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The Government and Some of its Vendors Can Now Access Your Secrets

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THE GOVERNMENT AND SOME OF ITS VENDORS CAN NOW ACCESS YOUR SECRET BALLOT

It's true: Two voting products are designed to be used together. When combined, these two products do away with the secret ballot. And this is already being used.

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Because this secretive process is split between two products, the sales pitch on
each product truthfully claims that privacy remains in place. What they DON'T
MENTION is that when the products are used together, privacy evaporates.

THE 2 PRODUCTS THAT COMBINE TO STRIP AWAY VOTE PRIVACY ARE:

1. Ballot-marked vote tracker systems (VoteHere and, from reports we have
received, Populex)
2. Image-retaining vote counters (Diebold, Hart Intercivic)

Once the bar code containing embedded voter information is on the ballot, the image captured by the vote counter creates a computer file with both votes and voter-tied information.

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Persons inside government are in the best position to abuse this feature. In
fact, government security experts already have ties to the ballot-marked
systems.

Current US Secretary of Defense and former CIA head Robert Gates has been on the advisory board of VoteHere. Former US Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, also a former deputy director of the CIA and a long-time Chairman of the Board at the Carlyle Group is on the advisory board for Populex. Surely, these two men know the implications of tracking votes. The second biggest expenditure for the CIA during the 1980s was influencing foreign elections; as a Director of and Deputy Director of the CIA, surely they are aware of the benefits an unscrupulous individual could gain from producing giant vote databases that tie back to voters.

HERE’S HOW THESE TWO SYSTEMS STEAL YOUR POLITICAL PRIVACY

Step 1: Vote tracking system puts bar code on ballot which embeds a connector to your voter registration system ID. Sales pitch: "This allows voters to find out
if their vote went through the system."

Step 2: Ballot counting device automatically takes digital photo of each ballot.
These images are stored on the computer in ballot image directories.

Here is a copy of a Diebold high speed central count ballot image directory (zip
file; does not contain vote tracker bar codes):
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/72/2002-MarinL_A-46406.zip

With the vote tracking system, the digital image directories contain BOTH the
bar code with your ID embedded AND the votes you cast.

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More later on how the ballot tracking systems work, and why their use is about
to increase. First, let's explore the dangers of allowing our vote secrecy to be
stripped away by government insiders, private vendors, and proprietary trade
secrets.

IS VOTER PRIVACY REALLY NECESSARY?

Some citizens think we should do away with the secret ballot. That's a radical idea, and as you'll see below, one that carries the risk of destabilizing the nation. But secret government-owned voter+votes databases are no one's cup of tea, unless you wish to live in a carceral state, which seeks to know everything about its inhabitants while hiding information about itself. Even the most radical reformers don't want this evolutionary step towards a police state.

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http://www.blackboxvoting.org
Bev Harris is executive director of Black Box Voting, Inc. an advocacy group committed to restoring citizen oversight to elections.

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