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About those so-called "Election Audits" - Missing Info

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ABOUT THOSE SO-CALLED "AUDITS" ... - The Connecticut report of Feb. 2008 audit results is missing. Connecticut is required to issue a report after evaluating the towns' manual spot check reports, which it calls "audits". Unlike real audit reports, the Connecticut process seems to be light on evaluating management controls and missing any methodology at all for dealing with expanded audits if significant problems are found.

Voting machines and memory cards in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine are programmed by a single firm, LHS Associates.

Memory cards contain both the votes and the instructions to the voting machine for how to print results reports. The University of Connecticut ("UCONN") discovered "duplicate memory cards" existed, but has been unable to examine all of them. UCONN researchers discovered a memory card failure rate of 4.8% due to the presence of "junk data." The study found unexplained instances of duplicated memory cards in the towns of Monroe and New Milford.

UCONN researcher Dr. Alexander Allister Shvartsman tried to get both the master and duplicated cards back, but was unable to get the duplicate card from the town of Monroe.

In the 2007 Connecticut audit report, fully 30 percent of audit data is identified as missing or unusable. These audits are paid for by the taxpayers. One has to wonder: "What are we paying for?"

Connecticut uses Diebold/Premier optical scan voting machines. In a 2006 Emmy-nominated HBO documentary "Hacking Democracy" - - Black Box Voting demonstrated in a project with computer security expert Harri Hursti that election results can be altered using the memory card.

LHS Associates is led by a senior management team that includes convicted narcotics trafficker Ken Hajjar. LHS programs all the memory cards and handles all voting machine maintenance for New England. Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont use Diebold/Premier optical scanners exclusively; in Maine and Massachusetts the same system predominates but a few locations are still using Optech voting machines from Election Systems & Software (ES&S).

Of the five states that use the Diebold/Premier scanners programmed by LHS, only Connecticut has attempted to analyze what's on the memory cards at all.

More information on the missing audit report:

More information on junk data and duplicated memory cards:

More information on 30 percent of information unusable in 2007 audits:

Bev Harris is executive director of Black Box Voting, Inc. an advocacy group committed to restoring citizen oversight to elections.

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After all, Bev, once the machine results are annou... by Mark E. Smith on Wednesday, Sep 10, 2008 at 3:18:44 AM