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Vote Fraud News
Electronic-voting firm reveals hacker break-in 12/30/03 Seattle Times: "Bellevue-based VoteHere, which sells software designed to make electronic voting more secure, said yesterday a hacker it thinks was politically motivated broke into its computer system and stole nonsensitive internal documents."
Democrats air concern on vote fraud 12/30/03 Sun Sentinel, FL: "Critics warned Monday that computer error or outright fraud easily could alter the outcome of elections conducted on Palm Beach County's electronic voting machines."
Libertarians to Shelley: Decertify Voting Machines 12/28/03 eMediaWire: "Political organization calls on California Secretary of State to decertify Diebold voting machines used in 17 counties and demands criminal sanctions."
Back up e-ballots with a paper trail 12/24/03 Seattle Times
Electronic voting shouldn't replace paper ballots 12/23/03 Sioux City Journal
Paper trail stirs debate over voting machines 12/22/03 Cleveland Plain Dealer
Graham rolls out electronic voting bill 12/22/03 Federal Computer Weekly: "Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) has introduced a bill to require the makers of touch screen voting machines to produce voter-verified paper receipts and to take other measures intended to prevent election fraud.
Graham's bill mirrors a measure that Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) introduced in the House earlier this year."
The Year Democracy Ended 12/19/03 The Free Press: "The Sunday, November 12, 2000 Washington Post, buried on page A22, the smoking gun of the Bush family’s CIA-style rigged 'demonstration' election in Florida: «Something very strange happened on election night to Deborah Tannenbaum, a Democratic Party official of Volusia County. At 10 p.m., she called the county elections department and found that Al Gore was leading George W. Bush 83,000 votes to 62,000 votes. But when she checked the county’s Web site for an update half an hour later, she found a startling development: Gore’s count had dropped by 16,000 votes, while an obscure Socialist candidate had picked up 10,000 ... all because of a single precinct with only 600 voters»."
A Message from Martin Sheen 12/19/03 True Majority: "To send a fax to your Representative urging him or her to support voting machines with a paper trail across the country fill out this form."
Con Job at Diebold Subsidiary 12/17/03 AP: "At least five convicted felons secured management positions at a manufacturer of electronic voting machines, according to critics demanding more stringent background checks for people responsible for voting machine software."
E-Voting Undermined by Sloppiness 12/17/03 Wired: "But Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who made an unprecedented appearance before the VSP, said he was disturbed by the company's actions and would not rule out the possibility of decertifying the machines in California.
"The core of our American democracy is the right to vote," Shelley said. "Implicit in that right is the notion that that vote be private, that vote be secure, and that vote be counted as it was intended when it was cast by the voter. And I think what we're encountering is a pivotal moment in our democracy where all of that is being called into question." "
PRESS CONFERENCE - Washington State Electronic Voting 12/16/03 Black Box Voting: "What we have, in Washington State, is this: We’ve got the state election director misstating when versions were certified, somebody at the secretary of state’s office signing off on software with no NASED number, and when we try to find out what software is actually authorized, we get the buffalo shuffle. We’ve got a convicted drug dealer printing our ballots, a 23-count embezzler programming our voting system, and our absentee ballots are being funneled through a private company that hires mainly immigrants but also people straight out of prison.
We’ve now documented 10 states that are using unauthorized software, and internal memos that indicate that five Diebold programmers uploaded these unauthorized programs, knowing that this was not allowed."
Voting technology on verge of expansion 12/14/03 Tennessean: "Gibbs, 57, is the inventor of TruVote Voter Validation and Verification System, which includes a computerized touch-screen voting machine that provides voters with a receipt. Using an identification number on the receipt, voters can verify later by computer or touch-tone telephone that their vote was recorded.
A Memphis native, Gibbs said that as a black voter with an auditing background, he was compelled to act after the 2000 Florida vote, in which scores of blacks and other minorities complained that they were disenfranchised."
Counting on Democracy 12/12/03 Globalvision: by Faye M. Anderson, about the 2000 election.
Counting on Democracy 12/12/03 ITV: by Faye M. Anderson, about the 2000 election.
Voting machines need a paper trail 12/12/03 Miami Herald: by Faye M. Anderson - "In a testimonial posted on its website, Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox praises Diebold for ''going above and beyond the call of duty to help the state implement this enormous endeavor.'' Cox's peachy assessment is not shared by black voters. A Peach State Poll found that only 40 percent of black respondents felt ''very confident'' that their votes were accurately counted compared to 79 percent of whites. Exit polls in two Maryland counties using Diebold machines found a similar racial gap in voters' confidence."
E-mail stolen from Diebold is a call to gouge 12/10/03 Gazette, MD: "An e-mail found in a collection of files stolen from Diebold Elections Systems' internal database recommends charging Maryland "out the yin-yang" if the state requires Diebold to add paper printouts to the $73 million voting system it purchased." Punish them for requiring an audit trail!
Electronic Votes Touch Off Doubts 12/6/03 Common Dreams: "O'Dell has since expressed regrets for the remarks, saying that while experienced in business, he is "a real novice" in politics. Even so, he has no intention of stopping his fund-raising efforts as a "Pioneer" and "Ranger," designations used by the Bush campaign for elite fund-raisers who collect a minimum of $200,000 and $100,000, respectively. "I am one, and proud of it," O'Dell said in a statement issued by Diebold's corporate headquarters."
White House blasted for ‘war’ on voting rights 12/6/03 People's Weekly World: "The Bush administration is waging war on democracy. That was the message from speakers at a Nov. 22-23 conference on voting rights here. To protect ballot rights and other democratic freedoms, many participants said, it is vital to remove Bush from office in the 2004 elections."
