Pentagon drops Internet voting plans for military personnel - Computerworld

Common Ground Common Sense
we find that the DoD dropped the internet use of voting by the military because it couldn't guarantee the security of the voting :

''In a Jan. 30 memo to David Chu, the undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz wrote that 'in view of the inability to ensure legitimacy of votes that would be cast in the SERVE Internet voting project, thereby bringing into doubt the integrity of the election, I hereby direct you to take immediate steps to ensure that no voters use the system to register or vote via the Internet.'

The memo was released today by a Defense Department spokesman who was asked about the status of the controversial voting program, which is called SERVE (Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment).

Wolfowitz said in the memo that 'efforts will continue to demonstrate the technical ability to cast ballots over the Internet,' using knowledge and experience gained so far. He wrote that he would reconsider his decision in the future 'if it can be shown that the integrity of the election results can be assured.''

Yet we are told that the civilian voting systems ARE hackable, and demonstrated as such by Black Box Voting ! This was an invitationg to vote fraud and everyone knew it !"

we find that the DoD dropped the internet use of voting by the military because it couldn't guarantee the security of the voting :

""In a Jan. 30 memo to David Chu, the undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz wrote that "in view of the inability to ensure legitimacy of votes that would be cast in the SERVE Internet voting project, thereby bringing into doubt the integrity of the election, I hereby direct you to take immediate steps to ensure that no voters use the system to register or vote via the Internet."

The memo was released today by a Defense Department spokesman who was asked about the status of the controversial voting program, which is called SERVE (Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment).

Wolfowitz said in the memo that "efforts will continue to demonstrate the technical ability to cast ballots over the Internet," using knowledge and experience gained so far. He wrote that he would reconsider his decision in the future "if it can be shown that the integrity of the election results can be assured.""

Yet we are told that the civilian voting systems ARE hackable, and demonstrated as such by Black Box Voting ! This was an invitationg to vote fraud and everyone knew it !


Pentagon drops Internet voting plans for military personnel
It cited security concerns for the move but plans to keep studying the idea

Related to this topic

> Sidebar: Papering Over E-voting Problems
> Hacker breaks into electronic voting firm site
> Criticism of electronic voting machines’ security is mounting
> Oracle moves to quarterly patch release schedule
> Eight best practices for disaster recovery

News Story by Todd R. Weiss

FEBRUARY 05, 2004 (COMPUTERWORLD) - The U.S. Department of Defense has decided, for now at least, to drop its efforts to give overseas U.S. military personnel voting access over the Internet, because of concerns about the security of the system.

In a Jan. 30 memo to David Chu, the undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz wrote that "in view of the inability to ensure legitimacy of votes that would be cast in the SERVE Internet voting project, thereby bringing into doubt the integrity of the election, I hereby direct you to take immediate steps to ensure that no voters use the system to register or vote via the Internet."

The memo was released today by a Defense Department spokesman who was asked about the status of the controversial voting program, which is called SERVE (Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment).

Wolfowitz said in the memo that "efforts will continue to demonstrate the technical ability to cast ballots over the Internet," using knowledge and experience gained so far. He wrote that he would reconsider his decision in the future "if it can be shown that the integrity of the election results can be assured."

"The bottom line is we could have our president selected by [hackers in] Iran."

—Barbara Simons, ACM past president and technology policy expert
The Wolfowitz memo came nine days after a 34-page report, "A Security Analysis of the Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment" (download PDF), was sent by a group of technology experts to the Federal Voting Assistance Program, criticizing the idea as it was envisioned (see story).

The group of about a dozen computer experts was asked by the Defense Department to review the idea of Internet voting, which was proposed after the 2000 presidential elections to make it easier for members of the military and other U.S. citizens to cast ballots when they're overseas. The Federal Voting Assistance Program was assembled by the Pentagon to build an Internet voting system.

One of the writers of the report, Barbara Simons, a past president of the Association of Computing Machinery and a technology policy expert, said today that she's pleased with Wolfowitz's decision


Statement by Kay J. Maxwell, President of the League of Women Voters
Contact: Kelly Ceballos, 202-263-1331 Sara Conrath, 202-263-1332

WASHINGTON, DC – “The League of Women Voters is deeply concerned about voting irregularities in the 2004 election. The appropriate officials must fully investigate these concerns through open and public processes. Election officials should look into problems quickly and thoroughly and fix what proves to be wrong. Transparency and a willingness to look into potential problems will strengthen voter confidence and ultimately improve our electoral system.

“It is important to ensure that every properly cast ballot is counted and to make improvements for future elections. Attention must be given to inadequate polling place procedures, problematic voting machines, voter registration system failures, casting and counting of provisional ballots, and absentee voting issues.

“This was far from a perfect election. Although voter turnout reached record levels, the election system showed signs of stress and voters faced real problems. Two key areas deserve special inquiry. First, voter registration problems plague the system. These problems – from failures to fully process registration applications in time to bureaucratic requirements that blocked voter registration – must still be resolved by election officials. Second, the reasons for the very long lines that voters faced in too many states and localities must be thoroughly examined. Having to wait several hours to vote is an unacceptable barrier to citizen participation. What were the reasons? Were there not enough voting machines? Were these polling places poorly organized? Were long lines a greater problem in minority or student precincts than in rural or suburban precincts? Changes clearly need to be made in polling place operations to address these concerns.

“Finally, the League calls on every voter who cast a provisional ballot to find out whether their ballot was counted. The provisional ballot counting process is still ongoing and must be monitored. But every voter who cast a provisional ballot has the right, under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), to know whether it is counted, and, if it is not counted, why it is not counted. States are required to have a toll-free hotline or Internet system so voters can get this information about their ballot.

“The League’s nationwide network of state and local Leagues will continue to work closely with election officials to identify and correct all voting problems.”


The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy

DemUnderground: "Best Voter Fraud Summary I've Seen"


Thu Nov-18-04 03:45 PM

This originally came from Stirling Newberry over at bopnews.com, but has been edited and added to rather heavily. Anyone with the time should update stories and fact check (I've done a little).

Numerous stories are summarized here, with links to the original publications. The following is only what has been learned in the days since the election and new reports are streaming in, seemingly, by the hour. It seems that there is enough evidence in the following to suggest that the electorate may have actually chosen Kerry for President. It cannot be known for sure until results of numerous recounts/investigations are in. Bush has not yet been chosen by the Electoral College, who meet and vote on Dec. 13.

(Please note: some of the newspaper links may expire soon. You may want to print out the stories so that later on, you don't have to buy them from the newspapers' archives.)


The most troubling news has come out of Florida. Throughout most of the state, new electronic voting machines were in use. These machines -many manufactured by a company called Diebold - are controversial because they don't leave a paper trail. There is no way to double-check the results.

The final Florida tallies on Diebold machines from Tuesday are literally unbelievable.

In 29 counties where Diebold machines (an optical scanner) were used to count the ballots, large majorities of voters were registered Democrats. But the final results gave all the counties to Bush, sometimes by huge margins.

The individual county data shows how unlikely the machine results were.

For instance:

In Calhoun County, 82% of registered voters are Democrats. But Diebold machines said 63% of the county voted for Bush.

In Lafayette County, 83% of voters are Democrats, but Diebold said 74%
of the county voted for Bush.

In Liberty County, 88% of voters are Democrats, but Diebold said 64%
voted for Bush.

In Washington County, 67% of voters are Democrats, but Diebold said 71% voted for Bush.

This same pattern appears in the results for 29 COUNTIES in Florida. In every one of those counties, the Diebold Optical Scanner produced the results.

The Optical Scanner has been called the voting machine that is most susceptible to tampering.

