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E-VOTING TRAIN WRECK 2006: The Wheels Begin to Come Off

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Message John Gideon
Diebold Disasters Leading to Self-Destruction As ES&S Continues to Meltdown and Miss One Contractual Obligation After Another"

By John Gideon, www.VotersUnite.Org and www.VoteTrustUSA.Org May 15, 2006

Yes, the wheels are wobbling on the locomotives. The vendors --ES&S, Diebold, and the rest -- attempt to keep a stiff upper lip as they both fail to perform, yet continue collecting tax-payer dollars from the county election coffers. Meanwhile some elections officials have just turned a blind-eye to what is happening while they continue to make excuses for their vendors: The private corporate American Electronic Voting Machine behemoths that are being paid to take over America's Public Electoral system.

And the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) which was put in place by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), theoretically, to keep all of this from occurring? Well, all they do is raise their hands and shrug and tell anyone who asks that they don't do voting systems certification so they just don't know anything. The Sergeant Schultz Defense, perhaps"

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And the corporate media? It took the announcement of a huge security chasm with the Diebold TS and TSx touch-screen machines for them to finally wake up and realize the voters in our country may like to hear a bit about what is happening with their elections. Of course, each media outlet spins it in their own way. The Wall Street Journal, reported on the Diebold issue with little or nothing from the computer scientists while overloading their article with plenty of misinformation from Diebold and their showcase state of Maryland. The New York Times did a good job of reporting both sides. The Rev. Moon's United Press International joined the WSJ in mis-reporting and giving their pro-corporate, pro-electronic bias spin. But, hey! The media has woken up a little. Let's hope they will now sit up and take notice and not go back into hibernation.

This next Tuesday we have three more states holding primary elections. Oregon, Kentucky and Pennsylvania are the next locomotives on the tracks. Pennsylvania is of special concern because of the number of ES&S and Diebold counties and the fact that this is the first election to be held on new electronic voting machines in almost every county.

Diebold's Perfect Storm

This week was the week for the long-awaited revelation of a hole in Diebold's Direct Recording Machine's (DRE) security. This hole in security is comparable to the size of the eye in the "Perfect Storm". Initial information about this security problem was discussed in last week's "Train Wreck" and was reported prior to that by The BRAD BLOG.

On Thursday, BlackBoxVoting.Org who organized the inspections of Diebold TSx DREs in Emery County, Utah, released a lightly-redacted report, for security reasons, of Finnish Computer Scientist Harri Hursti's revelations from the examination. An un-redacted copy of this report was sent to many federal and state officials in hope they will take the steps necessary to close this gaping security hole.

It must be stated that none of this crucial information would be available to America without the assistance and integrity of Bruce Funk, who, as the Emery County Clerk, noticed a problem with the Diebold TSx voting machines that were delivered to him. He contacted BlackBoxVoting.Org who brought Harri Hursti over from Finland to inspect the machines along with computer security specialists from Security Innovations. If Bruce Funk had not cared so much about the voters in his county, and ultimately in the whole country, this security hole - which Diebold has admitted to building into their machines purposely to make it easier to update software -- would have gone unnoticed publicly for who knows how long. Unfortunately Mr. Funk must now fight to get his job back because Diebold lashed out against him and the state and county took their side and turned their back on Mr. Funk.

What is the reaction to this from Diebold and from some of the states? David Bear, a spokesman for the company says:

"For there to be a problem here, you're basically assuming a premise where you have some evil and nefarious election officials who would sneak in and introduce a piece of software," he said. "I don't believe these evil elections people exist."

Meanwhile, Deborah Hench, San Joaquin County California Registrar of Voters and ardent Diebold supporter says:

"We're prepared for those types of problems. There are always activists that are anti-electronic voting, and they're constantly trying to put pressure on us to change our system."

Maryland Elections Administrator, Linda Lamone, an even more ardent Diebold supporter had this to say:

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John is the Executive Director of VotersUnite.Org
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