of their welfare and disability money were pretty hilarious
It looks like she needs a new Cadillac because she slid out from under her rock.
I heard “vote early, vote often” by a couple of progs ahead of me at the polls in ‘12, and they laughed when they said it.
I don't agree it is a serious problem. A system of security measures for voting machines and checking them for accuracy before they are deployed to voting precincts are written in the election code of every state.
It works this way in Texas:
The Secretary of State, elections division, approves which companies’ machines the state may use and each county determines which company within that group, they will use. After the Florida fiasco between Bush and Gore, the federal government began a program to help pay for voting machines for any state/county that wanted to change to machines instead of paper ballots. Most Texas counties used that offer from the feds to change to machines and I'm sure other states did the same. Paper ballots may still be used by some counties who have a small population.
If laws regarding the machines are followed, the machines are secure and recording votes properly.
1. Machines are kept in a locked room/facility when not in use.
2. Before early voting starts in every county, the Republican and Democrat county chair meets with the election administrator, and each machine is checked for accuracy - in other words they vote on the machines and totals on the machines are checked for accuracy.
A word about voting machines: They cannot hook to the internet - they are dumb machines that count votes and that's it. The internal tape that records votes cannot be changed by an election judge/clerk.
3. When the machines are checked for accuracy by the two county chairs and election administrator, the machines are again locked in a room with two locks. The election administrator has one and the sheriff has the other. The room cannot be opened without both keys being used. On election day morning, the sheriff or his deputies deliver the machines to each voting precinct.
Not long ago I read an article about how machines can be changed so they are not safe. Well, the machines that were changed, were left in a hall where anyone could do anything to them and that is what these men did to show they weren't safe. The machines were open for anyone to do anything to them. That wasn't a machine fault, that was the officials’ fault who left them out in the open which is a violation of law.
When the machines are delivered to a poling place early on election day, the election judge and alternate judge (alternate will be of the opposing party of the judge), check each machine to make sure they are set at zero. If one or more were not set at zero, that machine(s) would be removed as it would mean someone voted on that machine already.
At the end of election day, the judge and alternate judge remove the device from every machine that has the totals of the voting. In the guts of the machine there is another record of the voting but neither the judge/alternate judge can get to those totals. Only a tech from the company can open that part of the machine. Later, if there is a question about the totals, the tech can remove that extra copy.
Now, the judge and alternate judge carry those devices to the central counting station. They may be in one car or two cars, but also along with them, must be the sheriff or a deputy to follow the car(s) to central counting. This is to ensure nothing happens to those results in transit.
A little story: Years ago in that county, when Democrats ruled the county and there was little to no security of elections, a Democrat judge had the totals of his precinct and decided to go have dinner with his friends before he took the results to central counting in the courthouse. No one in central counting knew where he was, so the results of that election could not be determined until he decided to go to central counting after his dinner party with his friends.
Central counting must report totals to the Secretary of State at certain times but no totals (except early voting) could be called in since they didn't have the totals from that precinct. The Secretary of State's office was angry at no totals coming in and central counting was angry because they were stuck until that judge showed up. But, the judge had a great dinner.
4. In Texas, both parties are represented in central counting (due to a law my husband wrote). The procedure is written in that law and must be followed. There may be a representative from the company who developed those machines, present in case there is a glitch with the counting machine or there because the election administrator asked one to come because he/she did not feel capable of performing his/her central counting duties correctly.
That is the Texas system and if you are worried about machines in your state, all you have to do is go to your Secretary of State's website where there will be a link to your state's election code that spells out the system used for security of your voting machines and the totaling at central counting on election night.
You see, someone just doesn't say, “Oh, let's have an election - do anything you want.” Every state has laws determining how elections are to be held and how security is maintained. Until you read their system, you don't know how machines are secured or elections are held in your state/county. If you are still worried, talk to your Republican County Chair about your concerns and he/she can tell you about machine security in your county. Don't believe what you read about some voting machine somewhere that was corrupted so the machine company must be at fault. It is much more likely that county did not follow the law to provide security for that machine or machines.
There is something in this posted article that says paper tape from a machine or machines were found in the trash outside the building. All tapes are to be kept but the fact some or all were tossed after the election isn't the end of the world. It was also said the tape totals didn't match the results given to the public. Well, other numbers at central counting would be added to a voting machine tape from a counting machine - early voting including mail in ballots and the number of Provisional Ballots. Finding paper tape with voting numbers in the trash would not immediately mean to me that voting machines had been violated/changed/manipulated. The official who dumped those tapes probably needs to be schooled in her/his job.
Trust me here: THESE clowns will be out in force in 2014, 2016 and FOREVER. If you care about this country, you and your conservative/libertarian pals had better be there as well. And if we fail with the effort to enforce voter ID laws and make absolutely certain ALL parties in races are involved in the COUNTING OF THE VOTES, none of that will matter.