Do you believe that in 29 Florida counties in which Democrats were in the majority- in some cases with 4 out of 5 registered voters being Democrats - they all voted THAT strongly for Bush? The "Dixiecrat" theory just doesn't hold.

Here are the links.

You can find the voter registration/final result data here:


You can find a story analyzing these results here:



In 6 counties - again, they were all using electronic machines - more votes for President were recorded than there were actual voters in the counties.

Altogether, these six counties reported 188,885 more votes for President than there are voters living there.

Right now, no one knows whether those extra 188,000 votes were cast for Bush or for Kerry. But Bush won the state of Florida by a 5% margin- contrary to what all the polls were showing only days earlier.

In Glades County: 2,443 votes for Bush / 1,718 votes for Kerry / 27 votes for Other. Those add up to 4,188. But the machines recorded the official turnout as 3,446. That adds up to 742 more votes than voters.

In Highlands County: 25,874 for Bush / 15,346 for Kerry / 271 for Other.
Official Turnout: 33,996. That adds up to 7,495 more votes than voters.

In Miami-Dade County: 358,613 for Bush / 406,099 for Kerry / 3,841 for Other.
Official Turnout 716,574. That adds up to 51,979 more votes than voters.

In Osceola County: 43,108 for Bush / 38,617 for Kerry / 453 for Other.
Official Turnout 63589. That adds up to 18,589 more votes than voters.

In Palm Beach County: 211,894 for Bush / 327,698 for Kerry / 3,243 for Other.
Official Turnout: 452,061. That adds up to 90,774 more votes than voters.

In Volusia County: 111,544 for Bush / 115,319 for Kerry / 1,495 for Other.
Official Turnout: 209,052. That adds up to 19,306 more votes than voters.

Use this link to get to the data:



This account comes from partisans. Four Kerry volunteers working in Broward County sent a letter detailing election tampering to one newspaper reporter. All four signed it and included their email addresses. They report a wide, disturbing range of problems, from voters saying their electronic machines malfunctioned, poll workers denied them assistance, to police putting up roadblocks on the routes to polling places, and so on.

11/16: Bev Harris has reported to democraticunderground.com of blatant attempts by Volusia County officials to destroy poll tapes and provide altered poll tape information to BBV's FOIA: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

11/16: HUGE Berkeley report on FL disparities:
http://ucdata.berkeley.edu/new_web/VOTE2004/election04_ ...


In Ohio, there were problems in four counties and one city.

In Howard County, a judge ruled on Election Day that everyone standing in line to vote at 7:30 p.m. had to eventually be allowed inside. The order said the ruling was good for the day of Nov. 2. (You can view the order at the website below.) But maybe it didn't occur to the judge that everybody might not make it inside by midnight. At the stroke of midnight, when the calendar legally clicked over to Nov. 3, Republican Ken Blackwell, the secretary of state, told all the waiting voters to go home. His workers gave them paper ballots (i.e., provisional ballots), told them to fill them out and bring them back later.

It was an improvised move that undercut the intent of the judge's ruling,and created chaos. Many people in Howard County still haven't turned in those ballots because they don't know where to take them or what the deadline is. The only kind of ballot in a federal election that people can legally take home, fill out and turn in later is an absentee ballot, and those are marked as such. They're marked with clear rules concerning deadlines, postmarking, and so on. So an uncounted number of people in Howard County - estimated in the thousands - couldn't get in and were turned away with what may be ruled an illegal procedure. The vast majority of those votes were expected to go to Kerry based on the heavily Democratic population of Howard County.

The Democrats have filed a lawsuit. You can click on the Ohio State University law school website to read about it. (Reassemble the
following long link, if it is broken by your email browser.)

Meanwhile, in Warren County, election officials locked the doors to the County building and refused to allow bi-partisan observers to watch the vote-count. They also denied access to the AP reporter (it is standard procedure for the AP to observe vote-counting in counties all over the country.). The Sheriff of the county said he did it for "homeland security" reasons. He never explained or specified what the security concerns were.

Here is the link to the story in the Cincinnati Enquirer:


Meanwhile, in a Columbus suburb called Gahanna, the same problem showed up with electronic machines that we saw in Florida: more votes were cast than there were voters to cast them. In this case, however, the problem was investigated and the extra 3,893 votes were shown to have been erroneously tallied for Bush.

Here is the link to the story on the Ohio Network News:


Meanwhile, in Mahoning and Mercer Counties, electronic machines again malfunctioned, but the effect that had on the vote count is not clear. The machines had to be re-set, and at one point showed votes of "negative 25 million," according to the head of the local board of elections.

Here is the story from the local Youngstown paper, called the



In Laporte County, electronic voting machines once again appear to have failed.

They tallied results for 22,200 voters, even though there are 79,000 registered voters in LaPorte County. Assuming the county actually had a 65% turnout rate (comparable to others in the area and its own track record), that means 29,000 votes were not counted.

Here is the link to the story in the Michigan City News-Dispatch:



This is one of several states where original exit polls (interviews with voters as they are leaving) do not jive with the results produced by electronic voting machines.

An administrator at Bev Harris's group, called BlackBoxVoting (more on this below) has said that they are urging Ralph Nader to press for a recount in New Hampshire. Nader was on the ballot there, so he is in a good position to ask for a re-count.

You can read about Harris and her work at www.blackboxvoting.org /
http://www.blackboxvoting.org /


In at least six states, there was a large difference between how people said they'd voted, and how officials said they'd voted.

In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire and New Mexico, there was a large discrepancy between what voters said in the original exit polls, and the final results claimed by election officials.

In each of those six states,electronic voting machines were used in some or most of the counties, with the exception of Ohio, which mainly uses ballot and optical scan machines.

In contrast, in states where paper ballots were the primary method of voting, there was little or no discrepancy between original exit polls and official results.

To see an easily viewable graph of this data, go to:


That graph was originally compiled by a website affiliated with The Raw Story, which often gets quoted in the major dailies. It is regarded as a reputable site.

You can see their original posting here:



These are routinely conducted in elections by major news organizations and countries around the world use these numbers to decide elections before results are in. In Germany, for instance, the votes take approximately 3 weeks to count, but they are able to call the election that night within a half percent, based on exit polling. That was also the case here in the US until 2000.

Accounts are surfacing that both the Associated Press and CNN (and perhaps others) later CHANGED their exit polling data to more closely resemble the official results. None of the news organizations is believed to have offered an explanation. They may try to justify it on statistical grounds.

Here are some accounts:






Here is an except from the Moderate Independent website about Bev Harris's work. She is a freelance journalist who has been documenting how unreliable the machines are, and how vulnerable they are to tampering. "Bev Harris, author of Black Box Voting and the blackboxvoting.org web site, has documented numerous cases of electronic disasters. One occurred in Volusia County, Fla., in 2000 in which county election officials hand recounted more than 184,000 paper ballots used to feed the computerized system,after the central ballot-counting computer showed a Socialist Party candidate receiving more than 9,000 votes and Al Gore getting minus 19,000. Another 4,000 votes were received for Bush that should not have been there.

"Election officials eventually tallied Gore beating Bush by 97,063 votes to 82,214. But the wrong numbers had already been sent to the media,which were used by FOX and other networks to erroneously call the election for Bush and swing the public relations part of the recount battle in his favor."

Three Members of Congress Have Asked the GAO to Investigate the

Three Congressmen have asked the General Accounting Office, a federal agency, to investigate the election, citing questionable results in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and California. Click here to see their letter to the GAO:



A. Bush's approval numbers were CONSISTENTLY below 50% throughout the campaign.

B. New Democratic registrations in Ohio were 10 times that of Republicans, and in Florida, Democrats held a similar but somewhat
smaller advantage.

