Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In Arizona, Your Vote Probably Doesn't Matter


I've never been in favor of electronic voting and vote counting - as we saw in 2000 and 2004 (especially in Ohio), the machines are easily hacked, er, prone to unexplained errors, and the outcome shifted. And it's no small issue that the machines are manufactured by companies that give millions of dollars to the GOP and its candidates. Moreover, they have refused to release the code so that correct tabulations can be verified.

Check this out for more info:
Votergate takes us on a fact-finding mission across the US revealing stunning evidence of defects and outright fraud in electronic voting. Engaging interviews with whistleblowers and courageous Americans, including members of Congress and top elections officials, reveal critical information which the mass media has given very little coverage. Watch this powerful 30-minute documentary available free on Google Video.
In Arizona, however, it seems they don't want to leave it up to the manufacturer to ensure the desired outcome, so they do it themselves. This comes from Truthout - I'm just posting a few sections, but it's worth reading the whole article.
Republican Obstructionism
Jim March, an election technology expert who has advised AUDIT AZ and worked with vote count activist groups across the USA, observed a spurious series of unconnected network cables and the lack of independent, outside observation of vote count central tabulation computers. This is a scenario primed for central computer misdeeds, is clearly against Arizona law and when informed, county officials merely shrugged and threatened him with expulsion.

In March’s affidavit (date error on page 3 but it was from 23 August) he was watching mail-in ballot vote counting in heavily Republican controlled, Maricopa County and witnessed: “…a laptop connected to the central tabulator computer, a cross-connection can be made allowing the sharing of the cellular Internet connection to other computers the laptop is connected to over Ethernet – including but not limited to the central tabulator station. This would provide a way of connecting the central tabulator to the Internet at the discretion of whoever was operating the laptop.”

March goes on to further assert: “I explained that what I was seeing was a connection between the central tabulator (also known as an “Election Management System” or “EMS”) and the general internet, and that per my understanding of AZ law via statute and the Secretary of State’s current edition of the state-standard election processing manual (May 2010), this cross-connection is illegal. He shrugged. I asked him to look and see what was happening; he refused saying he “couldn’t get involved”.

The implication is Republican controlled vote counting in Maricopa County can be hacked right there at the main tabulation source.

Democratic Cannibalism
This extraordinary e-mail exchange (edited for length) between the Pima County Democratic Party Chairman Jeffrey Rogers and two election transparency activists (AUDIT AZ co-founder John Brakey and attorney Bill Risner) is where by coming out for transparency, Rogers says they are sabotaging the election for the Democratic candidate . . . .

Good to see the Dems rolling over and playing dead . . . again. Nothing changes.

For the best coverage of electronic voting (and its fraud) check out Black Box Voting.

This really is a huge issue in a country that prides itself (wrongly, but that's another issue) on its democratic process. With no paper records and no accountability, we the people have no voice in our government.

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