From Mary Kiraly:
I am very concerned about what has been unfolding in
Maryland in the last two weeks. Someone with access
to secrets: to Diebold source code discs, to
information on secret machine “fixes” in 2004-5, and
to the top secret full SAIC Report of 2003, has been
putting that info out into the public domain a piece
at a time.
Here is the context: Late last winter Republican Gov.
Robert Ehrlich changed positions and became critical
of paperless voting. At that time the Democratic
State House of Delegates was approving the purchase of
an op scan system to replace the Diebold TS paperless
system. And the Democratic State Senate was delaying
About the same time, Lou Dobbs started reporting on
the mess in the election system, often using Maryland
as an example. I let out a huge “UH-OH!” when these
things occurred. Were we seeing the groundwork being
lain for a challenge to the integrity of the election
system, if Republicans risked losing power, that we
had long urged Democrats to make- especially in 2004?
Because if that is the case, and a challenge to the
election system is going to be launched, we were
seeing the stage being set in MD.
Oct 20-21: the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun
simultaneously report that 3 discs containing secret
Diebold source code have been delivered anonymously to
a former state legislator who is critical of the
election system. One of the discs is for the GEMS
Oct 26: Again the Baltimore Sun and the Washington
Post simultaneously report detailed information, that
the State Elections Administrator had tried to keep
secret: the motherboard replacements in 2004-5, for
machines delivered in 2002 with faulty components.
This was a report that activists had tried to get out
in March 2005, when documents were received in
discovering in a lawsuit. But the press was not
Oct 30: At the monthly State Board of Elections
meeting, the Board Chairman did an unusual thing.
After three Diebold executives had testified, the
Chairman turned to a group of press and citizen
observers, like me, and asked if anyone had questions.
A computer security expert (Mr. X), sitting near me,
stood up and said that he had received a copy of the
secret full 2003 SAIC Report on the Maryland voting
system. The copy had “come from a neighbor.” This
man said that, if he were responsible for the Maryland
election system, he would shut the system down for
As you can imagine, the Board meeting quickly ended.
The computer expert became a “person of interest,”
especially for the Board CIO, who kept saying that the
document was secret and Mr. X should not have
possession of it. Mr. X replied that he had given a
copy to the FBI.
Nov 2: The story of the secret SAIC report is written
by Rebecca Abrahams and goes up on the Huffington Post
and Brad Blog. But this is also curious.
(1) There is a report on the ABC News website about an
on-camera interview Rebecca Abrahams tried to conduct
with Elections Administrator Linda Lamone. When R.A.
got to a question about the secret Diebold source code
on the 3 discs, R.A. reports that LL took off her
microphone, ended the interview, and left the room.
(2) There is a further connection to ABC News. Last
night I was sent links to 2 local ABC News affiliates-
one in Houston and one in Chicago- that had reports
from Oct 23-4 about the 3 discs that the former
Maryland delegate had received. Both of those reports
used a security expert as their source for the
significance of the discs: Mr. X. So Mr. X was
involved in secret Diebold information before the Oct
30 Board Meeting.
(2) Someone with access to the report (not too many
folks), described by Rebecca Abrahams as a high level
State official, decided to release the SAIC report.
They either gave it to RA/ ABC News, who then gave it
to Mr. X. to review. Or Mr. X, who said that he
received the report from his neighbor, gave the report
to Rebecca Abraham/ABC News.
(5) So why hasn’t ABC News broken this story? Why is
Rebecca Abrahams going to blogs with it? And why have
there been 3 leaks in 2 weeks about SECRET data around
the MD voting system? So who knew about these 3
different secrets that activists have been onto for
several years and could get no traction with… and
why is it coming out now??
But most importantly for this email… How are the
Democrats going to protect the wins they make next
week (esp. in districts with paperless touchscreen
voting) when the Republicans start screaming election
Here is my suggestion: start getting focused on (i)
pre-election polling, (ii) voter turnout by Dems
(including Absentee ballots) and (iii) Exit Polls.
Have all this data ready and use it as the explanation
for why Democrats did well… AND STAY AWAY FROM
TRYING TO DEFEND THE VOTING MACHINES (always a
Organizations like Election Defense Alliance.org,
Voter Action.org, Pollworkers for Democracy.org…
generally all the national election integrity groups
that the DNC has pretty much blown off for six
years… will be collecting data from around the
country on vote suppression efforts, voter
intimidation, machine malfunctions, and election
outcomes that don’t add up. I would get very close to
those folks right now if I were… say Rahm Emanuel.