READER COMMENTS ON
"ES&S Screws Leon County, FL in Last Minute Pull-Out!"
(37 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 1/13/2006 @ 6:42 pm PT...
Looks like the fireworks are about to begin....
"The time has come for a congressional investigation with subpoena power and testimony under penalty of perjury. This can be state or federal. Whoever gets Diebold and ES&S and key figures in the certification process under oath first will join Sancho in the history books."
Anybody know some good lawyers in Florida? Its time to take these "breaches of contract" to court...... Obviously, ES&S has something to hide they're not telling us!!!
Its about time to mandate HR 550 nationwide and ammend HAVA....Then investigate Robert Ney to see why he got into this position of working for the vendors...
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 1/13/2006 @ 10:11 pm PT...
Nice puns in the title. If I could be so bold to make a suggestion, it might sound even better to say
"ES&S Fucks Leon County, FL in Last Minute Pull-Out!"
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 1/13/2006 @ 10:19 pm PT...
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 1/13/2006 @ 10:49 pm PT...
Weren't the vice president of Diebold and the president of ES&S brothers? I seem to remember something about that. Hence the source of the collusion.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 1/13/2006 @ 11:11 pm PT...
Can you post on this site if you run Firefox or what??? I hope you guys don't think me a troll or something 'cuz I brought up the anti-flaming laws. The laws are bullshit, no prosecution of legitimate criticism will ever hold up in court.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 1/13/2006 @ 11:26 pm PT...
Weird, I had one of those odd little computer hiccups that seems to happen when I surf for genuine opposition to the anti-democracy forces out there. I'm sure it's nothing, hopefully Brad's just screening cause I'm new, so whatever.
ACVR sure hasn't shut down in PA. I was in a brand spanking new Wawa today and the PNC ATM I use had a big ol' Diebold logo on the thing. You have to understand that around here Wawa's are big business, they're convenience stores, gas stations, and deli's all rolled into one, and they're AWESOME. They open a new one around where I live about once every 6 months, and for them to publicly do business with Diebold is very troubling, especially right next to Ohio in such an important state. Mark "Asshole" Hearne from the ACVR just had a letter to the editor printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer complaining about PA local government not accepting their recommendations. So the push for PA later this year is motherf'ing on! I predict that there will be sweeping last minute certification of all kinds of fixit machines if sufficient public opposition is not mobilized.
The nice thing about it is that there's a million easy targets for us to distribute our pro-democracy propaganda, lol. Get your printers rolling boys and girls, stock up on ribbons, and canvas the hell outta those bloody Wawa's. Tape a copy of some literature on the mirror in the bathroom, drop one or too the local paper etc.
"It's hard work." :plain:
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 1/13/2006 @ 11:50 pm PT...
Screw ES&S.. use paper ballots!
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 2:19 am PT...
Even if Sancho had the duty to make sure the machines are not corrupt, he has the duty to make sure the taxpayers money is not wasted on a piece of shit that can be hacked
Can you imagine when this finally gets out?
All the machines will have already been bought, Diebold & ES&S, with our money in their pocket, will have all kinds of money to fight us on this, or will they even care with our money already in hand
Every worker like Sancho, who bought these pieces of shit, will be out of a job and look like fools
But in the end, the taxpayers will lose, because we'll have to buy new machines, plus them two cruddy outfits will file bancruptcy, and we'll have to make due with some sub standard shit they shove down our necks again
Screw the machines, paper only ballots for me
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 1/14/2006 @ 2:59 am PT...
For Floridiot: There's a way every citizen can protest the use of all electronic machinety. Simply request an absentee ballot. No lying needed; just say, "I might be out of town on Election Day." In fact, after I voted absentee in 2004 I got a call from the election authorities this year asking me if I needed one again this year.
