Locally or county-wide offices could be affected in any area by 20K persons. It happens all the time in cities with major universities, when students register and vote en masse.
You can go have a look at Wyoming election returns and you'll see that what I am saying is correct. Google "Wyoming election returns" to find the link.
Natrona County, Wyoming March 2006 :
"Good morning, sir. Here are last night's figures. We have sufficient numbers for five, and almost six."
The dark-haired man behind his desk nods and smiles. He is distinguished like an executive, but also tanned and rugged like a rancher. Little wonder. He is both a rancher and an executive. "Great news, Tom. Five will work. Five is all we need for Phase 1a."
"What about the overflow from number six?" asks the assistant.
"Let's spread half into the first five and reserve the remaining half until September for any surprises."
"Yes, sir. That was my thought, too," agrees Tom.
The rancher executive turns to his computer keyboard and briskly composes a short message, which he PGP encrypts with the public key of a colleague in Phoenix. This he pastes into an email composition window. Above the encrypted message he adds some curious text which looks like a simple computer language and includes several e-remailers' addresses. The entire email was then again PGP encrypted, but with "To's" public key. An envelope within an envelope. Only the email's header (i.e., From, To, Subject) was in plaintext. The Subject line read one question.
He sits back for several moments of calm satisfaction. Then he looks up at his assistant and says, "You've put enormous work into this, Tom. We couldn't have done it without you. Would you do the honors?"
"Yes, sir! Thank you!" Tom steps behind the man's desk, places his hand on the mouse, moves the cursor to the "Send" icon, pauses, and clicks the mouse button. At the speed of light, through two dozen nodes, the email is instantly enroute.
"Iacta alea est," says the man.
"The die is cast," echoes Tom.
The exclamation was attributed to Julius Caesar upon his crossing of the river Rubicon in 49 B.C. against the Senate's orders to lay down his military command. By invading central Italy from the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul (what is now northern Italy), Caesar kicked off a civil war with his former ally Pompey, a Roman general whose rule extended to Syria and Palestine. Caesar defeated Pompey the next year at Pharsalus and pursued him to Alexandria in Egypt (where he was assassinated). Two years later in 46 B.C., Caesar defeated the remaining Pompeian force in Africa at Thapsus.
"Not that you aspire to become Caesar," Tom qualifies.
"No," sighs the man, "but they will accuse me of it all the same."
Before the two men had finished speaking, the email had already crossed the Atlantic. "To" is a covert e-remailer in Berlin used by only several dozen international libertarians for urgent business. "To" picked up his web-based email from several different public terminals which required no ID or sign-up to log in. Always with Karl Heinz Kolb was his powerful laptop, loaded with virtually every encryption program in existence. It had built-in software and hardware security devices to foil any third-party attempt at usage or data downloading. His friends joked that it would probably convert any snoop into argon gas. Kolb was quietly revered for how seriously he took his computer privacy. There was none his crafty equal in all of Berlin.
Sipping his chai tea at the Potsdamer Platz CyberCafé, he sits down at a terminal, logs onto his Yahoo! account, opens his Inbox, and clicks on the waiting email from email@example.com. Once, Kolb thought aglet was an odd name and so he looked it up. He was surprised to learn that it wasn't a name, but a thing. It is the plastic end of shoelaces that allows you to thread them through the eyeholes. Without aglets, we'd all be wearing sandals or loafers. Whoever aglet was, he evidently appreciated the small, overlooked things which made bigger things not only possible, but common.
The email is a PGP message, which he saves on a floppy. He knows that it had been encrypted with one of his public keys. The "one" in the Subject line's one question means Priority One.
Most public terminals do not have PGP installed, so the 31 year old Berliner must use his laptop. This is really the only downside to web-based email from public computers. Kolb doesn't mindin fact, he considers it a vital part of the process as he has no intention of sending email from the same terminal he received it. Not even from different accounts, as the IP address would still be the same. Physically breaking up the email chain by using different computers is what makes Kolb's remailing service so solid. His laptop is the only link between them.
