Election Defense Alliance Blog
Republished as a guest contribution to The EDA Blog with attribution and appreciation to Bev Harris, Blackboxvoting.org
By Bev Harris
Shining a Bright Light on an Undemocratic Tactic
For 10 years, I've been watching a trend to manipulate elections through premature "call" of the race by a media outlet. See below for predictions on what may follow a media call for either candidate in Massachusetts.
The media "call" can be manipulated because the public doesn't know that projected winners come from a system that is not even a governmental source! In fact, the media "calls" elections based on data from just one media outlet -- usually a quiet little division of the Associated Press that occupies a little corner somewhere and answers very few questions.
Volunteers call in result reports to the corporation. The reports are often inaccurate (see below for examples). The names of these volunteers are not part of the public record. We will never get the list of names for those who will call in the 351 numbers which will result in "calling the election" for Tuesday's Massachusetts election.
How the Media "Call" May Ultimately Control PolicyIf Tuesday's Massachusetts special senate election is "called" for Democrat Martha Coakley, expect to see a rush to install her, copying a Republican tactic in 2006 whereby San Diego's Brian Bilbray was seated by the US House of Representatives before tens of thousands of votes were even counted.
'The media "call game" is a political game that can be played dirty,
and in Massachusetts, the media "call" could ultimately control national healthcare policy'
Yes, the Senate can override the actual election results, or pre-empt the real results, and pre-emptively install a candidate based on a media prediction, or a bunch of unofficial tallies, or whatever they want. It can be done. It has been done. And if the media calls the race for Coakley, expect to see it done again.
If the race is "called" for Republican Scott Brown, expect to see a rush from Republican lawyers to claim that Brown has the right to vote immediately, instead of Paul Kirk who is current interim successor to Ted Kennedy. If that fails, look for an attempt to force abstention on the Massachusetts vote while stall tactics play out.
Sixty votes are needed. If Coakley is called and installed, they've got the 60. If Brown is called and stalled, they've got 59. Either way, the media "call" on Massachusetts is going to be under exceptional political pressure.
No matter where you stand on the controversial healthcare bill, be aware that what you see reported on Election Night is not only not "official" or "final", but is not even real, and may not even be the numbers written down by poll workers or printed out by the voting machine.
Click NY 23 tag for related articles
Commentaryby Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D.
Tuesday, 01 December 2009
For nearly a century, as long as most of us can remember, lever machines have been used for voting in elections throughout New York State. They have proved durable and reliable. The votes have been counted at the polling place, in public, with the tallied numbers in plain view for all to see. Any errors in reporting have been easily corrected by simply looking at “odometers” on the machines.
This fall, for the first time, as a “pilot” program, optical scanners were substituted for lever machines in much of the state, including most of the 23rd Congressional District, and problems with the vote count emerged on an unprecedented scale.
In at least four counties, the initial vote counts reported on Election Night were so far from the truth as to cause a candidate to concede prematurely. Having never before witnessed such unreliable numbers, he doubted not the vote count, but his own ability to draw enough supporters to the polls.
'All of the shifting of votes from one Congressional candidate to another
hurt Hoffman and helped an opponent.
So far as I know, the vote shifting that occurred in these counties
was never once to Hoffman’s benefit.'
It is not entirely clear how this vote switching happened. The Boards of Elections tend to blame the poll workers for misreading the computer printouts. But votes were not only denied to Hoffman; his votes were delivered to his opponents. For the “human error” explanation to be true, poll workers in more than a dozen polling places must have made the same two mistakes.
Perhaps the machines themselves reported the false numbers, or perhaps the votes were deliberately shifted in an attempt to run up a high enough margin on Election Night to get Hoffman to concede. A forensic examination of the computer tapes and the “tally sheets” from the affected polling places should tell the tale.
This is not idle speculation. The vote counts in these districts make clear that thousands of votes were affected. And this is only what we know about. With concealed electronic vote counting, partial shifts of the vote count could occur without a trace, and not be readily apparent in the election results.
Most, perhaps all, of the false counts reported on Election Night may have been corrected during recanvassing, especially in Oneida County where lever machines were still used. But that is not the point. The results reported on Election Night should never have been so terribly wrong in the first place.
Perhaps these alterations of the vote count were not of such magnitude as to reverse the outcome of the election. But that is not the point. Thousands of votes were not counted as cast. We were denied our most fundamental right in what passes for a democracy.
The short-term remedy is to call this federally funded, court-ordered, “pilot” election
an utter failure, and bring back the lever machines that served us so well for so long.'
But I have seen enough to be convinced that not all of the false numbers can be attributed to “human error.” All of the shifting of votes from one Congressional candidate to another hurt Hoffman and helped an opponent. So far as I know, the vote shifting that occurred in these counties was never once to Hoffman’s benefit.
The short-term remedy is to call this federally funded, court-ordered, “pilot” election an utter failure, and bring back the lever machines that served us so well for so long. If a states’ rights movement is required to bring this about, so be it.
The long-term remedy is to question the very system that presumed to tell us how to run our elections. This country belongs to the people, not to the federal government. All New Yorkers, regardless of party affiliation, should demand a transparent, reliable vote count. Our only power is our right to vote. And if our votes are not counted as cast, then we have nothing. We are powerless and disenfranchised, and we don’t live the lives we think we do.
Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D., is one of the leading election fraud investigators in the United States. His book on the 2004 Ohio election, Witness to a Crime: A Citizens’ Audit of an American Election, based on examination of some 30,000 photographs of actual ballots, poll books, and other election records, is available at http://www.witnesstoacrime.com
Staying Focused on the Real Solutions
Today's announcement of the Sequoia Frontier open-source E-voting system is a significant fork in the trail to election integrity, but it would be a mistake to confuse this half-way mark for our destination.
I had thought ES&S would be first to market with an all-open-source E-voting system. No doubt, they're not far behind. The dwindling number of E-voting vendors still in business are now obliged to follow suit or be expunged from the marketplace, and for that we should be glad.
Although Sequoia's press release is essentially good news, the operative reality is that between now and sometime after 2012 when the open-source voting system announced today is certified for use, there will be another federal election conducted with the same batch of secretly programmed black boxes that hijacked the U.S. government in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006, and skewed the 2008 primaries, and whose predecessors, more likely than not, have been manipulating elections since shortly after their introduction in 1965.
Even if it weren't so dangerous, misapplied technology would still be an unnecessary distraction from the philosophical and practical issues that are properly the core issues of electoral democracy.It's up to the EI movement to explain to the voting public, that even though open-source code, open data schema, and human-readable data formats are undeniably improvements over the secret, closed voting software currently in use, these features do not and can not address these fundamental civil rights principles on which democracy depends:
1. All aspects of the electoral process (except the casting of secret ballots) should be transparently observable and accountable to the citizenry, without the intermediation of secret actors or unobservable software processes.
2. Public elections should be a wholly public exercise, free of dependence on for-profit corporations or any technological priesthood.
Even as the E-voting industry as a whole follows Sequoia in a transition to open-source platforms, the public will remain dependent on private contractors, costly equipment, expensive upgrades, and even more expensive maintenance and service fees in perpetuity, so long as the institution of software-mediated voting is allowed to supplant the appropriately low-tech, citizen-mediated election model based on voter-marked paper ballots hand-counted in the precincts on election night, by the citizens themselves.
A Censored Headline and Why It Matters:
German High Court Outlaws Electronic Voting
Justices of the German Federal Constitutional Court. Image
(DailyCensored.Com) The justices above are clearly the most rational group of high level functionaries in the industrialized world. They did what no other court would do in Europe or the United States. They effectively outlawed electronic voting. On March 3, 2009, the German Federal Constitutional Court declared that the electronic voting machines used in the 2005 Bundestag elections for the German national parliament were outside of the bounds of the German Constitution.
They reasoned that electronic voting is not verifiable because citizen votes are counted in secret. It obscured a technology inaccessible to all but a very few initiates. Most importantly, the German high court noted, electronic voting machines don't allow citizens to "reliably examine, when the vote is cast, whether the vote has been recorded in an unadulterated manner" Mar. 3, 2009.
The written opinion effectively bars electronic voting in future elections based on the complexity of voting machines and the inability of voters to watch their vote being counted. This raises the bar of acceptability well above the meaningless solutions offered by "paper trails" for touch screen voting or the so-called "paper ballots" for computerized optical scan voting machines, the most popular form of voting in the United States.
Germany's 2009 Bundestag elections were conducted with hand counted paper ballots.
Have you heard that one of the world's leading economic powers, the fourth largest economy in the world, banned electronic voting; said it was undemocratic? Given the multitude of problems encountered in the U.S. and the number of questionable election results, wouldn't it make sense that when Germany banned electronic voting and replaced it with paper ballots, there would be at least a days worth of national coverage in the United States?
Nothing like that occurred. The Associated Press (Times of India) story on the verdict danced around the periphery of the world media market with coverage in Turkey, India, Australia, and Ireland. But there were no major media takers for the AP story in the United States.
There was every reason to carry the story. In a 2006 Zogby poll, 92% of the 1028 registered voters surveyed said they agreed with this statement:
Citizens have the right to view and obtain information about how election officials count votes - 92% agree. New Zogby Poll On Electronic Voting Attitudes Aug. 21, 2006
That's exactly the proposition that the German court upheld. Surely there was an audience for the German decision but there was hardly a word from corporate media.
Why did this happen?
Linked to "Give Me Liberty..." Iranian People Demand Democracy June 23, 2009 &
Iranian Election Fraud 2009: Who Was the Real Target... and Why? June 15, 2009
(also see Chatham House's detailed analysis of election fraud in Iran)
This analysis began on after the publication of the June 15th article and was
appended to the "Give Me
The following chart shows Reformist versus Conservative vote totals since 1989. The leading candidates and allied parties are grouped under one of those headings. 2005 data is presented for both the initial and run off elections below due the switch from Reformist to Conservative dominance. This raises questions considered in the second section of this ongoing analysis.
*Note the flat totals for "Eligible Voters" from 2005 to 2009. This is a phenomena that needs to explained.
There has been a clear record of Reformist victories since 1989. 1997 and 2001 provides the best view of relative Reformist strength. Ayatollah Khatami had a clear platform that gave the people a choice between a more open society and the isolation of the Conservatives.
But the two time winner Khatami couldn't run again. This left the Reformist movement without leadership. Also, in 2004 the Guardian Council decimated Reformist legislative candidates. This was accomplished under the radical right wing religious faction doing the bidding of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Eliminating Reformist in this obvious fashion is called "silent coup" of 2004
In 2005, Rafsanjani stepped in to fill the void for the Reformists. While he lacked the appeal of the politically skilled Khatami, Rafsanjani is a major figure from the Islamic Revolution and had a personal fortune at his disposal.
