LawSuit to e-Vict Secret Vote Counting & Hasten Death of DRE's
DemocracyRescue-LawSuit to e-Vict Corp.TresPassers, Secret Vote
Counting & Hasten Death of DRE's
When it comes to something as fundamental as democracy, the
government lacks the power, through contract, to cede that power of
vote counting in a democracy to a multinational corporation or to
any individual to operate in secret, because vote counting is a
public democratic right. It is a public right for which the
government has literally never been given the power to give away.
The government, plainly and simply, combined with all of the
world's corporations, UTTERLY LACK THE POWER to privatize our
votes. We ougt not legitimize that privatization in any way by
assuming it has any validity, because it is void ab initio (from
Most importantly, (to put it plainly but crudely) WE DON'T NEED TO
PROVE SHIT, THE VOTING MACHINE COMPANIES MUST SIMPLY GET THE HELL
OUT of our democracy. Period.
UNPRECENDENTED in American history for government to claim, assume
Inalienable rights to rig, run, ruin and OWN YOUR LIFE! and help
dig your grave ,how are you and WE going to rescue our country and
humanity from this dangerous abyss? Lets get real and ON THE BALL,
pick it up a notch, for..., We have lost the ability to replace our
government by the ballot box, our creation claims they don't need
The people's consent anymore.We must talk and act on this affront
What happened to the AmeriCaN Dream? SORRY-thats classified. Secret
Vote Counting Delays OUR Dreams.
Freedom and the Contracts Our Govt Signed for Secret Vote Counting
Many of you know that the vote counting programs of voting
machines are considered "proprietary trade secrets" such that the
voting companies, such as Sequoia, have stated in writing, to
people such as me, that my wish to inspect and/or test those voting
machines as a citizen (or even to obtain a copy of the operator's
manual) will be resisted by "all actions" necessary. This is
despite the fact that my brother in law Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman and I
co-wrote a 29 page research study showing irregularities favoring
one party over another due to malfunctions and/or tampering.
To imagine secret ballots is to imagine FREEDOM of the vote. To
imagine secret COUNTING of the votes by a multinational whose
parent company de La Rue was awarded a lucrative US contract to
print Iraqi dinars, is to imagine actual or potential TYRANNY. To
trust a political friend to count the vote in secrecy without
verification is to be an actual or potential TYRANT, who claims to
owe the people no duty. To imagine all of us adults together (WE
THE PEOPLE), smart and dumb, old and young, of all races, creeds,
orientations and beliefs all having the same vote as the President
of the United States is to imagine an image of EQUALITY that many
have paid a great price for. To imagine that vote not necessarily
counting based on the whims of the secret counting corporation is
to see the end of FREE elections. To see the end of free elections,
especially during a "permanent war" on "terror", is to see the end
of freedom itself.
Our greatest leaders have said there comes a time in each
generation for the true meaning of freedom to be discovered and
We can know that freedom not only by ejecting these secretive
corporations from our vote counting, but also by rediscovering the
radical equality inherent in our equal votes. Smart people don't
get two votes, and "dumb" people who "don't follow instructions" in
Palm Beach County don't get their votes taken away. Why? Because
there is such a thing as WE THE PEOPLE. Endowed by their creator
with certain INALIENABLE rights, meaning rights that we are born
with that can not be taken away, and we were born with them BEFORE
our government was ever formed.
All power ultimately comes from the consent of WE THE PEOPLE, but
we forget that sometimes, getting down on our knees and begging the
government for this and that. Sometimes that's necessary because
the people have delegated certain powers, but on occasion
government asserts a power it was simply never granted by the
All of the lawyers working on this case will do so pro bono publico
(for the good of the public). All attorneys fees awarded go to
charity. All money raised for expenses is for out of pocket costs
only (like expert witnesses, travel, documents, blogging the case,
deliveries, court fees, etc), and if reimbursed goes to charity as
Since we know that opposing counsel will have principles of their
own to stick up for such as trade secrecy, we will in the future
ask you to ask opposing counsel to also work on a pro bono basis,
in order to best figure out through the legal process what is best
for our democracy. Lawyers have few higher callings than bringing
the people together to discuss democracy. Sequoia's lawyers will
likely work for free in order to defend the important principles of
trade secrecy and secret vote counting, so the issues can be most
richly framed for the courts on both sides, without regard to the
expense of lawyers fees. Therefore, when we meet Sequoia's lawyers
in court, we will either meet like-minded public spirited lawyers
who see the importance of the issues, or else we will meet paid
mercenary lawyers (perhaps who are struggling to make ends meet
themselves) or else we will find no lawyers prepared to defend
Sequoia, because no one wishes to argue for secret vote counting at
In the event we find no lawyers opposed, any possible opposition
simply melts away. In the event we find pro bono publico lawyers on
the other side, we know the arguments will be well served on both
sides and justice ably served by a court very interested and
listening to the debate. And, in the event we find paid mercenary
lawyers, we shall sense that there comes a time every now and then
when lawyering is not a job but a call to justice, and it will be
hard for mercenary lawyers to beat We The People in a struggle for
democracy, right here on our home soil.
