California's Electronic Voting Booths Need An Upgrade But It Won't Be CheapAired 2/8/2010 on All Things Considered Aired
2/9/2010 on Morning Edition
Sacramento, CA -- California elections officials say their computerized voting booths are in need of upgrades, but they can’t afford to make big improvements. Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports: Listen
Using the PEN action page, you can simultaneously send a letter to:
(1) Your U.S. Representative in Congress
(2) Both your U.S. Senators, and
(3) The editorial letters page of your regional newspaper
Action Page: Corporations Are NOT The People
Congress must act swiftly to block and override this Court ruling by enacting legislation to reject the "Corporate Personhood" doctrine and reassert that governments regulate corporations, not the other way around.
Rep. Alan Grayson (D FL 8) has already assembled proposed legislation in the House to counter the Court's ruling. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is doing the same in the Senate.
County Responses to Election Records Requests "Not Responsive, Evasive, and Unusable"
Download EDA Complaint (PDF)
After repeated attempts to obtain election records through public records procedures were denied and evaded by the Riverside County elections department, Election Defense Alliance has filed a lawsuit in Riverside County, CA, to compel the county's registrar of voters and election department to produce all public records used to compile the officially reported voting results for the November 2008 general election.
These laws and requirements include provisions guaranteeing the public access to observe election processes and verify election results.
Members of the EDA PREP team collectively have experience monitoring elections and filing records requests in Riverside, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties in California, and Pima and Maricopa counties in Arizona.
Lawsuit Claims and Relief Sought
EDA Complaint is Served on Riverside County Elections Department
Riverside election integrity activist Paul Jacobs accompanied Tom Courbat
to the Riverside County Elections Department on Dec. 12, 2009
to serve the summons forthe EDA lawsuit, Case No. RIC-541239.
__ requiring the payment of fees not permitted by law;
_ failing in their mandatory duties to respond to public information requests;
__ abusing their official discretion, by failing to respond properly to public information requests;
__ failing to provide requested records in useful form; and by
__ denying requests for public records without justification.
__ deliver all records responsive to the EDA CPRA requests
__ comply with all such election-related records requests by citizens in the future
__ pay EDA reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of the suit pursuant to Government Code Section 6259, the Code
of Civil Procedure section 1021.5, and other relevant statutes; and
__ such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper.
Below are a listing and description of election records EDA requested in the initial CPRA letter of April 24, 2009, and descriptions of the Riverside elections department response to each request.
The Massachusetts Special Election For US Senate
By Jonathan Simon
August 27, 2010
On January 19th, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts held a Special Election to fill the Senate seat left open by the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. It would be difficult to overstate the political implications of this election. Because the seat was the 60th for the Democrats, it carried with it the effective balance of power in the Senate: without it, in a dramatically polarized and decidedly uncooperative political environment, the Democrats would not be able to override a GOP filibuster. As the media let Americans know, everything from the shape of healthcare policy to financial regulation, from energy and environmental policy to critical judicial appointments hung in the balance.
Just as significantly, the victory by Republican Scott Brown over supposed shoo-in Martha Coakley was taken and trumpeted as a “sign:” the political calculus for the upcoming general elections in 2010 and 2012 was instantly rewritten, with the anger and unrest that apparently produced Brown’s victory establishing expectations of catastrophic losses for the Democrats in November and beyond. All in all the political impact of this single, under-the-radar state election was seismic, very nearly “presidential.”
The Electoral System
With stakes that high, citizens not only of Massachusetts but of the rest of the United States would hope to find firm basis knowledge, as opposed to mere faith that the votes were accurately counted as cast and that the seating of the certified winner, along with the massive implications alluded to above, at least reflected the will and intent of the voting constituency. Instead, this is what a citizen seeking such knowledge about the Massachusetts Special Election would find:
Election Defense Alliance
Related article: The complete report, Citizen Exit Polls in Los Angeles County: An In-Depth Analysis, by R. H. Phillips
Was California's Proposition 8 Election Rigged?