Sounds as if E.S.&S. is afraid of being tested themselves. Regardless, it should put pressure on Jeb Bush to comment; after the Leon County test he put on his best Louis Renaud manner and declared that he was very concerned about the implications for future elections. He can't say, "No comment" now, if an alternate company broke a promise at the last minute under false pretenses.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 3:00 am PT...
I’ve just had an inspiration: A literally perfect protest that will—without any doubt whatever—cause a media firestorm. And it won’t cost anything. And it won’t be illegal. Or a LIE.
The moment President Bush in his upcoming State of the Union speech utters a falsehood, or a mischaracterization, like “I did not break the law by ignoring FISA,” or that he will do “anything” to protect the people from the terrists, or claiming that congress was briefed on and agreed to the wiretapping, the moment he utters a single syllable of bullshit, then:
every single Democrat should get up and quietly walk out of the room.
This mass exodus would not be disrespectful to the presidency itself, but rather a principled refusal of congressmen and women to by their silence endorse the bullshit and lies of the man who occupies the office.
Why don’t we start an email, fax and telephone campaign? Spread the word. Let the word flow through the blogosphere. Let the Fascists know what’s coming.
The beauty of this proposal is that we don’t have to resort to the slime tactics and lies and bullshit that got the Republicans where they are today. PRINCIPLE will be the bedrock of this exercise of free speech.
What do you say?
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 3:42 am PT...
That's a lovely idea, John #11, but it assumes cojones on the part of the Dims. Too bad...
Back on topic, we simply have to reverse the privatization of our electoral process. I believe even the densest, least informed Americans would agree with this standpoint, were they adequately informed of the issue. Thank you, Brad, for all you've done, are doing, and will doubtless do in the future to enlighten the people of this once (and future, I hope) great nation!
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 3:54 am PT...
re: asking for an absentee ballot
Absentee ballots are counted electronically now. And Florida has a law against hand recounts.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 5:19 am PT...
Florida has a law against hand recounts
Sheesh. I wonder what slimeball passed that...
Anywho - Bev, others: what was the name of that company that had a good, verifiable voting machine...the one who's creator "conveniently" died?
Maybe we can get that company off the skids (or out of the corporate grave) and breathe some new life into it via a PAC and an angel investor or two...?
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 6:17 am PT...
Greyhawk: You're thinking of TrueVote, owner Athan Gibbs. Unfortunately, from what I understand, shortly before his death there were efforts to get him to change direction, and after his death there was a partnership or alliance set up with Microsoft, and I'm not sure the current TrueVote product (if it still exists) bears any resemblance to the original vision.
Good companies don't get certified. And, in the case of AutoMark, I'm not sure how enthusiastic ES&S is about actually selling that product. They may have done the deal with the AutoMark company just to control its distrubution, who knows?
AutoMark STILL isn't certified in Florida.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 1/14/2006 @ 6:20 am PT...
Question for Bev Harris: Suppose a Florida resident were to show up at a registration center and say, "I want to cast my ballot in such a way that I can be sure it will be counted accurately. I don't trust electronic voting machines, so should I use an absentee ballot instead?"
What would the reply be? My son-in-law is ballsy enough to do this, if you think it would do any good.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 6:23 am PT...
RLM, thats the way I'm going to say it, I'll let you know
when I do it
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 6:31 am PT...
Maybe I'll say Ion Sancho sent me
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 6:47 am PT...
An honest official in florida,Sancho, how refreshing.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 6:56 am PT...
From my perspective, here in my little village in coastal Maine, where we pencil in "X's" on paper ballots, then fold them and stuff them into a slotted ballot box, it looks as if corporate Big Brother 'droid technology is quietly and completely sealing off the possibility that real human input will have any effect upon our "goverment" in the future.
Imagine: all electronic compilation technologies pre-programmed to return semi-believable margins of victory for the fascist right - into perpetuity.
My optimism quotient (O.Q.) has just taken a nose dive.
Thanks, Brad, for keeping on keeping on in the face of such blatant, bald-faced corruption.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 7:36 am PT...