We have no specific requests, other than this general request. Just
please imagine what WE THE PEOPLE would do to restore the integrity
of the vote, and do accordingly, knowing that it is important that
you do it, but that "it" will not be televised by Sequoia or any of
its allies, paid or volunteer. I know some of us have gotten so
frustrated with the promise of America that we've become critics
and dissenters, and have paid the price sometimes of being unfairly
called anti-American when you've exercised your freedom to express
difference: the only thing freedom is actually needed for. But
unless you are so disappointed in the promise of America that your
love is frustrated to no end, remember today the ones, those
founding Patriots who pledged their lives, their fortune and their
sacred honor. They were both many, and few, and yet they acted for
the People nevertheless, in their time.
Freedom and the Contracts Our Govt Signed for Secret Vote Counting
GOVERNMENT OWNS YOU?
The key is to frame the issue as one of secrecy. Then to make the
public realize that secrecy in vote COUNTING kills democracy.
My attorney has made case law before where none thought possible,
but ejecting secret vote counters from our elections is not based
on a novel legal theory at all.... (WA case Birklid v. Boeing)
It's my belief, based on actual interest around the country, that
various other jurisdictions will soon get sued to remove DREs
because of secret vote counting, shortly after our lawsuit is
filed. We will publish how we did ours so others don't have to
reinvent the wheel. Soon, if we collectively
know what is good for us, many people will want to be the first on
their block to sue, and you can have cocktail parties with
activists and ask others as an icebreaker: "Have you filed your
One way to stop DRE purchases is to point out to elections
officials that their legal counsel will have to advise them of
their possible legal exposure if they privatize vote counting to a
corporate hard drive. They should budget for this exposure if they
want to turn our democracy into even more of a joke. And even in
the doubtful case that citizens have no legal right to observe the
counting of the votes to verify its integrity for themselves in
some particular state jurisdiction other than Washington state,
this issue will only grow and likely result in officials spending
money to take away citizens rights spotting their opponents in the
next election at least 5 percentage points, perhaps 20 or more.
This should be able to prevent DRE purchases, at least by
accountable elected officials.
Don't raise money for attorneys' fees, unless necessary just to
keep the lawyers' doors open as in Ohio. Don't quote me or other
lawyers may get upset, but if a lawyer wants to charge more than
that needed to stay alive, go find a more patriotic lawyer.
I'll go out on a limb and say DREs will be shut down in Snohomish
county before the end of 2005. Soon everyone will be able to see
the lawsuit online and send the link to their local auditors and
election officials for them to evaluate. Anyone that wants to bet
against that, email me back, the amount of the bet is $100 per USE
person accepting the bet (individual bets between me and any person
accepting, for $100).
The minute "the people" (more than just us, but we have a big role
in educating the people) realize that they own this democracy and
that democracy is nothing without a citizen-verifiable counting of
the vote, then they will instantly have the motivation to ask the
trespassers on our democracy to leave immediately. It will take no
more courage than it takes to tell a trespasser to leave your
personal property. Therefore, at the instant the people realize
that democracy is ours, at that instant victory becomes inevitable.
There can be no compromise with invisible vote counting. The secret
vote counters can NOT stick their hands all the way into the
pockets of democracy and then negotiate to back out HALF way.
Secret or invisible vote counting must be terminated, with
prejudice. (Open source code: good idea, but still invisible and
unverifiable by average active non-expert citizen) The ultimate
standard is whether the average citizen can see for herself it's
fair without needing to hire an expert.
A hundred technical tweakings of bills and amendments will cost you
everything and get you little. Keep your eyes on the prize, as MLK
said. Not on the details and the diversionary brushfires started by
The power, as always is in framing and creating the AGENDA. All the
debates under that AGENDA are the necessary but ultimately trivial
bleatings of bureaucratic detail. The AGENDA is OPEN (OBSERVABLE),
FREE, FAIR, TRANSPARENTLY VERIFIABLE BY AVERAGE CITIZENS WITHOUT
EXPERT HELP elections.
We can still debate under such a general standard, but if we can
agree on the test for democracy with integrity, whatever we come up
with will be acceptable in the end if it complies with the test
And if not, a very popular referendum can be fashioned around the
language we can all agree on. How many people will vote to retain
secret vote counting? Everyone that votes to retain will have the
votes counted by their political enemies!
HOW DARE THEE? Democracy IS Deliberately Criminally, Hastily being
frog-marched to the GallOWs. Adding insult to injury it's Horribly
OutRageous that, Insidiously it is AN OFFICIAL State-Secret! The
powers that be have coldly calculated that America and Americans
will lie to themselves, tell themselves lies and Live with a Lie.
