Confused, Complacent, Complicit – the Takeover and Control of US Elections
This Week on Voice of the Voters, the Power and Responsibility of Democracy:
Leon County, Florida Elections Supervisor and Legend in the Electronic Voting Movement,
Voice of the Voters!
Power and Responsibility of Democracy
**airing on WNJC 1360 AM**
Philadelphia’s Renaissance Radio Station
the Internet (http://wnjc.duxpond.com/)
Wednesday, March 21, 8pm ET
March 21, 2007
Mary Ann Gould
I’m sadly disappointed in the position that so many election administers have taken; it’s as if raising questions in this field is some sort of personal affront, and it’s not. This is the citizens’ most basic business. — Ion Sancho
This week Voice of the Voters will examine the story of how, starting from with the debacle of the 2000 election in Florida, the special interests and voting machine vendors have been able to create and build a private relationship with public election administrators nationwide.
We will also explore how those relationships have affected the decisions to purchase new electronic voting equipment all over the country, some of which, according to the GAO is unsecure, unreliable and unverifiable.
Ion Sancho, the first elected official in the country to call for and carry out independent testing of electronic voting machines in his county, will share his unique insights into the state of voting in the United States today and will discuss the following questions:
- What made him realize that he wasn’t getting the truth about the machines his county purchased?
- What role does lobbying money play in the selection of voting systems?
- What is the nature of the relationship between government officials and electronic voting machine vendors? How close is too close?
- How did we get here?
- How has that relationship impacted critical decision-making around election systems?
As always, John Gideon, Executive Director of Voters Unite will give Voice of the Voters listeners a round-up of all the week’s voting news.
** Voice of the Voters has hosted a who’s who of leaders in the fields of electronic voting, computer science, history and politics. Click here to listen to many of those interviews at our incomparable archives. **
Voice of the Voters is an hour devoted to voting rights, election reform and voter-verified paper ballots. Ultimately it is an exploration of Representative Democracy itself and the responsibilities of citizens and their elected representatives. It airs every Wednesday night at 8:00 PM ET on 1360 AM and on the Internet. Listeners can call in questions live at 856-227-1360 and submit questions in advance at the SaveOurVote website.
Voice of the Voters now also available as a podcast at iTunes.com under “Voice of the Voters” in the News & Politics category
WHAT: The Voice of the Voters
WHEN: Wednesday, 3/21, 8:00PM ET
WHERE: WNJC, 1360AM, Philadelphia’s Renaissance Radio Station and everywhere on the Internet
Please Note: Dial up users may have better success if all other programs are shut down.
3/28: Harri Hursti
On December 13, 2005, Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho, arranged for a test of the Leon County Florida voting system to see if election results could be altered, without detection, with access to only a single memory card. Harri Hursti’s involvement in this test was documented in the video “Hacking Democracy,” which aired on HBO just prior to the November 2006 general election (we will be showing a clip). The su
ccessful attack on optically scanned equipment, now known as the “Hursti Hack,” resulted in re-examination of election equipment in California and Florida.
Since then, Harri has produced another hack, called Hursti II, which involved touchscreen bootloaders. This finding resulted in Pennsylvania having to re-flash many of its voting units before the 2006 primary election. Harri will provide the details of these hacks, and will discuss the significance of his results with impacts on election technology deployment in the US and abroad.
Harri Hursti is a computer programmer who specializes in network and telecommunications security. As Chairman of the Board and co-founder of ROMmon, he supervised the development of the world’s smallest 2 gigabit traffic analysis product. Harri was also the visionary and co-designer behind the first commercial public email and online forum system in Finland, the representative in UNESCO for computer aided education, and the Vice-President of the European Internet Service Providers Association.
Ion Sancho has been the Elections Supervisor of Leon County, Florida since winning election in 1988. In 2000, while Florida and the country was in chaos, Leon County enjoyed the lowest error rate in the state.
In December of 2005, Mr. Sancho stepped onto the national stage when he became the first elected official in the country to call for and carry out independent testing of his county’s electronic voting machines. From BlackBoxVoting.org:
Due to contractual non-performance and security design issues, Leon County (Florida) supervisor of elections Ion Sancho has announced that he will never again use Diebold in an election. He has requested funds to replace the Diebold system from the county. On Tuesday, the most serious “hack” demonstration to date took place in Leon County. The Diebold machines succumbed quickly to alteration of the votes.
>From video of Mr. Sancho available at BlackBoxVoting:
“I see no negative to inquiring as to the security of this issue, the accuracy of these devices. Those are things we must have the answers to before we can truly say, “yes this is secure,” or “no it’s not.” And as of right now, I’m sadly disappointed in the position that so many election administers have taken; it’s as if raising questions about in this field is some sort of personal affront, and it’s not. This is the citizens’ most basic business. The basis for a Republican form of government is the fact that we can elect the representatives that we want, that we choose. And I administer this system on the behalf of the community. I don’t own it. I’m not the boss. That’s why I like the term “administrators” because all I do is administer this process. I don’t own it. It’s not mine. It’s ours.”
“For such a long time there was no growth in the elections business. Not until I would say, until the nineties did new technologies become emergent in this field. And I would say that the supervisors of elections, the other elections administrators that I’ve met around the country are conscientious, hard working people. But they do not understand the tech that they’re dealing with. And that failure to understand, I think is one of the reasons, why we react so defensively. It’s pointing out something that makes us uncomfortable and rather than deal with that, we’re going to shoot the messenger.”
Coalition for Voting Integrity