12/15/2004

Pitt: Proof of Ohio Election Fraud Exposed

Man OH man, election fraud finally hits the fan?!

by luaptifer

Wed Dec 15th, 2004 at 03:52:57 EDT

Proof of Ohio Election Fraud Exposed

William Rivers Pitt Wednesday 15 December 2004

...everyone was looking the wrong way. The company that requires immediate and penetrating scrutiny is Triad Systems.

Triad is owned by a man named Tod Rapp, who has also donated money to both the Republican Party and the election campaign of George W. Bush. Triad manufactures punch-card voting systems, and also wrote the computer program that tallied the punch-card votes cast in 41 Ohio counties last November...

Given the ubiquity of the Triad voting systems in Ohio, the allegations that have been leveled against this company strike to the heart of the assumed result of the 2004 election.

...Triad is contracted to do much of the elections work in this county and elsewhere in Ohio

...They also have a technician in the office on election night to actually run the tabulator itself...

Triad also supplies the network computers on which all of the voter registration information and processing is kept for the county...

The source of this report believes that the Triad representative was "making the rounds" of visiting other counties also before the recount. This person also stated they would not pass on the suggestion of the "posted" hidden totals, and would refuse to go along with it if it were suggested by the others in the office at the time.

The source of this information believes they could lose their job if they come forward. The source of this information is named Sherole Eaton, Hocking County deputy director of elections. She has since written and signed an affidavit describing her experience with the Triad representative, the text of which is here:

Go to Original

AFFADAVIT
December 13, 2004
Sherole Eaton
Re: General Election 2004 - Hocking County, TriAd...

...He advised Lisa and I on how to post a "cheat sheet" on the wall so that only the board members and staff would know about it and and what the codes meant so the count would come out perfect and we wouldn't have to do a full hand recount of the county. He left about 5:00 PM.
My faith in Tri Ad and the Xenia staff has been nothing but good. The realization that this company and staff would do anything to dishonor or disrupt the voting process is distressing to me and hard to believe. I'm being completely objective about the above statements and the reason I'm bringing this forward is to, hopefully, rule out any wrongdoing...

Conyers, upon hearing these allegations, sent a letter to both the FBI Special Agent in Charge in Ohio and the Hocking County Prosecutor. The text of that letter is as follows:

December 15, 2004
As part of the Democratic staff's investigation into irregularities in the 2004 election and following up on a lead provided to me by Green Party Presidential Candidate, David Cobb, I have learned that Sherole Eaton, a Deputy Director of Board of Elections in Hocking County, Ohio, has first hand knowledge of inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering in the Ohio presidential election in violation of federal and state law...

I have information that similar actions of this nature may be occurring in other counties in Ohio. I am therefore asking that you immediately investigate this alleged misconduct and that, among other things, you consider the immediate impoundment of election machinery to prevent any further tampering...

Third, it is important to recognize that the companies implicated in the wrongdoing, Triad and its affiliates, are the leading suppliers of voting machines involving the counting of paper ballots and punch cards in the critical states of Ohio and Florida. Triad is controlled by the Rapp family, and its founder Tod A. Rapp has been a consistent contributor to Republican causes.4 A Triad affiliate, Psephos corporation, supplied the notorious butterfly ballot used in Palm Beach County, Florida, in the 2000 presidential election.

Sincerely,
John Conyers, Jr.

The New York Times published a report on the matter late Tuesday night:

Go to Original

Lawmaker Seeks Inquiry Into Ohio Vote
By Tom Zeller Jr.
The New York Times
Wednesday 15 December 3004

The ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, plans to ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a county prosecutor in Ohio today to explore "inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering" in at least one and perhaps several Ohio counties...

12/14/2004

Daily Kos :: BREAKING: Witness Says Voting Company Tampered With Machines

BREAKING: Witness Says Voting Company Tampered With Machines
by sixmoreweeks
[Subscribe]

Mon Dec 13th, 2004 at 22:31:58 CDT

This is breaking news here from The Blue Lemur (Raw Story) that concerns the witness that Presidential candidate David Cobb (Green Party) brought up at the hearing today in Ohio with John Conyers.

The story is below the fold.