Fairfax Judge Orders Logs Of Voting Machines Inspected 12/6/03 Washington Post: "Widespread problems in the system, which the county paid $3.5 million to install, also opened the door to possible election challenges by party leaders and candidates.
School Board member Rita S. Thompson (R), who lost a close race to retain her at-large seat, said yesterday that the new computers might have taken votes from her. Voters in three precincts reported that when they attempted to vote for her, the machines initially displayed an "x" next to her name but then, after a few seconds, the "x" disappeared."
Update on the Perils to Democracy of Electronic Voting:
A BuzzFlash Interview with Bev Harris 12/4/03 Buzzflash: "At first, dismissed as the paranoid delusions of a few diehard researchers, a growing number of states are researching these accusations -- among others -- and discovering that many of the concerns are valid. On December 3, the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" reported that, "Ohio's sweeping review of electronic voting machines turned up so many potential security flaws in the systems that the state's top elections official has called off deploying them in March" [LINK].
When we first interviewed Bev Harris [LINK], a pioneer in exposing the dangerous potential for election manipulation that electronic voting machines pose, she wanted to ensure that BuzzFlash didn't make her into a hero. Harris wrote us a long e-mail detailing many of the people who have tirelessly worked to bring this issue to the point that it is now being seriously addressed. And Harris is right: dozens of patriotic Americans have endured a lot of skepticism and legal threats for working to ensure that elective democracy works.
Nonetheless, Harris, a resident of Washington State, has been the most visible writer and spokesperson on the issue… First, the impact of Diebold's abusive use of copyright law did very serious damage to my organization and me. This triggered a shutdown of BlackBoxVoting.org, which lasted 30 days and derailed activism to monitor the California Recall Election, stripping away our activism base as it muted my voice on the issue. It nearly decapitated blackboxvoting.org."
Paul Krugman Doesn't Know The Half of It 12/4/03 Greg Palast: "Last year, with little fanfare and less scrutiny, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act, which effectively orders all states to buy the computerized voting machines that Mr. Krugman rightly dreads. Worse, the law requires all states to computerize their voter rolls and purge those lists of suspect voters, à la Florida.
Heaven help us when President Bush and Congress tell us that they are going to "help" us vote. "
Electronic Voting Has Its Pros and Cons 12/3/03 BET: do you smell coverup?
Blackwell Seeks Improvements and Additional Security Assurances from Electronic Voting Machine Vendors 12/2/03 Ohio: "Compuware Corporation, based in Detroit, conducted a thorough technical analysis of each of the four electronic voting device vendors’ software and hardware. The review included an examination of the computer source code, and scrutiny of the potential for penetration and points of failure specific to each voting machine. Compuware examined the Diebold Election Systems AccuVote-TS, the Election Systems and Software (ES&S) iVotronic, the Hart InterCivic eSlate 3000, and the Sequoia Voting Systems AVC Edge.
In its review, Compuware identified a total of 57 potential security risks within the software and hardware tested. The risks were sorted into high, medium and low categories. Diebold Election Systems had five high potential risk areas, two medium and eight low potential risk areas. ES&S had one high potential risk area, three medium and 13 low potential risk areas. Hart InterCivic had four high potential risk areas, one medium and five low potential risk areas. Sequoia Election Systems had three high potential risk areas, five medium and seven low potential risk areas."
Residents asked to weigh in on voting machines 12/2/03 Reno Gazette Journal, NV
Electronic voting firm drops legal case 12/1/03 AO: "In a major victory for free speech enthusiasts on the Internet, Diebold Inc. has agreed not to sue voting rights advocates who publish leaked documents about the alleged security breaches of electronic voting.
A Diebold spokesman promised in a conference call Monday with U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel and attorneys from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that it would not sue dozens of students, computer scientists and ISP operators who received cease-and-desist letters from August to October."
Paper trail is a must for voters 11/30/03 Herald Tribune: "Concerns continue to grow about the reliability and security of electronic voting machines, and more reasons for those concerns continue to present themselves regularly… But not all the concerns raised about voting machines come from folks you suspect might wear tin-foil hats.
For instance, Stanford University professor David Dill organized a coalition of computer scientists to oppose the use of electronic voting machines in California that don't produce a verifiable paper trail.
Other computer scientists, including a group from Johns Hopkins and Rice universities, have expressed serious concern about potential security holes in elections software."
Officials Vow to Fix Voter Problems Before 2004 11/25/03 Fox: "One election official told Foxnews.com that the Florida recount (search) — which delayed the results of the 2000 presidential election by five weeks — taught everyone a lesson, including to think ahead as they plan for the 2004 vote." Like how to do a better job counting votes fraudulently?
Nachi worm infected Diebold ATMs 11/24/03 Security Focus: "The Nachi worm compromised Windows-based automated teller machines at two financial institutions last August, according to ATM-maker Diebold, in the first confirmed case of malicious code penetrating cash machines.
The machines were in an advanced line of Diebold ATMs built atop Windows XP Embedded, which, like most versions of Windows, was vulnerable to the RPC DCOM security bug exploited by Nachi, and its more famous forebear, Blaster.
At both affected institutions the ATMs began aggressively scanning for other vulnerable machines, generating anomalous waves of network traffic that tripped the banks' intrusion detection systems, resulting in the infected machines being automatically cut off, Diebold executives said."
