Two Brothers Will Count 80% Of The U.S. Election Results

  1. Two Voting Companies & Two Brothers Will
    Count 80% Of The U.S. Election -
    Using BOTH Scanners & Touchscreens

    By Lynn Landes
    4-27-4

    Voters can run, but they can't hide from these guys. Meet the Urosevich brothers, Bob and Todd. Their respective companies, Diebold and ES&S, will count (using BOTH computerized ballot scanners and touchscreen machines) about 80% of all votes cast in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

    Both ES&S and Diebold have been caught installing uncertified software in their machines. Although there is no known certification process that will protect against vote rigging or technical failure, it is a requirement of most, if not all, states.

    And, according to author Bev Harris in her book, Black Box Voting, "...one of the founders of the original ES&S (software) system, Bob Urosevich, also oversaw development of the original software now used by Diebold Election Systems."

    Talk about putting all our eggs in one very bogus, but brotherly basket.
    Even if states or counties hire their own technicians to re-program Diebold or ES&S software (or software from other companies), experts say that permanently installed software, called firmware, still resides inside of both electronic scanners and touchscreen machines and is capable of manipulating votes. For those who are unfamiliar with the term 'firmware', here's a definition by BandwidthMarket.com: "Software that is embedded in a hardware device that allows reading and executing the software, but does not allow modification, e.g., writing or deleting data by an end user."
    The ability to rig an election is well within easy reach of voting machine companies. And it does not matter if the machines are scanners or touchscreens, or are networked or hooked up to modems.

    So, for those states and counties who think they're dodging the bullet by not buying (or not using) the highly insecure and error-prone touchscreen voting machines (which will process 28.9% of all votes this year), a huge threat still remains - computerized ballot scanners. They will count 57.6% of all votes cast, including absentee ballots.

    And don't count on recounts to save the day. In most states, recounts of paper ballots only occur if election results are close. The message to those who want to rig elections is, "rig them by a lot." In some states, like California, spot checks are conducted. But, that will not be an effective way to discover or deter vote fraud or technical failure, particularly in a national election where one vote per machine will probably be enough to swing a race.

    Although touchscreens have been getting the bulk of negative publicity lately, electronic ballot scanners have a long and sordid past, as well. Electronic scanners were first introduced into U.S. elections in 1964, and ever since then a steady stream of reports of technical irregularities have caught the attention of scientists, journalists, and activists, most notably the 1988 report, Accuracy, Integrity, and Security in Computerized Vote-Tallying, by Roy G. Saltman, and the 1992 book, Votescam: The Stealing of America, by Jim and Ken Collier.

    Even though there are several foreign and domestic corporations involved in the U.S. vote counting business, ES&S and Diebold clearly dominate the field. ES&S claims that they have tabulated "56% of the U.S. national vote for the past four presidential elections", while a Diebold spokesperson told this writer that the company processed about 35% of U.S. electronic vote count in 2002.

    But, is there any real difference between Diebold and ES&S? Perhaps not.
    Bob Urosevich is currently president of Diebold. Todd is vice president of ES&S. In 1999, American Information Systems (AIS), purchased Business Records Corporation (BRC) to become ES&S. AIS (1980) was formerly Data Mark (1979). Both AIS and Data Mark were founded by the brothers Urosevich. In 2002 Diebold acquired Global Election Systems. Global was founded 1991, which itself acquired the AccuVote system the same year. Bob Urosevich is a past president of Global.

    Of course, most interested observers don't believe that the Urosevich brothers are the real brains behind their respective operations. For information on their financial backers, check out Chapter 8 of Bev's book - blackboxvoting.com, and my webpage - ecotalk.org/VotingMachineCompanies.htm.

    Diebold and ES&S have been involved in countless election irregularities over the years, involving both ballot scanners and touchscreens. But, it seems that they've always managed to finesse a happy ending for themselves. Now, it appears that at least Diebold might be in real trouble.

    On April 22, 2004, Jim Wasserman of the Associated Press (AP) reported, "By an 8-0 vote, the state's (California) Voting Systems and Procedures Panel recommended that (Secretary of State) Shelley cease the use of the machines, saying that Texas-based Diebold has performed poorly in California and its machines malfunctioned in the state's March 2 primary election, turning away many voters in San Diego County...In addition to the ban, panel members recommended that a secretary of state's office report released Wednesday, detailing alleged failings of Diebold in California, be forwarded to the state attorney general's office to consider civil and criminal charges against the company."

    Interestingly, no one in the U.S. federal government seems to be paying attention...as usual. There is no federal agency that has regulatory authority or oversight of the voting machine industry - not the Federal Election Commission (FEC), not the Department of Justice (DOJ), and not the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The FEC doesn't even have a complete list of all the companies that count votes in U.S. elections.
    Once again we are witness to an 'eyes closed, hands off' approach to protecting America. The 2004 election rests in the private hands of the Urosevich brothers, who are financed by the far-out right wing and top donors to the Republican Party. The Democrats are either sitting ducks or co-conspirators. I don't know which.

    My mantra remains - Vote Paper Ballots, Ditch the Machines.

    Lynn Landes is one of the nation's leading journalists on voting technology and democracy issues. Readers can find her articles at <http://www.ecotalk.org/>EcoTalk.org. Lynn is a former news reporter for <http://www.dutv.org/>DUTV and commentator for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    Well, as Joseph Stalin, that savvy political strategist, once said, "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything ..."
  4. by   maureeno
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    First preemptive exclusion from voting for "potential felons" then preemptive war.
    What next?