For the most part they may be right, many are physically &
emotionally energy-sapped, distracted, conTrolled, apathetic,
demoralized and even Zombified. Many millions though, are ascending
to that MounTain Top where the view is so grand, omnicient and the
scent wafting from the grounds of our election system, smells FOUL
with falseness, fraud and an unholy alliance of corporations,
judges and elected? officials AND money twisting, unsportsmanlike a
process requiring fairness, transparency, integrity into an
abomination- a crime syndicate having undue control of the Public
and Human right to Vote. The basic Way to petition Our Servant,
elected governments, for a redress of grievances. This Liberty
Lover has written a Paul Revere-esque chain letter, a powerful
invocation to Clot the Bleeding Wound inflicted by a felonius
assault on Democracy. We will NOT or canNot Live with a
comfortable, despicable LIE....
...If you say it's crazy to expect a NewVote, take your lazy
negativeness over to Ukraine, the real loser over there needs
supprters. You know whats crazy, Bush's approval rating hac been at
48%-for months, 50% of 118million voters is 59mil, partisan claims
of 60.7mil are being bandied about in the cuckoos-nest
money-motivated manipulated Media.48% =56.6mil! It's ENABLING to
Allow the habitual theft to happen over and over. Whats really
crazy is snuffing out the life of an 180-pound Human with a
500-pound missile! (excerpt); America faces an apocalyptic moment.
On November 2nd, at least thirty three million Americans (John
Conyers estimates more than half of all who voted) lost their right
to vote; their votes are indeterminate since they cannot be
verified by hand count! This is an amazing and historically
disastrous fact! Most of us were forced to vote on computers
lacking paper evidence of who we voted for. Can any election be
more than a sham under such a condition? Even worse, our votes
could have been secretly and invisibly changed to favor George Bush
or other Republican congressional candidates by the Republican
owned business entities that secretly counted them. And all this
after publicly promising their Republican associates they'd win!
The bottom line: we really cannot know which Congressman, Senator
or President was actually elected on November 2, for the
vote-counting was able to be secretly and privately manipulated and
then blocked from audit because there were no paper trails
required. Thus, the entire national election of November 2 was
fundamentally and uncorrectably flawed! Below is a letter I'm
sending to one hundred non-profit organizations who represent the
best of America's thinkers and doers. I'm asking them to be the
Paul Reveres of this country and save us from the corporations now
in control attempting to turn America into the largest, most
powerful fascist nation the world has ever experienced. The
American people don't want that. They abhor it and won't stand for
it. I urge each of you to spread this letter as far and as wide as
you can. It is a matter of life and death. The life of a democracy
that began the 4th of July 1776 but which will die on January 20th
2005 unless we demand and achieve a new, honest election before
that date. The People are Coming! The People are Caring! The People
are CaaaaRRRinG! LET FREEDOM RING! Let My People GO!
Must! Do NOW !-1 Focus 1 Mission 1 Goal 1 RESULT=NewVote by J20
2nd January 2005
Main Entry: re·deem
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English redemen, modification of Middle French
redimer, from Latin redimere, from re-, red- re- + emere to take,
buy; akin to Lithuanian imti to take
1 a : to buy back : REPURCHASE b : to get or win back
2 : to free from what distresses or harms: as a : to free from
captivity by payment of ransom b : to extricate from or help to
overcome something detrimental c : to release from blame or debt :
CLEAR d : to free from the consequences of sin
3 : to change for the better : REFORM
4 : REPAIR, RESTORE
5 a : to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby b
(1) : to remove the obligation of by payment <the U.S. Treasury
redeems savings bonds on demand> (2) : to exchange for something of
value <redeem trading stamps> c : to make good : FULFILL
6 a : to atone for : EXPIATE b (1) : to offset the bad effect of
(2) : to make worthwhile : RETRIEVE
synonym see RESCUE
- re·deem·able /-'dE-m&-b&l/ adjective
How looong will they kill Our Democracy while We stand aside and look
WE MUST MOVE FORWARD THIS GENERATION
we've GOT to fulfill The Book
Our Minds, Voices were made strong by The Hand of The Almighty
SING Redemption songs- To RIGGGGHHT the...Wrongs!
*E Pluribus Unum
out of many ONE
This is the liberty for which our military personnel are fighting
and dying so we can spread it around the world?
The world already has Rottenhead Infestation in nearly every
country one can name and a few none of us can pronounce. This is
the work of the globalism that is controlling every aspect of our
lives right down to how much we should weigh and what we should
eat, breathe, drive, read, hear and speak.
War is the ultimate failure of diplomacy and we have failed because
we are always at war. We use our military in the wrong places at
the wrong times and for the wrong reasons. The nation is geared up
to declare immediate martial law against its own people while
proclaiming it is liberating the slaves in other nations. That is
the ultimate in hypocrisy and disorder at the top.
If ever there was a time to call a national referendum, it is now.
DISORDER AT THE TOP
Dorothy A. Seese
February 5, 2005
It's the integrity, stupid.
I wish my Republican leadership could see themselves from here.
