Tuesday, November 07, 2006

But will the votes count..?

Greg Palast wrote yesterday, of 'How They Stole the Mid-Term Election' on his blog, The Smirking Chimp. Over to Greg...

''Here's how the 2006 mid-term election was stolen.
Note the past tense. And I'm not kidding.
And shoot me for saying this, but it won't be stolen by jerking with the touch-screen machines (though they'll do their nasty part). While progressives panic over the viral spread of suspect computer black boxes, the Karl Rove-bots have been tunneling into the vote vaults through entirely different means.
For six years now, our investigations team, at first on assignment for BBC TV and the Guardian, has been digging into the nitty-gritty of the gaming of US elections. We've found that November 7, 2006 is a day that will live in infamy. Four and a half million votes have been shoplifted. Here's how they'll do it, in three easy steps....''

read on....

There is widespread consternation amongst liberal US bloggers about what will happen this time around. And I am not surprised. In 2004, two brothers, owning two voting companies...counted 80% of the US election.

''Once again we are witness to an “eyes closed, hands off” approach to protecting America. The 2004 election rests in the private hands of the Urosevich brothers, who are financed by the far-out right wing and top donors to the Republican Party. The Democrats are either sitting ducks or co-conspirators. I don't know which.'' wrote Lynn Landes in 2004. Lynn is a news reporter and BBC FiveLive commentator

Diebold Election systems is owned by...

''Bob Urosevich, the first CEO of Diebold Election Systems was also the founder of ES&S, a competing voting machine company now owned by the McCarthy Group. Together these two companies are responsible for tallying around 80% of votes cast in the United States. The current vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.
It is reputed that the software architecture common to both is a creation of Mr Urosevich's company
I-Mark and is easily compromised, in part due to its reliance on Microsoft Access databases; and that the I-Mark and Microsoft software each represent a single point of failure of vote counting process, from which 80% of votes can be compromised via the exploit of a single line of code in either subsystem.
Diebold's new touch screen
voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

"Delivering" Votes
Walden O'Dell or 'Wally" O'Dell, the current chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." He was very active and visible as a Bush supporter...''

...more on SourceWatch.

Meanwhile Black Box Voting blog, written by Bev Harris, author of ''Black Box Voting, ballot Tampering in the twenty-first century'' argues that without a paper trail, these machines are still open to massive voter fraud. Bev writes of what to look out for in the 2006 elections.

Well, good luck to the democratic process in America is all I can say. I will be watching with interest and crossing my fingers for all you voters out there, and I will be hoping. That your votes are faithfully recorded and democratically counted. And not lost, or fudged, or covered up, or manipulated or falsified. And I will be praying that the will of the is people acted upon, and the voices of the people are heard, for all our sakes.

UPDATE: House!
UPDATE 2: Senate!

\o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll note the BBC will make scant mention of this issue.
About three years ago, working as researcher on Radio 5 Live Report, I did loads of digging for the then second Bush election about the Diebold machines, the cons, the corruption of the counting, internet hacking of votes, and other issues regarding e-voting.
Despite getting a couple of reporters and producers very interested for a radio doc, the editor wasn't up for it... "no enough evidence of wrong doing" or something of that ilk.
Never mind, maybe this time round the beeb will get interested, particularly as these machines are starting to turn up in the UK for regional elections.

November 07, 2006 5:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never been quite convinced by the 'Republicans taking over the voting machines' argument, plausible though it might sound. Somehow it sounds more like the indignation of the left who can't quite believe that not everyone thinks the way they do.

Still, anything less than a big Democrat win tonight will raise questions...

November 07, 2006 7:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like there were problems with E-voting.
But the good news is that Bush has lost control of the houses of congress. Fingers crossed that he loses the senate as well.
I don't see that there will be much of a change in policy to Iraq, more like a change in how they approach things.

November 08, 2006 9:39 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Even hanging Saddam could not save George this time round. And Rummie's gone. Where's the Krug and the Cohibas?

November 08, 2006 7:06 pm  
Blogger The CEO said...

The Republicans have lost control of both houses. And while what you have written is absolutely true, I happen to live in the State of Maryland where most of the problems with e voting have been observed. Particularly the issue of the lack of a paper ballot as an audit trail. There is no way to ever reconstruct.

Of greater interest, the Republican governor requested an absentee ballot, which is paper, and so far has not conceded the election, awaiting the counting of the absentee ballots. The Virginia race for Senate will not be decided for several weeks, but it does appear that the Democrat did win there too.

And now, it will get REALLY interesting.

November 08, 2006 7:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a documentary about Black Box and the problems found with voting machines on the HBO network in the US. Diebold tried to stop its broadcast.

It can also be seen on the internet via Google Video at:


November 08, 2006 9:39 pm  
Blogger Numeral said...


It's gone.

"We're sorry, but this video may not be available."

November 11, 2006 7:18 pm  

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