Diaries :: sixmoreweeks's diary ::

Correction from RAW STORY: An earlier version of this article and headline incorrectly stated David Cobb was the Libertarian candidate. Cobb was the Green Party candidate.

12/13/2004
Witness says voting company tampered with machines after vote and tried to plant false information into Ohio recount
Filed under: General-- site admin @ 10:15 pm

Green says voting company tampered with recount effort

By John Byrne | RAW STORY Editor

David Cobb, the unsuccessful Green Party presidential candidate, aired startling allegations at the Democratic House Judiciary Committee’s Columbus hearings Monday, alleging that a voting company representative tampered with voting equipment in Columbus last Friday and attempted to plant false information into the Ohio recount.

Cobb says that a witness who had requested anonymity watched a representative of Triad Systems enter the Columbus Board of Elections unannounced and tamper with a vote tabulator which then lost all data.

The representative then, Cobb said, tried to convince employees to post false information so that it would appear as if the data was valid and had never been lost.

This following is RAW STORY ’s transcript Cobb’s speech as recorded by Inside Track News’ broadcast (mp3 file), an independent media outlet that covered the event. The story has been followed in detail at The Brad Blog.

“A representative from Triad Systems came into this county’s Board of Election’s office unannounced, that is on this Friday. He said he was just stopping by to see if they had any questions about the upcoming recount.

“He then headed into the back room where Triad supplies tabulators, that is the machine that counts the ballots, is kept. This Triad representative told them that there was problem with the system, that the system had a bad battery and it had ‘lost all its data.’

“He then took the computer apart and started swapping parts in and out of it. And in another [incomprehensible] in the room. And he had spare parts in his coat, as one of the people moved in [sic] remarked how very heavy it was.

“He finally reassembled everything and said it was working but not to turn it off. He then asked which precinct would be counted in the 3 percent recount test and that one which had been selected as if it had the right number of votes was relayed to him he then went back and did something else to the tabulator.

“The Triad Systems representative suggested that since the hand recount had to match the machine count exactly and since it would hard to memorize the several numbers which would be needed to get the count exactly right, that they should post this series of numbers on the wall where they would not be noticed by observers such as to make them look like employee information or something similar.

“The people doing the hand count could then he said just report those numbers no matter what the actually counted in the ballot. This would then ‘match’ the tabulator report for this precinct exactly.

Minority leader of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) replied, “David Cobb, I need to you to arrange a meeting with our staff immediately.”

Cobb asserted that such practices were “going on across the state.”

The Cleveland Free Press’ Editor David Fitrakis also submitted a list of documented Ohio voting irregularities Dec. 8, which Conyers’ office has posted online in pdf format.

###

Correction: An earlier version of this article and headline incorrectly stated David Cobb was the Libertarian candidate. Cobb was the Green Party candidate.

MORE: http://www.bluelemur.com/index.php?p=490

Daily Kos :: BREAKING: Witness Says Voting Company Tampered With Machines

12/04/2004

Judiciary Cmte Dems: "'Free' Exit Poll Data", "Ken Blackwell Riddle Me This", etc.

House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Members

If you experienced voting problems or have first-handknowledge of voting irregularies in the 2004 Presidential election,please contact the Committee by clicking here.
December 3, 2004
Text of Letter from Rep. Conyers to Warren Mitofsky of Mitofsky International Requesting the Release of Exit Poll "raw data"

December 3, 2004
Text of Follow-up Letter from Judiciary Democratic Members to Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell Concerning Ohio Election Irregularities

December 3, 2004
Conyers and Other Congressmen to Hold Forum on Voting Irregularities in Ohio

December 2, 2004
Conyers, and Other House Judiciary Democrats Ask Blackwell to Explain Alleged Ohio Election Irregularities

December 2, 2004
Text of Letter from Judiciary Democratic Members to Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell Concerning Ohio Election Irregularities

12/02/2004

VoteLaw: Comparing Ukraine and Ohio

James K. Galbraith writes on Salon.com: The election was stolen. That's not in doubt. Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted it. The National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute both admitted it. Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana -- a Republican -- was emphatic; there had been "a concerted and forceful program of Election Day fraud and abuse"; he "had heard" of employers telling their workers how to vote; yet he had also seen the fire of the resisting young, "not prepared to be intimidated."

