Premier Elections Goes to CA Hearing Over "Zero Deck" Failure

Findings Could Result in Vendor Decertification

Today (March 17) the Office of Secretary of State, California, held a voting systems review hearing on the "Zero-Deck Anomaly" of  the Premier (formerly Diebold) Elections System Ver. 1.18.19, a known flaw that can (and has) resulted in the erasure of votes without leaving any trace of miscount in the voting system's audit log.

The disappearance of 197 votes from Humboldt County election results in the November 2008 presidential election was discovered only through the monitoring effort of a local citizen group, the Humboldt Election Transparency Project (HETP), using a ballot-imaging scanner that made a separate record of the ballots available for independent citizen review.

This instance of the "Zero Deck" failure illustrates a fundamental problem with electronic voting systems in general: Namely, the poor-to- nonexistent quality assurance provided by the federal voting machine certification process. The programming flaw in the GEMS ver. 1.18.19 voting system evaded detection in all federal and state certification reviews. The software remains widely in use by electoral jurisdictions throughout the U.S.

'These standards would have required failure of the voting system containing the GEMS version 1.18.19 software had the flaws found in this investigation been identified and reported by the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) that performed the federal testing. . . .
The ITA testing of the system discovered no such flaws. The National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) approved GEMS version 1.18.19 in three voting system configurations between February 2004 and September 2004.'

-- Staff Report of the Secretary of State Office of Voting Systems Technology Assessment

At today's hearing, citizens opposed to the continued use of Premier Election Systems in California, testified for the public record, calling for the decertification of Premier voting systems.

Under the California Election Code, the secretary of state has the authority to decertify a voting system "if the Secretary determines that the system is defective or unacceptable." The secretary also has the authority to completely ban an E-voting vendor from doing business in the state for repeated failure to comply with election laws or meet minimal performance and reliability standards.

The secretary of state is expected to issue a finding within a matter of weeks that will determine the future of Premier Election Systems in California.


CA Elections Division Staff Report

Premier Election Solutions’ Global Election Management System (GEMS)
Software Version 1.18.19

Staff Report Prepared by: Secretary of State Office of Voting Systems Technology Assessment
March 13, 2009

I. Investigation & Findings

The attached California Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s Report to the Election Assistance Commission Concerning Errors and Deficiencies in Diebold/Premier GEMS Version 1.18.19 (“Report”) identifies software flaws in the GEMS version 1.18.19 software that led Humboldt County to initially inaccurately certify results (which were subsequently corrected) for the November 4, 2008, General Election.

The flaws also led to inaccurate or missing audit trail information that was pertinent to the investigation into the cause of the inaccurate results. The Secretary of State’s investigation identified the following errors and deficiencies in GEMS version 1.18.19, all of which are discussed in the Report:

1. The “Deck 0” software error caused the deletion of 197 tallied ballots.
2. GEMS version 1.18.19 audit logs fail to record important events.
3. “Clear” buttons on the GEMS Poster Log and Central Count Log permit deletion of important audit records.
4. Date and time stamp on audit trail entries are inaccurate.

Ellen Brodsky Vindicated, Broward County Drops Charges


Congratulations to Ellen Brodsky and her attorney Tanner Andrews

Florida election integrity advocate Ellen Brodsky was arrested last November on false charges of misdemeanor trespass, for attempting to witness a public meeting involving counting of the votes in Broward County. Now, Broward County has dropped all charges, basically admitting they had arrested her without legal cause. This is an outrage for a citizen like Ellen to be arrested for exercising her rights to make sure our votes are counted accurately.

A post-acquittal news interview with Ellen Brodsky and her attorney Tanner Andrews

Video URL:

BradBlog has covered the story in detail:

Exclusive: All Charges Dropped Against FL Election Integrity Advocate Arrested Last November

Judge Abets Coverup of Suspect Pima Election

'What actually happened in that courtroom Monday morning was beyond bizarre. The judge pointed to some obscure point of law, which he argued excused him from hearing further arguments and thus concluded that the suit should be heard by the Appellate Court . . .'

'. . . In the ensuing brief discussion it came out that Attorney General Goddard had just issued a secret order to take custody of the RTA ballots. Apparently, the secrecy was intended to keep only the plaintiffs in the dark, since the judge whimsically wondered out loud if this secret order was the same one he heard in the local news.'

For a video highlight of this day's events, see interview filmed by J.T. Waldron, here:


Click the Read More link for full story.

The (Non) Results of Monday Morning's Superior Court Hearing in Pima County, AZ

By David Griscom

Arizona Attorney General Implored to Count the Suspect Pima Ballots

The following letter, sent by attorney William J. Risner to Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, sets forth the facts in the suspect 2006 Pima County special transit bond election and the ensuing 3-year history of investigation and coverup. 

EDA investigators John Brakey and Jim March discovered evidence of election tampering while examining audit log records for that election.  Their discovery led to further investigation, a court case resulting in the largest release of electronic election data in U.S. history.  Risner has represented plaintiffs in the Pima RTA election case, including the Democratic Party of Pima County, who continue to press for a full and public resolution of the 2006 RTA election controversies.


