Black Box Voting has learned that private, inappropriate results middlemen are already set up in 2008 for Illinois, Colorado and Kentucky. This mirrors concerns from Ohio 2004, when a Tennessee server was found dishing out Ohio results. At this point citizens need to get on a search and expose mission for every state to learn the routing of election results p
A new OpEdNews article details information about the pending subpeona of Mike Connell in connection with a transfer of the Ohio election results server to a partisan server in 2004. Black Box Voting has learned that similar results middlemen are already set up in 2008 for Illinois, Colorado and Kentucky. At this point citizens need to get on a search and expose mission for every state to learn the routing of election results production and publication.
CORROBORATION OF THE INAPPROPRIATE OHIO CONNECTION
To learn more about the new discovery of results middlemen in Colorado, Illinois and Kentucky, scroll down.
First: more on the Ohio subpeona that is the subject of the article linked above. That article deals with allegations of an inappropriate middleman presence in the routing of 2004 Ohio election results. It does not provide evidence of tampering, as headlines claim. The critical kernel in these stories is that Ohio election results in 2004 appear to have been routed to a partisan middleman operation before publication.
A screen shot on ePluribusMedia shows that the Ohio election site was -- oddly -- transferred to Smartech hosting shortly before the Nov. 2004 election, then transferred back to the state of Ohio. Even more damning, the election results were again temporarily transferred to the Smartech server shortly before the 2006 primary, then transferred back again afterwards. I have not been able to corroborate the source data for the screen grab at ePluribusMedia. The screen grab looks authentic. If authentic, grab your britches for the wild ride, because that subpoena will be fascinating.
The extreme partisanship and inappropriatness of Smartech as a server for anything to do with government elections is easy to corroborate. By paying a couple hundred bucks at WhoIs, you'll see that the Smartech site hosts dozens of sites that could not be more partisan: numerous sites for the Republican National Committee, many anti-Obama propaganda sites (but no anti-McCain sites and no Democratic sites); Republican candidate domains; over a dozen sites from various domains owned by "Prosperity for America", a partisan think tank that traces back to principals from an enormous privately held oil company Koch Industries.
Perhaps most concerning, Smartech also hosts the Voter Vault sites. Voter Vault is the powerful data mining Republican database which can tell you what kind of syrup you like on your french toast, who you vote for, every address you've ever lived, and which magazines are your favorite. Black Box Voting has obtained corporate documents showing that Voter Vault was set up by Bruce Boram, a political operative who got into hot water in Washington State for deceptive political activities.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE RESULTS CONTAMINATION
The Spoonamore affidavit referenced in the Ohio lawsuit deals only with theoretical issues. It should not be characterized as evidence that anything in particular occurred. It describes one man's concept of what could potentially occur, based on a set of assumptions that are not necessarily accurate.
This could steer away from what the results middleman may actually have been doing, which could be as simple as waylaying results for "first look". Private, secret "first looks" are exceptionally dangerous because it is common for subsets of results to be delayed for various reasons. Gaining "first look" enables operatives to contact those with custody of the delayed returns to relay details for precisely how much is needed to alter the outcome.
As Spoon postulates, electronic man in the middle attacks are possible under certain scenarios. He describes an attack which travels backwards down the pipeline to alter contents inside the voting system; a simpler method may be to just change the published report, letting locals with inside access make the necessary adjustments on their end.
RESULTS MIDDLEMEN IN COLORADO, KENTUCKY AND ILLINOIS
The Illinois middleman is connected with a partisan evangelical Baptist named David Davoust, who owns Robis, Inc. -- a firm that sells an electronic handheld device for pollworkers called "Ask Ed". Davoust controls the Internet domain names for a variety of churches, for DuPage County Elections chief Robert Saar's personal Web site, for the DuPage County Results site, and for the DuPage County Elections Board. But it doesn't stop there:
Davoust also controls a number of domain names for GBS, which stands for Governmental Business Services. This entity sells and programs Diebold/Premier voting systems and also produces and publishes results for 17 counties in Illinois. GBS purchased Fidlar Election Services, which in turn controls results for a total of 27 Illinois counties and one in Indiana. In 2006, it also listed four Iowa counties.
According to the GBS Web site, GBS was at one point acquired by Business Records Corp (BRC). What GBS doesn't mention: BRC was acquired by voting machine manufacturer Election Systems & Software in 1997. It's hard to understand why an apparent subsidiary of ES&S is producing Diebold election results and has a domain name owned by a guy named David Davoust, but we're trying.
According to the Illinois Secretary of State Web site, Fidlar's registered agent is Ernest Riggens, who joins the odd-name parade in which Diebold spokesperson Chris Riggall is marching, along with Riggins, Idaho which is the current residence of embezzler/voting machine programmer Jeffrey Dean.
In May 2007, Kentucky voting machine programmer Harp Enterprises, owned by Roger Baird, was involved in secret negotiations to purchase the firm that does many Kentucky county Web sites. Roger Baird, owner of Harp Enterprises, is found in corporate documents also controlling the LLC for this firm, indicating that the deal was consummated. Harp programs the voting machines, prints the ballots, and provides election day technicians; Baird's other firm provides web sites and election results for Kentucky counties.
The Colorado middleman is the most troubling situation. LEDS, LLC has obtained a contract giving access into every voting system in Colorado, and this firm, run by a Castle Rock man named John Paulsen, is now tasked with preparing the results for the Colorado secretary of state.
Problem is, Paulsen is involved in an ethics scandal right now which has just led to the resignation of the Colorado Elections Director. According to an article in the Rocky Mountain News, there's a little matter of a half-million-dollar condo owned by Paulsen that state Elections Director Holly Lowder was living in, with no one being properly apprised of the residential arrangement as they did the deals.
Here is the contract on the LEDS LLC results middleman in Colorado:
I don't get the shivers much anymore, having looked at a lot of election situations that no American should have to see, but that contract made me feel like a bully was stealing all our lunch money.
I will be sending out an alert about these middlemen, with links to more documents, as soon as we have the new training video for Protect the Count completed, which is scheduled to go live on YouTube on Wednesday.
"PROTECT THE COUNT" ACTIONS WILL HELP PROTECT RESULTS FROM CONTAMINATION BY MIDDLEMEN
If citizens DO the Poll Tape Posse action on the upcoming Protect the Count video (capturing video of the results on the voting machine results tapes BEFORE they leave the polling place, posting on YouTube) this will kick the legs out from under man in the middle attacks.
Black Box Voting has developed training and infrastructure to upload snapshots and contribute links to video of poll tapes, but we are NOT going to attempt to organize this.
I have been involved in many conference calls to collaborate with other organizations on this, but we should not assume that it's getting done -- EVERY CITIZEN NEEDS TO TAKE INTIATIVE ON PROTECT THE COUNT ACTIONS, which vary according to the counting system used in your location. Please get ready for action. Plan to be out in the field for 90 minutes on Election Night.
I WISH TO THANK CLAUDIA KUHNS OF THE PUBLIC INTEGRITY PROJECT, JEAN KACZMAREK & MELISA URDA OF THE ILLINOIS BALLOT INTEGRITY PROJECT FOR THEIR HELP DIGGING INTO THESE IMPORTANT ISSUES.
Bev Harris is executive director of Black Box Voting, Inc. an advocacy group committed to restoring citizen oversight to elections.