From 1989 through 2001, there were four match ups of conservative versus reformist elements. The reformists won each of those with growing margins and significant increases in voter turnout. Khatami, a true reformer, was the most effective vote getter in the history of the Islamic Republic. His margins are the basis for claiming that
How do you get from the history of Iranian elections to a 2009 conservative win for president? You don't unless you disappear the dreadful economic situation, the international isolation, and the anger of the under 30 segment of the population. It's not conceivable that voters ignored the disastrous management of the economy and regional and international isolation.
Simply looking at the final results for 2005 leads me to see this as the exception in the Reformist majorities. The first election on
2004 saw the move against Reformist candidates for the Majlis, the legislative body, and the 2005 presidential election saw a sudden switch from a two to one advantage for Reformists in the first round of presidential balloting to a two to one advantage for Conservatives without any intervening variables to explain the change.
What's wrong with this picture? What event caused 5.6 million reformist votes
to switch to the hardliner Conservative Ahmadinejad in just seven days?
The 2005 election is of interest due to the boycott of many reformists. In the first round of voting the race was close between the leading individual candidates, Ahmadinejad and Rafsanjani. But if you take the June 17th data and add up Conservative and Reformist votes by the the individual candidate's allegiance to Reformist or Conservative, you have an outcome in which Reformists out poll Conservatives by 56.6% to 39%.
That is significant since the June 24th outcome was 61% Conservative to 39% for Reformists. The Conservative win required that a significant number of Reformists defect to Ahmadinejad. Why would they do that? They'd ignored the other boycotting reformists. They had a strong enough resolve to vote to avoid the boycott of their fellow reformists. It's safe to assume that this was to fight a conservative win. Why would they defect to Ahmadinejad. Was the 2005 presidential race a rigged election?
Data Sources: Iran Tracker and Wikipedia
Chart of 2005 with allied candidates
This is the 2nd post in a 3-part series on the national election in Mexico July 5 2009
The boycott of the election by registered voters will gain a clear plurality, around 48%, and possibly a majority, of registered voters.
The 2009 Mexican boycott includes those who deliberately nullified their ballots and those who simply chose not to vote. Early reports indicate that 8% are actively nullifying their vote (voto nulo) and that another 40% of registered voters are not showing up at all. That combined figure, 48% or so, will handily beat the vote totals for the ruling PAN Party and the former rulers, the PRI, without out any doubt. While totals will change, there is no way that PAN and PRI can overcome the anulistas and those who stayed away from the polls.
Abstentions in Mexican mid term elections for the 500 member Chamber of Deputies have grown from 32% in 1991 to 42% in 1997. In the most recent election for the Chamber in 2003 58% of citizens chose to avoid the polls (Mexidata). There is an argument, I suppose, that the formal boycott was the voto nulo movement, defacing ballots that would be counted as such. But that argument fails when we consider that there's a long term trend by those able to vote who simply boycott elections in Mexico and elsewhere.
Mexico's voters experienced what many believe to be a stolen election in 2006. That experience plus widespread disillusionment with the performance of government gave rise to the voto nulo movement.
The prediction that "boycott" would win could have been made at most any time prior to the election without much risk. But the press and politicians fail to even acknowledge this largest voting block, citizens who, by and large, see no purpose in voting. If they did, they would vote (except for those still barred by institutional barriers).
Vote nullification advocates celebrate
their sure victory July 5, Election Day
photo: Salamandra Negra
A Three Part Series Part 1
In the wake of Felipe Calderon’s surprising electoral win over Andrés Manual Lopez-Obrador in 2006 Presidential Elections, demonstrators protesting alleged election fraud occupied the center of Mexico City from July through December. On three occasions, crowds of over one million were reported. Image: Erasmo Lopez
"Se requiere que las ciudadanos no estén ausentes ante una clase política que, desde el punto de vista ciudadano, no ha respondido y claramente ha fallado," dijo el Presidente de la República. Sociedad civil confronta a los poderes de la Unión El Universal, June 25, 2009
Translation: "It is necessary that the citizens not be seated behind a political class which, from the citizen’s point of view, clearly has failed," said the President of the Republic. (President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon El Universal, June 25, 2009)
"Independent analysis of the early vote reports indicated that there was little relationship between actual precinct totals and those reported by the Federal Electoral Institute, the IFE. . . . A graph of the initial results also revealed an odd statistical curve that looked more like the result of a computer algorithm rather than real vote totals."
Every once in a while, a politician tells the unvarnished truth. It's difficult to recall the last time it happened. Outgoing president Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1961 warning of the dangers of the U.S. military-industrial complex comes to mind. Ike told the truth but too late to matter since he was leaving power. President Calderon is just three years into his six year term as President of Mexico. Just two days prior to Calderon's statement, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (ALMO), Calderon's opponent in the bitterly contested 2006 presidential election, had filed a complaint against the media conglomerate owned television network, Televisa. Obrador argued that Televisa has shown extraordinary bias against his party, the PRD. Candidates are entitled to make complaints about biased coverage to the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) created as part of Mexico's 1990 election reform law. Obrador said:
"I stand in front of you because you are the owners of Televisa and because you form part of the power elite in Mexico.
