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> Vote Rigging, The fix is in
Platypus
post Jul 11 2003, 02:41 PM
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This morning I found a couple of interesting articles (1 2) on a New Zealand website, of all places, about how some of the most commonly used voting machines in the US are rigged. Not can be. Are. Does anyone find this as disturbing as I do? Is this the "smoking gun" that explains what happened in 2000 and 2002? And the $64000 debate question: what should we do about this?
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Bill55AZ
post Jul 11 2003, 02:52 PM
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I suppose any method CAN be rigged, if there are enough persons willing to risk prison time to do it, but that is not proof that any method WAS rigged. I could only get link 2, and that little bit of info does not move me to the action of calling my congressman, not that he ever responds anyway.
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Sleeper
post Jul 11 2003, 03:17 PM
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If our voting system is rigged by the Republicans then how come Al Gore got more of the popular vote?
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Amlord
post Jul 11 2003, 03:27 PM
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Platypus, you of all people I thought would be above conspiracy theories...

QUOTE
Evidence Of Motive

This is probably the easiest part of this puzzle to get your head around. The motivation of the Republican Party in general and the current administration in particular to gain ever greater amounts of power - by whatever means possible and damn the consequences - is evidenced most recently in the Supreme Court's partisan appointment of George Bush Jr. as President, the attempt to recall California Governor Gray Davis, and the Ken Starr investigation and attempted impeachment of President Clinton.

If that doesn't scream PARTISAN, I don't know what does.

If this were truly happening, then you would expect that most elections would mysteriously prove all polling data wrong (i.e. candidates behind by 20 percentage points would win often).

BTW, they never claim that this IS happening, only that some mysterious anomalies have occurred over the last decade or so.


Interesting link, though.
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Platypus
post Jul 11 2003, 03:34 PM
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QUOTE(amlord @ Jul 11 2003, 11:27 AM)
Platypus, you of all people I thought would be above conspiracy theories...

Can you dismiss the entire article because of that one part? I don't think so, but I suspect the right-wingers will push that fallacy just as hard as they can anyway. The articles give quite a long list of other anomalies that seem to beg for a better explanation, with none forthcoming. You don't have to believe that Diebold is a Republican-run sham to see that there's something very fishy about the way this software works. There's no good reason to be keeping three seconds of records, running checks against one but reporting results from another...but there surely is some sort of reason. What is that reason? Why did Diebold execs lie through their teeth when pressed on some of these issues (such as whether the machines could be or commonly were connected to modems)?

QUOTE
If that doesn't scream PARTISAN, I don't know what does.


Weren't you one of those people saying that partisanship is good, that it's up to the opponent to poke holes in an argument if they can? Appeals to motive don't count. What's wrong with the theory besides the possibility that Bad People expressed it?

This post has been edited by Platypus: Jul 11 2003, 03:36 PM
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Amlord
post Jul 11 2003, 03:44 PM
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QUOTE(Platypus @ Jul 11 2003, 11:34 AM)
QUOTE(amlord @ Jul 11 2003, 11:27 AM)
Platypus, you of all people I thought would be above conspiracy theories...

Can you dismiss the entire article because of that one part? I don't think so, but I suspect the right-wingers will push that fallacy just as hard as they can anyway. The articles give quite a long list of other anomalies that seem to beg for a better explanation, with none forthcoming. You don't have to believe that Diebold is a Republican-run sham to see that there's something very fishy about the way this software works. There's no good reason to be keeping three seconds of records, running checks against one but reporting results from another...but there surely is some sort of reason. What is that reason? Why did Diebold execs lie through their teeth when pressed on some of these issues (such as whether the machines could be or commonly were connected to modems)?

QUOTE
If that doesn't scream PARTISAN, I don't know what does.


Weren't you one of those people saying that partisanship is good, that it's up to the opponent to poke holes in an argument if they can? Appeals to motive don't count. What's wrong with the theory besides the possibility that Bad People expressed it?

The specific question I would have is : where did they obtain the software?

Isn't it possible they do not have a production copy, but rather a beta copy? One that is either:
1. still buggy.
2. has redundant databases so they can "tweak" each independently. OR
3. Is very different from the actual software being used.

They claim they got the software from some FTP site. That, in and of itself, does not prove that they combed over the actual production software. I find it highly unlikely that the production software would be available for free public download.

EDIT to add:
from their readme file:
QUOTE
For democracy to work anywhere the ballot must not be
rigged. Unfortunately it is an established fact that
every form of ballot counting and management used over
the past 200 years in the United States has been gamed
and rigged.

