Voting in America

The 2000 election

Greg Palast homepage Greg Palast: THE GREAT FLORIDA EX-CON GAME: How the 'felon' voter-purge was itself felonious (Nominated for Pulitzer Prize of magazines, the National Magazine Award)

The voting machine controversy

Bogdanoff certified as 12-vote winner (Sun-Sentinel.com, 13 January 2004)

Ellyn Bogdanoff's 12-vote victory margin over Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Mayor Oliver Parker ultimately held up in the House District 91 race, but controversy swirled after 137 voters in parts of Boca Raton and coastal Broward County went to the polls but didn't cast a vote for any candidate.

State Rep. Joe Negron doesn't think that many people would go to the polls without voting.

The result raises suspicions about the accuracy of the electronic equipment. But the absence of a paper trail means there's nothing that can be done to verify the results shown by the electronic devices.

French, Germans, Russians Need Not Apply: More Headlines: Uncle Sam Gets a Bad Report Card; CSC Feels the Heat; E-Voting Firms Fight Back... (Washingtonpost.com, 11 December 2003) States scrutinize e-voting as primaries near (CNET News.com, 08 December 2003) Florida won't require printouts of touch-screen votes (Palm Beach Post, 06 December 2003) Electronic Votes Touch Off Doubts (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 06 December 2003) New Study Faults Electronic Voting Machines in Ohio (Democracy Now!, 05 December 2003) Ohio Study Finds Flaws in Electronic Voting (New York Times, 03 December 2003) New Study Faults Electronic Voting Machines in Ohio (AP, 01 December 2003) Diebold Memos Disclose Florida 2000 E-Voting Fraud (Scoop, 24 October 2003 Fears of More U.S. Electoral Chaos After Flaws are Discovered in Ballot Computers (Independent, 14 October 2003) All the President's Votes? (Independent, 13 October 2003) Computer Scientists Fear Voter Fraud on Touch-Screen Voting Machines (AP, 06 October 2003) Ohio replaces voting machine reviewer (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 30 September 2003) Voting Machine Controversy (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 28 August 2003)

Columbus - The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

More Calls to Vet Voting Machines (WIRED News, 04 August 2003) Electronic Rigging? (TomPaine.com, 9 June 2003) Rep. Rush Holt Introduces Legislation to Require All Voting Machines To Produce A Voter-Verified Paper Trail WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT: Insider Sues Voting Machine Company (25 February 2003)

2/25/2003 -- Dan Spillane, a voting machine test engineer, has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, DRE touch-screen voting machine manufacturer VoteHere.

Spillane's lawsuit charges wrongful and retaliatory termination; he contends he was removed so that he could not blow the whistle to certification labs and pass critical information to the US General Accounting Office.

He says he has evidence which shows voting systems are certified despite known flaws, demonstrating a weakness in both the NASED and the ITA system for certifying machines.

[...]

Spillane also alleges company officials bragged about using political connections to pass software, rather than meeting the rules.

VoteHere's board of directors includes former CIA director Robert Gates. VoteHere's Chairman is Admiral Bill Owens, who was senior military assistant to Secretaries of Defense Frank Carlucci and Dick Cheney, and also includes Ralph Munro, a key Washington State politician.

Spillane's findings also suggest the recently-passed Help America Vote Act makes problems worse, by releasing a large sum of up-front money for equipment based on the same approval system which led to Florida 2000.

Stanford Professor of Computer Science David Dill's campaign to oppose paperless electronic voting (verifiedvoting.org) Frequently Asked Questions about DRE Voting Systems Talion.com voting machines page Voting Machine Leaves Paper Trail (WIRED News, 9 May 2003) The Greatest Story Never Told: Are American elections fixed? Don't ask the mainstream media. (The Crisis Papers, 31 March 2003) Paperless Voting Machines Under Fire (AP, 25 February 2003) Republican Controlled Voting Machines Hand surprise Victories to... Guess which party? More Voting Machine Problems (ShelbyCountyLiberalPress.org, 14 February 2003)

Yes, it turns out, they were. Officials from the Georgia Secretary of State's Office now admit that a program fix was administered to all 22,000 Georgia voting machines shortly before the November election, reportedly to correct a problem with video screens freezing up. According to Michael Barnes, of the Georgia Secretary of State's Election Office, Diebold supplied memory cards with program patches on them, and then 20 teams of technicians were deployed to drive around the state installing the patch, which went into every one of the machines in all 159 counties.

Here's how it was done, according to Barnes, "The actual installation was a matter of putting in a new memory card. It took about one and a half minutes to boot up. They take the PCMCIA card, install it, and in the booting up process the upgrade is installed."

Three candidates all win races with same number of votes (AP, 8 November 2002)

(11/8/02 - New Braunfels) -- Officials in Comal County in Central Texas can only shake their heads at a statistical oddity from Tuesday's elections.

After all the votes were counted, County Judge Danny Scheel had received 18,181 votes in defeating Lois Duggan.

Republican state Senator Jeff Wentworth also got 18,181 votes in Comal County in beating Democrat Joseph Sullivan and Libertarian Rex Black.

And Republican Carter Casteel got 18,181 votes in Comal County in her victory over Democrat Virgil Yanta in the race for state House District 73 race.

BlackBoxVoting.com stories archive Hagel's ethics filings pose disclosure issue (The Hill, 29 January 2003)

One underlying issue is whether Hagel properly disclosed his financial ties to Election Systems & Software (ES&S), a company that makes nearly half the voting machines used in the United States, including all those used in his native Nebraska.

ES&S is a subsidiary of McCarthy Group Inc., which is jointly held by the holding firm and the Omaha World-Herald Co., which publishes the state's largest newspaper. The voting machine company makes sophisticated optical scan and touch-screen vote-counting devices that many states have begun buying in recent years.

An official at Nebraska's Election Administration estimated that ES&S machines tallied 85 percent of the votes cast in Hagel's 2002 and 1996 election races.

Cape's District 7 race hit, miss (News-Press.com, 10 April 2003)

The District 7 city council seat, won by challenger Mickey Rosado by 874 votes over incumbent Kevin Davis, had about 1,500 fewer total votes than any of the other three council ballots and nearly 2,000 votes less than any of the 13 charter amendments.

Davis said his position on the ballot, separated from the other council races on the second computer page of the new computer voting machines, was the reason for the low turnout in his race.

Pat McHugh, 60, said she missed the District 7 race entirely.

"I missed it, my husband missed it and my neighbor missed it," she said. "The parks amendment (on the second page with the District 7 race) caught my eye. They should have kept the candidates separate. It's a shame."

"Too bad, so sad. Voters have to take some responsibility," said Philinda Young, Lee County supervisor of elections, regarding the fact that the District 7 race had 1,500 fewer total votes than any other race.

State gets electronic voting machines (Ledger-Enquirer, 16 May 2002) New Voting Systems Assailed: Computer Experts Cite Fraud Potential Scientists question electronic voting Farhad Manjoo: Hacking democracy?

"Computerized vote-counting machines are sweeping the country. But they can be hacked -- and right now there's no way to be sure they haven't been."

Ballot Check: Computerized Voting Comes Under Fire in Georgia and California Computerized voting lacks paper trail, scholar warns "If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines"

"I suspect they're getting ready to do this all across all the states," Matulka said in a January 30, 2003 interview. "God help us if Bush gets his touch screens all across the country," he added, "because they leave no paper trail. These corporations are taking over America, and they just about have control of our voting machines."

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Last modified: Wed May 12 00:01:44 CDT 2004