"I have considered... that you may disagree with my certainty that the national tragedy is the fault of a group which is guilty of acquiring enormous wealth through the employment of public power, and at the cost of suffering for the majority of the Mexican people." El Universal, June 23, 2009
As their parties approach the 2009 legislative elections, the opponents from the bitterly contested 2006 presidential election seem to suddenly agree. Calderon's "political class," which he says has failed the people, rules "at the bequest of" Mexico's narrow moneyed elite, the class that the "leftist" Lopez-Obrador is accusing of biased coverage in the congressional campaign.
In the speech quoted in the opening of this article, Calderon admits "that the situation in place in matters of security and justice "is, without doubt, a consequence of many of our omissions, of indolence, of corruption, of illegality and of impunity' "June 25, 2009.
"Who can the Mexican people trust?”
The 2006 Mexican presidential election set the stage for this year's July 5 national election for Mexico's bicameral Congress of the Union consisting of the Chamber of Representatives (500 members) and the Senate (128 members). As of June 25, 2009, the two major candidates for president in 2006 see the election system as biased and flawed. ALMO's affirmation is explicit and Calderon says that the problems are related to class issues.
Numerous irregularities in 2006 raised suspicions. ALMO ran an effective campaign and was expected to win. Independent analysis of the early vote reports indicated that there was little relationship between actual precinct totals and those reported by the Federal Electoral Institute, the IFE.
Original source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0906/S00163.htm
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
by Michael Collins
Iranian Election Fraud 2009: Who was the Real Target and Why?
There most certainly was election fraud in Iran in this election and every previous election under the current electoral system. The question is not, did fraud take place in this most recent election? Of course it did. You just need to study the Iranian Constitution and recent Iranian elections understand that, a step skipped by the major media and some nay-saying bloggers in the United States.
The real questions are who or what was the target of the fraud and why? The 2009 presidential election produced a 75% turnout, an alleged landslide victory for incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and widespread protests by supporters of the losing candidates. It also produced a pervasive and violent crack down by Iranian authorities.
The reelection of Ahmadinejad is highly significant to Iranians and the rest of the world. Iran is a major oil supplier and a political actor of major proportions in the South Asia and the Middle East. Iran may join the list of nations with nuclear weapons soon, it appears.
(Left: Is this man the target of Iranian election fraud?
Hashemi Rafsanjani, former two-term president
and Iranian power broker.)
The most pressing current problem with Iran is posed by the nation's president who happens to be certifiably insane. He is a holocaust denier; not just once but every time he's asked. Ahmadinejad even hosted a world conference for other deniers. The existence of the holocaust is not a required issue for discussion by Iranian politicians. Ahmadinejad actually goes out of his way to showcase his break with reality. He also continues the repellent advocacy of the death penalty for homosexuality and for capital crimes by children.
Yet he was approved once again by Iran's Guardian Council as a candidate for the nation's highest office.The council consists of six Islamic jurists appointed by the Supreme Leader of Iran and six from the Majlis, Iran's popularly elected parliament. They screen presidential candidates through background checks and a detailed written examination. Very few pass the test. Since 2004, the council has routinely rejected reform candidates. That's the fraud. It couldn't be more obvious.
Copyright MMV Siavush Randjbar-Daemi
On the eve of the Georgia runoff election for U.S. Senate, Velvet Revolution has circulated the following national press release (appearing on the Wall Street Journal's "Market Watch" website, among other prominent placements) exposing the circumstances of the 2002 Georgia midterm election of Saxby Chambliss to the U.S. Senate -- possibly the single most blatant voting machine election rig in U.S. history.
VR has also placed a full-page advertisement in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, reminding Georgia's voters of the stolen election of 2002 that Diebold's DRE voting machines "won" for Chambliss, effecting an overnight 12% reversal of the pre-election tracking polls that showed Chambliss trailing the popular Democratic incumbent Max Cleland by 5 points.
In that same election, the disparity between polls and the machine count was even more extreme in the governor's race, in which Republican candidate Sonny Perdue miraculously gained 16 points to defeat Democratic incumbent Roy Barnes.
Unfortunately, Georgia's voters in tomorrow's election are still held hostage by the same all-paperless DRE voting machines that took over the state in 2002 when the state of Georgia handed total control of its elections to Diebold Election Systems, Inc.
Only the name has been changed (to Premier Election Systems) to deflect attention from the guilty.
Source: Velvet Revolution and PR Newswire http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Diebold-Vote-Company-Whistleblower...
Diebold Vote Company Whistleblower and GOP Cyber Security Expert:
2002 Chambliss Senate Race Was Rigged
Last update: 9:44 a.m. EST Dec. 1, 2008
WASHINGTON, Dec 01, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/
-- In an exclusive interview with Velvet Revolution ("VR"), a DC based non-profit dedicated to a clean and accountable government, a former Diebold vote machine contractor who was in charge of preparing the 2002 election between Saxby Chambliss and Max Cleland has stated that the software patches placed on the voting machines in the weeks prior to the election could have rigged the election in favor of Republican Chambliss.
The contractor, Chris Hood, was ordered by the President of Diebold, Bob Urosevich, to secretly install uncertified software patches on machines in predominantly Democratic counties, according to Mr. Hood. Saxby Chambliss won a surprising victory after trailing badly in the pre-election polls. The interview with Mr. Hood, posted by Velvet Revolution ("VR"), can be seen on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKnIghBsU58.