February 18, 2009

Attorney General Terry Goddard
Office of the Attorney General
1275 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Dear Mr. Goddard:

An article in the Arizona Daily Star last week (February 13) reported that your office expected to complete its investigation of the May 16, 2006 RTA election in Pima County within the month. [1]

The presumed goal of your investigation was to learn if the RTA election was criminally “rigged” or “fixed” by Bryan Crane on the instructions of his Pima County “bosses” so as to defraud the public of an honest election. We assume that an alleged crime of that importance would have resulted in an intense inquiry focused on whether or not the crime occurred. As you are aware, the Pima County Democratic Party has been engaged in a similar inquiry. Our goal is different than your goal. Your job is to learn whether a crime occurred and, if so, to prosecute the offenders. Our party's responsibility is to ensure that ballots are properly handled and counted.[2]

Court Denies Relief in AZ Election Fraud Case

See for a brief overview of issues in this RTA case.

For a summary history of the evolving RTA election fraud story, see:

Pima, AZ RTA Ballots Move One Step Closer to Destruction

Judge Harrington Washes His Hands, Blocks Elections Oversight

In Brief: On January 29, 2009, a Superior Court judge in Pima County, AZ, denied prospective relief requested to guard against electoral fraud in future Pima County elections. The judge also refused to allow examination of the ballots from a 2006 election, sought as direct proof of fraud in that election. Without court protection, those ballots are scheduled to soon be destroyed. Should this ruling stand, the Pima County Elections Division has a green light to rig future elections with impunity.

By John Brakey and Jim March

To understand the current lawsuit, one has to realize that in this “motion to dismiss” (by the people who want to destroy the ballots) the judge must start with the presumption that everything stated by the opposition (Bill Risner and the Democratic Party) is true. In order to find against the Democratic Party, the judge has to do so EVEN IF the RTA election of 2006 was stolen by the people who are still running elections in Pima County. To rule for ballot destruction, he must determine that the court can do nothing to prevent future elections from being stolen.

Excerpt from Hearing Transcript, 01/14/09:

The following exchange is between Judge Harrington and Attorney Bill Risner.

Mr. Risner: Judge, we will offer prospective relief that we can be assured they won't do it again. We're not going to ask you to tell them not to do it again. We will specifically show you can simply order to make sure that they can't do it again. Our fact pattern here takes as a matter of fact that the RTA was rigged. That's our fact pattern. . . . So the issue simply is, is it a fact that using a computer with lousy security, a crook's running it and rigging elections? Does the court have the ability to give prospective relief? We say the answer is yes.

The Court: And it is the court's equitable jurisdiction that you . . . .

Mr. Risner: Yes it is. . . . [W]hen there are decisions made on policies or when people are elected, we must know that that was based on a majority vote that was accurately and honestly counted. . . . This court cannot enter an order telling the attorney general what to do, and we sure can't, but the court can enter prospective relief to absolutely . . . prevent this from happening to the future and you've got jurisdiction to do that. You're obligated to do that. It's your oath. It's your job. It's what courts are here for. You can't just wash your hands . . . .

The Court: Sir, do not, please, say that I'm washing my hands of this matter. . . . That is an insult to this court.

Click Read more for full story

Arizona Elections Report Submitted to EAC

The following report submitted to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission on Dec. 8, details findings about elections in Maricopa County, Arizona, resulting from a year-long investigation conducted by the Arizona Tansparency Project, a collaborative project of AUDIT-AZ, Election Defense Alliance, and election integrity activists from a variety of Arizona political parties. The report was jointly written by principal investigators and coalition organizers, John Brakey and Jim March.

Download the PDF report

MISSION: We are nonpartisan organization whose mission is to restore public ownership and oversight of elections, work to ensure the fundamental right of every American citizen to vote, and to have each vote counted as intended in a secure, transparent, impartial, and independently audited election process.

Monday, December 08, 2008 4:06 p.m.

Chair Rosemary E. Rodriguez
Election Assistance Commission
1225 New York Avenue, N.W. - Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

Sent via e-mail to

Dear Madam Chairwoman and Members of the Board of the EAC:

Now after spending more than 4 years full time understanding how elections work, first in Pima County on Diebold equipment, then in Maricopa County on Sequoia equipment we at AUDIT-AZ can conclude that elections are unverifiable and are "faith-based" for the most part.

Our Election Integrity Movement in Arizona continues to work to discover more of the flaws built into the election process that been made even more abundantly evident during current general election. It is now time to use all the information that has been gleaned to date to work on solutions to put safeguards in place to assure transparent and auditable counting of the 2010 Election working with Election Defenses Alliance and our other national partners. The court case in Pima County, Arizona of the Pima County Democratic Party vs. Pima Board of Supervisors set a precedent that the databases produced by electronic voting equipment -- whether individual machines, or in the central tabulators -- is public record and belongs to the people. With the release of 800 databases this case lead to the largest release of databases in the history of electronic voting in the United States.

Last July we submitted to the EAC the story of Pima County, (Tucson, AZ).