In Washington, former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski demanded that the results be set aside and a new vote taken, under the eye -- no less -- of the United Nations. In the New York Times, Steven Lee Myers decried "the use of government resources on behalf of loyal candidates and the state's control over the media" -- practices, he said, that were akin to those in "Putin's Russia."

Personally, I don't know whether the Ukrainian election was really stolen. I don't trust Lugar, Powell or the National Democratic Institute. It's obvious that U.S. foreign policy interests, rather than love of democracy for its own sake, are behind this outcry. Russia backed the other candidate in Ukraine. For Brzezinski, doing damage to Russia is a hobby.
But if the Ukraine standard were applied in Ohio -- as it should be -- then the late lamented U.S. election certainly was stolen. [emphasis added at Counting Coup.] In Ohio, the secretary of state in charge of the elections process was co-chairman of the Bush campaign in the state. He obstructed the vote count systematically -- for instance, by demanding that provisional ballots without birth dates on their envelopes be thrown out, even though there is no requirement for that in state law. He also required that provisional ballots be cast in a voter's home precinct, ensuring that there would be no escape from long lines. Republicans fielded thousands of election challengers to Democratic precincts, mainly to try to intimidate black voters and to slow down the voting process. A recount, demanded and paid for by the Green and Libertarian parties, has been stalled in court, so that it won't possibly upset the certification of Ohio's electoral votes.

-- Salon.com Democracy inaction

This entry was posted by Edward at 07:50 AM

Voting errors tallied nationwide

By Brian C. Mooney, Globe Staff December 1, 2004

More than 4,000 votes vanished without a trace into a computer's overloaded memory in one North Carolina county, and about a hundred paper ballots were thrown out by mistake in another. In Texas, a county needed help from a laboratory in Canada to unlock the memory of a touch-screen machine and unearth five dozen votes.