State changes rule on electronic voting machines 11/22/03 SF Chronicle: "In an effort to prevent fraud, California's top election official Friday ordered all counties using electronic voting systems to provide voters with printed receipts by 2006." Bush gets a free pass in 2004!
Court Hearing on Electronic Voting Company's Threats Against Critics 11/17/03 Electronic Frontier Foundation
Issue is integrity of voting system, not race 11/14/03 South Florida Sun Sentinel: "The ever-growing problems with the Broward County Elections Supervisor, Miriam Oliphant, have been well chronicled. The seemingly daily accounts of mismanagement and irresponsibility have gone from bad to worse.
There is a real concern that every voter -- black and white, young and old, Republican and Democrat alike -- will be disenfranchised. The president of the Fort Lauderdale branch of the NAACP, Bill McCormick, best described the current crisis as "bigger than Miriam and her office; it's about the citizens of Broward County and their right to vote." "
Willingham challenges defeat with suit alleging vote fraud 11/13/03 Go Memphis: "In his suit, Willingham offered no specific evidence of election problems. But the county commissioner and his lawyer say they are investigating claims that as many as 15,000 votes from newly annexed areas were not counted and that the election computer system malfunctioned and skewed the vote tally."
Can Voting Machines Be Trusted? 11/11/03 CBS: "A new conspiracy theory is taking hold across the Internet. It goes something like this: Computerized voting machines bought from companies owned by major Bush/Cheney supporters are being used to fix elections all over the country in Republicans' favor.
Sites like votewatch.us and truthout.com have been sounding the alarm for months, and the theory got a mainstream boost last week when Howard Dean said President Bush would be raising money from "the guy who makes voting machines, which doesn’t give you much confidence in the electoral process." "
Schrodinger’s Vote - Why Diebold can’t be trusted to tally in ’04. 11/11/03 NY Press: "The essence of sleight of hand is misdirection. During the 36-day electoral cliffhanger the nation was forced to endure following the 2000 presidential vote, the mass media in this country emphasized the "chad" problem with paper punch ballots to the exclusion of all other factors involved. This resulted in a great clamor and fuss over our "antiquated" system of logging votes. Congress passed the HAVA (Help America Vote Act) with about as much due diligence as accompanied the passage of the Patriot Act. The rush to implement a fully computerized touchscreen voting system has led us to an eminently hackable and totally unreliable set-up completely dominated by partisans and minions of the Bush regime. The leader of the pack is Diebold Election Systems Inc., but the two leading competitors, Sequoia Systems and ES&S, are also top-heavy with ardent Bush disciples."
Voter Verification Newsletter -- Vol 1, Number 13 11/11/03 VerifiedVoting.org
Machine Politics in the Digital Age 11/9/03 NYT: "Judging from Federal Election Commission data, at least eight million people will cast their ballots using Diebold machines next November. That is 8 percent of the number of people who voted in 2000, and includes all voters in the states of Georgia and Maryland and those in various counties of California, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Arizona and Kansas.
Some people find Mr. O'Dell's pairing of interests - as voting-machine magnate and devoted Republican fund-raiser - troubling. To skeptics, including more than a few Democrats, it raises at least the appearance of an ethical problem. Some of the chatter on the Internet goes so far as to suggest that he could use his own machines to sway the election."
Electronic Voting Firm Sued Over Threats 11/4/03 AP: "Free speech advocates sued a manufacturer of electronic voting machines Tuesday, demanding it stop sending legal threats to groups that publish company documents leaked by a hacker."
Online Policy Group v. Diebold, Inc. 11/4/03 Electronic Freedom Foundation: "Diebold, Inc., manufacturer of electronic voting machines, has been sending out dozens of cease-and-desist letters to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), after internal documents indicating flaws in their systems were published on the Internet. The company cited copyright violations under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and demanded that the documents be taken down.
Now EFF and the Center for Internet and Society Cyberlaw Clinic at Stanford Law School are fighting back, seeking a court order on behalf of nonprofit ISP Online Policy Group (OPG) and two Swarthmore College students to prevent Diebold’s abusive copyright claims from silencing public debate about voting, the very foundation of our democratic process."
Visualize a Fair Election in 2004 by Greg Palast 11/4/03 Macon Area Online, GA: "At the dais, Martin Luther King spoke with the marchers who had crossed the bridge into Birmingham, the women and men who had faced down Bull Connor’s police dogs and fire hoses: “We ask a simple question. Do African Americans have the right to vote in the United States of America?”
We had to blink. Speaking was Martin Luther King the Third, son of the late Nobel Laureate—and the year was 2003."
Rock Band Tours Nation To Help Stop '04 Vote Fraud 11/4/03 Scoop
Diebold E-Voting Case Page 11/4/03 Stanford CyberLaw: "The Cyberlaw Clinic is representing Swarthmore students Luke Smith and Nelson Pavlosky in their lawsuit against Diebold, maker of electronic voting machines. Smith and Pavlosky posted an email archive showing some problems with Diebold’s proprietary e-voting software engineering on the website of their student group, The Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons. Diebold then threatened Smith and Pavlosky with a suit for copyright infringment and successfully squelched the emails. EFF is representing co-Plaintiff Online Policy Group, an ISP which was also threatened."
Choosing Clarity: A Symposium on Voting Transparency 11/4/03 Swarthmore: ""Choosing Clarity: A Symposium on Voting Transparency," is scheduled to be held on Saturday, December 6th at Swarthmore College, 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia.
