Monday, March 12, 2007

[The Random Factor #1] Voting machine facts I don't want to believe

In an invitation for a Republican fundraiser at his home,
Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc - the company
who's voting machines were used in the 2004 Ohio elections -
wrote in August 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio
deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

In the 2004 election for the first time in history there were
exit polls that did not match actual election results. In 2004,
also for the first time, international election observers were
barred from entering polling places, including Ohio, where
widely disputed results swung the election.

This is old news.

Yet somehow, 2 years later, on Tuesday November 7th, 2006, 30%
MORE people in the United States will use electronic voting than
in 2004. 90% of the ballots in 2006 will be cast electronically
and most election results will again be unverifiable.

- 80% of the country will use voting machines by two seperate
companies Diebold and ES&S, owned by brothers.

- Diebold’s voting machines have no paper trail, leaving no way
to verify that the results coming out of the machine is the same
as what was entered by voters.

- Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines,
all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

- When Sequoia Voting Systems demonstrated its electronic voting
system's new paper-trail live for the first time to Californian
officials the print out of votes cast on the machine did not match
the actual votes cast in the demonstration.

- Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of building
"back doors" or access points to software he developed using a
“high degree of sophistication” to evade detection for over a period
of 2 years.

I am not sure if it is possible for there to be a more important
issue in America... ever. Seems to me if we can't get this right,
we have nothing. We can not purport to carry the torch of freedom
and democracy and use a voting process that is suspicious and
unverifiable at best. At worst? Our democracy is already gone ...

This text published originally in the newsletter
The Random Factor at

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