C. All the polls that were still giving Bush leads after the debates were within the margin of error, and when the undecideds started making up their minds over the last weekend, Kerry's poll numbers were surging.

D. The $10 million exit-poll system, specifically designed not to fail this time, clearly showed, in the original reports, a Kerry victory.


Here are other voices which are beginning to question the legitimacy of the recent election. Here are some of them. (Reassemble any long links which have been broken by your browser's settings.)





Here is a report of voter complaints in 7 Southern states:


There may still be time to do something about this before the Electoral College meets on December 13th.

The first step is to immerse ourselves in the facts. The second step is to encourage the mainstream media to take the issue. They will only do that if they feel there is considerable popular concern. The local and regional press, and the alternative media, have been doing their jobs; now we need the national press to do its job, too.

If you are concerned about this election being stolen, please do two

1. Send your concerns to everyone you know, both inside and outside the United States.

2. Send your concerns to the major news organizations.


UC Berkeley Study Questions Florida E-Vote Count

Research Team Calls for Immediate Investigation

BERKELEY, Calif., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- When: Thursday, November 18, 2004, 10:00 a.m. PST

Where: UC Berkeley campus, Survey Research Center Conference Room -- 2538 Channing Way (intersection of Channing/Bowditch). Parking on Durant near Telegraph.

What: A research team at UC Berkeley will report that irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000 - 260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods. Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance -- the probability is less than 0.1 percent. The research team, led by Professor Michael Hout, will formally disclose results of the study at the press conference.

To attend the conference or request dial-in information, contact:

Erin Reasoner
Eastwick Communications

Erica Pereira
Eastwick Communications

Noel Gallagher
UC Berkeley Media Relations

Mike McCurry: Forget the election, time to move on...

How can we have faith in these guys

by fabacube [Subscribe]Wed Nov 17th, 2004 at 16:14:53 EDT

I just heard Al Franken's interview Mike McCurry and it became resoundingly clear to me that the Kerry team was never ready for a fight. He started by saying that they carefully looked at the results in Ohio the morning after the election and concluded that to challenge the results would require a major court battle and the likelihood of success was small and we didn't want to put the country threw that.
Fine, that is a legitimate argument. What I was not prepared for was what he said next.
He went on to argue that in retrospect it is probably better that we did not win Ohio because it would have been by a very small margin and the Republicans would have made it a huge battle.
If that is not enough, wait there is more to the McCurry logic.
He went on to argue that given that Bush won the popular vote we were better off without such a battle.
Say what??? All of a sudden the popular vote is paramount and we basically are better off having Bush for four more years than fighting for an E.C victory with a small margin victory in Ohio that we would have had to protect in court?
How can we have any faith in these guys! The lesson here is simple. This has to be our battle! We can't count on the Democratic Party fighting it for us.

Mike McCurry on the Al Franken show (none / 0)today pretty much dismissed all suggestions of fraud, recount, etc.
He even urged the bloggers to stop talking about the last election, and focus on the future. Said that Kerry told him the same thing.
There was no mixed message: he said flat out that they didn't get the votes or the turnout they needed and it is time to move on.
So, if that's not a strong indication of where the Kerry campaign stands on this, what is?
They claim they looked at it closely on election night, found no significant voting anomalies, and they haven't really looked at it since.
What to make of all of this?

Mike McCurry's comments (none / 0) Well - it seems we not only have the Repugs to fight - we have Kerry and McCurry as enemies - haven't they read the blogs and diaries? Have they no interest in the exit poll data? Have they no interest in what computer experts and statisticions and the academics have been demonstrating? And they decided in a very few hours on early morning Nov.3rd, all by themselves, that there was no possibility of a win????
I'll be goddam!
This election is bigger than Kerry - and it is a whole lot bigger than McCurry - it belongs to the people - and if Kerry & Co. aren't going to help, they ought to at least get out of our way.
(At this rate, in Election 2008, the Dem base of 50 million will dwindle to 40 million faithful or less.)


Blogger Blackout over 2004 Election Issues

by TocqueDeville

Wed Nov 17th, 2004 at 20:52:52 EDT

The New York Times, Washington Post and other RWCM outlets are misleading when they assert that "the blogs" have been flaming "conspiracy theories" about possible fraud in this election. In fact, and with minor exception, the top left-leaning blogs have all but avoided this issue like the plague.
While open discussion forums such as the Daily Kos diaries and the Democratic Underground forums have pursued this story relentlessly, the actual bloggers such as Kos, Atrios, Josh Marshall and Calpundit to name a few, have put this topic in a lockdown that CNN would admire.
Why? One can only speculate. Perhaps they don't want to be branded "conspiracy theorist". Or perhaps they want to just move on and focus on the next election. Or, and I find this implausible, they really don't think it's possible that a group of Republicans would actually try to steal an election, much less pull it off. But after the proven malfeasance in 2000 [see THE GREAT FLORIDA EX-CON GAME ] and the clear indications that dirty tricks were at play in the run-up to this election, you would think that any abnormality or suspicious elements in this election would have drawn a spotlight from the "leaders" of our internet community.
So let me address the three possible motives aforementioned for this veritable blackout: cowardice, disbelief, and apathy. [Note: I am not presuming that our bloggers are cowards or apathetic, just that these are possible explanations and therefore should be addressed.]
First, fear of labeling is not a valid reason for ignoring this story, nor is it an acceptable one. TV personality Keith Olberman has demonstrated clearly that one can cover this issue and bring to light credible concerns while happily leaving the tinfoil hat at home. There is a difference between running around claiming proof of fraud when you have none and recognizing and reporting credible claims of irregularities.
Second, if you find it hard to believe the possibility that this election may have been rigged, then you are sadly uninformed. I won't even bother to cite the plethora of research and testimony from computer security experts as to the susceptibility of our voting and vote-counting technology. I can't believe that you could have missed it. Nor can I believe that you could have blogged this administration for the last few years and doubt that they are above such malfeasance. This is why I find this excuse implausible.
And last but not least, apathy. I'm probably most sympathetic with this excuse because it is an emotional response to a hard reality: that we will probably never prove fraud even if it occurred and even if we do, it probably won't change the outcome of the election. I also understand how exhausting it is to stay immersed in this story day after day and only find bits and pieces of the puzzle. But this is an excuse that we can accept the least.
Recently my wife had her purse stolen. This event began a process of bureaucratic entanglement that lasted over a month. First the police, then credit card companies and the justice system. It was an exhausting nightmare. But we had to go through it. Money was involved.
What if it was your money?

So let me ask you this. What if I told you that these central tabulating computers, the ones that are so concerning because they are connected by modem to thousands of other computers and accessed by thousands of people --election officials, Diebold personel, poll volunteers--, also housed your checking account? And anyone with access could add and delete money from your balance with a few mouse clicks? How would you feel about that?
And what if your balance continued to be off by about 5% and coincidentally, it was always off by a lesser amount than the balance shown by your records? Never more.
What would you do?

And how would you feel if your bank told you could no longer get a receipt on your deposits and regardless of your records, you need to simply trust the bank?
And how would you feel if, upon finding discrepancies between their records and your own, you were told to move on and live for another payday?
Now, does anyone believe that their vote is any less valuable than ALL the money in their checking account? This is how important the integrity of this election is. And moving on and planning for 2006 or 2008 is utterly futile if all our opponents have to do is rig some machines every two years.