Hmm, every vote counting method has been rigged. Interesting premise. It might be true, I guess.

QUOTE
Firstly

We want people who are able to do so to CREATE MIRROR
COPIES of this data source. We especially want mirrors
to be created in non-U.S. jurisdictions in order to
enable this inquiry to remain ongoing. 

When copies and mirrors are made please post
notification about the location to.

http://www.liberalisnotadirtyword.com/cgi-...rum/dcboard.cgi

Creating mirror sites is great. Please notify your nearest liberal website when you have done so...

QUOTE
** Set aside election? **

The entire source code tree is completely unpassworded, no
protection at all. He says this in and of itself should qualify
to set aside  the election, not only in Georgia but everywhere that
used these machines. And I have a list of everywhere these
machines were used (includes both touchscreen and optical scan).


** Apparently complete ource code available without password **

One of my sources just called me to report that source code
for the touchscreen system is in an unpassworded
file called cvs.tar.

The file is in Vol2. A glance at the contents reveals that a
lot of the code is written in C++, and parts in Basic.

( Tar is a form of archiving used on unix systems such as
linux. Use "tar xvf cvs.tar" to extract the contents of the
file, or if that doesn't work try typing "man tar". There are
tar extractors for windows also.)

It is things like this that indicate to me that the software being examined is not production software. No need to password protect beta software.

I do, in fact, agree that partisanship is a necessary part of the "watchdog" system. But, every case needs to be judged individually on the merits, and this site just doesn't give enough info to convince me. Maybe we need a Congressional investigation (oh, wait, that is controlled by those evil Republicans...)

This post has been edited by amlord: Jul 11 2003, 03:53 PM
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Platypus
post Jul 11 2003, 03:49 PM
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QUOTE(amlord @ Jul 11 2003, 11:44 AM)
The specific question I would have is : where did they obtain the software?

Isn't it possible they do not have a production copy, but rather a beta copy?  One that is either:
1. still buggy.
2. has redundant databases so they can "tweak" each independently. OR
3. Is very different from the actual software being used.

It's possible but, as a software architect/developer, I can tell you it's very common for companies to distribute updates in similar fashion, even for sensitive high-value software. A lot of people think that if they just don't give out the address nobody except designated recipients will find it. I don't think we have any reason not to believe this is the same code as runs on live production systems; let's not try to rebut one conspiracy theory with another.
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Amlord
post Jul 11 2003, 03:55 PM
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QUOTE(Platypus @ Jul 11 2003, 11:49 AM)
QUOTE(amlord @ Jul 11 2003, 11:44 AM)
The specific question I would have is : where did they obtain the software?

Isn't it possible they do not have a production copy, but rather a beta copy?  One that is either:
1. still buggy.
2. has redundant databases so they can "tweak" each independently. OR
3. Is very different from the actual software being used.

It's possible but, as a software architect/developer, I can tell you it's very common for companies to distribute updates in similar fashion, even for sensitive high-value software. A lot of people think that if they just don't give out the address nobody except designated recipients will find it. I don't think we have any reason not to believe this is the same code as runs on live production systems; let's not try to rebut one conspiracy theory with another.

Where is the proof that it IS production software. I think that is the key here. I don't think that is a conspiracy theory, it is a request for pertinent evidence.

Since the FTP site is now down, how are users getting updates?

btw, I updated my above posts with some examples from their site...

EDIT...I always thought you were a hardware guy, Platypus. I am wrong again..

This post has been edited by amlord: Jul 11 2003, 03:56 PM
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Hugo
post Jul 11 2003, 04:00 PM
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A good article on the problem, that does not appear to be written by conspiracy theorists, can be found here. The voting system obviously needs work.
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Artemise
post Jul 15 2003, 01:33 PM
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I mistakenly started a new thread but heres the article about electronic voting fraud, glitches or outright manipulation, and who owns the machines.

http://www.infernalpress.com/Columns/election.html

Especially the last part. Do you trust these people?
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Platypus
post Jul 24 2003, 05:21 PM
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Here are a couple more links regarding the insecurity of Diebold voting machines: New York Times and an academic paper by a recognized security expert. Does anyone still want to dismiss this story as a conspiracy theory of interest only to partisan kooks, or should we admit that there's a real problem here?
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Ataal
post Jul 24 2003, 08:03 PM
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QUOTE
Does anyone still want to dismiss this story as a conspiracy theory of interest only to partisan kooks, or should we admit that there's a real problem here?


