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November 12, 2005

Today's Voting Machines Story

-- by Dave Johnson

THE BRAD BLOG: "Plaintiffs Blocked During Discovery Phase of New Mexico '04 Election Lawsuit",

All of a sudden ... the county clerks have flat-out refused to permit the inspections by the plaintiff's experts. That, after some interesting evidence has already been found by the experts during discovery, like tests where they were able to see votes for one candidate being registered for their opponent (as has been so widely reported as happening in so many elections of late!) and ballots being confirmed with NO choice for President at all, which wasn't supposed to have been possible on at least one of the machine types being looked at.
And, in my opinion, a related story: 'Has American Democracy died an electronic death in Ohio 2005's referenda defeats?',

Once again, the Buckeye state has hosted an astonishing display of electronic manipulation that calls into question the sanctity of America's right to vote, and to have those votes counted in this crucial swing state.

[. . .] A poll run on the front page of the Columbus Dispatch on Sunday, November 6, showed Issue One passing with 53% of the vote. Official tallies showed Issue One passing with 54% of the vote. . . . But Issues 2-5 are another story.

. . . Issues Two-Five were meant to reform Ohio's electoral process, which has been under intense fire since 2004. The issues were very heavily contested. They were backed by Reform Ohio Now, a well-funded bi-partisan statewide effort meant to bring some semblance of reliability back to the state's vote count.

. . . The November 6 Dispatch poll showed Issue Two passing by a vote of 59% to 33%, with about 8% undecided, an even broader margin than that predicted for Issue One.

But on November 8, the official vote count showed Issue Two going down to defeat by the astonishing margin of 63.5% against, with just 36.5% in favor. To say the outcome is a virtual statistical impossibility is to understate the case. For the official vote count to square with the pre-vote Dispatch poll, support for the Issue had to drop more than 22 points, with virtually all the undecideds apparently going into the "no" column.

The numbers on Issue Three are even less likely.

. . . The Sunday Dispatch poll showed it winning in a landslide, with 61% in favor and just 25% opposed.

Tuesday's official results showed Issue Three going down to defeat in perhaps the most astonishing reversal in Ohio history, claiming just 33% of the vote, with 67% opposed. For this to have happened, Issue Three's polled support had to drop 28 points, again with an apparent 100% opposition from the previously undecideds.

The reversals on both Issues Two and Three were statistically staggering, to say the least.

[. . .] With the 2005 expansion of paperless touch-screen machines into 41 more Ohio counties, this year's election was more vulnerable than ever to centralized manipulation. The outcomes on Issues 2-5 would indicate just that.

The corrupt Republican government of Ohio wants Issue 1 to pass, and the results exactly match the pre-election polls. The Reform Ohio Now issues, however, showed dramatically different election returns than the pre-election polling, which was dead-on accurate for other issues.

Posted by Dave Johnson at November 12, 2005 5:49 PM

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» Tuesday's Election in Ohio: The End of Democracy? from The Left Coaster
Did you vote on a touch-screen system last Tuesday? If so, how confident are you that your vote was registered correctly? Were you surprised at the results? Well, if you lived in Ohio, you might have been very surprised at... [Read More]

Tracked on November 13, 2005 12:19 AM

» Tuesday's Election in Ohio: The End of Democracy? from The Left Coaster
Did you vote on a touch-screen system last Tuesday? If so, how confident are you that your vote was registered correctly? Were you surprised at the results? Well, if you lived in Ohio, you might have been very surprised at... [Read More]

Tracked on November 13, 2005 12:38 AM


Comments

oh, yeah, I believe a story passed on by lawyers, through email, of a partisan political group. Jeeze Dave, if Moveon told you the sun orbits the Earth would you believe them?

Posted by: Pericles at November 12, 2005 5:55 PM

I know David Dill personally. He is a Professor at Stanford.