If there are corrupt election officials, and collusion their can be cheating. Those ballots with hanging chads were the pits, so it’s good that they be replaced.
Our county uses paper ballots that use color in the dots, and then a machine counts them. I like that, because push come to shove, John Q citizen can see with their own eyes if they happened to be part of the recount team.
However, we are a small town, and it wouldn’t be that bad to recount by hand. Not sure it is practical in larger cities.
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, on the day of her election, assembled a committee of security experts and computer scientists to certify voting machines. Not one could be certified. So with an election coming up, they certified the ones we use; they at least have a paper ballot that's marked directly by the voter. Typically a recount runs those back through the machine again, making that vulnerable too, but at least there's a paper copy. Unfortunately, those get destroyed. Also, Humboldt County discovered that the Central Tabulator's delete key would instantly delete a precinct without confirmation and without a line in any report mentioning that! Lookee there, ma, San Francisco's plumb disappeared!
You also mentions paper tapes being found in the trash. So what? those are worthless. You have a machine, you press “Abraham”, and it shows you Lincoln, but the internal, invisible tape records that Benedict Arnold got a vote. The minute you voted it was changed, and there's no record anywhere of the truth (except in the voter's mind). For the same reasons, only hardcopy paper ballots can be recounted, and can PROVE their accuracy. And in Florida it's illegal to use a machine that produces a hard copy. That horribly Democrat state doesn't want honest elections (oh, wait they're Republicans there).
The 2000 Florida election was thrown, sure by the Supremes, but also there were batches of punch cards that were manufactured mis-registered so the “hanging chad” problem was created; the punches didn't quite line up with the holes. That paper is cut to really strict standards, but seven employees of Boise Cascade, including some line workers and the company controller came forward and revealed a mysterious order printed on inferior stock from an unauthorized source (and they laughed that they had put xeroxed Boise labels on the rolls); these went to two counties in Florida. So obviously there desire to throw elections is strong in some folks. E-voting machines make this infinitely easier.
I have a friend that has designed a few industrial computers, and those were made for easy field programming; not just of the customer's operation, but the operating system itself. He was shocked to see the Diebold machines had three different ways to change any part of their software in the field. He told me if he was designing a system to be insecure, that's exactly what he'd do except that it costs more for three where one would do. And the cases were locked by your standard suitcase key, meaning they are all the same. And if you didn't have that, about six screws got you in. And MIT demonstrated a card: set the machine up at the poll, open a door and insert the card, start the machine, stop the machine, remove the card and shut the door, then watch votes that look right come out flipped (not all of them, only enough). What was Diebold thinking? Well, the President of the company DID say, publicly, that he would do anything in his power to hand Ohio to the Republicans.
Exit polling in a Russian election differed from the results enough (like about 3%) that a new election was called. In the US that's ignored. Yet in a Florida e-vote (I think in 2010) a candidate who was not known by anyone and had never campaigned, won by something like 21,000 votes over his popular rival, and the exit poll disagreed by over 50%. crickets.
There's a ton of more things wrong with it and it amazes me that no one cares. Internet voting is even worse, and vote-by-mail is equally stupid.
The Princeton (sorry, not MIT) video:
A Diebold whistleblower; Diebold did throw an election and paid 27 million for it:
And Fox news misses the most important point of all, seen in video above, that the programming can be carried in a card that takes no time to install:
Voter fraud and voter ID are totally small potatoes (and don't really happen much) compared to throwing a whole precinct or state, which has happened a lot.
“I’m sure you’re proud of you’re husband’s law. The security laws are frequently not followed. But the machines can easily be hacked by a person in the County, and that’s where the danger lies.”
First comes the security laws because some people are criminals. Then comes the party chairman of both parties to make sure the county employees do their jobs according to law and that’s what we did. A county chairman can appoint someone (or him/her self) to watch every single election activity carried out in the courthouse (and polling places in early voting and election day).
We made sure the machines were checked and locked up according to law. Any party chairman can do that. You see, just writing law is the first part - then you make sure the county employees follow that law. If the machines are locked up according to law, no one can get to them. We made sure, after they were checked for accuracy, they were locked up and no single person could get in there. Due diligence is required every step of the way in an election.
People talk about going back to paper ballots. It is so easy to commit fraud with paper ballots. Anyone who thinks they are better have no idea how difficult it is to find fraud and prove it with paper ballots. Those are pieces of paper and pieces of paper are hard to keep together in pristine condition. They are handled by many people before the election is over. Thinking they are safer, is folly.