In light of the potentially static nature of the debate over the Diebold memos, concerned Swarthmore students have decided to organize an informational event to shift the focus toward a more constructive dialogue concerning voting process and reform. The symposium will be composed of panel discussions between invited speakers and lectures on distinct technical, administrative, legal, and political aspects of voting logistics."
Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons 11/4/03 Swathmore: "As stated on the EFF's page on the Diebold suit, we are suing Diebold to halt their efforts to shut down any website that hosts or links to the memos. We are represented by Stanford's Cyberlaw Clinic, and our co-plaintiffs are the Online Policy Group, who is represented by the EFF."
Better ballot boxes? Not so fast 11/4/03 The Sentinel, PA
Opportunities for fraud numerous 11/2/03 Denver Post: "Despite valid citizen distrust, 30 of Colorado's county clerks are once again forcing voters to vote only by mail ballot. Election officials won't count a ballot if it gets lost in the mail; it arrives too late; the signature is missing; your signature looks different from the way you signed it at some earlier time (assuming that signatures are examined at all); and the like. In some cases, election officials will create a new ballot to replace yours."
A Brief History of Computerized Election Fraud in America 11/1/03 Coastal Post Online: "These machines are not just unverifiable, they are secretly programmed (their software is not open to scrutiny by election officials or computer experts), equipped with modems, accessible by computer, telephone, and satellite. They are the final product of decades of work by the election rigging industry. When they are installed in every precinct in America, our elections will finally become completely meaningless, nothing more than charades behind which criminal thugs will wield the power of this nation.
That is the plan for America. But there's a glitch.
The blatant and multi-faceted fraud of the 2000 election -- in which the ultimate poster boy for corporate corruption stole the highest seat in the nation -- woke the American people from their dangerous slumber. The issue of election fraud is now smoldering in the minds of millions. Of course the Touch Screens were immediately offered as the solution to all our voting problems, but thanks to the wonderful work of many new computerized vote fraud researchers, most notably Bev Harris (author of Black Box Voting), Americans are quickly recognizing that the "solution" is worse than the problem."
Groups Question Voting Machines' Accuracy 10/31/03 AP: "Doubts about the trustworthiness of electronic voting machines are growing among election officials and computer scientists, complicating efforts to safeguard elections after the presidential stalemate of 2000."
Federal appeals court dismisses electronic voting machine lawsuit 10/29/03 AP: "A federal appeals court has tossed out a lawsuit seeking to ban electronic voting machines that don't print paper records, ruling that no voting method can completely eliminate electoral fraud." Legalizing Vote Fraud.
How To Rig An Election In The United States 10/27/03 What Really Happened
Voter Suppression: "It Can't Happen to Me" 10/21/03 Liberal Slant
Targeting Diebold with Electronic Civil Disobedience 10/21/03 Why War?: "These memos indicate that Diebold, which counts the votes in 37 states, knowingly created an electronic system which allows anyone with access to the machines to add and delete votes without detection,” Why War? member Micah explained"
Students Fight E-Vote Firm 10/21/03 Wired: "A group of students at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania has launched an "electronic civil disobedience" campaign against voting machine maker Diebold Election Systems.
The students are protesting efforts by Diebold to prevent them and other website owners from linking to some 15,000 internal company memos that reveal the company was aware of security flaws in its e-voting software for years but sold the faulty systems to states anyway. The memos were leaked to voting activists and journalists by a hacker who broke into an insecure Diebold FTP server in March."
All the President's votes? 10/14/03 Independent, UK
Voter Verification Newsletter Vol 1, Number 12 10/12/03 VerifiedVoting.org: "MAILING LIST SNAFUS, CALIFORNIA RECALL ELECTION, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE PASSES RESOLUTION DEMANDING A VOTER VERIFIABLE AUDIT TRAIL, MAJOR NATIONAL UNION PASSES RESOLUTION FOR PROPER VOTING EQUIPMENT, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA, RETHINKS PURCHASE OF TOUCH SCREENS, BENTON COUNTY, IOWA IS PLEASED WITH ACCUVOTE OPTICAL SCAN MACHINES, MARYLAND, OHIO, FLORIDA PLANNING TO SUE DIEBOLD, NEW INTERNATIONAL DISCUSSION LIST DEDICATED TO E-VOTING."
Computer experts fear recall vote fraud 10/6/03 Salon: "While punch-card ballots caused headaches for Florida election officials with their "hanging" and "pregnant" chads, 10 percent of the touch-screen machines in California don't produce paper printouts. And no printouts, the scientists say, would make a legitimate recount impossible."
Time to Recall E-Vote Machines? 10/6/03 Wired: "The Maryland study emphasizes page after page how essential physical security is to these machines. And yet people here are saying they're not worrying about it. We don't know everything there is to know about these machines and there are probably attacks to these machines that people haven't even thought of yet. It's very clear that there are serious problems here."
Voting Technology 10/1/03 California Voter Foundation: "It is the position of the California Voter Foundation that any voting system that does not require a voter to directly mark on the ballot must still create a verifiable audit trail of each ballot cast that can be viewed by the voter at the time the ballot is cast; given today's technology the only practical voter-verifiable audit trail is a paper ballot image."
California County Keeps E-Vote 9/29/03 Wired: "Despite the release of a comprehensive report on Wednesday that showed the Diebold touch-screen voting machines to be "at high risk of compromise," election officials in California say they have no plans to replace the machines before the upcoming gubernatorial election."
