Why are problems encountered in ’06 and ’08 still occurring in 2010?
Tuesday, Oct 26th, 2010
Significant errors with voting machines have already begun to surface across the country, prompting fears that fraud could once again be a deciding factor in the elections this November.
Fox News 5 reports that voters in Boulder City, Las Vegas have already experienced dubious errors with the machines.
“Voter Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid’s name was already checked.” the report states.
The incident was not an isolated one, with several voters encountering the same problem within minutes of each other.
Officials blamed the malfunctions on the machine’s “sensitive” screens and discounted any notion of fraud.
Similar problems have also been reported in North Carolina. With rumours of voting problems in several counties.
The New Bern Sun Journal reports:
“Sam Laughinghouse of New Bern said he pushed the button to vote Republican in all races, but the voting machine screen displayed a ballot with all Democrats checked. He cleared the screen and tried again with the same result, he said. Then he asked for and received help from election staff.”
“They pushed it twice and the same thing happened,” Laughinghouse said. “That was four times in a row. The fifth time they pushed it and the Republicans came up and I voted.”
In this instance officials said that the machine needed to be “re-calibrated”. This error seems to be somewhat common, however, the machines do not display an error message when they need to be calibrated, the simply complete ballots for the opposite party.
The exact same problem was also reported late last week in Dallas, where computer programmer Don Relyea took the initiative to record a video of the incident. Relyea, attempted to vote for Gov. Rick Perry, yet his choice morphed into a straight-ticket Green Party vote.
A Dallas election official threatened to investigate Relyea, saying that any video taping in an election booth is illegal, and the Youtube video has since been made private.
This video dating from 2008 highlights the calibration problem with the machines:
The fact that this is known to be a common problem and is STILL occurring today highlights how ridiculous it is that this technology has been approved for use by election officials.
As one youtube commenter points out, “If ATM machines were this hinky no one would EVER use them.”
In a day and age when millions of Americans use sophisticated touch screen technology in their front rooms to order their groceries without a single glitch, why is the touch screen technology used for voting in an election so woefully inadequate?
Some of the voting machines have also previously caused much controversy due to a lack of a paper trail to verify how users voted.
The machines made headlines during the 2008 primaries when huge disparities between votes cast on Diebold electronic voting machines and actual hand counted tallies emerged in New Hampshire. Confirmed votes for Ron Paul were not even counted in some districts, with Hillary Clinton benefiting from clear evidence of widespread fraud.
As we reported at the time, the contract for programming all of New Hampshire’s Diebold voting machines, which combined counted 81 per cent of the vote, was owned by LHS Associates, whose owner John Silvestro had gone to great lengths to deflect accusations that the machines can easily be rigged.
After purchasing a Diebold 1.94w machine, the same system used in New Hampshire, a computer repair shop employee picked at random by election watchdog Black Box Voting was able to zero in on the system’s vulnerable memory card within just ten minutes. Hacking expert Harri Hursti testified in front of the New Hampshire legislature that the machines were wide open to fraud.
In this You Tube video, Silvestro constantly interrupts Hursti’s testimony in front of the New Hampshire legislative:
The Hursti/Silvestro saga formed the centerpiece of the HBO film “Hacking Democracy”.
It was also revealed that LHS Associates had hired a convicted narcotics trafficker to a high-level executive position who had previously defended the illegal act of “swapping out” memory cards for the machines during live elections.
This was not the first instance of Diebold employing convicted felons to run its ballot printing operations.
Vote fraud expert Bev Harris previously revealed that an embezzler named Jeffrey W. Dean, who specialized in sophisticated alteration of records of computerized systems, was a programmer of voting systems.
Dean was the senior vice president of Global Election Systems and a director of the company previous to Diebold’s takeover in 2002. Despite Diebold’s claim that Dean left the company when they took over it was later revealed that they retained Dean as a consultant.
Dean and his prison buddy John Elder, who did five years for cocaine trafficking, ran a ballot plant on the West coast and were also responsible for writing vote tallying software. Harris’ research has further shown that Global Election Systems/Diebold vote machines were specifically built to allow tampering.
This CNN report, featured on Lou Dobbs’ show in 2006, highlights just how easy it is to hack a voting machine and change how votes are tallied with just rudimentary programming skills. Experts warn that it takes only a minute for an unsupervised machine to be inserted with a virus and hacked:
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor at Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and regular contributor to Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.
This article was posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 9:39 am