by Rady Ananda
September 20, 2006
Experts across the country, from Princeton to MIT, have found serious security flaws in these electronic voting systems forced on us by HAVA (Help American “Vendors” Act). We citizens were forced to pay private corporations $3.8 billion to privatize our elections. “Privatize” in this case means the vote count is kept secret from public observation. Electronic voting systems are unfit for use in any democracy.
There are 120 ways to hack the vote on a computer; there are 5 ways to hack a Hand-Counted Paper Ballot system. See the resource list below for links to these reports. At the very least, please read the executive summaries.
Election integrity is a non partisan issue. Republican Governor of Maryland, Bob Ehrlich, estimated electronic voting represents a 1000% increase in cost. HCPB is the most accurate, the most secure and by far the least expensive voting system.
We must return to a citizen count of paper ballots, at the precinct, before all who wish to observe. To participate in a Parallel Election being run in Central Ohio, contact me or my cohort, Marj Creech, at risenregan @ earthlink.net.
Ten percent of the nation will vote in the midterm elections without a paper trail. We have no basis for confidence in reported results of any election held on a paperless electronic system, because we can’t count electrons. We simply have to trust politicians.
But, I assure you, a paper trail is useless unless it overturns official results when anomalies surface. In August, San Diego learned Ohio’s lesson, if not “legally” blocked, at best recounts are meaningless. There, election officials charged $150,000 to count 164,000 ballots. To give this perspective, 04 Ohio Recounters paid $113,000 to count 5 million ballots. And Blackwell certified the Electors before the recount even occurred!
Audits and recounts aren’t placebos; they’re supposed to determine election results.
To remove citizen oversight completely, the San Diego Superior Court ruled in August that from here on out, Congress determines the outcome of federal elections – even if the election violated state and federal laws, even if the state didn’t certify the election. So now we know how we stand come November. Want to recount a federal election now? Got a half million dollars for attorney fees, with no guarantee of being allowed to do so? http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3353 and http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0608/S00338.htm
Democide, the death of democracy, is fully supported by our judicial system, starting on 12/12/00 when the US Supreme Court halted the recount that the news media later confirmed would have given Gore the presidency. Our public servants seem to have forgotten their place in a democracy. Elections belong to the people – not courts, not politicians, and certainly not corporations.
“But what about auditing these machines?” you ask. Audits are as effective as baby aspirin is for a migraine.
As to Touch-Screen (DREs), to audit, we are to be comparing what is produced inside the machine with what is produced (or reproduced with no oversight) inside the machine. Malicious software can report any results it wants to report.
As to Optical-Scan systems that use paper ballots, if we only audit 1, or 3, or 10% of the electronic ballots, then we can only be confident in 1, 3 or 10% of the results. That is simply not enough to conclusively determine the results of an election. There is no reasonably certain result from counting only 10% of the ballots. Do I pass an exam if I only answer 10% of the questions?
Elections, audits, and recounts are all run by politicians who stand to benefit by the outcome. Do I get to grade my own paper, too? Boards of Election do not appreciate citizen oversight, in San Diego, nor in Ohio. Ask any of 150 citizens who have been trying to study the 04 records in Ohio. Public servants have forgotten they serve the people, and their attitude ensures our distrust of official results and official audits.
And then to have our Chief Election Officer counting the vote of his own election? This is absurd; this is fascism.
And this is why those citizens who believe in democracy (demos = people; kracy = government) are running Parallel Elections. We want to know how our precinct voted. It only takes about 10 people and $100 to run an election for 500 voters. Ohio has over 11,000 precincts; pick one.
You can download an 8-page training manual at http://tinyurl.com/hrnox and run a PE with nine neighbors. Our training schedule is at http://tinyurl.com/ly5cx if you’re in Ohio. Much thanks to GuvWurld.org, OpEdNews.com and FreePress.org for publicizing Parallel Elections.
We’re also looking for 1000 videographes to cover the Midtem elections in Ohio. In 04, some were able to surreptitiously video inside the precinct, a practice that might land you in jail. In a Parallel Election run by citizens, not only do we welcome videographers, but we’re looking to upload live streaming on Election Day. If you wish to share your footage which may be clipped into a documentary, we’ll send you a digital video cartridge and a SASE in which to return it. Contact Rady Ananda at email@example.com for more information.
PE trainings will be held at the Cleveland http://www.WeCount2006.org conference, Sept. 29-30. This is an excellent opportunity to learn other ways you can join in taking back our democracy.
In Columbus on Sunday 10/1 during An Afternoon with Bev Harris at the German Village Meeting Haus, 588 So. 3rd Street (2-6 pm).
In Columbus on Sunday, 10/15 at the Voter Rights Revival Conference. See http://www.FreePress.org /VRRC. Also – join our Drum Circle on Saturday 10/14 from 1-3 pm in the outside plaza of Columbus State Community College. We’ll be drumming for democracy.
Below is a short list of reports by computer experts slamming these machines because they are so easily hacked. Meanwhile, if you feel you must continue to vote, even if on these computers, at least follow the advice given in this pamphlet: http://tinyurl.com/r6bj8 And do send us a report of any machine problems, or other voting problems, that you experience.
Envision an election that is a celebratory event run by you and your neighbors, and you will create democracy in your precinct.
Rady Ananda firstname.lastname@example.org Election Research PE Organizer Columbus, Ohio
Princeton University 9/06, http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting/ts-paper.pdf Video at http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting/videos.html but if you want to watch a funny video, all true, go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marty-kaplan/ how-to-hack-a-diebold-vot_b_26301.html )
GAO – Government Accountability Office, 9/05, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05956.pdf
Finnish computer expert Harry Hursti Hack 2, http://www.blackboxvoting.org/BBVtsxstudy.pdf
Carter-Baker Commission, Wall Street Journal article at http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB114739688261250925-q5rh2ocioxu6mgjmS6bZPZLOHY_20060610.html
CRS – Congressional Research Service report, 11/03, http://theory.lcs.mit.edu/~rivest/voting/reports/ Fischer-ElectionReformAndElectronicVotingSystemsDREs.pdf
Avi Rubin, National Science Foundation Director of ACCURATE center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable and Transparent Elections. http://avirubin.com/ or you can read a September Forbes Magazine article he wrote: https://www.keepmedia.com/Auth.do?extId=10022 &uri=/archive/forbes/2006/0904/040.html
Election Science Institute (a private independent organization) August 2006 report on Cuyahoga County, Ohio: http://bocc.cuyahogacounty.us/GSC/pdf/esi_cuyahoga_final.pdf If you have trouble, try the ESI website, then click on Cuyahoga report at http://www.electionscience.org/
Video of Maryland Governor quote found on “Help America Vote on Paper,” a 19-minute DVD produced by http://www.eon3.net
New Hampshire hand counts 1/4 of its cast paper ballots. For a free 80-page customizable book on HCPBs, go to http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/157/ were_counting_the_votes_2006_09_02-40394.pdf
Posted at Free Press.