Deibold banned from Leon County, FL

BREAKING: Due to contractual non-performance and security design issues, Leon County (Florida) supervisor of elections Ion Sancho told Black Box Voting that he will never again use Diebold in an election. He has requested funds to replace the Diebold system from the county. He will issue a formal announcement to this effect shortly. This comes on the heels of the resignation of Diebold CEO Wally O’Dell, and the announcement that a stockholder’s class action suit has been filed against Diebold by Scott & Scott.

Black Box Voting: Leon County Election Supervisor Ion Sancho

Finnish security expert Harri Hursti proved that Diebold lied to Secretaries of State across the nation when Diebold claimed votes could not be changed on the memory card.

A test election was run in Leon County Tusday Dec. 13 with a total of eight ballots – six ballots voted “no” on a ballot question as to whether Diebold voting machines can be hacked or not. Two ballots, cast by Dr. Herbert Thompson and by Harri Hursti voted “yes” indicating a belief that the Diebold machines could be hacked.

At the beginning of the test election the memory card programmed by Harri Hursti was inserted into an Optical Scan Diebold voting machine. A “zero report” was run indicating zero votes on the memory card.

In fact, however, Hursti had pre-loaded the memory card with plus and minus votes.

The eight ballots were run through the optical scan machine. The standard Diebold-supplied “ender card” was run through as is normal procedure ending the election. A results tape was run from the voting machine.

Correct results should have been:

Yes:2

No:6

However, just as Hursti had planned, the results tape read:

Yes:7

No:1

The results were then uploaded from the optical scan voting machine into the GEMS central tabulator.

The central tabulator is the “mother ship” that pulls in all votes from voting machines. The results in the central tabulator read:

Yes:7

No:1

This exploit, accomplished without being given any password and with the same level of access given thousands of poll workers across the USA, showed that the votes themselves were changed in a one-step process. This hack would not be detected in any normal canvassing procedure, and it required only a single a credit-card sized memory card.

On Oct. 17, 2005 Diebold Elections Systems Research and Development chief Pat Green specifically told the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) board of elections that votes cannot be changed using only a memory card.

Read more.

Protect democracy in Bucks County, PA

Group will challenge voting machine move
By BRIAN CALLAWAY
The Intelligencer

A local citizens group is planning legal challenges to the federal law that’s forcing Bucks and many other counties to replace their voting machines.

Mary Ann Gould, a founder of the Coalition for Voting Integrity, said Monday her group has started a legal fund to help get a court to allow Bucks to keep its Eisenhower-era lever-operated machines or to delay the implementation of new machines for at least a year.

She acknowledged that getting a court to allow either option could be difficult.

“We’re David going against Goliath,” she said. “But just remember who won.”

Read more.

Diebold hit with class action suit!!

EXCLUSIVE: SECURITIES FRAUD LITIGATION FILED AGAINST DIEBOLD, INC!
Eight Current and Former Executives Named as Co-Defendants, Including former CEO O’Dell and New CEO Swidarski
Class Action Suit Alleges Fraud, Insider Trading, Manipulation of Stock Prices, Concealment of Known Flaws in Voting Machines and Company Structural Problems

The BRAD BLOG can now report that a Securities Fraud Class Action suit has been filed against Diebold, Inc. (stock symbol: DBD) naming eight top executive officers in the company as co-defendants. The suit has been filed by plaintiff Janice Konkol, alleging securities fraud against the North Canton, Ohio-based manufacturer of Voting Systems and ATM machines on behalf of investors who owned shares of Diebold stock and lost money due to an alleged fraudulent scheme by the company and its executives to deceive shareholders during the “class period” of October 22, 2003 through September 21, 2005.

The suit was filed today in U.S. Federal District Court in Ohio and alleges the company “artificially inflated” stock prices through misleading public information designed to conceal the true nature of Diebold’s financial and legal situation. The defendants are also alleged to have attempted to disguise well-known and ongoing problems with Diebold’s Voting Machine equipment and software. Additionally, the suit alleges insider trading by defendants resulting in proceeds of $2.7 million. Remedies are sought under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The suit, filed by the law firm SCOTT+SCOTT on behalf of Konkol and the plaintiff class, names former Diebold CEO and Chairman, Walden O’Dell as a co-defendant along with seven other current and former officers of the once-venerable company including the new CEO Thomas W. Swidarski who was named yesterday as the new CEO replacing O’Dell after his sudden surpise resignation yesterday.

News of the pending litigation was first reported as imminent in an exclusive report by The BRAD BLOG late last week. Complete details on the suit filed moments ago are now available…

Read more.

Wake up, Dr. Dean

Dear Howard Dean: Why Bother?

December 13, 2005
By Ernest Partridge, The Crisis Papers

December 13, 2005
Dr. Howard Dean, Chair
Democratic National Committee

Dear Dr. Dean,

Every week I get dozens of solicitations from the Democratic National Committee, from the Democratic Senate and Congressional Campaign Committees, or from various Democratic candidates and office-holders, each of them asking for contributions. “You can help us achieve victory next November,” I am told.

If by “victory” is meant a majority vote cast at the polls, then the Democrats achieved “victory” in 2000, 2002 and 2004. And yet, the Republicans remain in control of the Congress and the White House.

Small wonder! Republicans build the voting machines, Republicans write the secret software, Republicans count and compile the totals. The Republican machines allow no auditing of the vote totals they report. So Republicans have the ability to “win” elections, regardless of the will of the voters. There is compelling evidence that they have done just that.

Read more.

