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"Fooled Again" Series: Exclusive Interview with "Diebold Whistleblower" Steve Heller

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Fooled Again Series: Exclusive Interview with "Diebold Whistleblower" Steve Heller

By Joan Brunwasser, Voting Integrity editor, OpEdNews August 26,2007

For those of you who don't know him, Steve Heller became an election integrity activist after the 2000 election debacle in Florida. He became known as the "Diebold Whistleblower" when in January 2004, he stole and exposed legal documents providing smoking gun evidence about Diebold Election Systems' nefarious activities in the State of California. Partly as a result of Steve's actions, in April 2004, former California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley de-certified Diebold in California for what he called their "fraudulent," "despicable," and "deceitful behavior."*

For stealing and exposing legal documents, Steve was charged by the Los Angeles District Attorney with three felonies. In November 2006, he pleaded guilty to one felony count of unauthorized access to a computer. He is currently on felony probation.

Steve is an actor, writer, political progressive and election integrity activist. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actor and writer Michele Gregory. He is also a personal hero of mine.

Q. Welcome to OpEdNews, Steve! I'm delighted that you have agreed to participate in this series of interviews and reflections on the state of our elections, viewed through the prism of Mark Crispin Miller's Fooled Again. Please tell us how you got involved in fighting for integrity in our elections.



A. I first became interested in election integrity after the 2000 election mess in Florida. Before the 2000 election, I had assumed, like most Americans, that in general elections in the United States were trustworthy and that those who took office had been selected by a majority of the voters. How wrong I was!

After the 2000 election, there was a veritable snowstorm of news stories about hanging chads, but nothing in the America press about electronic voting or the electronic voting machine companies. Electronic voting was something that at that point in time I knew nothing about. The corporate controlled media in the United States wasn't helping much; as is unfortunately so often the case these days, if you want real news about America, you need to go to the foreign press and to the blogs. So I did. In the foreign press I read about electronic voting and about the companies that make the machines, especially Diebold (as my grandmother used to say, "May their name be erased!").

In the foreign press I read about the problems with the voting machines, the lack of security, the lack of oversight, and I read about the personal, political, and most importantly the very extensive web of financial ties (follow the money, right?) between Diebold and one of the two major political parties in America. I'll give you one guess which political party it is.

Because of my research, I soon knew more about electronic voting and the voting machine companies than did most people in America. That's not bragging, because at that point in time almost no one in America knew anything about Diebold or electronic voting because the American press wouldn't cover it. The only reason I knew about it was because I'm a hardcore news junkie.

Q. What else did you read to bring yourself up to speed on this subject?

A. Well, the most important thing I read was Bev Harris' book Black Box Voting. Frankly, that book scared the hell out of me, and it also got me angry. After reading Black Box Voting, I came to believe and I still believe that there is an on-going conspiracy to suppress the votes of minority and impoverished (read: Democratic) voters and pervert American elections. This conspiracy has been put into place and is being perpetuated by dishonorable people.

Years ago, if a person had said those words to me - an ongoing conspiracy to suppress votes and pervert America elections - I would have rolled my eyes and thought the person ought to just put on a tin-foil hat and get it over with. But no more. I've seen the evidence, I've seen the documents, I've seen the facts. And it's all too horribly true.

Our elections have been turned into lies, and lies must be challenged.

Q. Some examples, please.

A. We've seen  Bradley Schlozman, the recently resigned former U.S. Attorney for Kansas City and controversial deputy head at the Civil Rights Division, bring indictments of ACORN workers just five days before the November 2004 elections. He brought these indictments despite the policy of the Justice Department, which is to not bring election related indictments just before an election. And Schlozman's big investigation of voter fraud led the grand jury to indict four ACORN workers for forging a total of six, count 'em, six voter registration forms.

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http://www.opednews.com/author/author79.html

Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
 

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First rate, well done! DMK ... by Joan Brunwasser on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 at 9:57:56 PM
There is one part of this fellow's opinions th... by Joan Brunwasser on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 at 9:59:45 PM
thanks for your comment. while i am not one to let... by Joan Brunwasser on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 at 10:03:32 PM
Both sides are working together. That there are tw... by Joan Brunwasser on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 8:54:27 AM
are equally culpable in voter suppression and dise... by Steve Heller on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 11:14:41 AM
"are equally culpable in voter suppression an... by Rick Fisk on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 3:54:34 PM
"It is absolutely true."If you insist th... by Steve Heller on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 5:53:49 PM
"If you insist that the Democratic party is a... by Rick Fisk on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 12:24:18 AM
If you are going to expect to be held out as a her... by Steve Heller on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 8:02:17 AM
For some reason, my response to RF's comment d... by Steve Heller on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 1:06:37 AM
Joan,   Thought you might be interest... by Joan Brunwasser on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 6:28:29 AM
Hi Joni Nice article What is the group Citize... by Joan Brunwasser on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 at 10:20:55 PM
CER is a tiny group based in the Chicago suburbs w... by Joan Brunwasser on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 at 10:22:51 PM
Hi Joan:   I was disappointed with this i... by Joan Brunwasser on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 at 10:24:13 PM
i'm hoping that when he's ready and willin... by Joan Brunwasser on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 at 10:26:22 PM
The crime I committed was to violate attorney-clie... by Steve Heller on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 1:03:56 AM
published at mytown and featured on front page.Edw... by Joan Brunwasser on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 at 10:27:46 PM
thanks Joan... this could prove to be a very excit... by Joan Brunwasser on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 at 10:29:17 PM
Thank you for your comment, RF.  A couple of ... by Steve Heller on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 12:48:10 AM
"To answer your specific questions, I don'... by Rick Fisk on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 4:01:49 PM
How can anyone consider your testimony credible if... by Steve Heller on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 5:46:12 PM
Go to google and type in "ohio election 2004 ... by Steve Heller on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 6:29:36 PM
Let's say that what Curtis says is true. Where... by Rick Fisk on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 7:46:10 PM
I agree that both of the major political parties s... by Steve Heller on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 8:26:02 PM
"But before, you were insisting that both par... by Rick Fisk on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 12:39:48 AM
"I had a list of precincts" So what... by Rick Fisk on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 7:31:11 PM
Like wrote above, I had no idea anyone would ever ... by Steve Heller on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 7:58:30 PM
"Like wrote above, I had no idea anyone would... by Rick Fisk on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 12:43:51 AM
Happy now?  You bet I'm a convicted felon... by Steve Heller on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 8:12:10 AM
Great interview, Joan! L spoke to Jan Schakowsky t... by Joan Brunwasser on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 6:39:19 AM
Joan, FWIW, The pages in this recent article ... by Joan Brunwasser on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 4:18:17 PM
I can only relate what I saw in Ohio, and what I s... by Steve Heller on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 5:48:45 PM
Who's been doing the most isn't the funda... by Joan Brunwasser on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 7:15:48 AM
I get your meaning.  But I can't help who... by Steve Heller on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 8:33:04 AM
"The party has for quite a few years now been... by Rick Fisk on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 9:41:07 AM
This statement:There is nothing right wing about t... by Steve Heller on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 10:56:54 AM
Do you know anything at all about Leo Strauss or W... by Rick Fisk on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 3:19:00 PM
Whomever CA is, give them my regards. Exactly righ... by Rick Fisk on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 9:43:18 AM
I agree. The electronic voting machines in Georgia... by Gallaher on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 1:35:56 PM
When the voting machines were first put on display... by Gallaher on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 2:22:10 PM
Now what could I do if I had the source code for t... by Gallaher on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 3:51:56 PM