RLM #16 & Floridiot #17:
They'd probably tell you that they (the election office) can be trusted to make sure all votes are counted accurately.
They'll probably tell you you can use an absentee ballot if you wish.
They probably *won't* tell you that the absentee ballot will be counted electronically on hackable machines, so they have the last laugh.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 7:42 am PT...
Maybe we should all go into our local election office (or write a letter) and say,
"I heard that you're discussing having all the ballots counted by hand in the polling place, right after the voting is finished. That's a great idea, at last the election officials are showing some common sense. As soon as there's hand counting I'll know it's safe to vote. When is this new rule going to come into effect? Are there any meetings coming up so I can praise my election officials for supporting hand-counting of paper ballots in all polling places?"
If they say there's no such law coming in, ask why not? Didn't they hear about how the voting and counting machines (including the optical scanners) can be hacked using just one memory card? (And maybe you should videotape the whole interaction.)
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 7:49 am PT...
Re: Question for Bev Harris:
>Suppose a Florida resident were to show up at a registration center and say, "I want to cast my ballot in such a way that I can be sure it will be counted accurately. I don't trust electronic voting machines, so should I use an absentee ballot instead?"
I don't believe Florida allows absentee voting unless you are going to be absent for your county on election day.
Also, all absentee ballots in Florida are counted by voting machines. I believe it is against the law to count them by hand if voting machines are available, and voting machines are available in all the counties.
Florida is ... well, FLORIDA!
Florida does allow an all hand counted election not using machines, but that would put it in possible violation of HAVA disability requirements. Also, Florida apparently requires that the preliminary results be submitted no later than noon the day after the election.
If the disability issue could be handled without violating HAVA or Florida law, a push to gather volunteers from America to count Leon County's votes would terrify the vendors.
If it comes to that, ALL voting reform organizations should work together on it !
And that means:
Black Box Voting
I am publicly extending the full cooperation of Black Box Voting for such efforts.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 7:55 am PT...
The neoCon onslaught is vast. But the bulk of it is like a virus stored inside folk who are not dead yet.
Many will have enough anti-bodies in their internal reasoning and will LEAK the truth.
It is the only way to salvage their souls, and I think the leak is going to build into the TORRENT OF EXPOSURE we all hope for.
That torrent will destroy the neoCon world like Katrina laid waste to the toys of the oil barons offshore ... where the oil rigs and gambling boats are.
Where the money being funneled from Iraq to gambling boats where "lucky" neoCons gamble and "win" campaign money.
And they do the neoCon bidding of making voting laws and supporting voting companies that further their criminal empire.
Global warming is just another word for the rage the body politic is feeling and will vent against the neoCon invasion when it is no longer warm, but hot as the fires of hell.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 1/14/2006 @ 9:34 am PT...
It sounds as if the notion of having thousands of volunteers converge on Florida's state government, citing the Leon County test and demanding an honest count of its votes, might do some good.
At a minimum, it would attract media attention, and convert the image of election dissidents from that of "conspiracy theorists" to "concerned citizens." Jeb Bush has already expressed his concern after the Leon County test. He's no conspiracy theorist, at least not in the way the media and trolls use the term.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 9:49 am PT...
Bev #23 -
You say, "Florida does allow an all hand counted election not using machines, but that would put it in possible violation of HAVA disability requirements. Also, Florida apparently requires that the preliminary results be submitted no later than noon the day after the election."
If you mean that there is no way for a disabled person to mark a ballot that is HAVA compliant then you need to look at Vote-PAD (www.vote-pad.us) which is up for certification in WI. It is the perfect solution for Leon County.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 10:23 am PT...
As a Florida Resident it would appear that only massive counter hacking would give anyone a chance that the elections would be anything other than a Repug would win the count and that the actual votes don't count at all!
Perhaps if the vote came out 80% for the Natural Law party even if they didn't run somebody, then the Media would have to get a clue (If Democrats won then it would morf into a Democrat only farce)
BTW anyone can get an absentee ballot, and they even keep the polls open a week in advance for "early" voting.