They don't get that when an elected official dismisses and
ridicules credible evidence given by credible experts, they destroy
their OWN credibility. PhDs, mathematicians, statisticians,
accountants, auditors, retired judges, computer security experts,
Congresspeople, and Senators all stood up and pointed to a mountain
of questionable results and evidence, and we were told "the flesh
is stripped off this dead horse".
"Get over it, you silly Republican Computer Security Expert!"
What, do I think that I know more about computer security and vote
tabulation software than a Senator, who in many cases can't check
his own e-mail?
Yeah, I do. I may not be smarter than ALL of them (MAY not :-) ),
but I'm no mental midget or whack-job. I'm a professional Hacker,
a security expert, and an IT Auditor, and I know systems designed
to perpetuate fraud when I see them. I may be a Republican, but
this is what I do for a living, and election fraud is more
important than protecting people within my own party. I'm very
credible, I've done my homework, and I'm taking this very seriously.
They told me to "get over" an untrustworthy electoral system - as
if to say "it's been 2 months, haven't you forgotten about this
yet?" I'll be blunt - failure to address credible evidence of
fraud brought to you by credible experts indicates either a)
condoning of the fraud or b) complicity in the fraud. It's either
incredibly arrogant or incredibly stupid, and probably both.
Either option is clearly not ethical OR consistent with
representation of the American voter. And here's something else
they don't get; I will not be dismissed - they work for me.
Dismissing someone and proving them wrong are two very different
things - and the experts, as usual, are right. They have no other
choice but dismissal, but that doesn't work against a group of
determined, credible people unless that group gives up.
They are so happy about their 'win', that they don't realize that
the eyes of tens of millions of Americans are focused on them,
wondering "whose interests are you representing?"
They certainly aren't ours, and more eyes are opening to that every day.
Scoffing? Feeling the urge to dismiss it? Check out what's
counting our votes - here and here. The 2004 election's over and
certified - so let's fix it before the next one! Corporations out,
hand-counted paper in!
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight
you, then you win." --Ghandi
"Optical Scanners are feasible - paper ballots aren't"
That, to me, is unnecessary compromise. We are selling out our
main priority, integrity, because our elections staff would rather
not count by hand. Some think optical scanning is an easier 'sale'
to voters and legislators. I guarantee if the voters of ANY state
demanded hand-counted paper, they would get it. To say that "the
voters won't understand it" is to sell the voters short - do you
understand it? Are you a voter? Are paper ballots more difficult
to understand than, say, driving?
People will understand it if it's presented logically. That's the
beauty of paper ballots - not that complex. It doesn't take a
Norman Einstein to figure that out ;-)
Compromising when you don't have to only ensures that your
opponents will get their way. They aren't worried about being
'nice guys'. By allowing a little whining to influence your
decision, you are allowing people with other agendas to change your
priorities. Why don't others see that?
One brief point I have is about the priorities reflected by the
different solutions. It all comes back to priorities for me and my
constant attempts to keep things simple. I believe that the voters
of NC will understand hand-counted paper when the basis for the
decision is made clear. My priorities:
in that order have led me to favor hand counted paper ballots based
on their strengths and limitations. Add to that the fact that there
is no tech support or expensive equipment involved, and we have
what appears to me to be a superior solution.
Optically scanned ballots offer a solution that goes with the
following priority set:
Since hand-counting offers more integrity and resistance to fraud
than optical scanning, the question then becomes "How much
hand-counting do we need to boost the integrity to an acceptable
level so we can still get most of the speed benefits of optical
scanning?" 1%, 5%, 10%, etc? Since we intuitively
1) hand counting is more trustworthy, and is always treated as 'the
final word', and
2) optically scanned ballots are subject to tampering and error
more efficiently than paper,
we then have to wrap compensating controls (some percentage manual
recount or 'spot check') around the process to compensate for the
weaknesses introduced by scanning.
Accuracy is pretty much a wash between the two methods.
I don't have a strong objection to supporting optical scanning,
since it does provide a paper trail that we are sorely lacking.
Better is better, after all.
But I do want all of us to go into this with a full awareness of
the trade-offs we're making if the voters settle for less than
hand-counted paper. I still feel that integrity is not 'A' factor,
it is 'THE' factor, but it appears that not everyone feels that
way. I'm not saying that they're wrong - No judging - I'm just
saying I disagree.
We are necessarily choosing speed over integrity and fraud
resistance, and then trying to mix integrity back in at 5% to get
the best of both worlds.