In other places, machine undercounting or overcounting of votes was a problem. Several thousand votes were mistakenly double-counted in North Carolina, Ohio, Nebraska, and Washington state. Some votes in other areas were at first credited to the wrong candidates, with one Indiana county, by some quirk, misallocating several hundred votes for Democrats to Libertarians. In Florida, some machines temporarily indicated votes intended for challenger John F. Kerry were for President Bush, and vice versa.
In the month since the election, serious instances of voting machine problems or human errors in ballot counts have been documented in at least a dozen states, each involving from scores of ballots to as many as 12,000 votes, as in a North Carolina county. On Election Day, or in later reconciling tallies of ballots and voters, local officials discovered problems and corrected final counts. In some cases, the changes altered the outcomes of local races. But in North Carolina, the problems were so serious that the state may hold a rare second vote, redoing a contest for state agriculture commissioner decided by fewer votes than the number of ballots lost.
After the disputed vote in Florida four years ago, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and authorized $4 billion so states could create central computerized voter lists and replace outdated voting systems such as punchcards by 2006. But many states have not completed the overhaul, and this year's election unearthed enough problems -- both with older technologies and newer electronic touch-screens -- that two federal agencies plan unprecedented nationwide inquiries. The investigations by the Government Accountability Office and US Election Assistance Commission will begin early next year and be completed by mid-2005, at the earliest.
In addition, minor presidential candidates requested recounts in four states -- a partial one completed yesterday in New Hampshire, and statewide in Ohio, New Mexico, and Nevada.
None of the recounts or inquiries is expected to affect the results of the presidential election, which Bush won by more than 3.3 million votes.
Those who believe that either or both of the past two presidential elections were manipulated by a vague conspiracy to elect Bush have done statistical analyses of voting patterns in Florida and argued that the voting discrepancies were much larger and systemic, but their studies have not stood up to scrutiny from academics and other analysts.
Most of the concerns, which have rocketed through the Internet, center on computerized voting or tabulating machines, including some that do not keep a paper record for audits and recounts. Some computer scientists acknowledge that these systems could be vulnerable to tampering.
''I would hesitate to take seriously the conspiracy theories, but there are certainly gaps and vulnerabilities that have got to be addressed," said DeForest B. Soaries, chairman of the US Election Assistance Commission, which was created by the 2002 law and plans to conduct hearings around the country on the voting.
''We are convinced that while the election went relatively smoothly compared to what many had expected, that does not eliminate the need to study the results and collect data to document machine malfunctions and other administrative matters," Soaries said.
Since 2000, watchdog groups have intensified their monitoring and cataloging of complaints and errors. The nonpartisan Verified Voting Foundation and other groups built a database of more than 30,000 ''election incidents" reported across the country this year. Most were routine, but nearly 900 involved significant e-voting problems, including malfunctions that shut down machines, lengthening waits at the polls. There were 42 reports of total breakdowns of machines in New Orleans and 28 in Philadelphia and ''15 reports of catastrophic machine failure" in Mercer County, Pa.
The most serious problems occurred in North Carolina, where 4,438 e-votes disappeared in Carteret County. In at least five other counties, major double-counting or undercounting was discovered and corrected by North Carolina officials during their tabulations.
Johnnie McLean, deputy director of the State Board of Elections, attributed many mistakes to ''the human element, brought on by fatigue." In Carteret, for example, election workers apparently did not notice the ''Voter Log Full" message on the black box as the UniLect touch-screen failed to record the electronic votes, she said.
''If we had problems in the past, they were not magnified like this," McLean said, referring not only to the closeness of the statewide race, but also the extraordinary scrutiny of voting since 2000.
Examples of other major problems that were reported on and after Nov. 2, then later corrected, include:
Thousands of ballots were mistakenly double-counted in Sandusky County, Ohio; Sarpy County, Neb.; and Grays Harbor County, Wash. Democrats in Washington ust decide by Friday whether to seek a second recount in the closest governor's race
in state history. One recount has been held, reducing Republican Dino Rossi's 261-vote lead to 42 votes over Democrat Christine Gregoire.
In Gahanna, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, Bush was temporarily credited with 3,893 more votes than he actually received in a precinct where only 638 voters cast ballots on a Danaher electronic voting machine.
In Franklin County, Ind., a tabulator credited about 600 straight-ticket Democratic votes to Libertarian Party candidates.
In Collin County, Texas, the memory card of a Diebold Election Systems touch-screen machine had to be sent to a laboratory in Canada a week after the election to extract information about 63 votes cast before the machine froze and was taken out of service.
In South Florida's Broward County, ''multiple misrecordings" occurred when votes for Kerry on touch-screens made by Election Systems & Software Inc. appeared as Bush votes, and there was at least one account of a Bush vote going to Kerry, the Verified Voting group reported. Broward voters discovered the problem on screens that allowed them to check their selections before entering them electronically.
The long list of documented problems has fueled the suspicions of conspiracy theorists, activists, and the minor presidential candidates who requested the New Hampshire and Ohio recounts.