If you hack the end all that matters not at all of course.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 12:23 pm PT...
Yeah, Sancho is like Fitzgerald: a public servant with integrity. ES&S probably didn't have a choice, but Sancho is not a man with whom it is wise to f*ck. If he smells b.s., he won't stop.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 12:51 pm PT...
Some New England state has asserted that it can meet the requirements of HAVA for the disabled with absentee ballots. And why wouldn't that be so?
I agree that the safest, although certainly not perfect, method of counting votes is hand counting at the precinct level with observers. At one time I thought Oregon was home free because we are all mail-in ballots. But now that I know that the ballots are machine scanned and counted, I know that they are susceptible of rigging. Thus, hand counting is in order here as well.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 2:07 pm PT...
The best thing to do for now, is mandate by law AutoMark machines with AutoMark scanners, no ES&S and have them precinct scanners at the precinct level. Along with manual routine random audits.
That would destroy cheating on both sides. To do that, first you need to get rid of ES&S and get it out of there just like Diebold.
AutoMark makes its own machines, they should deliver them like liberty systems.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 2:21 pm PT...
I have some unanswered questions in this thread here, if you can get back to me on them.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
Mary Q. Contrary
said on 1/14/2006 @ 3:46 pm PT...
I am SO happy this issue is getting some attention. At a meeting last night of the S. Pasadena Dem. Club, Judith Alter, a UCLA Professor Emeritus made a presentation that sent a chill down all our spines.
What happened in Ohio happened all through the country, and there was a general press whiteout.
Election systems have been privatized and are sold for profit'
NO public official has looked at proprietary software
A vote shift scheme occurred in 8 states using the SAME ALGORITHM
The V.P. of Diebold and the President of ES&S are brothers.
80% of all votes in America are counted by only 2 companies - Diebold and ES&S.
There was SO much more, and Prof. Alter did mention BradBlog favorably as one entity that is seriously looking into this.
There is a new DVD coming out in March called "Votergate" which can be ordered at
Prof. Alter is so informed and passionate about voter fraud, and I'd recommend getting in touch with her at UCLA.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 4:23 pm PT...
Here is some more evidence to show everyone needs to get off their high horse and make this bi-partisan for serious reform:
This guy's a hard-line conservative, but he is NOT a neocon and he's not like Senator Chris Dodd.
"Personally, I would require there be entries on each line for "no choice", for which the voter must select, to indicate an intentional non-vote for any candidate. Also, for the sake of perception if nothing else, companies that produce DREs should be restricted to far less access to the hardware and software than they appear to have now. My proposed plan addresses that as well.
The plan is necessarily bold and comprehensive, which is required to satisfy all the transparency issues. Because even with the remedies that GAO and others have urged, computers are by their nature complex devices, and who's inner workings are less visible than paper or punch ballots, which people on the left still prefer. The voting system I outline offers the efficiency and accommodation to the handicapped (etc.) that only computer interfaces can offer, but with the transparency and confidence that paper ballots are perceived to offer.
If DREs continue to be employed absent of a comprehensive plan like mine, then I fear that confidence in election results will wane. Computer glitches will never be proven to the losing side to be accidental. Opponents of electronic ballots will continue to argue that it's impossible to verify that the vote which was cast was the vote that got tabulated. And the other side will continue to allege that the vote that was cast wasn't from an eligible voter. And of course, whenever exit polls don't resemble the subsequent actual vote, the left will challenge the accuracy of the actual vote.
[Note that when this occurred in 2004, not only had left-wing Democrats dismiss the admissions from liberal mainstream media that their polling consortium had skewered their test samplings more toward Kerry, they also wouldn't accept the logical sequelae that it had the effect of discouraging Republican voters and depressing turnout for Bush. And all this occurred BEFORE their rage against the DRE machine had taken hold the way it has now. Today, the paranoia and distrust is at it's zenith.]