Corporate Interests in Election Systems:
Anytime corporations are involved there will be a conflict of
interest. Corporations are obligated to deliver returns to their
shareholders, and getting shareholder returns is a conflicting goal
with designing open, secure systems. Microsoft is not successful
because they write secure software - they are successful because
they write software and get it to market! They only started
worrying about security when when their customers starting
demanding it - any more testing than is required is just money out
of shareholder's pockets! And corporate "secrets" do NOT serve the
public interest in voting - witness the way Diebold, ES&S, et al
are hiding a public function behind the veil of "trade secret" and
the problems that has caused. They have even designed their systems
to defeat a random spot-check of precincts - I'll show you how on
The profit motive alone is a conflict of interest, but when you add
the additional ability to influence elections and the power that
goes with it, I'm sure that any number of (private?) corporations
would even be willing to operate at a financial loss in order to
run the election systems. They lose money now in exchange for
political influence - it's called "lobbying". I'm sure they would
be able to make money other ways....remember how "profitable" Enron
When we put a computer in between me and my actual vote, that
computer acts as my vote proxy since unlike a paper ballot, it has
the ability to change my vote. There is no way that anyone
knowledgeable would allow someone with a conflicting profit or
power motive to act as their vote proxy and trust that everything
will just be fine, especially when there's very little chance of
fraud being detected.
Corporate goals and public goals conflict sometimes, which is why
we don't just come out and do away with government and let
businesses officially run the country. Officially, anyway ;-)
This conflict should prevent corporate interests from being able to
design OR build the systems. Even when they would be allowed to
just build the systems as contractors, there is a huge problem when
it comes to verifying that there are no backdoors or secrets that
were not intended by the designers, and we're back here where we
started, except for now there's a false sense of security.
Even in a well-designed system the computers are tasked with
conflicting objectives of anonymity and
auditability/accountability. Computers as we know them just aren't
well-suited for what we want to accomplish, since they are NOT
easily open to independent review by voters.
One final little point (sorry for the length) - the other companies
mentioned may not have a history of problems, but if they are given
the voting contracts, they will. Computer example: when people
started moving from Internet Explorer to Firefox, Firefox
vulnerabilities suddenly started coming to light much more
frequently. One reason for this is because it was now more of a
target. One reason these systems have not had as many problems is
because they are not the big players - if all of a sudden "Joe's
Voting System" gets adopted, then that system is the target for
anyone looking to "influence" an election.
This is a truth of computer science (and everything else) - which
is the main reason that more viruses are written to infect Windows
than any other platform. Linux viruses exist, but if you want to
have maximum impact, you don't target a system with technical users
and a 3% market share. There WILL be a way to exploit whatever
computerized system is put in place - I guarantee it - and I also
guarantee that it will be harder to detect than watching someone
walking away with 10,000 pieces of paper tucked in their sweater.
Paper ballots, y'all.
You're right, but EVERY problem with paper ballots boils down to
"Humans can abuse them". There are NEVER any problems with machines
failing, or computer screens breaking, or memory card failures. You
can drop and step on a paper ballot, and it still works fine. This
"human" problem exists with every method, but the ease of abuse
increases with the complexity and "opaqueness" of the method used.
I agree with what you're saying about paper ballots and their
problems, but the problems are not a failing of the ballots - they
are failings of the people involved. Also, I am not convinced that
super-fast tabulation IS a tangible benefit. To quote Edward W.
Spannaus in his testimony to the Missouri House of Representatives:
"Impediments to vote fraud: Any use of computers opens the door to fraud. The
speed and complexity of computers creates an inherently dangerous and
fraud-prone situation, because, as we have noted, only a handful of
how votes are being counted. Citizens can never have full confidence in any
such system of vote counting.
By going back to a universal paper ballot, which is hand counted, we are
creating additional impediments to fraud and tampering with results. If this
requires more people to count the votes than is needed when using computers,
all the better. The more people involved, the more obstacles we
have created to
carrying out vote fraud.
Transparency and voter confidence. The objection has been raised, that a total
paper-ballot system would be a slow, inefficient system for counting votes. In
our view, this is a great advantage. A slow, ponderous vote-counting system,
where citizens can watch their votes being counted with complete transparency,
is the best way not only to prevent vote fraud and election-rigging, but to
establish public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process.
There is no requirement, Constitutional or otherwise, that vote totals must be
made available instantaneously for the benefit of the news media or anyone
else. There is, however, a Constitutional mandate that votes be
and that all votes be treated equally.
A 100% paper-ballot system is the best means to ensure such an outcome."
I agree with that 100% !
Some Questions for Our Elected Officials:
(Note: I'm updating these as I think if new ones - Feel free to
blatantly steal and ask your own elected officials any or all of
them. Go for it!)
What is the dollar value of a vote?
Who told you that electronic voting was a good idea?
What advantage does e-voting give that is more important than vote integrity?
Whom do you feel the burden of proof rests upon - elections
officials to prove that a system is secure or voters to prove that
a system is insecure? Do your actions mirror this? If not, why?
Since secret vote-counting is illegal, can you please explain why
computer-counted vote tabulation is allowed?
If the mechanism used to perform vote-counting is invisible or done
via a computer, please explain how this does not meet the
definition of "secret".
Please explain how plugging a tape into a tabulation machine
qualifies as a "transparent" or "open" tabulation of votes, when
neither the vote numbers or data is visible to the observer.
Please define "encryption" and explain how it aids in the open
counting of my vote.