Rebecca Abrahams, a former ABC News producer who conducted the interview, states, "Jim Martin should be concerned about the veracity and validity of the runoff election results after anomalies in the last election and the statement by Chris Hood. In fact, voters should demand to know if Chambliss had any knowledge that the 2002 election was rigged and whether he knew that Georgia citizens voted on electronic voting machines that had been patched with uncertified software days before the election in clear violation of Georgia law."
Stephen Spoonamore, a cyber security expert and lifelong Republican, has also stated that he believes that the 2002 Georgia Senate race was rigged in favor of Chambliss. "If you look at the case of Saxby Chambliss, that's ridiculous. The man was not elected. He lost that election by five points. Max Cleland won. They flipped the votes, clear as day," Spoon said in another exclusive interview posted on YouTube by VR at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzKbigGoMoo.
VR has been working with whistleblowers who have stated that the GOP, under the direction of Karl Rove, has been using computers to change election results. In order to protect the runoff election from such manipulations, a federal RICO lawsuit is being pursued in Ohio to take depositions from those who have been implicated in this illegal strategy.
Last week, the attorneys in that case sent document holds to Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel asking that she retain all memory cards and hard drives used in the runoff, and all documents related to uncertified patches. Cliff Arnebeck, the lead attorney in that case states, "Karl Rove has made a career out of rigging elections. Electronic voting machines like those being used in Georgia are his favorite tool, so this important race cannot be watched too closely."
Complete coverage of this suit is at http://www.rovecybergate.com.
VR is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Saxby Chambliss election rigging. VR has released a YouTube video about the Chambliss election fraud at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_gBfUo9dPs.
VR is running a display ad in today's A section of the Atlanta Journal Constitution about this election fraud. A copy is at http://www.velvetrevolution.us.
Judge Rules Michigan Voter Purge Program Violates Federal Law
October 14, 2008
In a major victory for voting rights, a judge yesterday ruled that Michigan's voter removal program violates federal law and ordered the state to stop illegally purging voters from the rolls.
The decision comes in a lawsuit filed last month by Advancement Project, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Michigan, and the law firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP.
"We are gratified that the judge ordered the state of Michigan to halt its unlawful purge program," said Bradley Heard, senior attorney with Advancement Project. "This decision protects thousands of Michigan residents' voting rights from being infringed upon during this important and historic presidential election, and beyond. It is now up to the state of Michigan to afford these voters the protections that federal law requires."
Judge Stephen J. Murphy of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that one of Michigan's voter removal programs violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).
In question was a Michigan state law requiring local clerks to nullify the registrations of newly-registered voters whenever their original voter identification cards are returned by the post office as undeliverable. Detroit elections officials report that nearly 30,000 voters per year in that city alone are removed from the rolls as a result of this state election law.
The NVRA permits voters to remain on the voter rolls for at least two federal elections after voter registration cards are returned.
TERRI LYNN LAND, Michigan Secretary of State; CHRISTOPHER M. THOMAS, Michigan Director of Elections; and FRANCES MCMULLAN, City Clerk for the City of Ypsilanti, Michigan, in their official capacities,
Judge Murphy ordered that state to "immediately discontinue their practice of cancelling or rejecting a voter's registration based upon the return of the voter's original voter identification card as undeliverable."
The plaintiffs in the case are the United States Student Association (USSA) and the ACLU of Michigan. The parties have asked the federal court to schedule a hearing as soon as possible and to enter an immediate temporary injunction barring further purges under these programs. Attorneys in this case are Heard of Advancement Project; Bell-Platts and Neil Bradley of the ACLU Voting Rights Project; Moss and Michael Steinberg of the ACLU of Michigan; and Matthew J. Lund, Mary K. Deon and Deborah Kovsky of Pepper Hamilton LLP.
From the Order:
'WHEREFORE, it is hereby ORDERED that the defendants Michigan Secretary of State and the Michigan Director of Elections:
(1) Immediately discontinue their practice of cancelling or rejecting a voter's registration based upon the return of the voter's original voter identification card as undeliverable;
(2) Remove the "rejected" marking in the QVF from the registrations of all voters whose original voter IDs have been returned as undeliverable since January 1, 2006 until the present, unless rejection was warranted for some other lawful reason;
(3) Make no other designation, including but not limited to "cancelled," in these voters' registration records in the QVF or elsewhere, that will prevent their ballots from being counted if they appear at the polls and give whatever further proof of Michigan residence is required or permitted under applicable state and federal law; unless such a designation is warranted by written notice from the voter or for some reason other than change of residence;
(4) Preserve and not destroy until after December 31, 2009, any and all records relating to maintenance of Michigan's voter registration files that have, since January 1, 2006, resulted in the cancellation of the registration of voters who have applied for out of state driver’s licenses, or the cancellation or rejection of voters’ registrations based upon the return of original voter identification cards ; and
(5) Give no order, direction, or encouragement that any other government official or any other person engage in activity hereby prohibited to them. It is further ORDERED that the defendants Michigan Secretary of State, the Michigan Director of Elections, and the Ypsilanti City Clerk file an answer to the complaint in this action no later than fourteen days from the date of this Order.