Currently, there is a front-page story on the Daily Kos showing Bush and some woman almost kissing on the lips. Now, I have zero problem with posting amusing things. In fact I find humor essential to my well being. But juxtaposed to the glaring absence of any mention of still outstanding anomalies and the historical aberration in the exit-poll/vote tabulation discrepancies, this appears to reflect a degree of out-of-touch-ness that parallels the French nobility immediately prior to the revolution.
We cannot let this slide. If fraud occurred we have to do everything in our power to uncover it. Only the fate of democracy is at stake. And I'll repeat, if all they have to do is rig an election every two years, all the Goerge Lakoffs in the world won't help us.
We need leadership

Let me be clear about what I do not expect. I don't expect the blogs to post every single story that bubbles to the surface of the forums. Nor do I expect Kos to feed a frenzy of speculation and false hopes. But I do expect leadership on this issue. And I expect support for all the folks who are vigorously pursuing all leads.
I believe this leadership and support should come in the form of using the bully-pulpit of the blog format to openly acknowledge this issue is critically important, that there are real causes for concern, and that there should be a full investigation into the anomalies and so-called glitches that have surfaced. All of which should be framed in the context of an absolute truth: that no election that is conducted by private corporations using closed, proprietary source code and tabulated in secrecy can ever be truly valid.
Release the exit-poll data

There should also be a loud, unified demand for release of the final Edison/Mitofsky exit-polling data in the raw form before it was corrupted by an infusion of the tabulation returns. Regardless of what you think about Dick Morris, he knows elections. And he was absolutely right that exit-polls are "almost never wrong." He was the first MSM figure I know of to use the term fraud. Of course he suspects that the exit-polls were rigged (someone send him a gift certificate for Tin Foil Hats Are Us).
With a sampling that exceeded 13,000 voters, the margin of error was less than 1%. What happened?
And of course leadership also includes the reigning in of unsubstantiated allegations and premature conclusions. Now, one could argue that the diary/forum crowd is doing a pretty good job of policing themselves. Generally, I would agree. And no one expects Kos et al to go through and debunk every frivolous assertion. But the diaries are like the wild west of blogworld and we desperately need a high-profile (read: not the kosopedia) repository of information that has been credibly vetted and/or debunked.
In sum, I implore the leaders of the blog community to rejoin the blog community in calling for a close examination of this election in an objective, responsible manner that serves not the false hopes of disheartened Democrats, but the confidence in the most important process in American democracy: the self-governance of our people through an honest vote.
Preemtive Disclaimer: I know that some Kos fans or friends or loyalist will take issue with this post. Let me be clear up front.
I am not calling anyone a coward. I am merely stating that cowardice is probably a factor amongst some, I don't know this for sure and I sure don't know who. I also acknowledge that there may be reasons for not giving this issue the attention I believe it deserves that I am not aware of. Although, I can't imagine what that could be.
Secondly, I don't feel that I have any right to tell Kos or any other blogger how to run their blog. I am merely advocating. Lobbying if you will. Nor do I hold expectations. I make my case and move on.
Thanks for listening.

Media Accused of Ignoring Election Irregularities

by Mark Jurkowitz

Two weeks after Election Day, explosive allegations about a media coverup are percolating. There's the widely circulated e-mail about a CBS producer who complained that a news industry "lock-down" has prevented journalists from investigating voting problems that cropped up on Nov 2. There's the rumor that MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, who has devoted serious air time to discussing Election Day irregularities, was fired for broaching the topic. There's the assertion by Bev Harris, executive director of Black Box Voting Inc., that she had received calls from network employees saying they had been told to lay off the sensitive subject of voting fraud.

In the days after Nov. 2, the Internet was abuzz with charges from partisans that voting irregularities might have cost John F. Kerry the White House.

With some media outlets moving swiftly to debunk the notion that the election had been stolen by the Republicans, the press itself has come under scrutiny, accused of everything from a conspiracy of silence to a collective passivity about pursuing voting irregularities.

"The mainstream media is not treating this as an important story overall," said Steve Rendall, senior analyst at the liberal media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting."The mainstream media has largely treated the story as some crazy Internet story." At the same time, Rendall acknowledged: "There has been excess in the way stuff has flown around the Internet and e-mail lists."

Tracking down the sources of the rapidly proliferating online allegations about a media "lock-down" is a daunting task. But the response to them has been unequivocal. "Absolutely untrue," a CBS spokeswoman, Sandy Genelius, said when asked about the report of the whistle-blowing CBS producer. "Absolutely, positively, categorically false. Besides that, it's absurd."
"There are a lot of nervous people out there," said Olbermann, whose disappearance from MSNBC was the result not of being terminated but of taking a vacation. "I'm both amused and a little terrified that I became the subject of an Internet rumor."

In an appearance Nov. 8 on the "Democracy Now!" program, Harris, whose organization is investigating allegations of voter fraud in Florida and Ohio, told host Amy Goodman that sources in television news have told her "there is now a lock-down on this story. It is officially . . . 'Let's move on' time." In an interview with The Boston Globe, she reiterated those potent allegations but declined to reveal her sources. She also appeared to soft-pedal the idea that the media was at fault, saying instead that it was too early in the fraud-investigation process to blame reporters for not being more aggressive.

"I'm not terribly concerned about . . . the media's coverage of it yet," she said. "We're still early. . . . Caution's probably appropriate. [It's] a very sensitive story."

Not all accusations that journalists have not vigorously pursued allegations of voting problems involve speculation that they are being muzzled by their bosses. But several left-leaning critics complain that reporters have lost interest in what is still an important story because the outcome of the 2004 election, unlike in 2000, is not being contested.

Media Matters for America, a liberal media monitoring organization, posted an item on its website recently that cited several stories about faulty voting equipment in Ohio that did not generate much media interest. David Brock, the organization's president, said in an interview: "I haven't seen anything that is suggesting that further probing of the issue would change the results of the election." But he added that "there are some irregularities, and I would imagine some reader and viewer interest. . . . It seems that there should have been somewhat more coverage of this. There was all this pressure and buildup and very little follow-up."

TomPaine.com, a liberal website that collects news and commentary about public policy issues, has posted several analyses arguing that Kerry was hurt in Ohio by a shortage of voting machines, as well as by discarded votes that came disproportionately from minority precincts. The website's executive editor, Alexandra Walker, said her organization leaves the conspiracy theories surrounding the media's behavior to "the blogosphere."

But she also argued that, with the election results not being disputed, "the public interest angle was not enough to keep [voter irregularities] in the sights of political reporters. The horse-race coverage of political campaigns shortchanges readers."

No one has been more engaged in the issue than Olbermann, the host of MSNBC's prime-time "Countdown" program.

"The thing that woke me up was the lock-down in Warren County," he said, referring to a Cincinnati Enquirer report that officials in that Ohio county, citing terrorist threats, barred observers from the vote count. "I began to investigate then or at least raise questions. . . . It turns out there are a lot of valid stories, at least valid stories worth investigating."

Olbermann said there are a number of reasons much of the media have not been pursuing the story as ardently as he is, including "a love-hate [relationship] with the blogs. Whatever new media is appearing, the established news industry tend to look down on it." At the same time, Olbermann flatly denies the blogger-fueled rumor that he was fired for his interest in voting irregularities, pointing out that MSNBC has let him pursue the probe.

"It's still largely a game of telephone on the Net," he said.

Conservatives rail against MSNBC's Olbermann for reporting election irregularities

Media conservatives have labeled MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann a "voice of paranoia" and accused him of perpetuating "idiotic conspiracy theories" for his sustained spotlight on the numerous local news reports of voting irregularities during the November 2 presidential election. Olbermann's emphasis during Countdown with Keith Olbermann on voting irregularities has been part of a critique of what he has called the "Rube Goldberg voting process of ours" -- as well as a criticism of the major media outlets' failure to report on the irregularities.

