That the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 were stolen has become an article of faith for millions of mainstream Americans. But there has been barely a whiff of coverage in the major media about any problems with the electronic voting machines that made those thefts possible---until now.
That the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post finally ran coverage of problems with electronic voting machines this week is itself big news. It says the scandals surrounding computer fraud and financial illegalities at Diebold and other electronic voting machine companies have become simply too big and blatant for even the bought, docile mainstream media (MSM) to ignore.
The gaping holes in the security of electronic voting machines are pretty old news. Bev Harris's blackboxvoting.com has been issuing definitive research since Florida 2000. Freepress.org warned of the impending electronic theft of Ohio 2004 with Diebold machines eight months before it happened.
After that election, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) issued a report confirming that security flaws could allow a single hacker with a wi-fi to shift the vote counts at entire precincts just by driving by. Then the Government Accountability Office reported that security flaws were vast and unacceptable throughout the national network of electronic machines.
Until this week. The Times was sparked out of its stupor on May 11, after officials in California and Pennsylvania warned that Diebold touch-screen machines, slated to be used in upcoming primaries, were hopelessly compromised. Michael Shamos, a professor of computer science and Pittsburgh's high-tech Carnegie-Mellon University, called it "the most severe security flaw ever discovered in a voting system."
Douglas W. Jones, a computer science professor at the University of Iowa, says "this is a barn door being wide open, while people were arguing over the lock on the front door."
The Times refers to the uproar as "the latest concern about touch-screen machines" while having completely ignored dozens of complaints in Ohio 2004 that voters who selected John Kerry's name saw George W. Bush's light up, or saw the light on Kerry's repeatedly go out before they could complete the voting process.
The Wall Street Journal ran the following kicker: "Some former backers of technology seek return to paper ballots, citing glitches, fraud fears."
The WSJ could have ran that story last year after the bipartisan commission on federal election reform co-chaired by President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker noted in no uncertain terms that: "Software can be modified maliciously before being installed into individual voting machines. There is no reason to trust insiders in the election industry any more than in other industries."
Indeed. There's every reason because of the unprecedented power and money involved in U.S. politics to trust them less than anybody else.
Citizen law suits are being filed in Arizona, California, New York and New Mexico by the nonprofit Voter Action organization.
The new concerns about Diebold's equipment were discovered by Harri Hursti, a Finnish computer expert who was working at the request of Black Box Voting Inc. The new report forced Diebold to warn of a "theoretical security vulnerability" that "could potentially allow unauthorized software to be loaded onto the system."