Do you know how to run a cryptographic checksum or hash against
system files to verify that the software used is the software that
was certified? If not, how do you propose to prove to the voters
that the certified software is what is actually run?
Given that in 17 out of 17 precincts audited in California
uncertified versions of software was installed on Diebold DRE
machines, why should voters trust that the certified versions of
e-voting software is installed?
Since the MIT/CalTech study concluded that DREs are the worst
performing solution in every category, please explain their rapid
How much taxpayer money will HAVA potentially provide to your state
to subsidize the adoption of these "blackbox" machines?
What happens when voting machines or tabulation computers get a
virus? What would be the estimated cost to re-perform the election
if the vote data were corrupted by malicious software?
Who is more credible on security matters, salespeople or
Information Security professionals? Compare and contrast what each
party (security people vs salespeople) had to gain by stating their
opinions of the security of these systems.
What did every information security professional who has ever
looked at these systems say, with the possible exception of those
on the payroll of the companies in question who were being paid for
a certification? Did they use a meaningful industry standard
certification, such as the Common Criteria?
Are you an Information Security expert? Why do you feel that every
Information Security expert who has examined these systems is wrong
about the security of these systems?
Do you want our voting system to be resistant to fraud? Is
corruption a problem in our electoral process?
How much money have e-voting companies spent to lobby you in the
last five years?
How much time and money has been spent in sales presentations,
rollouts, training, and investigations of the resulting problems
from e-voting, including today's meeting?
What is the best guess as to how much time and effort a
hand-counted paper ballot election would have taken? Compare and
contrast with the previous answer.
Given that Canada hand-counted their last parliamentary election in
four hours, do you feel that we are saving time by using e-voting
How much faith would your voters place in the results of a
hand-counted paper ballot election versus the current results,
where according to a recent poll 25% of the American public feels
that the 2004 election results are not credible and do not reflect
the will of the American people?
From above, is 25% a significant constituency?
How many votes would normally be lost during a hand-counted paper
ballot election? Compare that to how many votes were lost in this
Multiply the dollar value of a vote (above) times the number of
votes lost - did we save taxpayer money by rolling out these
Given the fact that a recent MIT/CalTech study showed hand-counted
paper ballots have the lowest average incidence of spoiled,
uncounted, and unmarked ballots, what is the rationale for moving
away from this system?
How many people working in concert would it take to "hack" a
statewide or national election using paper ballots?
Can paper ballots be manipulated remotely when computers are not
used for tabulation?
Can paper ballots be manipulated remotely when computers ARE used
for tabulation? (www.chuckherrin.com/hackthevote.htm)
Why don't e-voting manufacturers hold themselves to the same
standards that the rest of the IT industry does and use the
industry-standard Common Criteria for systems security?
What is more important to the voting process than vote integrity
and auditing capability?
Why do the same companies make ATMs and vote machines, yet only
ATMs provide a paper trail?
Where we use the Internet for reporting, what happens when the next
Code Red, Slammer, Nimda, or other worm takes down Internet service
during an election?
What happens when the WINvote system, using 802.11B wireless, is
knocked out by someone turning on a microwave oven or a cordless
phone, or any other type of Denial of Service attack? When
information security professionals recommend against the use of
wireless on ANY system that is business or mission-critical, please
justify its use in e-voting.
What happens during a power outage where electronic voting is used?
If the voting terminals have battery backups, do the vote
tabulation machines or the network infrastructure used for
What is the reason for not returning to hand-counted paper ballots,
and why would that not be the right thing to do?
Are politics more important than representation? Is saving face
because of a bad decision (adoption of e-voting) more important
than restoring integrity to the voting system?
Would voters support a system where they walked into a closet,
whispered their vote through a curtain, and walked away, hoping for
the best? Please compare and contrast this with e-voting using DREs.
Can you tell me three ways that electronic voting is more secure
than hand-counted paper ballots? Please answer keeping in mind that
arguments re: human tampering and malfeasance are constants
regardless of the voting mechanism used.
Please compare the problems introduced by electronic voting, such
as software bugs, vulnerability to remote hacking, intentional
backdoors, increased complexity, susceptibility to viruses and
worms, hardware failures, increased cost and training requirements,
and other problems to the benefits gained by its use and/or
problems that e-voting remedies.
Is using the newest technology better than using a proven
technology, if it means an increase in cost, complexity, and
susceptibility to abuse, while introducing the ability to
compromise the system remotely and eliminating audit capability?
What would be the result in the business world if a bank's system
were repeatedly demonstrated to be easy to hack, but the officers
of the bank continued to rely on these systems, even after the
problems were widely known?
What if the bank refused to provide receipts for their
transactions? Would their customers have faith that their money is
being handled correctly?
What if several of the bank's developers and managers were
convicted felons? Would that affect the public's confidence in the
bank's code of ethics?
What would happen during the resulting shareholder lawsuits if it
were discovered that the bank's officers and board of directors had
repeatedly gone directly against the advice of their Information
Security experts in adopting these systems, even after serious
vulnerabilities were discovered?