There is a problem, no doubt about that. I'm sure it's being looked at. However, the implication that republicans are either the only ones who knew about the security holes or are the only party evil enough to use such a tactic is a huge stretch. If the republicans know about security holes, then I gaurantee you the democrats do too. Don't think the democrats wouldn't use the same tactic if given the oppurtunity.

The rest of the stuff is entirely circumstantial and I'm sure, given enough time, I or anyone here could dig up just as much circumstantial evidence that the democrats have been using this tactic for years. But, it wouldn't make it true.

The risk factor alone in such scandal would be enough of a deterrant. It could quite possibly take down an entire party.

The level of conspiracy involved to accomplish this nation wide is unimaginable to me. So yes, based on this 'evidence', I dismiss it as a conspiracy theory.
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Thomas
post Jul 24 2003, 08:08 PM
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Yes, its a conspiracy theory because it raises such desturbing questions about the essence of American democracy and the collective American perception and self-belief in themselves in their totality that the "lesser evil" would be to rationalise away, ignore and tarnish these claims rather than treat them with respect.
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Platypus
post Jul 24 2003, 09:25 PM
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QUOTE(Ataal @ Jul 24 2003, 04:03 PM)
The level of conspiracy involved to accomplish this nation wide is unimaginable to me.  So yes, based on this 'evidence', I dismiss it as a conspiracy theory.

As a software engineer, the level of conspiracy involved seems utterly unremarkable to me. One person with access to the code could do most of it, and if just a couple more turned the other way they'd get away with it. The scandal here is not that somebody tried to put such a backdoor into the code. The scandal is that there wasn't sufficient oversight or auditing to make sure it couldn't happen.
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Curmudgeon
post Jul 26 2003, 08:43 PM
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QUOTE(Amlord @ Jul 11 2003, 11:27 AM)
Platypus, you of all people I thought would be above conspiracy theories...

QUOTE
Evidence Of Motive

This is probably the easiest part of this puzzle to get your head around. The motivation of the Republican Party in general and the current administration in particular to gain ever greater amounts of power - by whatever means possible and damn the consequences - is evidenced most recently in the Supreme Court's partisan appointment of George Bush Jr. as President, the attempt to recall California Governor Gray Davis, and the Ken Starr investigation and attempted impeachment of President Clinton.

If that doesn't scream PARTISAN, I don't know what does.

If this were truly happening, then you would expect that most elections would mysteriously prove all polling data wrong (i.e. candidates behind by 20 percentage points would win often).

Here's an interesting link that points that way. Diebold - The Face Of Modern Ballot Tampering, was written a mere week after the election in question. That story begins:
QUOTE
The lack of any exit polling on November 5 has been oddly ignored by the media. Those pesky tracking polls leading up to the elections have been explained away by a ‘late surge to the Republicans’ caused by.... hmmmm, how about sun spot activity?

I have read link, after link, after link the past few hours. I started to write a letter to my Republican Congressman, and ended up sending a list of links to a local television station on the premise that they were more likely to have a reporter who could sort out the facts, and an IT who could understand the technical language.

The Rob in the "rob-georgia.zip" file worked for ABSS. On a search engine this morning, ABSS was :
QUOTE
ABSS Europe is a business consulting company based in Belgium. We implement Internet technologies serving business purposes of our clients. We develop business critical applications to connect with customers, partners and employees. We are committed to continuously perfect our technological know-how. We build applications using the latest web development products, such as Microsoft .NET, Java, XML.
ABSS Europe was founded by a group of business applications experts from Big 5 in partnership with Bonasource Inc., a Canadian web application development company. We work together with a team of professional developers based in Russia, which allows us to deliver advanced software applications at very competitive rates.

This afternoon, the same search returned "New Page 0" and placed their corporate headquarters in Maryland.

It was interesting to note that It also returned documentation of a conflict of interest with the Air Force. It seems that they had built in software that would allow them to view Air Force budget data.
QUOTE
Part of the financial management that Contractor must conduct on a regular basis requires the use of the ABSS system for processing Form 9's etc. Because of Contractor's access to the ABSS system, Contractor has the capability to see financial planning documents entered in to this system for all procurements. This information is considered source selection sensitive in developing the government's procurement strategy.

It ould be interesting to know if ABSS makes a habit of leaving keyholes in their software that they can look back through when they leave their products with their customers.
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Paladin Elspeth
post Jul 27 2003, 01:14 AM
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QUOTE
The level of conspiracy involved to accomplish this nation wide is unimaginable to me. So yes, based on this 'evidence', I dismiss it as a conspiracy theory.