Voter Verification Newsletter Vol 1, Number 11 9/21/03 VerifiedVoting.org: "IEEE VOTING SYSTEM STANDARD, CRYPTOGRAPHIC ELECTION RESULT VERIFICATION, VOTER VERIFIABLE TECHNOLOGY REVIEWS, MARYLAND DIEBOLD SECURITY REVIEW, CALIFORNIA RECALL, MIAMI/BROWARD PRINTER PURCHASES, CONNECTICUT, DIEBOLD, ARKANSAS."
Global Eye -- Vanishing Act 9/19/03 Moscow Times: "The technology had a trial run in the 2002 midterm elections. In Georgia, serviced by new Diebold systems, a popular Democratic governor and senator were both unseated in what the media called "amazing" upsets, with results showing vote swings of up to 16 percent from the last pre-ballot polls. In computerized Minnesota, former Vice President Walter Mondale -- a replacement for popular incumbent Paul Wellstone, who died days before the vote -- was also defeated in a large last-second vote swing. Convenient "glitches" in Florida saw an untold number of votes intended for the Democratic candidate registering instead for Governor Jeb "L'il Brother" Bush. A Florida Democrat who lost a similarly "glitched" local election went to court to have the computers examined -- but the case was thrown out by a judge who ruled that the innards of America's voting machines are the "trade secrets" of the private companies who make them."
Risk Assessment Report: Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting System and Processes 9/2/03 Maryland Department of Budget & Management: "This report presents the results of a risk assessment of the AccuVote-TS voting system as
currently implemented in Maryland by the State Board of Elections (SBE) and the Local Boards
of Elections (LBEs). This Risk Assessment report includes evaluations of threats, vulnerabilities,
security controls, and risks associated with the AccuVote-TS system and possible impacts to the
State and the integrity of its elections process from successful exploitation of identified
Beyond Voting Machines: HAVA and Real Election Reform 7/30/03 Alternet
The Theft of Your Vote Is Just a Chip Away 7/30/03 Alternet: "A new computer chip was flown to Snyder [Texas] from Dallas," County Clerk Lindsey told the Associated Press. With the new chip installed, the computer then verified that the Democrat had won the election. In another Texas anomaly, Republican state Senator Jeff Wentworth won his race with exactly 18,181 votes, Republican Carter Casteel won her state House seat with exactly 18,181 votes, and conservative Judge Danny Scheel won his seat with exactly 18,181 votes – all in Comal County. Apparently, however, no poll workers in Comal County thought to ask for a new chip."
The Voting Rights Struggle of Our Time 7/30/03 Alternet
Voting and Democracy: The Challenges Ahead 7/30/03 Alternet
Massachusetts: More ID for voters sought 7/25/03 Boston Globe: "Several state lawmakers, including some leading Republicans and Democratic leaders, have proposed several versions of legislation that would require voters to provide identification such as a driver's license, birth certificate, fishing or hunting license, or student identification card, in an attempt to thwart possible voter fraud.
The proposals are part of a broader overhaul of elections law that legislators will be considering this year. They also hope to boost voter turnout, but understand that additional identification requirements could discourage people from going to the polls."
University researchers criticize electronic voting machines as security risk 7/25/03 Network World Fusion: "Computer-science researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Rice University are heaping criticism on electronic voting machines built by Diebold Election Systems, based on software code for the machine said to have been posted publicly to the Internet by an activist.
Avi Rubin, technical director of the Information Security Institute at John Hopkins, along with computer science doctoral students Adam Stubblefield and Toshi Kohno, say their research of the code from the Internet shows a voter could find it very easy to trick the Diebold Election Systems into accepting more than one ballot per voter."
E-voting system flaws 'risk election fraud' 7/25/03 New Scientist
Network won't run 2 ads for Democrats 7/24/03 Orlando Sentinel: ""This has never happened before that I know of," said Scott Maddox, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party.
Democrats said they used published reports in the state's newspapers to put together the ad package. One spot targets Bush, who has threatened political reprisal against Senate Republicans refusing to embrace his plan to end what he insists is a malpractice insurance crisis that is driving doctors from the state.
The other ad is aimed at Byrd who has actively sought contributions from lobbyists and companies involved in the malpractice battle to fund a committee that will help Republican legislative candidates. Byrd, who announced last week his campaign for the U.S. Senate, has also hosted several campaign fund-raisers in the capital for GOP lawmakers while they were meeting in special session on the malpractice issue."
Analysis of an Electronic Voting System 7/23/03 Avi Rubin: "This unique opportunity for independent scientific analysis of voting system source code demonstrates the fallacy of the closed-source argument for such a critical system. Our analysis shows that this voting system is far below even the most minimal security standards applicable in other contexts. We highlight several issues including unauthorized privilege escalation, incorrect use of cryptography, vulnerabilities to network threats, and poor software development processes. For example, common voters, without any insider privileges, can cast unlimited votes without being detected by any mechanisms within the voting terminal. Furthermore, we show that even the most serious of our outsider attacks could have been discovered without the source code. In the face of such attacks, the usual worries about insider threats are not the only concerns; outsiders can do the damage. That said, we demonstrate that the insider threat is also quite considerable. We conclude that, as a society, we must carefully consider the risks inherent in electronic voting, as it places our very democracy at risk."
Analysis of an Electronic Voting System 7/23/03 Aviel Rubin: "This unique opportunity for independent scientific analysis of voting system source code demon-strates
the fallacy of the closed-source argument for such a critical system. Our analysis shows that
this voting system is far below even the most minimal security standards applicable in other contexts.