    VANISHING VOTES BY GREG PALAST
    The Nation
    May 17, 2004 Issue
    Monday May 17, 2004
    On October 29, 2002, George W. Bush signed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Hidden behind its apple-pie-and-motherhood name lies a nasty civil rights time bomb.
    First, the purges. In the months leading up to the November 2000 presidential election, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, in coordination with Governor Jeb Bush, ordered local election supervisors to purge 57,700 voters from the registries, supposedly ex-cons not allowed to vote in Florida. At least 90.2 percent of those on this "scrub" list, targeted to lose their civil rights, are innocent. Notably, more than half--about 54 percent--are black or Hispanic. You can argue all night about the number ultimately purged, but there's no argument that this electoral racial pogrom ordered by Jeb Bush's operatives gave the White House to his older brother. HAVA not only blesses such purges, it requires all fifty states to implement a similar search-and-destroy mission against vulnerable voters. Specifically, every state must, by the 2004 election, imitate Florida's system of computerizing voter files. The law then empowers fifty secretaries of state--fifty Katherine Harrises--to purge these lists of "suspect" voters.
    The purge is back, big time. Following the disclosure in December 2000 of the black voter purge in Britain's Observer newspaper, NAACP lawyers sued the state. The civil rights group won a written promise from Governor Jeb and from Harris's successor to return wrongly scrubbed citizens to the voter rolls. According to records given to the courts by ChoicePoint, the company that generated the computerized lists, the number of Floridians who were questionably tagged totals 91,000. Willie Steen is one of them. Recently, I caught up with Steen outside his office at a Tampa hospital. Steen's case was easy. You can't work in a hospital if you have a criminal record. (My copy of Harris's hit list includes an ex-con named O'Steen, close enough to cost Willie Steen his vote.) The NAACP held up Steen's case to the court as a prime example of the voter purge evil.

    The state admitted Steen's innocence. But a year after the NAACP won his case, Steen still couldn't register. Why was he still under suspicion? What do we know about this "potential felon," as Jeb called him? Steen, unlike our President, honorably served four years in the US military. There is, admittedly, a suspect mark on his record: Steen remains an African-American.

    If you're black, voting in America is a game of chance. First, there's the chance your registration card will simply be thrown out. Millions of minority citizens registered to vote using what are called motor-voter forms. And Republicans know it. You would not be surprised to learn that the Commission on Civil Rights found widespread failures to add these voters to the registers. My sources report piles of dust-covered applications stacked up in election offices.

    Second, once registered, there's the chance you'll be named a felon. In Florida, besides those fake felons on Harris's scrub sheets, some 600,000 residents are legally barred from voting because they have a criminal record in the state. That's one state. In the entire nation 1.4 million black men with sentences served can't vote, 13 percent of the nation's black male population.

    At step three, the real gambling begins. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 guaranteed African-Americans the right to vote--but it did not guarantee the right to have their ballots counted. And in one in seven cases, they aren't.

    Take Gadsden County. Of Florida's sixty-seven counties, Gadsden has the highest proportion of black residents: 58 percent. It also has the highest "spoilage" rate, that is, ballots tossed out on technicalities: one in eight votes cast but not counted. Next door to Gadsden is white-majority Leon County, where virtually every vote is counted (a spoilage rate of one in 500).

    How do votes spoil? Apparently, any old odd mark on a ballot will do it. In Gadsden, some voters wrote in Al Gore instead of checking his name. Their votes did not count.

    Harvard law professor Christopher Edley Jr., a member of the Commission on Civil Rights, didn't like the smell of all those spoiled ballots. He dug into the pile of tossed ballots and, deep in the commission's official findings, reported this: 14.4 percent of black votes--one in seven--were "invalidated," i.e., never counted. By contrast, only 1.6 percent of nonblack voters' ballots were spoiled.

    Florida's electorate is 11 percent African-American. Florida refused to count 179,855 spoiled ballots. A little junior high school algebra applied to commission numbers indicates that 54 percent, or 97,000, of the votes "spoiled" were cast by black folk, of whom more than 90 percent chose Gore. The nonblack vote divided about evenly between Gore and Bush. Therefore, had Harris allowed the counting of these ballots, Al Gore would have racked up a plurality of about 87,000 votes in Florida--162 times Bush's official margin of victory.

    That's Florida. Now let's talk about America. In the 2000 election, 1.9 million votes cast were never counted. Spoiled for technical reasons, like writing in Gore's name, machine malfunctions and so on. The reasons for ballot rejection vary, but there's a suspicious shading to the ballots tossed into the dumpster. Edley's team of Harvard experts discovered that just as in Florida, the number of ballots spoiled was--county by county, precinct by precinct--in direct proportion to the local black voting population.

    Florida's racial profile mirrors the nation's--both in the percentage of voters who are black and the racial profile of the voters whose ballots don't count. "In 2000, a black voter in Florida was ten times as likely to have their vote spoiled--not counted--as a white voter," explains political scientist Philip Klinkner, co-author of Edley's Harvard report. "National figures indicate that Florida is, surprisingly, typical. Given the proportion of nonwhite to white voters in America, then, it appears that about half of all ballots spoiled in the USA, as many as 1 million votes, were cast by nonwhite voters."

    So there you have it. In the last presidential election, approximately 1 million black and other minorities voted, and their ballots were thrown away. And they will be tossed again in November 2004, efficiently, by computer--because HAVA and other bogus reform measures, stressing reform through complex computerization, do not address, and in fact worsen, the racial bias of the uncounted vote.

    One million votes will disappear in a puff of very black smoke. And when the smoke clears, the Bush clan will be warming their political careers in the light of the ballot bonfire. HAVA nice day.
  6. by   SharonH, RN
    Well, the CEO of Diebold already promised to deliver Ohio to Bush in the next election.


    CEO promises


    See people, they aren't even bothering to hide it anymore. They are telling you upfront,this is what we are going to do to you because we know you won't fight back.

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