In her November 11 nationally syndicated column, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter falsely asserted that Olbermann has been "peddling the theory that Bush stole the election" and referred to "Olbermann's idiotic conspiracy theory." A November 14 column by associate editor Bill Steigerwald in the conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (owned by right-wing financier Richard Mellon Scaife) claimed Olbermann "really made a Dan Rather of himself" by focusing a segment of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann on allegations of voter fraud. And in his November 10 "Inside Politics" column, Washington Times columnist Greg Pierce quoted the conservative Media Research Center's analysis of Olbermann's coverage:

"With 'Did Your Vote Count? The Plot Thickens' as his on-screen header, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Monday night led his 'Countdown' program with more than 15 straight minutes of paranoid and meaningless claims about voting irregularities in tates won by President Bush," the Media Research Center reports at www.mediaresearch.org.
But Olbermann has not suggested that the election was stolen. Discussing the possible causes of the bevy of reported voting irregularities from around the country, Olbermann offered this analysis on the November 10 edition of Countdown:
There are really only three possible explanations for all of this. The first is hoped for virtually unanimously by supporters of every candidate and every party -- namely, that all those elected last Tuesday got in because that's the way the people voted. The second is that some of them got in through manipulation of a series of insufficiently sophisticated, insufficiently secure computer voting machines that might be hacked into by the nearest 9-year-old. But the third possibility is actually more heart-stopping still, one that threatens the democracy in the way 100 terrorist rings could not -- that the president or the District 90 dog catcher or other Republicans or other Democrats were elected because a series of insufficiently sophisticated, insufficiently secure computer voting machines was affected by bad design, bad use, damp ballots, power surges, and/or static cling.
Olbermann's commitment to addressing voting irregularities has been coupled with commentary on the lack of media coverage they have received, which Media Matters for America has also noted. "Even assuming there's nothing nefarious about the national election," Olbermann asked Newsweek senior editor and columnist Jonathan Alter, "why has the cascade of irregularities around this country occurred virtually in a news blackout?" Alter responded by saying that "I'm not justifying this, but by way of explanation, I think it is that there's no sense that, with a three-and-a-half-million vote difference [between President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry], that this would affect the outcome, even if there were widespread irregularities found." On the November 11 edition of Countdown, Congressional Quarterly columnist and MSNBC political analyst Craig Crawford offered another perspective: "The glib answer, which is part of the truth, is I think everybody was tired after that election. ... [W]e're often wimps in the media. And we wait for other people to make charges, one political party or another, and then we investigate it."

In a November 14 entry on his MSNBC.com weblog, Olbermann responded to the attacks on him by citing the gradual increase in attention the voting irregularities issue is receiving among the mainstream press:

On Friday, [NBC News correspondent] David Shuster, who has already done some excellent research at Hardblogger [the MSNBC.com weblog associated with MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews], did a piece on the mess for Hardball, and Chris followed up with a discussion with Joe Trippi and Susan Molinari. There was a cogent, reasoned, unexcited piece about the mechanics of possible tampering and/or machine failure on CNN's "Next" yesterday, and Saturday alone there were serious news pieces in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Los Angeles Times, Salt Lake Tribune, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. NPR did a segment of its "On The Media" on the topic (with said blogger as the guest).

And today the New York Times continues its series of "Making Vote Counts" editorials with a pretty solid stance on the necessity of journalistic and governmental proof that the elections weren't tampered with. ... I suspect the coverage is going to go through the roof as the news spreads that [presidential candidate Ralph] Nader has gotten his recount in New Hampshire, and that the Greens and Libertarians are actually going to get their Ohio recount. When reporters discover what Jonathan Turley pointed out to us on Tuesday's show, namely that 70% of Ohio's votes were done with punch cards and as Florida proved in 2000, in court, a lot of those punch cards -- as Jon put it -- "turn over," I suspect there will be long-form television on the process.

— J.C.
Posted to the web on Tuesday November 16, 2004 at 4:11 PM EST

Conservatives rail against MSNBC's Olbermann for reporting election irregularities

Republican IT Security Expert: How to Hack the Vote: the Short Version

YOU CAN’T DO A RECOUNT! There’s no paper trail. It’s the perfect crime.

Q: How'd you get involved with this? Aren't you a Republican?

A: I get asked this a lot, and it really shows how focused our country is on partisan politics. I am a voter, first and foremost. That being said, yes, I am a Republican and have been since being sent to Republican Indoctrination Camp at age 2. That's where we are taught supply-side economics and the values of mutually assured destruction. :-)

I got involved with this because I have been against the adoption of these voting systems for years. It's a dumb-ass idea to implement them this way - our votes are too important. I wouldn't trust my Bank with computer systems this insecure; Hell, I wouldn't keep recipes on a system this insecure. When I saw all of the documentation regarding Diebold and their heavy partisan leanings, and then when the results came flooding in with a clear Bush victory when I seriously expected Kerry to win, I put two and two together. I am, by trade, a professional White-Hat Hacker, so I know how easily "secure" systems can be breached, especially by insiders. Roughly 80% of all computer crimes are perpetrated by insiders, so that's always the best place to look first. When the insiders also write the code and roll the machines out, there is no question that they have too much power and can not be trusted, whether they support my party or not. It's called "Segregation of Duties" in the professional world, and it is vital for system integrity.

But that was all theory and conceptual before I tried it myself. I knew that the descriptions and ideas were bad, but I hadn't actually seen a copy of the software. So I went to BlackBoxVoting.org following a link off of some website, I don't remember which, and saw Bev's plea - "Computer Guys - Test it yourself!". I thought, all right, I will. After all, this IS what I do for a living. It's like asking an accountant to balance debits and credits - nothing special, and besides, I was curious. Surely if our states are rolling this out to Hundreds of Millions of voters, somebody checked it. It can't be as bad as these liberal whiners are making it out to be - they're just pissed off that our folks turned out in mass.

What I found truly shocked me, and made me physically ill. That's what is documented on the other page. It IS that bad. I personally don't have conclusive evidence that voter fraud was perpetrated, but I can tell you as an Information Security professional that it would have been very, very easy to do. If I had to choose between someone conspiring with exit poll workers nationwide or someone changing values in an Access Database as the cause of the difference between the poll numbers and the "actual" results, I'll go with the easier, more effective option every time. Why choose the hard way when it's more trouble and you're less likely to succeed? Again, I'm staying clear of making specific allegations - I'll leave that to the activists who are gathering data - but I would be much more surprised if the election weren't hacked than to find out that it was.

It was too easy, the companies were too partisan and unethical, and there was too much at stake for them NOT to hack it. It looked like Bush was going to lose, and they had this tool available to pull out a victory.

Why do I call Diebold partisan and unethical, you ask? How's this:

"I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president." - Walden O'Dell, Diebold's CEO in a fundraising letter to Republicans, Fall 2003. O'Dell and other Diebold Senior Executives are Republican "Pioneers", which is the designation you get when you raise over $100,000. His brother is President of ES&S, the #2 vote machine maker, and is also a "Pioneer". Is that partisan enough for you? Well, what about calling them unethical?

Check this out - No less than 5 of Diebold's developers are convicted felons, including Senior Vice President Jeff Dean, and topping the list are his twenty-three counts of felony Theft in the First Degree. According to the findings of fact in case no. 89-1-04034-1:

“Defendant’s thefts occurred over a 2 1/2 year period of time, there were multiple incidents, more than the standard range can account for, the actual monetary loss was substantially greater than typical for the offense, the crimes and their cover-up involved a high degree of sophistication and planning in the use and alteration of records in the computerized accounting system that defendant maintained for the victim, and the defendant used his position of trust and fiduciary responsibility as a computer systems and accounting consultant for the victim to facilitate the commission of the offenses."

To sum up, he was convicted of 23 felony counts of theft from by - get this - planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection. Do you trust computer systems designed by this man? Is trust important in electronic voting systems?