Whose priorities do you represent when you go against the advice of
security experts and adopt systems whose security defects are well
known and have been described as "stunning" and "blinding" by
computer scientists who have examined them? Are they the priorities
of the voters?
What would be the problem with selling our voting machines to
another state and announcing to the public that you are being
proactive in protecting the integrity of their vote by going back
to paper ballots until a voting machine company meets the normal
security standards that are being used by the rest of the IT
industry? That's what Missouri is attempting to do (go back to
paper ballots), and I'm sure their voters appreciate it.
As a voter, I know I would.
Chuck Herrin, CISSP, CISA, MCSE, CEH
I am here today with one message.
I want paper ballots.
There is no reason for computers to be involved in our electoral
process. They have not solved any problems, but only created new
ones. This is not surprising news to anyone involved in the tech
industry, nor is it a surprise for criminals. It used to be that
you had to put on a ski mask and run down to the bank in person in
order to rob it, but now criminals can pull it off using a web
browser and free AOL account. Now, these are not new crimes- high
tech crimes are merely improvements on old, low tech crimes. New
and Improved Fraud, now with anonymity! It used to be that con-men
had to show up and lie to you in person to steal your money, but
everyone should know that computers make it much easier to commit
fraud on a grand scale. One statistic I saw recently showed that
last year, $80 million was stolen in paper money, but over $800
million was stolen using computers. There's one thing that everyone
can agree on - computers are great for efficiency! You simply can't
have high tech crimes without high technology.
Is it a coincidence that within the last 5 or 6 years the exit
polls have all of a sudden gotten unreliable and wrong, which just
happens to coincide with the introduction of electronic voting
Is it a coincidence that a man convicted of 23 felony counts of
theft in the first degree was employed by Diebold as Senior Vice
President of Development?
So, some felons can't vote, but they can write the software to
count my vote? THAT's a good idea.
Is it a coincidence that at the White House BBQ in 2003, when asked
if President Bush was beatable, Congressman Peter King, while on
camera with President Bush, said "it's already over, the election's
over. We won!" Keep in mind that this was in 2003, and when the
interviewer, Alexandra Polosi asked how do you know that?" ,
Congressman King replied "It's all over but the counting, and we'll
take care of the counting." This is on tape, with the President, at
the White House, the year before the election. The video clip of
that is on the net right now, if you'd like see it.
Now, there is an affidavit signed by a Florida software developer
named Cliff Curtis, swearing under penalty of perjury that he was
asked by Florida congressman Tom Feeney to create a prototype for
vote switching software. The reason? To quote "control the black
vote in South Florida".
I'm not making this stuff up, ya'll. Go check it out yourself.
Now, let me just touch on engineering for a second. Responsible
engineering is NOT using the latest technology just because it's
available. Responsible engineering means using the appropriate
technology to solve the problem. Sometimes that technology is a
hammer, sometimes it's a brick, sometimes it's a keyfob 2-factor
authentication system. It NEVER means sacrificing the integrity or
goals of the system just so you can make a change. Let me give you
an example of appropriate engineering that we can learn from:
Harm Lagaay was a Porsche designer for 33 years, and the design
director at Porsche for more than 15 years. When the Porsche 911
was redesigned, I remember someone asking him why the door design
hadn't changed in over 30 years. Know what he said?
"It's a good door."
Change for marketing purposes or just for the sake of change is NOT
If a computer system were developed that was as simple, reliable,
and verifiable as hand-counted paper ballots, it would be hailed as
a technological marvel. Some people cite potential for abuse with
paper ballots as a reason against their use, without understanding
that the only way a paper ballot can be abused is by a person, and
that person must have physical access to it! This is NOT a failure
of paper ballots - it is a constant for EVERY voting system that
has ever been developed! The arguments citing human error and
malfeasance concerns with paper ballots are ridiculous, since human
error and malfeasance are equally possible regardless of the voting
medium used, and are actually amplified by the use of computer
systems since physical access is no longer required for tampering.
The technology just makes it easier. Efficiency and integrity are
often conflicting goals, and there is NO FACTOR more important to
the election system than system integrity.
The MIT/CalTech study of 2001 shows that hand-counted paper ballots
are the most accurate out of the 5 methods currently used, and
Canada hand-counted their last parliamentary election using paper
ballots in four hours. Now before you say "Well, we have more
people than Canada does", remember that scale works both ways. We
have more voters, but we have more counters, too. Speed is NOT an
asset if integrity is lacking! I can design a system to count 100
million votes in 45 seconds, but it doesn't mean a damn thing if
those votes don't reflect the will of the people!
Know what reflects the will of the people and everyone can
understand? Paper Ballots.
E-Voting = Re-Voting
Humans need to be E-moting
If You..., OZ Keep Holding We'll ALL NEED ReVolting !
Steal Our Vote STEAL OUR Future
What is democracy? What is tyranny?
Abraham Lincoln said democracy is government of the people, by the
people, for the people.