O'Dell resigns as CEO of Diebold

Diebold CEO resigns after reports of fraud litigation, internal woes
John Byrne

The chief executive officer of electronic voting company Diebold who once famously declared that he would “deliver” Ohio for President Bush has resigned effective immediately, RAW STORY has learned.

“The board of directors and Wally mutually agreed that his decision to resign at this time for personal reasons was in the best interest of all parties,” the company’s new chairman said in a statement.

O’Dell’s resignation comes just days after reports from BradBlog.com that the company was facing imminent securities fraud litigation surrounding charges of insider trading. It also comes on the heels of a RAW STORY interview with a Diebold insider, who raised new allegations of technical woes inside the company, as well as concern that Diebold may have mishandled elections in Georgia and Ohio.

Read more.

Were the troops' votes counted in '04?

More troops voted than ever before, but were all ballots counted?

By LISA HOFFMAN
Scripps Howard News Service
December 12, 2005

– More U.S. troops voted in the 2004 election than ever before, according to a new Pentagon study. But critics say that the report by the Federal Voting Assistance Program sheds little light on the most important question: How many of their votes were actually counted?

The study, based on questionnaires sent to those in uniform overseas and on the home front, found that nearly 8 out of 10 service members said they voted in the election, which included the closely contested presidential race.

That amounted to a 10 percent increase in military turnout over that in the 2000 election and the highest ever for those in uniform. Of the ballots cast this time, 53 percent were absentee – a sharp increase from the 37 percent who voted long distance the last time when no U.S. troops were at war overseas.

The study cited high interest in the election as one of the spurs for the increased participation, along with the availability of electronically transmitted absentee-ballot requests and the voting program’s extensive informational Web site, which was accessed more than 8 million times between November 2003 and December 2004, the study said.

Read more.

HB3 forced through in Ohio: PROTEST!

Ohio Senate Rules Committee Ignores all Citizen Input in Passing ID Requirement in H.B. 3:

CASE Warns of Increased Voter Disenfranchisement, the Dangers of Privately Run Elections, and the Unconstitutionality of Denying the Right to Challenge Election Results.

From CASE (Citizens’ Alliance for Secure Elections)

Contact:
Phil Fry (937) 362-4493
Pete Johnson (614) 846-4018
Susan Truitt (614) 270-5239

COLUMBUS, OH – The Rules Committee of the Ohio Senate approved H.B. 3 December 7, 2005, despite two days of strong opposition testimony. The four Democratic committee members refused to take part in the final vote as a protest to the Republican steamrolling the public and their colleagues as well.

HB3 requires a current, government issued ID with a current address and this requirement alone will affect several hundred of thousand voters and disenfranchise many tens of thousands of them. Students, the elderly, youth, and recently moved families will have to produce alternate forms of ID. The result will be confusion, frustration, discouragement, and possibly anger directed toward the Ohio Senators who forced this bill into law.

HB 3 makes it impossibly difficult for voting advocacy organizations to register new voters by making the process extremely slow and expensive and punishing workers who make a mistake with the threat of a felony penalty. Workers who could be working state-wide are now required to register with every Board of Elections in the state, take a test from every board, and return any registration to the board of the newly registered voter. This makes registration drives at gatherings like the Ohio State Fair and similar events impossible.

HB 3 removes a process to audit the black box machines which are prone to errors and susceptible to hacking as recognized by the recent GAO report (see below)

HB 3 has canceled our right to challenge election results.

The Ohio legislature, while focusing their efforts on prohibiting access to voting, failed to address a more serious concern: Electronic voting Machines. The General Accounting Office, (GAO) recently released a 107 page scathing report* on electronic voting machines in our country. The report supports what CASE has been claiming, that electronic voting machines are not secure, not accountable, not transparent, not accurate, and not certifiable. A bipartisan panel which included both Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Democratic Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) released a joint news release regarding this report. Most community news sources have not made these important findings widely available to the public yet.

CASE advises all Ohio voters to

* call, email, or FAX your State Senator today to tell them not to support HB 3. http://www.senate.state.oh.us/
* attend the Senate session at the Ohio Statehouse Tuesday, December 13, to sit in the gallery while the full Senate considers the passage of HB 3, at 1:30 PM.

Bob Cesca's interview with MCM

The 2004 election has receded in our memories under the weight of countless other events of the past year. But the lessons of what happened in Ohio and elsewhere should always be a point of debate in this country as they cut directly to our very basic right as citizens: the right to hold our leaders accountable with our vote.

The highly questionable results of 2004’s presidential election felt all too familiar, harking back to the 2002 midterm and, of course, the 2000 election debacle. The outcome in all three instances swayed heavily in the favor of Republicans, yet the call for fair and transparent elections shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Speaking for myself, I don’t care whether the results favored Republicans or Democrats or Greens or Libertarians. If there appears to be election theft occurring, be it via electronic voting machines without paper trails or via back-room deals with Supreme Court justices, it’s a subversion of our rights and our Constitution and the leaders elected via these illegal processes are illegitimate.

Read more.

Endangered Species Act at risk!

Dear Friends:

The Endangered Species Act is under serious attack and needs our help. A bill that would severely weaken the act was approved by the U.S. House in September. We can help prevent a similar measure from passing in the Senate. The bald eagle, California sea otter, American alligator, gray wolf, black-footed ferret, gray whale, and international species such as the African elephant are on their way back in large part due to the Endangered Species Act.

To learn more and send a free letter to your senators, go to World
Wildlife Fund’s Conservation Action Network
.

Please ask your friends to take this action also. Thanks!