We highlight several issues including unauthorized privilege escalation, incorrect use of cryptography,
vulnerabilities to network threats, and poor software development processes. For example, common vot-ers,
without any insider privileges, can cast unlimited votes without being detected by any mechanisms
within the voting terminal. Furthermore, we show that even the most serious of our outsider attacks
could have been discovered without the source code. In the face of such attacks, the usual worries about
insider threats are not the only concerns; outsiders can do the damage. That said, we demonstrate that
the insider threat is also quite considerable. We conclude that, as a society, we must carefully consider
the risks inherent in electronic voting, as it places our very democracy at risk."
"Recall on the Ballot. Massive Voter Fraud Next?" 7/23/03 ChronWatch
Early recall election sounds like doomsday to officials 7/23/03 SF Chronicle
Davis Recall On The Ballot, Next Up: Massive Vote Fraud? 7/23/03 Too Good Reports: "Those who wish to remove Davis should remember that there is no ID requirement at Californian's voting places. None. Anyone can vote, no questions asked. I've been told, off the record, that Democrat operatives dispatch SUVs around the state's 58 counties (and hundreds of polling places) and deliver illegal immigrants to "receptive" locations to vote any way they're told.
There is a legal prohibition against asking an illegal if they can prove their legal status. Only the INS can do that. And in the long-shot that there is any suspect behavior, the fraudulent voter can request a provisional ballot (he/she can say their registration is "in process")."
Offshore Company Captures Online Military Vote 7/16/03 EcoTalk: "Last year, while President Bush marshaled U.S. forces for the invasion of Iraq, the patriots at the Department of Defense awarded the contract for a new online voting system for the military... to an offshore company.
It gets worse.
Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment (SERVE) is the system and Accenture (formerly Anderson Consulting of Enron bankruptcy fame) is the company. And although Accenture has not been officially implicated in the Enron scandal, they have created a reputation of their own that is already raising eyebrows."
US election fraud scandal looms? 7/12/03 Inquirer, UK
Ad Hoc Touch Screen Task Force Report 7/2/03 State of California
Fla. a Leader . . . in Taking Voter Rights 6/18/03 The Ledger, FL
Another Guilty Plea In Vote Fraud Case 6/6/03 WKYT, KY
Bill Introduced to Counter Voting Machine Fraud 5/27/03 Black Box Voting: "New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt introduced a bill to require a mandatory paper trail for the voting process.
Voting machines with secret workings do not satisfy the minimal requirements of transparency and verifiability of a democratic process. This is extremely important and Holt needs a great outpouring of support for this. There is no more important issue right now. As Mark Crispin Miller recently put it, "The Democrats could run the most brilliant campaign in history and it wouldn't matter. They could elect Charley Manson president with those machines." "
ON ELECTION DAY 2004, HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF YOUR VOTE IS PROPERLY COUNTED? 5/27/03 House of Representatives: "ANSWER: YOU WON’T - Rep. Rush Holt Introduces Legislation to Require All Voting Machines To Produce A Voter-Verified Paper Trail "
Cape’s District 7 race hit, miss 5/27/03 News-Press, FL: "There were 11,754 ballots cast in that race — 6,319 for Rosado and 5,435 for Davis — compared to between 13,200 and 14,000 in each of the other 17 ballot issues.
Davis said his position on the ballot, separated from the other council races on the second computer page of the new computer voting machines, was the reason for the low turnout in his race.
“They put me by myself on a separate page,” he said. “Almost 2,000 people missed that race.” "
Voter fraud investigated in Hearne 5/25/03 AP: "In the election, 1,622 of the town's 3,619 registered voters cast ballots in person and by mail. Nearly half of the votes were cast by absentee ballot, and applications for most of those absentee ballots indicated voters needed to participate by mail because they were disabled."
Report blasts Miami-Dade's new voting machines as inadequate 5/21/03 Sun Sentinel, FL: "Miami-Dade County should consider scrapping the iVotronic voting machines it used in a botched September primary election because the system is not adequate for the county's needs, according to an Inspector General's report released Tuesday."
Candidate awaits word on vote fraud claim 5/16/03 Belleville News Democrat, IL: "Police check Belleville absentee ballots Former City Council candidate Lester Byrd said he hopes to hear today whether charges will be filed in relation to his claims of fraud in the April 1 aldermanic election.
"I'm expecting to hear something from the state police," Byrd said Thursday. "I don't think anything can be done to change the election. But if the law is found to have been broken, I would like to see the people responsible prosecuted." ...There were 96 absentee ballots filed in Ward 6 prior to the April election. Seibert, who has been an alderman since the 1970s, won the vote 536-294. Byrd was trying to become the city's first black alderman."
Plaintiffs still want McKinney defeat in Ga. Overturned 5/16/03 Final Call: "The suit charges the State of Georgia, the Board of Elections and Registration of DeKalb and Gwinnett counties and the Georgia Democratic Party with interfering with the rights of voters on account of race. The suit further declares that Republicans engaged in a "malicious crossover" when they voted in the Democratic primary. The suit seeks to declare the crossover vote of more than 47,000 votes unconstitutional."
Mafia's 3G electoral fraud tactics 5/15/03 Reuters: "Italy's mafia organisations have come up with a use for third-generation mobile phones that makers of the gadgets probably did not have in mind -- vote-rigging.
Here's the idea: you promise a voter 50 euros (31 pounds) to cast their ballot for your candidate, send them into the booth with a 3G phone, they send a picture via the phone proving that they have voted as instructed and then they get the cash."
Voting Machine Leaves Paper Trail 5/9/03 Wired: but will they be deployed?