Ohio decided the 2004 contest, but since the 2000 election, Florida remains the focus of the doubters and the devotees of various scenarios that suggest skullduggery, in part because early exit polls overstated Kerry's strength.
No group has been more aggressive than Seattle-based Black Box Voting, which bills itself as ''consumer protection for elections." Led by founder Bev Harris, the organization is seeking election records from around the country for audits of the results. The primary focus is Florida, where internal computer records have been requested in all 67 counties, and the results in glitch-plagued Volusia County, in the east-central part of the state, are being contested.
Four years ago, during vote-counting on election night, a faulty memory card initially deducted 16,022 votes from Democrat Al Gore's vote total in Volusia. Despite spending about $300,000 to upgrade equipment and avert a repeat, there were memory card problems this year in tabulators for six Volusia precincts. The optically-scanned paper ballots were re-fed into other counting machines to reach an accurate tally, a county election official said.
''All day long, I get desperate calls from people who are in so much pain," said Harris, the Black Box founder, who said she is convinced fraud occurred in some places Nov. 2. ''They say: Can you fix it? Can you solve it? Can you turn around the presidential election? We're not trying to turn the election around. We're trying to get elections to be more transparent, because with the new machines, it's not transparent."
Deanie Lowe, Volusia's supervisor of elections, said she has complied with Harris's record requests and offered to recount, free of charge, any three of Volusia's 179 precincts selected by Harris.
Harris, however, said records for all precincts were not turned over, and Black Box will seek a 50-precinct recount in the county, which Kerry won but by a smaller margin than Gore did in 2000.
Much of the postelection focus on Florida resulted from a pair of analyses that claimed Bush's vote totals in the state were inflated by two vote-counting technologies.
The first analysis originated on the Web and cited results in rural, overwhelmingly Democratic counties in Florida's panhandle, where Bush crushed Kerry. All use optical scanners. What the analysis failed to note is that Bush routed Gore by nearly equal margins four years ago in the same conservative counties that have been tilting Republican for years in national elections. A team of Miami Herald reporters reviewed 17,000 ballots in three of the counties, basically confirming the election results.
Then, a broadly reported second study by a team at the University of California at Berkeley, using an academic statistical method, asserted that ''Irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000 excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida." In Broward County alone, the study said, Bush ''appears to have received approximately 72,000 excess votes." Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, which also use touch-screens, were also cited as anomalies.
But if Bush had actually received 72,000 fewer votes in heavily Democratic Broward, his total this year would have been less than it was in 2000 -- even though nearly 132,000 more ballots were cast. Kerry won all three key counties, Broward by more than 209,000 votes.
Bush carried the state by 380,978 votes, or about 5 percent of 7.6 million cast.
If recounts are the skeptics' best hope to uncover systemic irregularities, they got off to a rocky start in New Hampshire. Completed yesterday at the request of independent candidate Ralph Nader, the Granite State re-tally of 50,600 votes in 11 towns and city wards that use optical scanners increased Kerry's total by 87 votes and Bush's by 62.
Secretary of State William M. Gardner said scanned ballots have worked well in New Hampshire. Indeed, the largest discrepancies found this year were in a legislative race involving hand-counted ballots, he said.
On deck is Ohio, which tipped the Electoral College to Bush. At the earliest, the recount of 88 counties won't begin until Dec. 13, according to the secretary of state's office, the same day the Electoral College is scheduled to formalize Bush's reelection. The recount could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Minor presidential candidates Michael Badnarik and David Cobb of the Libertarian and Green parties, respectively, have said they would formally seek the recount once the state certifies the official results Monday. They will incorporate the review of 155,000 provisional ballots, which were not included in preliminary tallies that showed Bush winning Ohio by 136,483 votes, or about 2.5 percent.
How long the recount takes will depend on whether Badnarik and Cobb ask for a manual inspection of any or all of the 5.5 million ballots, said Carlo LoParo, spokesman for Ohio's secretary of state, J. Kenneth Blackwell.
Of complaints about long lines that discouraged some from voting and allegations that there was a shortage of machines in some urban Democratic areas, LoParo said such decisions in Ohio are made by county boards of elections with two Republicans and two Democrats.
Long waits in Ohio and elsewhere resulted from the system being overwhelmed by a high turnout, said Doug Chapin, director of the nonpartisan electionline.org, which monitors reform efforts.
More attention should be paid to providing an adequate number of machines in polling places, he said, as well as ''finishing the job" mandated by the Help America Vote Act. Forty states, for example, have yet to comply with a mandate to establish a central, statewide database of registered voters. That will reduce questions about voter eligibility at election time, Chapin said.
Whatever the outcome of the recounts and the official inquiries by federal agencies, the impetus for improve voting systems will not fade, he said.
''This is not a fringe issue, because a sizable group is interested in pursuing this as a policy issue going forward," Chapin said. ''There's now a critical mass of people involved who want to address the problems that occurred in 2004. This issue is not going to go away."

Federal Judge Reportedly Declines to Stop Recount

Federal Judge Reportedly Declines to Stop Recount

A United States District Judge has declined to extend a temporary restraining order barring the Ohio recount from proceeding in Delaware County, according to this press release. As I noted yesterday, the TRO had been issued by state judge, but expired by its terms yesterday at noon. After the TRO issued, the Green and Libertarian candidates removed the case from state court to federal court. Today's press release doesn't explain the federal judge's reasoning, but does note that a hearing is set for tomorrow afternoon in Columbus, to consider the matter further.

- posted by Dan Tokaji @ 3:38 PM