History teaches us that whoever conducts an election and counts the
votes can also control the outcome. Avoiding fraud requires an open
process. If all parties participate and observe, we have the
greatest possibility that our election outcomes will express the
will of the people.
Our November election is suspect precisely because 25-30 percent of
the voters used unverifiable electronic systems, and because many
states and counties prevented citizens from observing the counting
of ballots, handling of tally sheets, etc. Every American is being
forced to "trust" that unobserved and invisible procedures --
electronic and otherwise -- were accurate.
Widespread charges of fraud are circulating on the internet. Are
the charges "bogus?" Are the people behind these charges
In fact such suspicions are reasonable, given the intentional use
of unverifiable computerized election systems even after the
problems with them were publicized. The suspicions are realistic,
given the widespread secrecy surrounding election operations in
many counties and states. Secrecy suggests that something is being
hidden. In many counties, tally sheets were not required to be
posted in the precinct at the close of voting, ballots and precinct
tally sheets were not guarded under multipartisan observation after
the close of the election day, and counties have refused to comply
with FOIL requests in an open and honest forthcoming manner.
When institutions hide what they do, indeed often fraud, stealing,
etc. is taking place. Public servants should not only be honest,
they must avoid the appearance of dishonesty. This idea is not new.
There is no evidence to support or refute charges of fraud, or
resolve current suspicions about the November election. This in and
of itself weakens our democracy and undermines the legitimacy of
the election. A democratic government has only as much legitimacy
as the openness and verifiability of its elections.
Elections are not a court of law where a defendant is innocent
until proven guilty. Elections deal with a broader issue, the
legitimacy and credibility of representative democratic government.
Secrecy in the procedures of elections, especially vote counting,
is a constant when a system of tyranny poses as democracy by
holding sham elections.
Election directors and Secretaries of State have responded to
warnings about unverifiable computerized voting by saying "I will
comply with legal requirements." This reduces a democracy argument
(democracy requires observability and verifiability) to a legal
argument (the law doesn't require openness or verifiability).
William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, said (in 1682) that if the
people are good, the government will be good. If the people are
bad, no form of government will save them from their own evil. He
meant, that if those in power make laws that are just (tend toward
equal opportunity, equal protection, due process, and openness),
the people will thrive. If those in power make laws that are
unjust, they can use the same governmental structures and rituals,
such as elections, to support tyranny.
Who? would rise to defend SecretVote Counting?
I believe the people will do more to promote Peace than governments,
and one of these days better get OUT OF THE WAY and let them have
IT- many days AGO by Ike Eisenhower
There is one thing more powerful than all the armies in the world...,
and that is An Idea whose Time has Come-annie mouse
We are filing a serendipitous void by a failing, corrupt and
compromised media and fighting for lead of a country against those
who avoid responsibility by not thinking for themselves and absolve
their humanity by worshipping aristocracy, father-figures AND FALSE
IDOLS, the sin most cautioned against.
2/5/05: UPDATE...America's Illegitimate Election 2004
Never forget what happened on November 2nd, 2004... Here's a video to help...
We've updated the short video compiled by a few Velvet
Revolutionaries from Democratic Underground.
It is our hope that this video may serve as the definitive record
of what happened in American during the 2004 Presidential Election.
It documents -- in a few short minutes -- how your American right
to a free, fair and transparent electoral system has been taken
from you by the cynical and un-democratic powers-that-be.
This sort of thing should never happen in the world's most
important democracy. And yet -- again in 2004 -- it did. Enough is
It's time for the people to take both our country and our democracy
back. If you still have any questions about that, please take a
look at this video:
Americans have died for the Right to Vote. November 2nd, 2004 will
serve as a continuing reminder that we still have a long way to go
in this country before every American has that right.
Please watch the video...And then pass this link...
...to everyone you know so they can remember (or learn) as well!
The mainstream media will not be doing it. Democracy in America is
now up to you!
Government OWNS You?
FEAR=False Evidence Appearing Real
Fear is a test to FIND OUT if Your Mission on EArth is Finished...
....if your ALIVE !...,IT Isn't
Give a HOOT?
for those who LOOT,POLLUTE and SHOOT
I WILL NOT BE MOOT
SING IT ! ExtremeFundamentalistRegime
It should be clear that more is at stake than the presidency
itself. Use of computerized vote counting
will only increase, as mandated by law. Vote counting is the
bedrock protocol of a democracy and
meaningful reform of a broken counting system is dependent on an
expression of public will ultimately
exercised at the ballot box and fairly, accurately, and honestly
tabulated. If the system has broken down
and is no longer counting accurately and honestly, there is no
effective democratic mechanism to bring
pressure upon a governing majority to reform a vote counting status
quo which is seen to work in its favor.
This is, as may be seen, a potentially crippling catch-22 for a democracy.
*footnotes from statistical proof on examination of vote count data
explanation of the ease of hackability at end of this post.
we are called to RISE to the Rescue and challenge of
add a comment on this article