CASE DOCUMENTS Source: ACLU
United States Student Association Foundation v. Land - Order (10/13/2008)
United States Student Association Foundation v. Land - Complaint (9/17/2008)
United States Student Association Foundation v. Land - Ex Parte Motion 9/17/2008)
United States Student Association Foundation v. Land - Motion for Preliminary Injunction (9/17/2008)
United States Student Association Foundation v. Land - Request For Expedited Consideration (9/17/2008)
By Tom Manaugh In Texas, a so-called audit step involves randomly selecting some computer-generated ballot images and manually determining whether the vote totals are accurate. They always are, according to elections administrators. But are the ballot images themselves a valid reflection of the voting selections of voters? Apparently not. In November of 2006 in Collin County, Texas, Marilyn Blankenship noticed that her vote selections were not being accurately shown on a Diebold touchscreen. In several instances, she would touch one name, but another selection was indicated on the screen. In each case, she corrected the selection and proceeded with voting. After making all her selections, she was presented with the summary screen. It was wrong. Several of the selections shown on the summary screen were different from what she had originally chosen. Ms. Blankenship made corrections to the summary screen and submitted her ballot. She complained to the precinct election judge about what had happened and then left the polling pace with no confidence that her votes had been accurately recorded. Ms. Blankenship then contacted Sharon Rowe, the elections administrator for Collin County to report that the election equipment was faulty. She also complained to the office of the Texas Secretary of State. Sharon Rowe was amenable to checking ballot images to see if Ms. Blankenships voters had been accurrately recorded. That would have been very likely possible because of an unusual selection of candidates that Ms. Blankenship had voted for -- mostly Libertarian, but also Democrats and one Republican. Sharon Rowe was not able to check the ballot images because she was forbidden from doing so by the office of the Texas Secretary of State. Ann McGeehan, Elections Director at the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, decided that Ms. Blankenship's complaint was unfounded -- that her report of faulty equipment was simply a "user issue." Ms. McGeehan refused to open an investigation. That decision did not change even after she was presented with the information that six other voters in Collin County had also complained about vote flipping during the same election. Ms. McGeehan and her staff never interviewed Ms. Blankenship or any of the other complaining voters. Ms. McGeehan did suggest that Ms. Blankenship could ask to see ballot images by filing a Freedom of Information request. Ms. Blankenship did that, but her request was denied by Collin County on the advice of the Texas State Attorney General. However, a request could be honored after 22 months -- the time interval during which ballots are preserved before they could be destroyed. In October 2008, after 22 months, Ms. Blankenship was eventually able to inspect ballot images from her precinct. She found a ballot image that was similar to what she would expect hers to be. However, some of the votes were wrong. That was evidence to her that the equipment had not only flipped her voting selections; it had also misrecorded them. If the 2008 election is stolen, it will have been done by way of the complicity and/or negligence of officials like the ones found at the office of the Texas Secretary of State.
because she was forbidden from doing so
by the office of the Texas Secretary of State.'
EDA Investigations Working Group
By Tom Manaugh
In Texas, a so-called audit step involves randomly selecting some computer-generated ballot images and manually determining whether the vote totals are accurate. They always are, according to elections administrators.
But are the ballot images themselves a valid reflection of the voting selections of voters?
Apparently not. In November of 2006 in Collin County, Texas, Marilyn Blankenship noticed that her vote selections were not being accurately shown on a Diebold touchscreen. In several instances, she would touch one name, but another selection was indicated on the screen. In each case, she corrected the selection and proceeded with voting.
After making all her selections, she was presented with the summary screen. It was wrong. Several of the selections shown on the summary screen were different from what she had originally chosen.
Ms. Blankenship made corrections to the summary screen and submitted her ballot. She complained to the precinct election judge about what had happened and then left the polling pace with no confidence that her votes had been accurately recorded.
Ms. Blankenship then contacted Sharon Rowe, the elections administrator for Collin County to report that the election equipment was faulty. She also complained to the office of the Texas Secretary of State.
Sharon Rowe was amenable to checking ballot images to see if Ms. Blankenships voters had been accurrately recorded. That would have been very likely possible because of an unusual selection of candidates that Ms. Blankenship had voted for -- mostly Libertarian, but also Democrats and one Republican. Sharon Rowe was not able to check the ballot images because she was forbidden from doing so by the office of the Texas Secretary of State.
Ann McGeehan, Elections Director at the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, decided that Ms. Blankenship's complaint was unfounded -- that her report of faulty equipment was simply a "user issue." Ms. McGeehan refused to open an investigation. That decision did not change even after she was presented with the information that six other voters in Collin County had also complained about vote flipping during the same election. Ms. McGeehan and her staff never interviewed Ms. Blankenship or any of the other complaining voters.
Ms. McGeehan did suggest that Ms. Blankenship could ask to see ballot images by filing a Freedom of Information request. Ms. Blankenship did that, but her request was denied by Collin County on the advice of the Texas State Attorney General. However, a request could be honored after 22 months -- the time interval during which ballots are preserved before they could be destroyed.
In October 2008, after 22 months, Ms. Blankenship was eventually able to inspect ballot images from her precinct. She found a ballot image that was similar to what she would expect hers to be. However, some of the votes were wrong. That was evidence to her that the equipment had not only flipped her voting selections; it had also misrecorded them.
If the 2008 election is stolen, it will have been done by way of the complicity and/or negligence of officials like the ones found at the office of the Texas Secretary of State.
Action of the Day 091708 -- [prepared by the Care2 Petition Site: http://www.care2.com ]
EDA editor's note:
We are reproducing the text of the Care2 Alert verbatim. The facts speak for themselves.
Republican officials in Mississippi in charge of the state's election procedures have deliberately chosen to alter ballot design in violation of state law and common sense, with the predictable result that voters will be disoriented and many will probably error when voting on the U.S. Senate race.
