From: Garland Favorito
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2010 11:33 AM
To: Garland Favorito
Subject: South Carolina Proves Statewide Unverifiable Voitng Cannot Be Trusted
Mail-in paper ballot election results just received from each South Carolina county under
Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests confirm that there were enough voting
discrepancies in the recent U.S. Senate Democratic primary to have reversed the election
outcome. That race had dramatic, inexplicable discrepancies between the verifiable mail-in
absentee paper ballot results and the unverifiable electronic voting results recorded on Election
Day, June 8.
In that race, Alvin Greene was declared the winner based on a near landslide 60-40% margin in Election Day electronic voting results. However, certified mail-in paper ballot results, received
from the counties after a 15-business-day response period allowed under South Carolina law,
show that Vic Rawl actually won the verifiable mail-in paper ballot absentee voting by a solid 55-45% margin.
The near 30% total point differential among the two candidates is unheard-of in South Carolina election history, and, perhaps, nationally as well. Neither candidate emphasized absentee voting,
so there is no reasonable explanation for such a vast difference.
VoterGA issued the FOIA requests because South Carolina counties do not report separate
absentee totals for mail-in paper ballot votes and in-person electronic votes. While some of this information was previously known, here is what the official replies to the requests revealed:
- In not one county did Alvin Greene win the absentee mail-in vote count and lose the Election Day vote count
- In not one county did Vic Rawl win the Election Day vote count and lose the mail-in absentee vote count
- In 41 of 46 counties, Alvin Greene’s Election Day vote percentage exceeded his mail-in paper ballot absentee percentage;
- In 34 of those 41 counties, Alvin Greene’s Election Day electronic votes exceeded his mail-in paper ballot absentee votes by an abnormal margin of 15%
- In no counties with more than 10 paper ballot casts did Vic Rawl have an abnormal margin of 15% or more (total for both candidates)
The individual county results illustrate the differences between Election Day electronic voting results and mail-in paper ballot absentee voting results much more dramatically:
- In Aiken County, Alvin Greene won the Election Day vote 60% to 40% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 70% to 30%;
- In Barnwell County, Alvin Greene won the Election Day vote 63% to 37% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 75% to 25%;
- In Beaufort County, Alvin Greene won the Election Day vote 60% to 40% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 82% to 18%;
- In Dorchester County, Alvin Greene won the Election Day vote 60% to 40% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 67% to 33%;
- In Florence County, Alvin Greene won the Election Day vote 70% to 30% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 58% to 42%;
- In Greenwood County, Alvin Greene won the Election Day vote 76% to 24% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 51% to 49%;
- In Lancaster County, Alvin Greene won the Election Day vote 59% to 41% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 90% to 10%;
- In Newberry County, Alvin Greene won the Election Day vote 55% to 45% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 84% to 16%;
- In Spartanburg County, Alvin Greene won the Election Day vote 61% to 39% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 72% to 28%;
The differences between absentee in person electronic voting and absentee paper mail-in voting are similarly dramatic:
- In Spartanburg County, Alvin Greene won the absentee in-person electronic vote 62% to 38% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 72% to 28%;
- In Jasper County, Alvin Greene won the absentee in-person electronic vote 56% to 44% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 76% to 24%;
- In Orangeburg County, Alvin Greene won the absentee in-person electronic vote 52% to 48% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 72% to 28%
- In Chester County, Alvin Greene won the absentee in-person electronic vote 71% to 29% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 55% to 45%;
- In Coleton County, Alvin Greene won the absentee in-person electronic vote 58% to 42% but
Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 70% to 33%;
- In Berkeley County, Alvin Greene won the absentee in-person electronic vote 59% to 41% but Vic Rawl prevailed in the mail-in paper ballots by 73% to 27%;
A spreadsheet on the voterga.org home page illustrates the discrepancies so that you can review them and make your own decision about the validity of this South Carolina election. However, the spreadsheet still does not take into account the extraordinary differences in the campaigns that were conducted. As you may already know Alvin Greene, an unemployed former military veteran who paid a $10,000 qualifying fee, did not even run a campaign. Greene held no fundraisers, ran no paid advertisements, made no campaign speeches, hired no campaign manager, conducted no state wide tours, attended no Democratic Party county events, printed no yard signs and did not even establish a web site. Vic Rawl, a county commissioner, former judge and four-term state representative, ran a normal, aggressive campaign as his campaign manager, Walter Ludwig, has explained. He personally campaigned in at least half of the counties made radio and TV appearances, attended the state convention, collected official endorsements, had 600 volunteers, printed 10,000 bumper stickers, established 180,000 database contacts, created a 104,000 Email distribution list, had 3,300 Facebook Friends, sent out 300,000 Emails just prior to the election, received 20,000 web site hits on Election Day alone and was more active on Twitter than the other Democratic Party candidates.