By Sally Castleman and Jonathan Simon
This report presents evidence that in the November 2008 election the tabulation of the vote for California’s Proposition 8, the ballot initiative repealing marriage equality, was probably corrupted. It is beyond the scope of this study to know if any corruption was due to honest error or intentional fraud. Further investigation is warranted.
Much media attention has been focused on California over the past several years regarding gay marriage, abortion, and other hot-button social issues. In November 2008, two such issues appeared on the California ballot: Proposition 8 outlawed marriage equality (a “yes” vote opposed same-sex marriage); Proposition 4 mandated a waiting period and parental notification before non-emancipated minors were allowed an abortion (similar measures had been defeated twice before).
Election Defense Alliance, a national nonprofit group dedicated to restoring integrity and public accountability to the electoral processes, worked with several other election integrity groups to conduct public election verification exit polls (“EVEP”) in eight states in November. The polls were meant to validate or detect problems with the official vote counts. Ten sites, representing 19 precincts, were located in Los Angeles County, California. This paper presents the analysis of the L.A. County polling results as they pertain to Proposition 8.
Click Here to download the Introduction as a pdf
The following study of suspect Proposition 8 election results in Los Angeles County, CA, is drawn from data gathered in EDA's Election Verification Exit Poll (EVEP) analysis of the 2008 Presidential election, which reports similarly questionable election results in several states.
Although this exit poll analysis cannot provide conclusive proof of election fraud (because such proof would require access to memory cards and computer code accorded proprietary exemption from public examination) it does provide the strongest indirect proof available that election results have almost certainly been altered by manipulation of the computerized voting systems.
Deviations between exit polls and official results far outside margins of error, cannot be explained away by demographics or polling factors. The facts established in these reports cannot responsibly be dismissed or evaded.
Election Defense Alliance calls on legislators, secretaries of state, attorneys general, the voting public, and especially candidates in upcoming elections, to read these reports and seriously confront their implications.
An EDA Investigative Report
'Exhaustive analysis of exit polls conducted in Los Angeles County has led to the conclusion that the vote count for Proposition 8 (the ban on same-sex marriage) appears to have been corrupted.
There were not enough Republican voters to account for the disparity between the exit poll and official results
even if every Republican non-responder voted for Proposition 8.
The Edison-Mitofsky exit poll showed a similar disparity statewide,
indicating that altered vote counts may not be limited to Los Angeles County.'
For the Introduction and Executive Summary:
CITIZEN EXIT POLLS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY: AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS
Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D.
Exhaustive analysis of exit polls conducted in Los Angeles County has led to the inescapable conclusion that the vote count for Proposition 8 (the ban on same-sex marriage) was corrupted. The data were drawn from questionnaires filled out by 6326 voters at ten polling places scattered across Los Angeles County, and were properly adjusted to match the gender, age, race, and party affiliation of the electorate.
For Proposition 4 (which would have required parental notification and a waiting period for minors seeking abortions), the official results differ from the adjusted exit poll data by only 0.64%. But for Proposition 8, the disparity between the official results and the adjusted exit poll data is 5.74%, enough to affect the margin by 11.48%. Because Los Angeles County comprised 24.23% of the statewide electorate, an error of that magnitude would have affected the statewide margin by 2.78%, accounting for most of the official 4.48% statewide margin of victory. There were not enough Republican voters to account for the disparity between the exit poll and the official results even if every Republican non-responder voted for Proposition 8. The Edison-Mitofsky exit poll showed a similar disparity statewide, indicating that altered vote counts may not be limited to Los Angeles County.
This report is meant as a warning. It does not provide conclusive proof of election tampering, but what is revealed here is strong enough to suggest that Legislators, Secretaries of State, Attorneys General, AND CITIZENS must pay close attention to what is reported in all future elections. Candidates entering races in 2010 Mid-Term Elections should especially read and understand this report and take notice of the current state of our electoral system.
'We know that there are huge disparities between the exit poll data and the official results
at all four polling places in New Hampshire, and that adjusting the raw data
to account for party affiliation does not explain them. . . .
We are forced to conclude that it is very possible that the official results in New Hampshire are not true and correct.'
