January 18, 2010
The same types of machines that helped put George W. Bush in the White House in 2000, and "re-elect" him 2004, may now decide who wins the all-important "60th Senate seat" in Massachusetts. The fate of health care and much much more hang in the balance.
As Bay Staters vote to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, most will be marking scantron ballots to be run through easily hackable electronic counters made by Diebold/Premier.
A paper ballot of sorts does come through these machines. But the count they generated was seriously compromised in the Florida 2000 election that put George W. Bush in the White House. Similar machines played a critical role skewing the Ohio 2004 vote count to fraudulently re-elect him.
In 2004, Lucas County (Toledo) Ohio, incorrectly calibrated Diebold scantron machines left piles of uncounted ballots in heavily black districts in the inner city.
The Free Press also found that on optiscan machines in Miami County, Ohio the reported totals were significantly higher than the actual number of people who signed in to vote.
Ironically, the cheated candidate in that election was Massachusetts' now-senior Senator John Kerry. Kerry is circulating email appeals warning that this election is a "jump ball" in which "shady right-wing organizations and out of state conservatives have descended upon the state in droves."
But Kerry himself has infamously said nothing about the theft of the 2004 election. Neither he, the Democratic Party, nor the Obama Administration have done anything to change a system in which elections can be stolen by the very-well-funded Republican-owned companies that make and administer the vote-counting machines. A dozen election protection groups from around the country have now issued an "orange alert" warning that the Massachusetts vote count could be "ripe for manipulation."
Thus Kerry's new colleague could be "selected" by the same means that deprived him of the White House.
According to Selectman Dan Keller of the western town of Wendell, some Massachusetts communities -- including his -- do have hand-counted paper ballots.
But most of the state relies on Diebold scantron counters which can be manipulated in numerous ways, including switching calibrations and moving ballots from precinct-to-precinct or county-to-county, thus reversing intended votes from one candidate to another.
According to Brad Friedman at BradBlog (http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7650 ) LHS Associates sells and services many of the machines being used in this special election. Though the vast majority of elected officials in Massachusetts are Democrats, control of the vote count can be a grey area where voting machines are involved, especially given Sen. Kerry's 6-year stupor over the stolen 2004 election, a record of inaction amply matched by the Democratic Party and Obama Administration.
According to Friedman, LHS "has admitted to illegally tampering with memory cards during elections," and has a Director of Sales and Marketing who has been "barred from Connecticut by their Secretary of State."
The stakes in this election cannot be overstated. The deceased Senator Kennedy's seat holds the key to a filibuster-breaking 60-seat Democratic majority in the Senate. State Attorney-General Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate, is a supporter of the Obama health care plan, and an opponent of atomic power.
Coakley's opponent, conservative Republican State Senator Scott Brown, has been running a Tea Bagger-style "populist" campaign.
Poll results differ substantially as the campaign winds down, but all show a close race. Thus Diebold, a thoroughly tainted player with deep Republican roots, could hold the key to the election by shifting the outcome in just a few key precincts.