Jim Crow revived in cyberspace By Martin Luther King III and Greg Palast 5/8/03 Baltimore Sun: "Today, there is a new and real threat to minority voters, this time from cyberspace: computerized purges of voter rolls.
The menace first appeared in Florida in the November 2000 presidential election. While the media chased butterfly ballots and hanging chads, a much more sinister and devastating attack on voting rights went almost undetected.
In the two years before the elections, the Florida secretary of state's office quietly ordered the removal of 94,000 voters from the registries. Supposedly, these were convicted felons who may not vote in Florida. Instead, the overwhelming majority were innocent of any crime, though just over half were black or Hispanic.
We are not guessing about the race of the disenfranchised: A voter's color is listed next to his or her name in most Southern states. (Ironically, this racial ID is required by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a King legacy.)"
Help America Vote Act of 2002 5/8/03 FEC: critics say this act institutionalizes the Florida felon-related vote fraud across all states.
Firm in Florida Election Fiasco Earns Millions from Files on Foreigners 5/5/03 Common Dreams: "A data-gathering company that was embroiled in the Florida 2000 election fiasco is being paid millions of dollars by the Bush administration to collect detailed personal information on the populations of foreign countries, enraging several governments who say the records may have been illegally obtained… The controversy is not the first to engulf ChoicePoint. The company's subsidiary, Database Technologies, was responsible for bungling an overhaul of Florida's voter registration records, with the result that thousands of people, disproportionately black, were disenfranchised in the 2000 election. Had they been able to vote, they might have swung the state, and thus the presidency, for Al Gore, who lost in Florida by a few hundred votes."
How US paid for secret files on foreign citizens 5/5/03 Guardian, UK: "Investigations in 2000 and 2001 by the Observer and the BBC's Newsnight programme concluded that thousands of voters had been removed from the lists on the grounds that DBT said they had committed felonies, preventing them from voting. In fact, the firm had identified as "felons" thousands of people who were guilty of misdemeanours, such as, in at least one case, sleeping on a park bench.
Then it produced a revised list of 57,700 "possible felons", which turned out to be riddled with mistakes because it only looked for rough matches between names of criminals and names of voters. James Lee, a vice-president of ChoicePoint, told Newsnight that Florida, governed by Mr Bush's brother Jeb, had made it clear that it "wanted there to be more names [on the list] than were actually verified as being a convicted felon". Mr Bush's eventual majority in Florida was 537."
Three Men Deny Vote Fraud Allegations 4/20/03 WYMT, KY
Taxpayers may have to pay for new voting machines 4/19/03 Stamford Advocate
Redrawn voter map criticized as illegal 4/17/03 Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "A voting map of Cobb County Commission districts may be the subject of a lawsuit for the second time in two years because it dilutes the African-American voting population and, some say, violates the law."
Another Sign of the "End Times" for American Journalism 4/17/03 Counterpunch: "It is a sad state of affairs when a movie actor must tell a group of assembled journalists that they missed the mark on covering a huge voting scandal in Florida's 2000 presidential election. Speaking at the National Press Club on April 15, actor Tim Robbins exhorted the media to investigate why 50,000 mostly African-American voters were scrubbed from the electoral rolls before Election Day. Robbins added that there is a Pulitzer Prize out there for the journalist willing to step up and fully investigate the scandal."
Voting Machines Violate Constitution - Who Will Launch Legal Challenge? 4/15/03 EcoTalk: "Voting machines violate the Constitution and threaten what's left of American democracy like no terrorist ever could. Only a handful of private companies sell and service the machines that register and tabulate votes in U.S. elections. And it's all done in complete secrecy. We've lost control of our election process and Congress doesn't seem to notice or care."
Group's alliance with GOP causes stir 4/11/03 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "On election day in November, "Vote McCallum" cards were circulated in predominantly black neighborhoods with the advice: "Vote before 12 noon."
McCallum was on his way to getting just 18% of black votes citywide, according to city Election Commission estimates, so Democrats saw the card as an attempt to confuse novice voters into believing the polls closed at noon and so staying home - thus holding down support for Democratic candidate Jim Doyle."
If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines 4/10/03 Black Vote 2004: "Maybe Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel honestly won two US Senate elections. Maybe it's true that the citizens of Georgia simply decided that incumbent Democratic Senator Max Cleland, a wildly popular war veteran who lost three limbs in Vietnam, was, as his successful Republican challenger suggested in his campaign ads, too unpatriotic to remain in the Senate. Maybe George W. Bush, Alabama's new Republican governor Bob Riley, and a small but congressionally decisive handful of other long-shot Republican candidates really did win those states where conventional wisdom and straw polls showed them losing in the last few election cycles. Perhaps, after a half-century of fine-tuning exit polling to such a science that it's now sometimes used to verify how clean elections are in Third World countries, it really did suddenly become inaccurate in the United States in the past six years and just won't work here anymore. Perhaps it's just a coincidence that the sudden rise of inaccurate exit polls happened around the same time corporate-programmed, computer-controlled, modem-capable voting machines began recording and tabulating ballots."
Voter ID bill expected to gain support, go to vote 4/1/03 Clarion Ledger, Mississipi: "Mississippi could be on track to get $34 million in federal funds for voting upgrades if one more state senator signs off on a tentative agreement on voter identification."
Nebraska DNC Call For Audits of Voting Machines 3/22/03 Scoop, New Zealand: "This an urgent message to alert you to a major crisis facing our Democratic system. Vigilance has always been required to protect our voting rights and the ballot box from corruption. However, the use of computers to record and count the votes has created a major new problem. Today votes can be stolen electronically with software planted in the voting machines. It only takes one person to change the election results for a whole state.