Website Help ResourcesWebsite Guide
Content Creation Guide
Add Story Link
Practical Daily ActionsTake Action
NewsfeedsEDA "Election Integrity" RSS Newsfeed
EDA "Voting and Elections" Newspage
EDA Audio and VideoElection Defense Alliance Video Blog (at Blip.TV)
EDA TV (more videos at EDA)
EDA-CANS Radio Archive (EDA-California Public News Service election integrity series)
Election Defense Radio Archive
Introductory Summation:In 2008 the exit poll discrepancy was considerably smaller than in 2004, but it was still well outside the margin of error. I won’t calculate an exact number, since we don’t have all the data yet. But it’s safe to say that the difference is very unlikely to be explained by chance alone.
The fact that pre-election polls provided an estimate very similar to the exit polls in 2008 (The Obama lead was a little bit less in the pre-election polls, but it was surging upwards in the last couple of days, so probably the two were about equivalent) makes it even more likely that they were both accurate.
So that leaves two possibilities: Exit poll bias (and pre-election poll bias as well) or impaired election integrity – that is, election fraud.
Consequently, EDA undertook an effort yesterday to capture exit poll statistics from all major statewide races (President, Senator, and Governor) prior to “adjustment” of the statistics to match the official election results. (Once the statistics are “adjusted” to match the official election results they are worthless for the purpose of assessing the exit poll discrepancy because the “adjustment” erases the discrepancy.)
"What all this means is that, as in 2004, the Democratic candidate performed much better in exit polls than in the official vote count, and the difference was especially large in critical swing states."To read the complete article, click here
Election Defense Alliance Opens Public Review of Sequoia Voting System Source CodeBy Jim March
Election Defense Alliance, a nonprofit organized to review and improve voting system technology and operations, has come into possession of thousands of lines of software written by Sequoia Voting Systems as part of a public records response from Riverside County, California. (Sequoia is the third-largest E-voting vendor in the nation, whose secret proprietary software counts the votes for approximately 17% of the U.S. electorate).
Because the files were obtained from a government agency in an above-board fashion, for the first time the analysis process and actual code can be released to the public and studied in a public and transparent fashion.
The entire analysis project and associated files to study are available at a new wiki:
How You Can Help Shine Light on Sequoia
Previous voting system software analysis has been in secret, either due to non-disclosure agreements, court ordered secrecy or the review of code from legally questionable sources.
In this case, no such restrictions exist and the analysis process will be open, online and public as is proper when looking at the engine of our democratic process. “What was done in the dark will be brought to the light” as Johnny Cash put it.
The software was buried inside of data files used to store the tabulation of votes from the November 2008 general election. This practice of blending data and software has been long suspected and even alluded to in documents from Sequoia; however, the details had been obscured under “trade secrets” claims. Sequoia asserted and exercised an alleged “right” to strip the data files of anything proprietary before Riverside County turned the files over to EDA.
Although Sequoia attempted to redact their proprietary code from the election database files, they failed to strip out thousands of lines of software buried in the electon data.
The software appears to control the logical flow of the election, and is detailed enough to name the authors and dates of modifications along with what the code is actually doing to our votes. Some of it might actually have been stripped out, but we strongly suspect not due to the volume of code present.
EDA is expressing concern that such human-readable and “field modifiable” software has been banned by the federal rulebook on voting system design and testing.
Pending a detailed review, we expect to do a legal analysis of the structure of the Sequoia system thus revealed and file complaints with the proper state and federal authorities.
EDA is concerned about other known cases of failure in the certification of voting systems in which legally flawed products were allowed into the market, a trend noticed recently by NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology) in a formal letter throwing one of the authorized test labs out of the voting system test business.
Of the four labs ever credentialed for voting system testing, three have at various times been thrown out for misconduct or incompetence, only to be let back in under “restrictions.”
We believe that the source code analysis from Sequoia will document yet another such case of test lab failure along with a failure at Sequoia.
This Sequoia code review is one part of a larger EDA Public Record Election Project (PREP), based on public records freedom of information law. We have convened an expert group of investigators and are filing public records requests for voting system database records in a number of counties.
If you can lend your software programming skills to the Sequoia code analysis, we invite your participation at the SequoiaStudy wiki.