How widespread does it have to be before it is considered wrong and a criminal offense?
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Curmudgeon
post Jul 29 2003, 03:44 AM
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I've been digging a bit deeper into ABSS, the company that advertises "We work together with a team of professional developers based in Russia, which allows us to deliver advanced software applications at very competitive rates."

Rob Behler, the "rob" of "rob-georgia.zip" was the contractor employee interviewed by Bev Harris, who had worked for ABSS and was fired by them when he was questioning their auditing practices before the November 2002 Georgia election.

On July 26, I came across an Internet posting of a United States Air Force Academy letter, outlining a conflict of interest with any contractor needing access to the ABSS system. I went back to reread it, as it seemed implausible that such a military document would be posted with no security clearance.

Then I found one of the ABSS advertising web pages. Budget Execution, describes how to use "CCaR." Clicking on the demonstration links, allows you to see how they are managing the United States Military Budget. Every requisition, authorization, purchase, etc. is routed through their software servers. The ad is out there in case you want them to do the same thing for your company.

If this is the firm that did the last minute program changes on the Diebold voting machines in Georgia, we appear to have a firm, with Russian software developers, a proven ability to route critical data securely through their own servers, a major U.S. defense contract, and they are programming the machines we are using to elect the Congressmen who will authorize their contracts with the U.S. government. Who needs a Republican conspiracy theory? Now there's someone with a vested financial interest.

Today's browsing also turned up The Case of the Diebold FTP Site, an essay by Douglas w. Jones, an associate professor at The University of Iowa, Dept. of Computer Science. It outlines the problems with the voting machines in Georgia, and similar problems with electronic voting machines in Iowa.
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Platypus
post Jul 31 2003, 01:50 PM
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Here's yet another story covering various forms of vote manipulation and fraud.

Update: here's Diebold's response to the allegations, and Bev Harris's response to the response. I have to say, I think Harris is being a little unfair in a few places. For example, the Diebold response makes a good point about the relevance of hardware. This is not an "open box" system where users can attach arbitrary hardware. It's a closed system, sold in a particular static configuration. On the other hand, it does look like the possibility for remote compromise is far greater than Diebold claims. It uses wireless cards, ferchrissakes, so an attacker doesn't even have to be inside the polling place. They could be in their car in the parking lot.

The excerpted comments are also hirely amusing. While not conclusive, they certainly don't seem indicative to me of what I'd call a mature development process.

This post has been edited by Platypus: Aug 1 2003, 12:21 AM
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Platypus
post Aug 13 2003, 02:51 PM
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Another tidbit: Rebecca Mercuri, an internationally recognized expert whose website even appears first in a Google search for "electronic voting", had her credentials revoked when she tried to attend a conference on voting systems. A similar fate befell David Chaum, whose work on anonymous networks and security has spawned an entire generation of software to preserve free speech. The lesson here is that the International Association of Clerks, Records, Election Officials, and Treasurers (IACREOT) shuns scientific inquiry into the security of systems built by its members. Any security expert can tell you that when someone tries that hard to keep you from looking, it's usually because they're afraid of what you might see.

One of the saddest aspects of this is that (yet again) I heard about from a New Zealand, not US, news source. The domestic media doesn't have the attention span to cover continuing threats to the principle of one person, one vote.
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Thomas
post Aug 30 2003, 05:55 PM
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/a...article4573.htm

QUOTE
Columbus - The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

The Aug. 14 letter from Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc. - who has become active in the re-election effort of President Bush - prompted Democrats this week to question the propriety of allowing O'Dell's company to calculate votes in the 2004 presidential election.

O'Dell attended a strategy pow-wow with wealthy Bush benefactors - known as Rangers and Pioneers - at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch earlier this month. The next week, he penned invitations to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser to benefit the Ohio Republican Party's federal campaign fund - partially benefiting Bush - at his mansion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington.

The letter went out the day before Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, also a Republican, was set to qualify Diebold as one of three firms eligible to sell upgraded electronic voting machines to Ohio counties in time for the 2004 election.


This confirms my suspicions, the 2002 elections were manipulated by Republican powerbrokers to help the Bush regime, and with the expansion of electronic voting the 2004 elections are already decided. All the threads talking about which Democratic will win the primaries, what the Democrats need to do to win is nonsence, superfical dancing around a American banana republic "democracy".
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