So how did this happen? All South Carolina elections are conducted on statewide unverifiable electronic voting equipment manufactured by Election Systems & Software (ES&S). South Carolina’s voting machines have no independent audit trail of each vote cast. This is necessary to audit the accuracy of the vote recording mechanism that transfers the selections the voter sees on the screen to the vote storage areas. All precinct printouts, ballot images and any other forms of paper documents that can be printed are not created independently but produced internally from the machines after the vote was recorded and could have been corrupted. It is technically impossible for anyone in the state to claim that South Carolina’s Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines record accurately on Election Day since there is no mechanism such as a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) to independently audit the vote recording. No amount of pre-election testing can assure DRE recording accuracy. The Federal Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) Technical Guidelines Development Committee concluded that: “The National Institute of Standards and Testing & EAC Security & Transparency Subcommittee do not know how to write testable requirements to satisfy that the software in a DRE is correct” The reason for such a conclusion is that many electronic voting machines, such as those used in South Carolina, can be programmed in a variety of ways to count differently on Election Day than during testing. As a result, South Carolina voters cannot verify that the selections they see on the screen were electronically recorded, election officials cannot audit the actual vote counts and there is no directly created evidence of voter intent that can be used in a recount.
Vic Rawl understood this and filed an election protest to have his claims heard by the leadership of the South Carolina Democratic Party on June 17. Expert witnesses testified as to the improbability of such results and they methodically eliminated other false explanations for the discrepancies such as ballot positioning, republican crossover voting and racial preferences. None of those excuses would explain the vast difference in absentee paper ballot results and electronic voting results. In addition, the office manager identified reports she had received from voters in a dozen different counties all of whom were impeded in some way from voting for Vic Rawl. One witness testified that Mr. Rawl was not on the ballot. Another witness testified that she successfully selected Vic Rawl in the race but Alvin Greene’s name on the confirmation screen. Still another witness testified that she received a confirmation screen indicating she had voted for Alvin Greene before she voted in the U.S. Senate race and immediately after she cast her vote in the governor’s race. Alvin Greene was not present and no evidence was presented to argue that the results were correct, the leadership denied Mr. Rawl’s request for new election by a count of 38-7. The entire hearing can be seen just by searching for Vic Rawl on Vimeo.com thanks to John Fortuin and Defenders of Democracy.
The hearing revealed that Vic Rawl’s expert witness was denied access to the machines at the county level. In addition, the State Elections Commission denied a petition by State Senator Phil Leventis to impound the machines until they could be checked. The commission claimed that they needed the machines for the run-off. However, they would not have needed all of the machines for the run-of and they would not have needed to impound all of them to run statistically significant tests. A spokesperson for the State Elections Commission said that they have done all that they could do in terms of testing and that they are confident in the results. The commission also issued a statement asserting that the voting machines have always performed accurately and reliably, a claim that is technically impossible to establish since there is no way to independently audit the voting recording mechanism of the machine.
So how should this dilemma be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties? Here is a suggested solution that might satisfy all parties involved:
- Alvin Greene can represent Democrats in November against Sen. Jim DeMint since he rightfully won the election according to the procedures that have been used for the last six years
- The South Carolina Elections Commission and legislature must immediately move to replace their statewide unverifiable voting with auditable electronic or optical scan equipment
- Vic Rawl should be recognized as having done more for South Carolinians than he ever could have ever done if he had been elected to the U.S. Senate
I have sent a letter outlining the lack of credibility in this election to the State Elections Commission. is available on the www.Voterga.org home page. South Carolina federal elections results could impact voters in every other state so even if you don’t live there, take a few minutes and do the same.
The state elections commission can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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