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Diebold Machines and Your Vote: Part II (California Recall Fraud)
The Agonist ^ | 10/5/03 | creativelcro and quietBill

Posted on 10/07/2003 7:27:02 PM PDT by SteveH

October 05, 2003

Diebold Machines and Your Vote: Part II

Diebold Machines and Your Vote: Part II

Timeline of the Diebold Case Susceptibility to Election Tampering Revealed; Legal Battles Ensue

by creativelcro and quietBill

On September 28, 2003 the Agonist published an exclusive, ?a href="">Diebold Machines and Your Vote?outlining the susceptibility of electronic voting machines to tampering and election fraud.

Here in Part 2, for the first time in print, the Agonist discloses in extensive detail the Diebold case timeline, and the legal battles that ensued. The phases of this timeline are as follows: A) Diebold system becomes available to outside scrutiny, B) Revealed: Diebold system is susceptible to election tampering, C) Computer scientists demonstrate many critical vulnerabilities, D) Diebold CEO promises to ø§eliver electoral votes?to Bush in 2004, E) Evidence that Diebold illegally tabulated votes before polls closed, and F) Diebold responds with legal action to silence critics.

Diebold system becomes available to outside scrutiny.

Jan 2003. Whistleblowers find the source code of a Diebold TouchScreen (TS) voting system on an unprotected Global Election Systems File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site. This site was supposed to have been shut down at the beginning of Dec. 2 2002, according to e-mails by Global Election Systems Webmaster Joshua Gardner.

The site contained large parts of GEMS (the Global Election Management System), as well as some unknown other software. These files will be referred to as ø‡iebold software?

Jan 22, 2003. Diebold finalizes acquisition of Global Election Systems.

Jan 29, 2003. The Diebold FTP server is taken offline.

Feb 5, 2003. Employees of Diebold Election Systems admit that they had been using an insecure FTP server to exchange and update some parts of Diebold's software, according to an interview conducted by B. Harris (author of the upcoming book Black Box Voting, currently available in PDF form at on Feb. 4.

Feb 10, 2003. Bev Harris publishes a follow-up article on the story a few days later.

March 2, 2003. A ø«acker?breaks the security of a private Web server ( ) operated by Diebold and obtains Diebold's internal discussion-list archives (referred to as the ø‡iebold memos?. The unidentified hacker provides Wired News with an archive containing 1.8 GB of files. There is speculation that the ø«acker?might be a Diebold insider.

The Diebold memos include thousands of messages dating from January 1999 through the end of February 2003. The lists contained internal company discussions of product support issues, software bugs, new software announcements and general company announcements.,1848,59925,00.html

April 23, 2003. B. J. Williams, Chair of the National Association Of State Election Directors (NASED) Voting Systems Board Technical Committee, writes a rebuttal to the charges raised by B. Harris: a defense of the procedures employed by the State of Georgia and the Federal Election Commission(FEC)/NASED certification process.

Revealed: Diebold system is susceptible to election tampering

July 8, 2003. B. Harris posts the results of a preliminary analysis of the Diebold software. Many flaws and security issues are described.

The companion article, written by the Web site operators, included the Internet address of a server in New Zealand from which this material could be downloaded and advice on how to crack the passwords (the large files quickly maxed out the site bandwidth). The article encourages people to copy the Diebold files and discuss what they find.

B. Harris creates an on-line forum for this discussion of the findings: (currently down, as explained below).

July 10, 2003. B. Harris posted specific rebuttals to the defense offered by B. J. Williams in his April 23 letter.

This posting includes an extended transcript of an interview with Rob Behler, a Diebold technician. The interview shows that the Georgia certification tests were less stringent than Williams had claimed, and that patches were routinely downloaded for these tests directly from the Diebold FTP site without passing through the FEC/NASED certification procedures.

July 21, 2003. Diebold finalizes an agreement with the state of Maryland to provide 11,000 TouchScreen voting systems for $55.6M.

Computer scientists demonstrate many critical vulnerabilities.

July 23, 2003. A team of computer scientists at Johns Hopkins University and Rice University led by Dr. Rubin releases a report on the Diebold software (referred to as the Rubin report. The report is devastating because it documents numerous programming flaws and security issues.