Mail ballots: I was the judge of the early voting ballot board and it took three days of work to validate mail ballots and easy voting ballots. At the end of every day, the sheriff came and locked that room. He had the only key. If the sheriff is on the ballot, he can’t have the key - it’s given to the county judge who in that year is not on the ballot. I had wire locks on the ballot boxes and I put a new one on each box at the end of the day and recorded the number of the locks. The next morning I checked to be sure that same locks were on the boxes. To get a wire lock off, the wire has to be broken and it is useless after that. If the number on the wire lock was still there the next morning, I knew no one had been in that box.
There is redundancy of security in elections, but it is up to the county chairmen to make sure their part of the election is fair and correct and that means checking up on what happens in the courthouse to make sure no criminal activity happens there.
Law allows elections to be monitored but humans have to do the monitoring.
As for California, that’s their problem.
With respect to $ and greed, I believe vote fraud is going to happen no matter what unless and until the punishment is severely increased (minimum 10 year mandatory, no parol). In conjunction, nullifying any and all elections where fraud is proved. Sure, many negatives come with that but hopefully the integrity of our system would eventually prevail. The life of this country depends on it. How can one argue against the obvious that our current system is designed to accommodate vote fraud. I appreciate your take but here’s a few ideas that politicians should pursue that could possibly improve the integrity of our system. The mandate of voter photo ID, eliminate motor voter registration, ink one finger, hand written ballot votes, eliminating absentee ballots as well as on line voting, e machines and mandate a triplicate count of all ballots using different people to count. Certainly the process will take longer but expanding the time of the election process could remedy that. Incorporating these things just might work. Maybe some things to address at a Con Con. Just my opinion.
“nullifying any and all elections where fraud is proved.”
That would be rare because the state budget allows for “x” money to be spent on that election - they don't have the money to hold another complete election unless it is an extremely serious problem. That is why it is vitally important to make sure your county follows the law when the election season starts. However, there could be some catastrophic occurrence before the election so that election could not be held to start with.
“mandate of voter photo ID”
Most people don't understand what a picture ID is designed to do. It has one purpose on election day and that is at a polling place. If I represent myself as “Betty Grable” and I have her voter picture ID, the judge knows I am NOT Betty Grable because I don't look like that picture, therefore I cannot vote using the name of Betty Grable. I will be turned away from the polling place. Before picture ID, I could say I was Betty Grable and have an electric bill from that address with her name on it as ID, and I could vote as Betty Grable. Understand, different states will have various types of ID one could have but not all of them had to have a picture on them. Now, any state that requires a picture, won't accept those other means of non-picture ID. That particular voter fraud will be mostly curtailed with a picture ID.
“eliminate motor voter registration”
When the federal government wrote new election laws after the Florida election, the master voter list for a state was turned over to the Secretary of State of every state. Counties can no longer assume the person registering to vote is a citizen because the person checked a box saying he/she was a citizen. That paperwork has to go to the Secretary of State to be validated as a citizen and that department has the authority to check birth certificates or whatever they need to check to prove that person is a citizen. Only then, after that proof, will a voter be added to the official county list. Motor voter works the same, the SOS has to check for citizenship.
“ink one finger”
When a voter votes, his/her name on the voter list at the polling place is stamped “Voted” or another method is used to show that person voted. The person cannot return to vote again due to the list showing he/she has voted. That person can't go to another polling place because people with that address have to vote at the polling place where they just voted due to address. If they go to a polling place that doesn't cover that address, they cannot vote there.
“hand written ballot votes”
That would be a nightmare because people wouldn't write the names of candidates correctly, and a million errors would happen that couldn't be fixed. That one will never happen.
“eliminating absentee ballots”
You just kept grandma and grandpa who can't leave the house and Carl who is 30 but in the hospital, and Mary who never learned to drive a car so has no way to get there, and the elderly who live at a nursing home, from voting. They vote by mail and you cannot cut them out of voting just because their legs won't work or because they are sick or because they can't drive a car, or are in a nursing home. Absentee ballots will remain. It is the checking of those ballots using the law that finds and kicks out the fraudulent ones.
“triplicate count of all ballots using different people to count”
If there is a question about the count of ballots in a race, this is already done but not in triplicate which isn't needed. An equal amount of Democrats and Republicans meet at the courthouse and a recount of each ballot is done with one Republican sitting with a Democrat so each counts that ballot at the same time.
There is no election that won't have problems due to humans being involved, but if due diligence is taken by the Democrat and Republican chairman of every county, their election will have much less corruption, maybe even none.
If the Secretary of State in a state is allowing violation of elections laws of the state, then raise hell to the governor to get a new Secretary of State to oversee the election division of that office.
I wonder if you have ever spoken to your Republican County Chairman to find out what he/she does to make sure elections in the county are fairly held? You could even volunteer to help.
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