We are enclosing a draft resolution we are submitting in Nebraska as the first step in dealing with this problem. The resolution suggests four essential features for an audit of voting machines. In addition we have included documentation and Internet sources so you can do your own research into the problem and possible solutions."
Black leaders upset over voter ID bill
House passes measure requiring identification each time ballots 3/8/03 AP: "Some black lawmakers said the identification rule aims to discourage minority voter turnout in a state that once required poll taxes and literacy tests.
Rep. Chuck Espy, a Democrat, said some older voters would leave the polls rather than vote, if they're asked for identification.
"Perception is sometimes reality," Espy said. "The perception of this in the African American community is that this is a slap in African American faces." "
A voter's voice - Election Board updated on Help America Vote Act 3/8/03 Times Bulletin, Ohio: "The overhaul of the election system includes getting rid of the punch card ballots. Out of 88 Ohio counties, 69 use punch cards, 11 counties have optical scanners, six counties currently use touch screens and two counties have lever machines. The deadline for the changeover in voting systems is the November 2004 general election, however, alternate voting machines don't have to be in place until 2006, which presents a problem for those responsible to make sure voting happens… Another quandary for the election board is who will pay for the switch-over from paper ballots to the alternate voting system. Funding was to be made available in HAVA to fund the switch-overs, but with the continued federal and state budget crisis, paying for the machines may be problematic."
Now Your Vote Is The Property Of A Private Corporation 3/6/03 Common Dreams
DA takes records at office of group used by Holloway 3/6/03 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "The Milwaukee County district attorney's office stepped up its investigation into allegations of vote fraud in connection with County Board Chairman Lee Holloway's recall election by seizing records Thursday from the African-American Coalition for Empowerment."
Panel backs moving up primary, voter ID rule 3/6/03 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "Voters would have to show photo identification at the polls, Wisconsin's presidential primary would be moved up, and presidential election returns could not be released until 10 p.m. on election night under legislation backed by a key legislative panel Thursday."
House committee castrates voter ID
May lose $34 million from feds 3/5/03 AP: "A House committee on Tuesday quickly stripped most voter ID provisions from a Senate bill, but lawmakers anticipate a battle when the bill comes up for debate later in the full House."
Legislators: Voter ID is plot to intimidate electorate 3/5/03 Greenwood Commonwealth, MS: "A pair of Greenwood lawmakers say the latest effort in the Legislature to require voters to show identification at the polls is nothing but a Republican plot to intimidate the electorate.
"We felt this was something to slow down the process, a Republican scheme to hamper people from voting," said Sen. David Jordan, a Democrat and longtime civil rights activist."
Photo voter ID appears dead 3/5/03 Mobile Register: "In recent years, Alabama Republicans have taken a hard line on voter identification whenever the issue of election fraud is discussed, refusing to back any proposal that didn't require a picture ID.
A Riley spokesman, though, said that is an impossible goal. State election law is subject to federal review because of Alabama's history of infringing on voting rights.
"The Department of Justice wouldn't allow us to require photo ID only," said David Azbell, Riley's press secretary. The bill "was written in order to comply with federal legislation affecting elections," he said."
"If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines" 2/26/03 Guerrilla News Network: "The respected Washington, DC publication The Hill has confirmed that former conservative radio talk-show host and now Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel was the head of, and continues to own part interest in, the company that owns the company that installed, programmed, and largely ran the voting machines that were used by most of the citizens of Nebraska."
Board faces key decision on voting by computer 2/24/03 San Jose Mercury News: "The future of electronic voting may be rewritten this week in Santa Clara County, where county leaders are weighing warnings that the touch-screen voting machines they want to buy are more prone to error and fraud than the systems they would replace."
Suddenly a paper trail is possible 2/21/03 San Jose Mercury News: "IN a major turn of events, all three voting machine makers competing for Santa Clara County's contract have told election officials that they're prepared to offer paper copies of touch-screen ballots for voters to inspect. Better yet, they'll include this feature at no cost to the county.
The vendors' concession is a big victory for computer scientists who've been clamoring for a voter-verifiable paper audit. It's also an offer supervisors have no reason to refuse."
Ballot Check - Computerized Voting Comes Under Fire in Georgia and California 2/19/03 City Paper, Baltimore: excellent article
State probes possible case of voter fraud 2/19/03 Orlando Sentinel: "State investigators this week will send letters to more than 1,000 Central Florida voters who requested absentee ballots in last fall's elections but didn't vote.
Officials at the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office suspect some of those voters never asked for absentee ballots and may be victims of ballot fraud."
Paranoid party rights 2/12/03 Guardian, UK
Hagel’s ethics filings pose disclosure issue 1/29/03 The Hill: "One underlying issue is whether Hagel properly disclosed his financial ties to Election Systems & Software (ES&S), a company that makes nearly half the voting machines used in the United States, including all those used in his native Nebraska.
ES&S is a subsidiary of McCarthy Group Inc., which is jointly held by the holding firm and the Omaha World-Herald Co., which publishes the state’s largest newspaper. The voting machine company makes sophisticated optical scan and touch-screen vote-counting devices that many states have begun buying in recent years.
An official at Nebraska’s Election Administration estimated that ES&S machines tallied 85 percent of the votes cast in Hagel’s 2002 and 1996 election races."
Suspicion Surrounds Voter News Service 1/20/03 EcoTalk