So here we are - Means, Motive, Opportunity - the whole package. And since the systems are so poorly designed, no audit trail to show any wrongdoing. Add some cries of "conspiracy theories" and "sore losers", and you've got yourself a mandate. Four more years, indeed. Surprise, surprise.

BUT - what happens in 2006 or 2008, now that tens of thousands of activists know about the holes and how easy it is to steal votes? Well, it'll be interesting, that's for
sure. These systems appear to be DESIGNED to be easy to Hack, so one can only imagine what will happen. But I for one will embrace President Homer Simpson and will fully support his new 2008 doughnut agenda as a welcome change. I hope that we can all stand together and welcome him as we Republicans continue to bring "dignity back to the White House."

How to Hack the Vote: the Short Version
11/13/2004 Chuck Herrin, CISSP, CISA, MCSE, CEH


Enron was a conspiracy theory, too. Were their whistleblowers Crackpots? Were the people who lost their retirements to those corporate criminals just "sore losers"?I've never been part of the "Tin Foil Hat" conspiracy theory crowd. I'm just a voter who happens to be a Professional IT Auditor.
Author’s Note – Did our votes count? More importantly, will they count next time? We in Information Security have been protesting the use of the poorly designed voting machines from Diebold and others, and as a result of their poor implementation and widespread use, our election remains in question and our country remains bitterly divided. Many people feel that their votes didn’t count, and for good reason. THESE SYSTEMS ARE NOT WORTHY OF OUR TRUST! In an effort to bring this to your attention, I have put together this shortened document that will show you exactly how easy it would be to break into Diebold’s GEMS software, which is the software used to tabulate regional voting results. This software runs on regular Windows machines and counts the votes from multiple precincts that may have used touch screens (which have their own problems), optically scanned punch cards, or other balloting methods. It is responsible for the accurate reporting of tens of millions of votes cast using many different types of ballots.
That’s right – even if you used the older systems like punch cards, your vote can still be Hacked when the numbers all come together. Wanna see how easy it is?
I am going to show you, step by step and with screenshots, how an attack against our election system could very easily steal a Statewide or even a National election without leaving a trace. This attack would be easy to carry out, difficult to detect, and exert enormous influence on the results, leaving the humble voter coldly left out of the decision-making process.
Here we go…. Oh wait – let me do some CYA stuff first.

**Important** - I would like to stress that this demonstration was performed locally on a system totally under my control, and no unauthorized access to any computer system occurred. The voting database used was the sample obtained from http://www.blackboxvoting.org/, and this election does not reflect data for any election currently taking place. I want to be very clear that this is only a proof-of-concept demonstration, and at no time was actual voter fraud committed in order to prove a point. THIS IS A DEMONSTRATION ONLY, very similar to the well-documented demonstration Bev Harris performed for Governor Howard Dean recently on National television. Also, GEMS software is a trademark of Diebold, and Windows and Access are both copyrights of Microsoft, Inc.**


Windows-based PC with 150megs free
disk space and 128megs RAM (minimum)

A copy of MS Access.
The GEMS software - http://freespeech.metacolo.com/GEMSIS-1-18-17.zip is one place to get it. There are plenty other places on the web.

A Sample Election Database - http://speakeasy.seattle.wa.us/jmarch/cobb-corrected-100102-backup.zip is one from Cobb county, GA. Again, there are several out there.

With all that out of the way – OK! Let’s get started!

Step One: The Before Picture.
This is the summary report run based on our sample election from Colorado Springs, CO. This is what the actual, official results looked like before I decided to cast “my vote”.

To get the results, we open GEMS, (username "admin", password "password")
Figure 1: The opening GEMS screen.

Go to GEMS > Election Summary Report,

Figure 2: Choose the Election Summary Report for our Before Pictures
and here we go! The official Election Summary Report, as of right now. Note the timestamp at 23:59:07 - we'll come back to that in the Audit Log section.
Figure 3: Election summary report – before.

Pay attention to District 3. Here we have Sallie Clark in District 3 winning by a 2/3 majority. But let’s say that for this scenario, Sallie’s daughter is my ex, or she supports gay marriage, or maybe she’s against deficit spending. Whatever – let’s say maybe she’s a Pinko Commie and must be stopped, so let’s have some fun…..
*Note – I do not actually know Sallie Clark or any of these election participants, and therefore cannot speak to her character. Again, this is just a demonstration.*
OK - now we know how the election was supposed to turn out. I do not need the GEMS software to see the results - I could use a software package called JResult (included with the GEMS software) to poll it, or as we'll see below, just go straight to the backend database and view the numbers from there. Having a copy of the GEMS software is not required to Hack the votes. It does show us what the Election Workers can see and what the ultimate vote counts will be.
Step 2: Getting in. The “Hard” Part.
The biggest part of step two is getting into the Windows PC in question, either locally or over a network. This is the hardest part, but if anybody thinks that hacking into a Windows PC is hard, you should not be online right now. As anyone confronted with the continuing barrage of viruses, worm, and Hackers can attest, this part is not really a problem. In fact, let’s run through a few sample ways in, just off the top of my head:
If the GEMS machine is networked - (I have heard conflicting reports as to whether they are or not)
1) Wander into the building, and quietly put a wireless access point on the same network segment as the Tabulation PC, maybe behind a copier somewhere, and then casually come in from across the street using a laptop and wireless card.
We know they're connected by modems, so:
2) Find the telephone number of the office the PC is located in, and use a “war-dialing” program such as ToneLoc to dial all of the numbers in that exchange looking for a hanging modem. This technique was made famous by the 1983 movie “Wargames” and it still works today. These machines typically have hanging modems installed, so this should be a fairly easy way in.
3) Come in through the Internet. It is reported that many of these machines are connected to the Internet to enable results to be queried using Jresult to pull data from the central PCs. Windows PCs on the Internet are inherently vulnerable, particularly if they’re not behind a firewall. Since a firewall would prevent the legitimate Jresult queries from being made, these machines are likely at extreme risk for being compromised through their Internet connection.
Then there are the REALLY easy ways….
4) If you’re an insider, you already have the phone numbers and any usernames and passwords you may need. Dial into the machine, authenticate normally, and then manipulate the data as explained below.
5) Again, if you’re an insider - walk up to the machine and use the keyboard and mouse. Most poll workers, despite being good, caring people, tend to be political enough to motivate them to volunteer. It’s just human nature to use the tools at your disposal to your advantage, and people have a remarkable knack for justifying even the worst acts if they can convince themselves that the cause is worthwhile.
For more on physical access and ways in, check out Jim March's excellent review at
With a little time and creativity, other ways in are possible. You have probably already thought of a couple more, haven’t you?
Diebold's best defense to this point, as pointed out by following the link above, is the physical security - if you can't get to them, you can't hack them. But we KNOW that election workers, poll volunteers, and Diebold staff all have access and CAN get in. It would be very easy to write a little script to call into the GEMS machines or have the GEMS machines call back out and modify the results at any time. As Mr. March also points out, the IP address listed in the memo referenced on his site is part of a known block that would have bridged that machine to the Internet. Let's face it, a lot can go on when a machine is connected to a big bank of modems and a lot of people have the numbers, usernames, and passwords.
Also, there is home video of voting machines being taken home and stored by election volunteers. Watch the video at http://www.votergate.tv/. No physical security in that case.
Note for non-technical folks - did you know that in Windows, C: drives are shared out by default? No? Well, they are. But there’s a super-secret Hacker trick to connect to them. You have to call it C$ instead of just C. The $ means it’s a “hidden” drive, but it is still accessible via the network! Pick any Class C (classes are how network addresses are broken up) range of network addresses on the Internet and I’ll guarantee that you can simply “map” someone else’s C: drive over the Internet and browse their hard drives without their knowledge.
Think this couldn't happen? Are you kidding? This happens every minute of every single day. American companies spend Billions of dollars a year trying to protect corporate computer systems from attack - would they do that for no reason?
In any case, once we have access we simply browse the C: drive of the server and go to the C:program filesGEMSlocalDB directory. Here we will find an Access database for each election named .mdb. With a copy of Microsoft Access, we open it and find that no, it is not even password protected. The directory it’s in isn’t protected or restricted in any way. The data is not encrypted or even encoded. It is as open as an email message, and this is where all of our voting data is stored. From here, you could add candidates, drop them from the ballots, or delete entire precincts, but all of that is too obvious. A very simple trick would be to switch candidate IDs (see Figure 3 to see what candidate IDs look like), which would cause the vote tallies to simply reverse. In fact, this looks like what may have happened in some Florida counties, where the vote totals were fine, but the party affiliations were almost exactly the reverse of the vote counts. This type attack would be unlikely to raise much suspicion, since the total number of votes cast and turnout numbers would not change. And since Hacking rule #1 is to not get caught, rather than add Homer Simpson to the race and have him win, we’ll be more “subtle” and just change the results.
Figure 4: The c:program filesGEMSlocalDB folder where all of our valuable data is stored.