If you do your homework every day you might be able to go to Stanford after high school, and meet him.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 12, 2005 6:11 PM

The law seems to be, believe it or not, that everybody MUST switch to some form of electronic voting machines by the 2006 election. The incentive is that the feds will help pay the bill, but only for electronic machines. NY is a blue state, but upstate NY and Long Island have traditionally been Republican. That suddenly seems to be changing, according to a big local discussion this week. New Yorkers, Republicans as well as Democrats, are generally mad as Hell about the way the country's going. This includes anger at being required to give up our beloved, ancient mechanical clunkers we use for voting. Especially when the companies that manufacture electronic voting equipment are very reluctant to show us optical scanners, and one company has flatly refused.

The general idea is that NY would switch to using paper ballots, which would then be scanned by optical scanners. That should meet the "electronic" requirement. Districts would only need to buy a few optical scanners, rather than buy zillions of electronic voting machines, which will undoubtedly make the manufacturers unhappy. But the paper ballots would exist to use to verify elections, which is a lot better than some kind of "paper trail." Seems to me it would be a lot harder to fix elections and also save the state a lot of money.

Posted by: MJ at November 13, 2005 6:18 AM

From Minnesota: we have historically the highest percentage of voter turnout in the country, we have mostly optical scanners with a paper backup with high reliability. Smaller districts have only paper. It works... but you have to have a government that wants it to work right and allow your citizens to vote accurately.

Posted by: lefy at November 13, 2005 9:10 AM

No digitally based voting system can be secured - not even scanners. A paper trail AND a transparent audit system is required.

Posted by: johns at November 13, 2005 9:49 AM

AND ubiquitous exit polling.

Posted by: richard [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2005 12:15 PM

this worried me on election day - i am glad you did a little bit of a deeper dive on this one.

someone needs to get a leak out of the freaks that control the vote counting and these machines.


Posted by: spk at November 13, 2005 7:12 PM

A few weeks ago, INN World Reports, an independent news program on Free Speech TV, reported that the GAO (General Accounting Office), a highly respected, federal department, reported that they had completed their investigation of the 2004 Presidential election and have found that the election was not valid. They came to this conclusion from the number of electronic voting machines that were not working properly and were recording the name of Bush when the button for Kerry was being pushed. This matched the number of complaints by the voters that this was happening. According to the GAO, there were so many errors by these machines, that added to the other happenings during this election made the outcome highly suspect. The GAO has come to the conclusion that Bush WAS NOT ELECTED PRESIDENT AND "HAS NO BUSINESS BEING IN THE WHITE HOUSE". A few days later his was also reported by Amy Goodman on "Democracy Now" and she observed that this is yet to be picked up by the corporate news media. When I first heard about it, I sent emails to CNN, ABC,CBS,NBC, the people at "moveon" as well as an email to Dave Johnson of this blog but I haven't seen this being picked up by anyone either. This very important news item seems to be the best kept secret of the day and I am wondering why?

Posted by: banjopuk [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 14, 2005 7:48 AM

pericles:

what'chu smokin' man? this ain't no f*ckin peloponnesian golden age. there's no honor among the repub thieftains who are robbing americans of their vote.

four (more) dead in ohio...

Posted by: turfmouth at November 14, 2005 8:02 PM

While electronic voting systems hold promise for a more accurate and efficient election process, numerous entities have raised concerns about
their security and reliability, citing instances of weak security controls, system design flaws, inadequate system version control, inadequate
security testing, incorrect system configuration, poor security management, and vague or incomplete voting system standards, among other issues. For example, studies found (1) some electronic voting
systems did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without being detected; (2) it was possible to alter the files that define how a ballot looks and works so that the votes for one candidate could be recorded for a different candidate; and (3) vendors installed uncertified versions of voting system software at the local level. It
is important to note that many of the reported concerns were drawn from specific system makes and models or from a specific jurisdiction’s election, and that there is a lack of consensus among election officials and other experts on the pervasiveness of the concerns. Nevertheless, some of these concerns were reported to have caused local problems in federal elections—resulting in the loss or miscount of votes—and therefore merit
attention.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05956.pdf (107 pages)

the g.o.p., apologists, and enablers: FUCK YOU

Posted by: tofubo at November 15, 2005 6:52 AM

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