Analyzing Kolb's Yahoo! anonymous account would reveal only log- ons from public terminals and the receipt of encrypted remails. Kolb never emailed anyone from that account. Thus, the vaunted Kriposthe Kriminal Polizeicould not learn from Yahoo! who he was, what he was receiving, or from whom.
Ghosts communicating with a ghost.
Kolb deletes the email from his Inbox, empties the Trash, shreds (he had installed Eraser on the server) Today's History from the computer, and logs out. He pays the 5 Euros, leaves the café and disappears down the U-Bahn stairwell a block down the street. Twenty-three minutes later he is at a university library which also has public terminals. He boots up his laptop, inserts the floppy, and decrypts the email with his secret key. Following the enclosed forwarding instructions he prepares to send the remaining PGP message kernel down the remailing chain. The first recipient is a Copenhagen partner of the Berlin operation, so the message is encrypted on Kolb's laptop with the Dane's PGP public key. Thus, what Kolb sends is different from what he had received, in case the two emails were ever somehow compared with each other. The two remailers' public PGP keys were known to precisely 37 people, all trusted libertarians.
From Copenhagen the kernel will skip through Helsinki, Krakow, and Tacoma before landing in Phoenix.
Four hours later the final recipient has it. Its Wyoming origin simply cannot be discerned from backtracking the IP packet flow. Physically, the trail went stone cold at Terminal #14 in the Berlin Technische Universität library, and that's assuming investigators could backtrack all the way to Copenhagenand then to Berlin. Learning even that useless dead-end would require an expensive and prolonged multinational intelligence effort. The Subject line read Lose 24lbs. In Just 5 Weeks!! Most people would have immediately deleted such an apparent spam, but the man in Phoenix had been awaiting precisely this email.
Not that he was overweight. The message was a grain of sand hiding on a beach. The "24lbs." meant that he had to proceed within 24 hours. The "5" told him the scope of the operation5 counties. Hands shaking with anticipation, he uses his PGP secret key to decrypt the message.
The thunderbolt falls before the noise of it is heard in the skies, prayers are says before the bell is rung for them; he receives the blow that thinks he himself is giving it, he suffers who never expected it, and he dies that look'd upon himself to be the most secure: all is done in the Night and Obscurity, amongst Storms and Confusion.
It was a quote from Gabriel Naudé, a 17th century Paris political author. The Phoenix man smiles, and then laughs out loud to himself. Four years of planning and work! It was actually going to happen! He grabs his laptop, kisses his wife good-bye and says that he'll be back in a few hours. He drives to the main downtown library on Central Avenue, walks up to the second floor where the public terminals are, signs on with an alias as a guest, and begins to work. Within an hour, 9,816 people across the Southwest are notified by an encrypted group email. The message is simple:
Solivitur ambulando. It is solved by walking.
The problem is settled by actionthe theoretical by the practical.
Wyoming Department of Administration and Information Division of Economic Analysis, Emerson Building
"Huh! Now, this is odd," observes a data analyst.
"What's odd?" asks his colleague friend in the adjoining cubicle.
"These new resident numbers for this year. Five counties show increases of over 20%."
The analysts work for the Wyoming State Data Center (WSDC) which publishes a monthly bulletin of economic conditions, housing figures, sales tax collections, cost of living indices, etc. Their second floor cubicles had a view of northern Cheyenne. It was a slate and pewter autumn day. A winter storm coming.
"Over 20%? Which five counties?"
"Niobrara, Hot Springs, Johnson, Crook, and Sublette."
"Not Teton or Albany?"
"Nope, it's five economically stagnant counties with very low population bases andhey, wait a minute!"
"They're not just sparsely populated, they're the five least populated counties! That can't be coincidence!"
"Hmmm. That is weird! Hot Springs has Thermop, Johnson has Buffalo, Crook has Sundance, and Sublette has Pinedaleand those are all nice little towns, but who the hell would move to Lusk? It's a tumbleweed gas stop on the way to nowhere."