This is the Access database that is the back end for the entire system. Potentially hundreds of thousands of votes could be stored here on a central computer with no access control, no passwords, etc. When we open the database and view the Candidate table inside, we see:
Figure 5: The Candidate table
Ah ha! Look at the first and second columns - Sallie’s opponent, Linda Barley, was assigned 550 as a candidate number, and Sallie is candidate number 551.
From the CandV Table in the same database, we see that the Race ID is 221, and that their Key IDs are 541(Linda) and 542 (Sallie). The Key IDs are what we need to change the vote counts for. Remember that the original vote results were 4209 to 8291, Linda to Sallie. Let’s change that from a 2/3s victory to a shutout victory for the candidate who should have lost.
Step 3: Changing the Votes
I located the Linda’s ID, #541, in the CandidateCounter table and simply by clicking on the cell and typing with my number keys, I gave Linda 111 votes for every reporting unit. This isn’t really hacking – this is changing values in a table. Anybody who’s ever used an Excel spreadsheet has done this before.
There were 71 reporting units, so she should have 7881 votes now, an increase of over 3600 votes. I finally found a way to make my vote count! We’ll come back and check the math later to make sure there are no surprises. When you’re stealing an election, you want to make sure it comes out the right way!
Figure 6: Changing the votes inside the CandidateCounter table. This is repeated in the CandidateSummary table, since some records are cross-linked, and I want to know exactly how many votes I’m changing.
Once I was done adding 3672 votes to Linda’s tally, I decide to just wipe out all of Sallie’s votes, making her total 0. Pay attention – I just added 3672 votes to one candidate's results and deleted 8291 votes from another in about 45 seconds! Just click the cell, type 0, click the cell, type 0; I’m wiping out votes by the hundreds. Sallie now has 0 votes - hopefully she was so over-confident that she didn’t bother to vote for herself ;-). A real attacker would likely be more subtle to avoid suspicion, but again, this is a demonstration. Unfortunately, since many of the new machines do not produce a paper ballot, a manual recount would be very difficult, if not altogether impossible. This is a clear violation of many state election laws, but elections officials put them in place anyway. I wouldn’t withdraw $20 from an ATM without a receipt, but I guess my vote isn’t worth that much trouble.
Anyway, now that our results are changed, we save the database, and viola!
Step 4: Run the new summary report and declare my candidate the winner!
Figure 7: The new summary report with the results the way I wanted them.

Note the final numbers for District 3 – 7881 to 0. Just as I expected, I was able to override the wishes of 11,963 voters and replace their ballots with my own. How hard was that?

My candidate wins in a landslide, although the voters actually voted 2-to-1 for her opponent. This took me about 5 minutes and a moderate exercise of skill. There were no passwords to crack, and all I had to do was figure out the way things were stored in an unprotected, clear text Access database, which fortunately, has been available on the web for quite some time for Hacker-types to practice on. In fact, with the widespread availability of the GEMS software, you can go in and create your own elections to practice on before ever venturing out to touch the real thing.
Step 5: Those Pesky Audit Trails.

But what if someone notices? Now that my work fixing the election is done, all that remains is clearing up the audit trail.
From within the GEMS software, let's look at the audit log:
Figure 8: GEMS > Audit Log
Figure 9: Looking for evidence of tampering. See anything?

Above, we see at 23:59 where I viewed the summary report (Figure 3), then closed the GEMS software at 00:00:16. The next entry is at 00:44:56, when I logged back into GEMS and ran another summary report (Figure 7) at 00:45:08 showing the Hacked results. Note the timestamps on the 2 Summary reports earlier in this document - they correspond exactly to the Election Summary Reports that show our candidate winning, and then losing in a shutout. Do you see any evidence AT ALL in the Audit Logs that the votes were tampered with? We know they were - I just showed you step by step that it was done.
Nope! No evidence - so feel free to ridicule anyone who complains as a conspiracy theorist or whining sore loser!
Now, Diebold officially insists that this cannot be done, but as with this example, this has repeatedly been shown to be false. Diebold's staff knows it - in fact, in a memo by Diebold principal engineer Ken Clark in 2001, he says “Being able to end-run the database has admittedly got people out of a bind though. Jane (I think it was Jane) did some fancy footwork on the .mdb file in Gaston recently. I know our dealers do it. King County is famous for it. That's why we've never put a password on the file before.” (http://www.blackboxvoting.org/Oct2001msg00122.html)
In a particularly humorous and distressing response to Diebold’s assertion that “Generated entries on the audit log cannot be terminated or interfered with by program control or by human intervention”, the folks at http://www.blackboxvoting.org/ actually trained a chimpanzee to delete the audit logs from an election database. You read that right – a chimp. Well, since it wasn’t a human or computer, I guess they’re technically correct. Here’s a link. http://blackboxvoting.org/baxter/baxterVPR.mov
Another audit log incident occurred during the Washington State primary just six weeks ago. Two interesting events took place here:
1) all entries are absent from the audit log between 9:52 pm and 1:31 am. This includes records of summary reports being printed during that time frame, which is something that is always logged by the system, and shows up when they are printed before and after that block of time. Here is the audit log:
2) Here are copies of the 5 sets of summary reports printed off during that missing time period, complete with timestamps showing that they were printed during that block of time and signed by the elections chief, Dean Logan.
Can anybody guess what it means when you are missing audit logs for a specific block of time, and known events took place that should be reflected in the logs?
Look at our results again. It means you were Hacked.

Would you trust your bank account balance if their systems were this easy to hack? As a result of my hands on testing, I have absolutely no faith that my vote was counted or will be in future elections where this software is used. It is simply too easy to change! Any motivated insider or Hacker of moderate skill can change hundreds of thousands of votes with very little effort and almost no chance of being caught.

The best part is that if anyone tries to question the results, you can ridicule them and call them sore losers! Conspiracy theorists! But won’t this be caught in a recount? Check this out - with the new machines, YOU CAN’T DO A RECOUNT! There’s no paper trail. It’s the perfect crime.

This is the democracy we’re exporting to the rest of the world.

You are free to distribute this document in its entirety or link to this page to help get the word out and change the system. Good luck! Let's get this stupid, stupid system fixed and get our democracy back!
Anybody who wants to try this themselves can get the GEMS software and this same sample database from http://www.blackboxvoting.org/ or the links earlier in the document. Go for it! Try it yourself - you'll see that it works. For any wannabe Hackers reading this, it doesn’t get any easier than that!
Chuck Herrin, CISSP, CISA, MCSE, CEH
CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional
CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor
MCSE – Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
CEH – Certified Ethical Hacker
Email: me at chuckherrin.com

BBV: Volusia County election records just got put on lockdown

Pre-script: the DU poster, God_bush_n_cheney aka Andy Stephenson, one of the founders of BlackBoxVoting, in response to Bev Harris original post of the article below.

