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HAVA and the Rush to Poor Judgment

By Vickie Karp  Posted by Rob Kall (about the submitter)     Permalink
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The unmistakable bottom line conclusion of this research is that these election systems were designed to be hacked. AND THESE ARE THE VERY SYSTEMS THAT COUNTY ELECTION OFFICIALS ARE RUSHING TO PURCHASE BEFORE JANUARY 1ST, 2006 --to make sure they get the HAVA federal funds!

Together, Harris, Aiken, and other computer experts demonstrated six simple hacks that could flip an election in less than 60 seconds at two press conferences held in Washington D.C. in September 2004. All the media were there, but their later reports made the event sound like some kind of circus sideshow. I was there. This was the real deal. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney even volunteered as a "guest hacker " and successfully hacked a mock election in less than a minute.

Many other journalists, researchers, computer programmers and security engineers, mathematicians, statisticians, and citizens ' groups have taken on vote fraud as their passion in recent years and a lot of great information is out there on the subject. True to form, the controlled media either will not report the issue, or will heavily distort the truth. We wouldn 't want the American people to find out that 80% of the voting systems they used in 2004 were highly suspect and in some cases, proven fraudulent systems --would we?

The examples of questionable election results and suspicious, unexplained problems with electronic voting (all the major vendors ' machines) in the 2000, 2002 and 2004 elections would likely circle the earth several times if all the reports were put together end-to-end.

Ironically, the solution many experts are promoting is this: paper ballots, hand-counted in public view. This simple voting method, though not perfect, has been identified by Lynn Landes, Harris, other journalists and researchers, and the leaders of many other election reform groups as the best solution to fraudulent voting systems. As Harris says, a paper ballot, hand-counted election has about five or six "attack vectors "; with electronic voting, there are 50 or 60. Electronic voting simply offers NO transparency. The voter will never know if their vote has been accurately recorded or not.

Another election reform group, "VotersUnite " (www.votersunite.org), headed by Ellen Theisen, has recently executed a practical and important action. They identified 2000 counties that have not yet purchased electronic voting machines --counties that still hold elections with paper ballots, hand-counted. They have sent letters to the county election officials explaining that they do NOT have to purchase electronic voting machines. They do NOT need HAVA money to continue to execute elections with paper ballots, hand-counted.
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Ironically, many of the e-voting systems themselves do not meet HAVA requirements for the disabled! There are other ways to provide a private vote to the disabled without purchasing electronic voting equipment --the very reason many hear from their Secretaries of State as to why they must make this purchase. There are links to information on some of these simple and inexpensive alternative voting systems for the disabled on Theisen 's VotersUnite website. She and others are developing a prototype that will allow the physically impaired (as opposed to the blind or the deaf) to vote privately on non-electronic equipment --something that even the HAVA mandated rules do not provide for.

As a spokesperson on this issue for over two years, and as a personal follow-up to VotersUnite 's campaign, I am offering my services to county election officials to come and speak to them about this critical issue in hopes of convincing them NOT to buy electronic voting machines if they are currently using paper ballots, hand-counted for their elections. If scheduling and travel costs permit, I am at the service of county election officials for this purpose.

My message to all decision makers who are about to purchase these machines: Your electorate is counting on you to provide them with the safest, most honest voting system possible --the one you may be using right now~! DON 'T LET "HAVA " CREATE A RUSH TO POOR JUDGMENT!

Vickie Karp is a speaker and writer from Austin, Texas. She is on the Board of Directors of Black Box Voting; and is the National Chairperson of the Coalition for Visible Ballots. You can contact Vickie at karp@mail.com.
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