Today we present Maricopa County, (Phoenix, AZ) which is the 4th largest county in the United States.

For the sake of keeping this short here are the highlights of what we found and learned: [click Read More link]
Or Download the PDF report

Help File Evidence for CA Investigation of Prop. 8

On Election Night, 2008, one or more members of the EDA Election Data Analysis Working Group downloaded the CNN screenshot of unadjusted exit poll results for CA Proposition 8 that is now the catalyst for a rapidly growing statewide call for an official investigation.

Election Defense Alliance is calling on any California voter who witnessed or otherwise has evidence indicative of miscount in the Proposition 8 contest to please file a formal complaint with the CA SoS office so it can be entered as evidence in an official investigation we have been told may be initiated as early as this Wednesday.

See sample complaint letter lower in this post, and click this link to download the CA election fraud complaint form.

EDA is asking for collective public review of the complaint and evidence, and any additional comment or correction you would recommend be added to the complaint and evidentiary letter (see below) sent to the CA SoS office, citing the EDA exit poll evidence.

EDA Director Dan Ashby is in communication with Sharon and Richard Tamm who filed the original complaint and letter of supporting evidence, (reproduced below) to which the CA SoS office has affirmatively responded.

EDA is prominently mentioned in that original complaint as the source for the most compelling single piece of evidence calling the official Prop. 8 vote count into question.

The CA SoS office has responded with a request for as much supporting evidence as possible to be submitted by Monday November 24 using the CA election fraud complaint form.
You can scan the completed form and any supporting documents and e-mail them to:

However, evidence will continue to be accepted beyond Monday, so please do file additional reports when you can, but as soon as you can.

Please Forward this page by clicking the E-mail This Page link below or by using the Share Page webtools, upper right column.

Click the Read More link to read the rest of this post and how you can help bring an investigation into the Prop. 8 vote count.

Presidential Turnout Flat in 2008: How Did that Happen?

2008 Presidential Turnout Flat -- How Did That Happen?

By Michael Collins

(Wash. DC) In 2004, we were told to anticipate a red versus blue election. It didn't turn out that way but that was hardly mentioned.

By 2008, we were told to expect record voter turnout for the presidential election. Now we're told that the predictions were wrong, the pictures of long lines, massive early voting, and massive registration increases all went to produce just about the same vote total as reported for 2004.

The 2004 vote total was 122 million compared to 105 million in 2000. We're left with this question. With all the excitement and effort plus a huge funding advantage for Obama, how is it that the voters going to the polls were about equal in number for 2004 and 2008?

Here are some of the headlines:

Voter turnout approaches some records, breaks others, Harvard Gazette, Nov. 6, 2008, Thomas E. Patterson, Harvard Kennedy School

"Judging from past experience, however, it would appear that roughly 134 million Americans voted in the 2008 general election - a 65 percent turnout rate."

This estimate is 10 to 12 million votes over the actual count. But that difference is is minor compared to the projection of Infoplease which estimated 148 million voters on Nov. 4, 2008.

Unprecedented Latino Voter Turnout Plays Critical Role in Early Outcome of the Presidential Election, Market Watch Nov. 5, 2008

2008 and 2004 Presidential Exit Poll Discrepancies Compared

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

Open Letter to the Media: Don't Print as True What You Can't Prove

The following Open Letter to the Media is an ongoing campaign to change the way the newsmedia thinks and reports about the inherently unverifiable nature of the U.S. electoral system.

We are asking the Fourth Estate to consider their obligations to verify what they report as fact to the public, and to acknowledge that in the case of U.S. election results, they have no basis for doing so.

We are asking reporters to seriously question their responsibility for perpetuating an illusion of democracy when the vote-counting process is hidden, unobservable, and unaccountable to the public.

We are asking journalists to change news culture by signing on to this letter and sending it to their journalistic peers.

Everyone can participate by sending this letter to the editorial departments of newspapers, news magazines, radio and television news departments, and to individual reporters.


We Do Not Consent - Open Letter To The Media
A Public Media Campaign Launched By Dave Berman of We Do Not Consent


Dear Media Colleagues,

You are receiving this message because you are known to American progressives as a truth-teller. In this presidential campaign, despite the typical horse-race coverage, we also see the overall corporate media narrative influenced by daily debunking efforts from candidates’ rapid response teams, the blogosphere, and the reality-based coverage and reporting that you provide. We need to take this to the next level.

There are three very simple basic facts about the way US federal elections are conducted now, and we think they lead to an inescapable conclusion that must be addressed. See if you agree:

1. We have secret corporate vote counting computers counting more than 95% of the votes cast in the United States;

2. The absence of paper ballots, and in some cases state’s law, prevents meaningful re-counts throughout much of the country;

3. These electronic voting machines frequently produce results impossible in a legitimate election, such as John Kerry’s negative 25 million votes in Youngstown, OH (Nov. 2004), or Palm Beach County’s 12,000 votes in excess of the number of voters (Aug. 2008).

To us this suggests the conclusion that federal election results are unprovable, even though the media reports them as fact. Can you draw any other conclusion?

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