July 30, 2003. Diebold responds to the Rubin report.

Aug 1, 2003. Rubin and collaborators refute Dieboldöô claims

Aug 12, 2003. As a result of the Rubin report, Maryland Governor Ehrlich assigns Scientific Application International Corporation (SAIC) to review the Diebold machines.

Diebold CEO promises to ø§eliver electoral votes?to Bush in 2004

August 14, 2003. Walden O'Dell, CEO of Diebold Inc. tells Republicans in a fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

Evidence that Diebold illegally tabulated votes before polls closed

September 3, 2003. A file from Diebold software examined by activist J. March seems to be from a real election, and it contains real votes. This file is from the 2002 primary election in San Luis Obispo, California - SLOanalyze. This file was saved as a ø¥ackup file?at exactly 3:31 p.m. on election day (March 5, 2002), about five hours before the polls closed. This file contains a tabulation taken from 57 precincts. The votes in the file correspond with the final vote tally, which can be found on the San Luis Obispo County web site for that election (but only about 40 percent of the votes had come in by 3:31 in the afternoon).

This file appears to be problematic for Diebold, because it is illegal to count the votes before the polls close. Furthermore, it raises the question of how the votes went from 57 polling places into a central tally in the middle of the afternoon.

Jim March creates a mini-version of the New Zealand download link (see July 8) for the Diebold software. On his site, Jim March places files and detailed instructions for anybody who wants to examine the software produced by Diebold Election Systems.

Diebold responds with legal action to silence critics

September 12, 2003. A Cease and Desist notice is sent by Diebold÷Õ lawyers to the ISP of a site mirroring Jim March?site. The files are removed. B. Harris posts an article on indicating that the Diebold memos prove that Diebold bypassed certification procedures for their software. The same information is published a few days later on Scoop.

September 16, 2003. receives a Cease and Desist notice written by Diebold÷Õ lawyers, demanding the removal of emails (from the Diebold memos) posted in their entirety on ø—he owner of the /diebold-memos-1.htm page does not have Diebold's consent to use or distribute any Diebold Property. This web page infringes Diebold's copyrights by (1) placing an unauthorized copy of the Diebold Property on the server and (2) making the Diebold property available to third parties for the purpose of downloading and therefore copying Diebold Property.

The purpose of this letter is to advise you of our clients' rights and to seek your agreement to the following: 1. To stop using and to immediately delete any Diebold Property from all computer systems used by you, or operated under your control, and to confirm having done so in writing; 2. To confirm, in writing, that you have no backup copies of any Diebold Property; and 3. To cease making Diebold Property available on your server and to cease providing the opportunity for any third parties to download, and thereby copy, Diebold Property.?

B. Harris claims that over 500 voting activists around the world are in possession of the Diebold memos. An unknown activist puts the memos on an Italian site, which is linked by Another site hosts the memos and provides a Web search engine to search them.

September 18, 2003. Diebold's lawyers write a Cease and Desist against Jim March÷Õ ISP, requesting that his page be taken down. As others have noted, this behavior contradicts Diebold÷Õ earlier claims that all the files were old and out of date and not used in elections. Jim March proceeds with a "Counter-Notifications" under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Currently the site is still up.

September 22, 2003. Diebold sends a Cease and Desist letter to the ISP of the Italian site containing the memos. The links ( are removed. It is unclear what happened to site, but both the links and the search engine are removed. ( A new link is created ( and posted on, but it is dead within a few hours.

September 23, 2003. is shut down. According to information posted on, the server farm (Advanced Internet Technologies, Inc.) that was leasing the equipment to the ISP hosting was told by their attorney ø·hey must shut the site down and lock it up, giving access to no one until the matter is resolved?/a>. As a result, all files on the site are unavailable, even to B. Harris. The complaint is that was hosting a link to a site containing a copy of the Diebold memos (the site was listed above). Such a link, Diebold lawyers argued, constitutes copyright infringement covered by the DMCA. It is unclear whether a Counter-Notification is filed (like in the Jim March case). Apparently, B. Harris is not given the option to simply delete the offending material. Furthermore, it is not clear why the entire site (which includes over 300 pages) is taken down instead of just the offending page. Finally, for mysterious reasons, B. Harris is not allowed to move her domain to a new server. Currently, the site is still down.