God_bush_n_cheney (1000+ posts) Tue Nov-16-04 09:08 PMResponse to (original DU post of article) Reply #61
100. You aint seen nothing yet....
trust me on this.

County election records just got put on lockdown

Dueling lawyers, election officials gnashing teeth, Votergate.tv film crew catching it all.
Here's what happened so far:

Friday Black Box Voting investigators Andy Stephenson and Kathleen Wynne popped in to ask for some records. They were rebuffed by an elections official named Denise. Bev Harris called on the cell phone from investigations in downstate Florida, and told Volusia County Elections Supervisor Deanie Lowe that Black Box Voting would be in to pick up the Nov. 2 Freedom of Information request, or would file for a hand recount. "No, Bev, please don't do that!" Lowe exclaimed. But this is the way it has to be, folks. Black Box Voting didn't back down.
Monday Bev, Andy and Kathleen came in with a film crew and asked for the FOIA request. Deanie Lowe gave it over with a smile, but Harris noticed that one item, the polling place tapes, were not copies of the real ones, but instead were new printouts, done on Nov. 15, and not signed by anyone.
Harris asked to see the real ones, and they said for "privacy" reasons they can't make copies of the signed ones. She insisted on at least viewing them (although refusing to give copies of the signatures is not legally defensible, according to Berkeley elections attorney, Lowell Finley). They said the real ones were in the County Elections warehouse. It was quittin' time and an arrangment was made to come back this morning to review them.
Lana Hires, a Volusia County employee who gained some notoriety in an election 2000 Diebold memo, where she asked for an explanation of minus 16,022 votes for Gore, so she wouldn't have to stand there "looking dumb" when the auditor came in, was particularly unhappy about seeing the Black Box Voting investigators in the office. She vigorously shook her head when Deanie Lowe suggested going to the warehouse.
Kathleen Wynne and Bev Harris showed up at the warehouse at 8:15 Tuesday morning, Nov. 16. There was Lana Hires looking especially gruff, yet surprised. She ordered them out. Well, they couldn't see why because there she was, with a couple other people, handling the original poll tapes. You know, the ones with the signatures on them. Harris and Wynne stepped out and Volusia County officials promptly shut the door.
There was a trash bag on the porch outside the door. Harris looked into it and what do you know, but there were poll tapes in there. They came out and glared at Harris and Wynne, who drove away a small bit, and then videotaped the license plates of the two vehicles marked 'City Council' member. Others came out to glare and soon all doors were slammed.
So, Harris and Wynne went and parked behind a bus to see what they would do next. They pulled out some large pylons, which blocked the door. Harris decided to go look at the garbage some more while Wynne videotaped. A man who identified himself as "Pete" came out and Harris immediately wrote a public records request for the contents of the garbage bag, which also contained ballots -- real ones, but not filled out.
A brief tug of war occurred, tearing the garbage bag open. Harris and Wynne then looked through it, as Pete looked on. He was quite friendly.
Black Box Voting collected various poll tapes and other information and asked if they could copy it, for the public records request. "You won't be going anywhere," said Pete. "The deputy is on his way."
Yes, not one but two police cars came up and then two county elections officials, and everyone stood around discussing the merits of the "black bag" public records request.
The police finally let Harris and Wynne go, about the time the Votergate.tv film crew arrived, and everyone trooped off to the elections office. There, the plot thickened.
Black Box Voting began to compare the special printouts given in the FOIA request with the signed polling tapes from election night. Lo and behold, some were missing. By this time, Black Box Voting investigator Andy Stephenson had joined the group at Volusia County. Some polling place tapes didn't match. In fact, in one location, precinct 215, an African-American precinct, the votes were off by hundreds, in favor of George W. Bush and other Republicans.
Hmm. Which was right? The polling tape Volusia gave to Black Box Voting, specially printed on Nov. 15, without signatures, or the ones with signatures, printed on Nov. 2, with up to 8 signatures per tape?
Well, then it became even more interesting. A Volusia employee boxed up some items from an office containing Lana Hires' desk, which appeared to contain -- you guessed it -- polling place tapes. The employee took them to the back of the building and disappeared.
Then, Ellen B., a voting integrity advocate from Broward County, Florida, and Susan, from Volusia, decided now would be a good time to go through the trash at the elections office. Lo and behold, they found all kinds of memos and some polling place tapes, fresh from Volusia elections office.
So, Black Box Voting compared these with the Nov. 2 signed ones and the "special' ones from Nov. 15 given, unsigned, finding several of the MISSING poll tapes. There they were: In the garbage.
So, Wynne went to the car and got the polling place tapes she had pulled from the warehouse garbage. My my my.
There were not only discrepancies, but a polling place tape that was signed by six officials.
This was a bit disturbing, since the employees there had said that bag was destined for the shredder.
By now, a county lawyer had appeared on the scene, suddenly threatening to charge Black Box Voting extra for the time spent looking at the real stuff Volusia had withheld earlier. Other lawyers appeared, phoned, people had meetings, Lana glowered at everyone, and someone shut the door in the office holding the GEMS server.
Black Box Voting investigator Andy Stephenson then went to get the Diebold "GEMS" central server locked down. He also got the memory cards locked down and secured, much to the dismay of Lana. They were scattered around unsecured in any way before that.
Everyone agreed to convene tomorrow morning, to further audit, discuss the hand count that Black Box Voting will require of Volusia County, and of course, it is time to talk about contesting the election in Volusia.
# # # # #


E-Voting hacked: Logs showing modem access

Greens & Libs Come Through! Recount in Ohio a Sure Thing

t r u t h o u t Press Release
Monday 15 November 2004

WASHINGTON -- November 15 -- There will be a recount of the presidential vote in Ohio.
On Thursday, David Cobb, the Green Party’s 2004 presidential candidate, announced his intention to seek a recount of the vote in Ohio. Since the required fee for a statewide recount is $113,600, the only question was whether that money could be raised in time to meet the filing deadline. That question has been answered.

“Thanks to the thousands of people who have contributed to this effort, we can say with certainty that there will be a recount in Ohio,” said Blair Bobier, Media Director for the Cobb-LaMarche campaign.

“The grassroots support for the recount has been astounding. The donations have come in fast and furiously, with the vast majority in the $10-$50 range, allowing us to meet our goal for the first phase of the recount effort in only four days,” said Bobier.

Bobier said the campaign is still raising money for the next phase of the recount effort which will be recruiting, training and mobilizing volunteers to monitor the actual recount.

The Ohio presidential election was marred by numerous press and independent reports of mis-marked and discarded ballots, problems with electronic voting machines and the targeted disenfranchisement of African American voters. A number of citizens’ groups and voting rights organizations are holding the second of two hearings today in Columbus, Ohio, to take testimony from voters, poll watchers and election experts about problems with the Ohio vote. The hearing, from 6-9 p.m., will be held at the Courthouse, meeting room A, 373 S. High St., in Columbus. The Cobb-LaMarche campaign will be represented at the hearing by campaign manager Lynne Serpe.

A demand for a recount in Ohio can only be filed by a presidential candidate who was either a certified write-in candidate or on the ballot in that state. Both Green Party candidate David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik will be demanding a recount. No other candidate has stated an intention to seek a recount and no other citizen or organization would have legal standing to do so in Ohio. The Cobb-LaMarche campaign is still exploring the possibility of seeking recounts in other states but no decision has been made yet.