"You got that right."
"Hold on, I'm accessing migration flows. Nope, very few intrastate movers. Most came from...California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, and Texas."
"That's strange. California and Colorado is typical, but we always lose people to Oregon, Arizona, and Texas. This makes no sense. Besides the oil boom in the early 1980s, when did we ever have a net inflow from Texas? What the hell is going on?"
"Hold on, lemme run some of these new addresses. I wanna see if they're urban or rural." A few mouse clicks later, he exclaims, "You wouldn't believe how many common addresses are popping up!"
"Common addresses? Really?"
"Yeah, common. And all of them rural. Take Crook County, for example. I'm showing a September increase of 1,346 new residents, and guess how many of them listed their address as 2075 Highway 112?"
"217! At the same address?"
"Yeah, 217. That's 16% of the county's new residents. One in six."
"What's at that address?"
"Hold on, I'm checking. A trailerpark and campground just north of Hulett. Bastiat Trailer Estates. Built this year. It's got...hold on...60 mobile home lots."
"Four residents per trailer; that comes to a capacity of 240. So, yeah, it would easily hold 217 people. Even more."
"Hey, here's another one384 people show their new residence as the Galtson Mobile Home Park on Highway 111 just south of Aladdin."
"Galtson? That's a funny name."
"Yeah, I thought so, too. And, hey, there's one more trailerpark, the Rothbard Trailer Court on Highway 585 south of Sundance. 316 new residents there."
"Those two trailerparks account for...let's see...over two-thirds of the new people. Where are the rest?"
"The rest429 to be preciseseem spread out amongst 35 addresses. It's like 35 families just up and decided to take in a dozen refugees in their homes."
"This is the weirdest damn thing I've ever seen. How 'bout you?"
"Oh, by far! Hey! Guess what their voter registration is?"
"All of them?"
"Yep. Every last adult. No Democrats. No Libertarians. No Natural Law. No Independents."
"Whaddaya bet same thing's goin' on in those other counties?"
"I'm already on it."
Within an hour, a fairly detailed abstract has been made of the numbers, which shows identical patterns in Niobrara, Hot Springs, Johnson, and Sublette counties. New community housings, trailerparks, and apartment complexes had sprung up there in the past year to be totally filled by new residents relocating from generally six other states. This relocation appears to have begun in the sparsest county of Niobrara, and then in order to the next sparsest counties of Hot Springs, Sublette, Crook, and lastly Johnsonlike water filling up an ice tray. This shows design, direction, and coordination.
If the sudden concentration of this orchestrated immigration was suspicious, the timing was alarming. Nearly ten thousand Americans had descended on five sparse Wyoming counties just weeks before a general election. Within the counties, all the political officers were up for election. Clerks, Assessors, County Attorneys, District Attorneys, Sheriffs, Commissioners, Treasurers, Coroners, Judges, everyone.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Who wouldn't bethose five counties are facing a coup d'état!"
"Shit! Who are these people?"
"Beats me, man. Hey, it's 5:30. Let's get outta here and grab a few beers. Get a game plan going before we tell the SecState about this!"
"Sounds good. We'll take all this stuff with us and work on it at down at Muldoons." After several hours at their usual tavern, the two computer analysts are well and truly plastered. An early winter storm had hit southeast Wyoming that evening, and the roads were sheeted in black ice. Driving home, the carpooling pair careen off a mild curve in the road, go down a thirty foot embankment and flip. One is knocked unconscious; the other his neck broken. Their car's fuel line had been ripped away by the dense underbrush, and raw gasoline spilled onto the red-hot exhaust manifold. Only the blaze gave notice of the lonely accident, and by the time the fire trucks had arrived the car was a black, smoking shell. Bits of burning computer printouts floated about like Dante's snowflakes.
The curious fattening of five Wyoming counties goes unnoticed by the replacement analysts at the WSDC. The general election of 2006 is just twelve days away.