Denouncing the perpetrators of partisan election manipulations like this one is NOT a partisan act on our part. Election fraud, manipulation, and dirty tricks are wrong no matter who the perpetrators are -- and it is a multipartisan civic duty to put a stop to it.
Republican officials in Mississippi must be desperate. They're pulling out the stops in election shenanigans in an attempt to confuse voters, hoping to push a close Senate contest to the Republican candidate.
Tell the Mississippi governor: The purposefully confusing ballot is illegal!
The Republican Secretary of State decided to bury the Senate race below all local contests on the ballot.
The race, between interim Senator Roger Wicker -- a Republican temporarily appointed to replace Trent Lott -- and former Democratic Governor Ronnie Musgrove, is expected to be close, making it one of the most important in the state.
Not only does burying this Senate race below all the local ones confuse voters, it's a direct violation of state election law, which clearly states that federal races must be on the top of the ballot!
Tell Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour -- who approved the ballot -- to reverse his decision in order to maintain the integrity of America's electoral process!
Petition action link: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/0Xto/wRCg/E0DA
While monitoring a handcount of ballots from the September 3rd Arizona primary, in his capacity as an official election observer for the Democratic and Libertarian parties, EDA Investigations Co-Coordinator John Brakey was arrested and ejected from the Pima County election headquarters on orders of Pima County Elections Director Brad Nelson.
Brakey had noticed that several of the incoming bags containing ballots from the precincts had unsecured or missing seals. The seal failures appeared to be the result of pollworkers not knowing how to properly lock them.
Brakey then wondered whether the serial numbers on the bag seals matched the serial numbers recorded by the precinct pollworkers when they sealed the ballots. One question led to another, and Brakey ended up in handcuffs.
Seal serial numbers are supposed to be recorded on yellow report sheets, called "End of Day Certification Reports." The certification sheets are supposed to be signed by all precinct pollworkers and included with the ballots inside the delivery bags. The bags are supposed to remain sealed until opened for counting at county election headquarters.
In one bag, instead of the signed official certification sheets, there was instead a slip of white paper with what Brakey said were "two illegible, scrawled signatures." Brakey watched Election Manager Brad Nelson read the slip, say he recognized who the two pollworkers were, and approve acceptance of that bag of ballots for counting.
Brakey found it rather remarkable that Nelson would be so familiar with the county's 3000 pollworkers that he could identify two of them by illegible scrawls on a slip of paper.
Brakey then began checking other incoming ballot bags. In the first 7 successive ballot bags he checked, the required yellow certification reports were missing. This included bags with open seals, as well as bags with seals intact.
August 18, 2008 in Scientific American
Planning to E-Vote? Read This First
With less than three months before the presidential election, the hotly contested state, Ohio, along with others, continue to have problems with E-voting technology
By Larry Greenemeier
ELECTRONIC VOTING: Most states have invested in some type of E-voting technology. Are they confident enough to use it on election day?
In their rush to avoid a repeat of the controversy that plagued the 2000 presidential election, and to meet the requirements of Congress's hastily mandated2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA), states and counties flocked to electronic voting systems they hoped would eliminate hanging chads and other flaws inherent in paper-based systems. Six years later, with another presidential election less than three months away, many e-voting systems are fraught with security glitches, and the technology has yet to prove itself as the solution voters were looking for.
Such systems could allow voters and poll workers to place multiple votes, crash the systems by loading viruses, and fake vote tallies, according to studies commissioned by the states of California and Ohio within the past year. Makers of these systems have countered that the test settings were unrealistic. But that is not helping election officials sleep better at night.
"The suit also requests a formal finding that a failure to account for all ballots issued at any polling place constitutes evidence of potential fraud."
Group Seeks Tighter Ballot Security in San Diego
By ALLISON HOFFMAN, Associated Press Writer
(08-08) 14:33 PDT San Diego, CA (AP) --
A voting-rights group has asked a judge to order tougher enforcement of anti-fraud measures in San Diego County for November's presidential elections, saying officials failed to investigate lapses in ballot security during February's primary.
"We goofed!" was the explanation a poll worker offered for why the total number of ballots cast at one precinct did not match the number of signatures in the voter log book, according to documents in the lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court.
Election workers at county headquarters accepted unsealed and unsigned boxes of ballots for processing, according to statements from volunteers who observed the February tally. A troubleshooting log indicated dispatchers told poll workers not to worry about missing seals after the county ran out of the red locking tabs.
"We don't know how the anomalies in the process affected the results," said lawyer Ken Karan, who filed the lawsuit July 31 on behalf of a member of the San Diego-based group Psephos. "But we do have an important election coming up and we want to insure that the results are as accurate as possible."
Karan said his group had presented its concerns in meetings with Deborah Seiler, San Diego's top election official, after the election but said he was not aware of any investigation or review by the registrar's office of potential tampering.
Show Me, Missouri: Voter Arrested for Upholding the Law
"Look, you are breaking their rules. If you don't get out of here, we are going to arrest you!"
The question I had in response was, "Their rules? What rules? Those are employees of the Election Board, they are under the mandate of the Election Board, and then the SoS. Aren't you more concerned about the breaking of state laws?" As it turns out, apparently they were not.
I will try to be as brief as possible with the description of my day as I can manage. But, since there are some sticky points, I will also try to be clear and complete. If anyone finds questions still hanging after reading this entry, and the comments already made above in response to Proud2Blib's post, I will gladly answer.
