About a week ago, I wrote an article identifying private election results middlemen in Illinois, Colorado, and recapping some important information about the Smartech discovery by researchers at ePluribusMedia. While following a news item today I came across another middleman entity that services at least 25 locations in 10 states -- and many of these locations are well-known "problem spots" that are already on the Black Box Voting Watch List.
The following locations are using software and, in some cases, hosting voter registration data and results on the servers that belong to a Florida company called SOE Software: (CA) Contra Costa, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, Shasta, Ventura; (CO) Arapahoe; (FL) Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Pasco, Palm Beach, St. Lucie; (IL) DuPage, McHenry, Lake; (KS) Johnson; (NC) North Carolina Board of Elections; (NM) Dona Ana, (NY) New York State Board of Elections; (SC) South Carolina State Election Commission; (TX) Dallas, Tarrant, Williamson.
The Tampa, Florida firm produces the "Clarity" software suite used with Hart Intercivic and also announced an alliance with Diebold to integrate its software. Here is the company Web site:
By backtracking the Arapahoe County, Colorado Web site "arapahoevotes.com" you will eventually wind up at ClarityElections.com, a site owned by SOE Software:
According to domain and server ownership records from WhoIs, this site is NOT owned by Arapahoe County, but instead by Tampa's SOE Software. Further checking will show you that the Florida company hosts data from the voter registration database for Arapahoe County:
There are approximately 5,000 elections jurisdictions nationwide, and fewer than two percent of these are on the Black Box Voting Watch List. Out of the 25 locations listed by SOE Software, however, 11 happen to be Watch List problem locations. DuPage, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, Arapahoe, Johnson...counties that seem to be the center of controversy time after time.
WHAT'S A MIDDLEMAN AND WHY THE CONCERN?
A middleman entity is an entity that sits in between the votes first counted and the results finally reported. Visualize it this way: If you hand count votes at a polling place, then give the results sheet to a courier, who then drives the results and ballots somewhere else before publicly reporting them, that courier is inserted between the original results and the reported results.
Middlemen are in a position to see the results before they are officially reported, and may be in a position to alter results before they are officially reported.
Another example of a middleman is the central tabulator computer, which aggregates results. Whoever operates that computer is in a position for "first look" and alteration.
Another middleman is the company that provides the server which hosts the results when they are posted publicly. As results stream into the server, the owner of the server can get access to the results for first look or alteration.
PROTECT THE COUNT
If you are a credentialled observer or poll worker, please stay 30 minutes extra and video or photograph the results BEFORE they leave the polling place.
If you are not a credentialled observer, you can still capture evidence. Plan on spending 90 minutes on Election Night to visit polling places and video or photograph the results tapes, which should be posted on the door. These results should be publicly posted and you will not need to enter the polling place to capture evidence. Hardly anyone does this, but these results are important because they are printed BEFORE middlemen see them.
Here is a short 4-minute video that explains this:
Black Box Voting is working collaboratively with YouTube and the election protection action Video the Vote, and with Election Defense Alliance, and we will be collaborating with other groups as well to get the word out early next week.
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