The shutdown occurred the day before the SAIC report on the Diebold software was made public. There is growing speculation about the motivation behind the behavior of Advanced Internet Technologies, Inc.

September 24, 2003. The SAIC report is made public.

September 27, 2003. The files on are made available to B. Harris again, but the site remains down.

October 1, 2003. The first two chapters of Harris?book (Black Box Voting) are made available online. B. Harris informally announces that a forum through will enable live, real-time logging of every single problem a voter wants to submit for the California election next Tuesday.

October 3, 2003. is locked. According to B. Harris, the reason given by the ISP (this is a different ISP from the one that used to host is that the site had sent spam e-mails. The offending piece of spam showed that had nothing to do with it: apparently, a religious site sent an e-mail out to a number of people with a recent interview from B. Harris mentioning Somebody receiving the email complained to The complaint is forwarded to the ISP, which locks the site. Activists distribute chapters of the Black Box Voting book to many sites across the world.

October 4, 2003. Upon examining the evidence, the ISP reverses the decision. is back, at least for now., however, remains down. For some reason, according to B. Harris, the site will not be allowed back up until after the CA election, next Tuesday.

This is the second in a series of articles.

Stella contributed to this story.

Posted by Sean-Paul @ 10/05/2003 10:36 PM | TrackBack

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: bustamante; california; davis; electronicvoting; fraud; mcclintock; recall; schwarzenegger; voterfraud; votingfraud
Part I also available online at the Agonist

See also

1 posted on 10/07/2003 7:27:03 PM PDT by SteveH
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To: All

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2 posted on 10/07/2003 7:27:57 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Rabid Republican; DoctorZIn
3 posted on 10/07/2003 7:28:07 PM PDT by SteveH ((why can't we all just get along??? ;-))
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To: SteveH
Your One Stop Resource For All The California Recall News!

Want on our daily or major news ping lists? Freepmail DoctorZin

4 posted on 10/07/2003 8:13:01 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
How do you recount electrons?
5 posted on 10/08/2003 8:24:24 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- -----)
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To: Travis McGee
How do you recount electrons?

Use an AC ammeter to count them 60 times/second.

6 posted on 10/08/2003 9:24:15 PM PDT by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: supercat
Is that enough?
7 posted on 10/08/2003 9:25:47 PM PDT by The Westerner
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To: The Westerner
Is that enough?

Well, how many times do you want those electrons counted?

8 posted on 10/08/2003 9:51:17 PM PDT by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: supercat
As many as it takes. You have to make sure no one is disenfranchised!
9 posted on 10/08/2003 11:34:47 PM PDT by The Westerner
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To: All
I'm new to free republic. I'm also a Democrat. Some of you might ask what I'm doing here. I'm concerned about vote fraud across the country. As a matter of good faith, I hope that extends across party lines.

Imagine if George Soros of Haim Saban owned a voting machine company and said that they were "Committed to delivering (insert state here) to the Democratic Nominee (if its Hilary Clinton, I'll desert the Democratic Party) in 2004". You guys would be up in arms!

Democrats are up in arms because the CEO of Diebold is a big Bush supporter.

Its partisan politics, I know, but when the source code, internal memos, and software get leaked onto the internet, then it becomes cause for worry.

Hell, imagine if the guy was a big Green party supporter or someone who's a fan of convicted felon Lyndon LaRouche!

I'm a computer science major. I know faulty code when I see it. Diebold's whole operation looks shoddy. I dont see why they dont just print out paper ballots for verification.

Suing activists using the DMCA is a surefire way to get the crowd inflamed in a tizzy. Dieboldt's memos are being zipped across the internet. I wish the DMCA would never have came into law. I hate Clinton for signing it because it tips power too far into tha hands of big media. You guys are libertarians and want to be left alone, right?

How many of you guys think that voting machines should be open and transparent? If we cant trust voting machines to accurately reflect the will of the people, what good is the state of our nation?

Freedom is something too important to be left alone.

I ask all of you freepers to help out the computer and voting rights activists as a matter of good faith.

Thank you for letting me sign up in this forum

10 posted on 10/28/2003 1:56:35 PM PST by chicagosjg
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