I, Galloglas, went to vote today and encountered difficuly. And, it is important to point out that this was not the first time I've run onto problems this year.
When I voted in Missouri's Presidential primary in February, 2008, I took the proper identification to my precinct and attempted to cast my ballot. The identification requirements are spelled out graphically on our Secretary of State's Web Site which can be found at http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/voterid /.
July 23, 2008
For Immediate Release
SECRETARY BRUNNER ISSUES HISTORIC STATEWIDE VOTING SECURITY BEST PRACTICES
COLUMBUS, OH – Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has implemented the first in a series of voting security directives that have been crafted in partnership with a bipartisan workgroup of local elections officials.
The voting security directives are part of the secretary of state's focus on preparing "best practices," in partnership with local elections officials, for a successful Nov. 4, 2008 general election.
The secretary of state's office provided draft recommendations to county boards of elections and solicited their ideas and concerns before issuing these directives.
"Preparing for a successful election for our state depends on consistent standards no matter where someone votes. Every county will be developing security plans based on "best practices" developed in cooperation with local elections officials. This is designed to guarantee a uniformity of rights for all of Ohio's voters," Secretary Brunner said.
"Many of these security recommendations have been characterized as common-sense and are already in use across Ohio. Others will require training and new procedures by boards of elections. We believe these security procedures will help us meet our goal is to ensure voter confidence and to be prepared for any scenario, including a record turnout," she said.
The directives issued this week are:
* Directive 2008-57 provides security and risk-mitigation guidelines for ballots and election data media such as voting machine memory cards.
Originally published at:
Senate votes Tuesday, 7/8
FISA Amendment Just In Time To Steal Election
By Elliot D. Cohen
Senate Democrats and Republicans alike are now poised to pass H.R. 6304, known as the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a bill touted by both House and Senate leaders to be a compromise proposal to prior Senate Bill 2248. Unfortunately, H.R. 6304 may give the Bush administration, in its last months, the ammunition it needs to hijack the 2008 presidential election.
It has been known for some time that, since 2001, the Bush administration has conducted mass surveillance of the email and telephone calls made by American citizens. All electronic messages passing through switches in the US, regardless of whether they were international or domestic communications, have been systematically intercepted and screened by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Technologies, which were installed at major hubs of telecommunication companies throughout the nation copy and deposit all electronic messages into a giant NSA computer network. The NSA then uses complex algorithms to parse through these messages using matching criteria such as key words, phone numbers, and dates, and linking these data to further data--anything from credit card and bank records to movie rentals.
H.R. 6304 does not, on the face of it, require that these complex algorithms that are used to parse through our electronic messages be examined and approved by a FISA Court. The role of the FISA Court seems to be limited to approving the general design of the software used in conducting acquisitions of information.
Press Advisory – June 22, 2008
Attn: Political Assignments Desk
Karen Renick: 512.496.7408
Vickie Karp: 512.775.3737
Abbe DeLozier: 512.736.5802
National Experts to Give Evidence of Hacking Electronic Voting Machines
at Austin, TX Capitol Hearing, Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
VoteRescue and its Coalition Bring in Compelling Witnesses And Host Two Related Events
Who: VoteRescue and its Coalition, Texans for REAL Elections, bringing in experts to testify
What: National experts and former election officials debunk the myth of electronic voting security and accessibility for the disabled, and will present documented testimony before the House Committee on Elections’ Interim Hearing
When: Wednesday, June 25th, 9 a.m. PLUS two other events that day – media invited
Where: Austin, Texas, Capitol Building, 11th & Congress, Rm. E2.028
Witnesses will include:
Bruce Funk: Emery County Utah election official who in 2006 invited in the Black Box Voting “hacking team” to examine his Diebold touch screen machines with printers added. They discovered “the worst security holes ever found” in electronic voting systems.
Clint Curtis: Programmer from Florida who designed “vote-flipping” software while employed at Yang Enterprises in 2000; became a whistleblower who gave a deposition about this in court. (Clint was invited by the State to testify)
Jim March: Technology expert, Black Box Voting Board member, co-plaintiff in the 2004 California lawsuit against Diebold for running uncertified software in their machines, which Diebold lost. Jim will discuss the ineffectiveness of the federal certification process of electronic voting systems.
For Immediate Release March 19, 2008
Wall Street Buys Ohio Voters:
Ohio Election Justice Campaign (OEJC) Announces Pension Divestment Plan from United Technologies Corporation (UTX)
Members of pension funds in ten states and in Canada, including five teacher pension plans, urged to immediately contact plan to divest from military-industrial conglomerate UTX and all derivative holdings in UTX (mutual funds and hedge funds) due to likely takeover of Diebold (DBD), maker of voting machines. Columbus, Ohio (PRWEB)
March 19, 2008 -- The Ohio Election Justice Campaign (OEJC) announces its pension divestment plan from United Technologies
Corporation (UTX), a military-industrial conglomerate.
In a report published Monday, March 17, Financial Trader forecast that the proposed UTX takeover of Diebold (DBD), one of the largest makers of voting machines, is likely to be successful, especially as "UTX derives roughly 15% of its revenue from Civilian Security Systems." http://www.financialtrader.com/DBD_UTX_Merge_US_Votes_For_Profit.html UTX also includes engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, which has 11,000 military engines in service with 27 armed forces worldwide, and Sikorsky, manufacturer of the Black Hawk Helicopter.