One can only appreciate the juxtaposition from the usual political stances: The Republicans favor the HAVA voting reforms that call for modernization, while Democrats prefer the status quo and urged states not to enact laws to qualify for the HAVA grants. They oppose robust voter eligibility screening and want states to keep using paper ballots or the old lever-operated mechanical machines.
Preventing Voter Fraud
The ideal remedy to all forms of voting frauds must be comprehensive, else those who feel cheated from ballot tampering will feel justified in perpetrating voter fraud, and vice versa. Thus, we cannot merely seek the ideal voting device, for example, without trying to get voter fraud under control. As John Fund notes in "Stealing Elections", prosecuting election fraud is almost nonexistent for a variety of both political and practical reasons. So we need a systemic, uniform and comprehensive solution.
Almost every type of flaw in our voting system which I mentioned in the previous sections can be traced to one factor common in all balloting systems used in the U.S.: A ballot once cast cannot be traced to the voter who cast it. It might seem obvious that this prevents us from discovering what Republicans seem most concerned about: ineligible voters. But it also prevents what Democrats claim to want most—that all ballots are counted, and counted accurately.
My proposed solution might also seem to violate an axiom in this country: the privacy of our vote. But with encryption technology, that should not be a concern. After I run through my proposed ballot system, you will see how that's accomplished:
The state supplies a registered voter with a unique registration number. That number will never have other data linked to it, other than the person's name, date of birth, current residential address, political party registration, and a face photograph of the person. As it's always been, voter registration information will be in the hands of local election officials, to allow them to properly identify people as eligible to vote or not. Election officials will never have access to how people voted. As you'll read later, such information might only need to be "unblinded" to authorized investigators to look into indications of fraud or tabulation errors. I suggest that it may be the state's attorney general, or some nonpartisan entity that the state may designate.
The sole reason for the ID number is that numbers are unique identifiers that cannot be duplicated, and it's required for the computer tracking process described later. Voters must register as usual. They will receive their voter registration card in the mail—sent to the address they claimed as theirs. The card itself will contain only 3 pieces of the total information: The person's photograph, his registration number, and his election district. It will also contain a magnetic strip of the registration number, so that the voter can "swipe it" while in the voting booth, for ease and speed.
That's right, voting will be a little like a transaction at an ATM booth. People will go to central locations to cast their votes, just like they do now. Casting your ballot will also be done in a private booth, just like it's done now. The voting machine would essentially be a computer terminal. The user interface will employ touch-screen activation, with the option for mouse input and voice recognition (for the visually-impaired).
Voters will either swipe their registration number into the computer, or enter it manually. The method of entering your votes might be through screen activation, or whichever method Congress deems best. After the voter reviews and confirms the entries on his ballot, he must enter his PIN (personal identification number). This PIN is just like a PIN you use on an ATM machine. It's not known to anyone but the voter. Without the correct PIN for that registration number, the votes entered into the computer will not be recorded, transmitted or tabulated. It won't go anywhere.
The process to ensure proper identification is necessary to stem voter fraud, and as I'll describe later, ballot manipulation. The PIN number prevents anyone else from voting using that voter registration number. The computer will store votes cast as "write-once" (then read anytime) data, to be sure. But the unique PIN adds an extra layer of assurance that votes cannot be altered (for any given registration number) or multiplied after they're cast. Only one completed ballot per registration number will be allowed. The photo of the voter on the card will prevent various forms of fraud as well, but at the same time represent a far less intrusive measure than say, having your fingerprints registered, as is required to vote in Mexican elections. Indeed, voter ID cards with photo, thumbprint, voter ID numbers, and magnetic strips are commonplace in the very same countries that the left urges us to emulate with regards to paper ballots."
Take out the machines and make them produce backups
The ridiculous fraud in national elections has been favoring the GOP when it comes to machines, but in local elections the ballot stuffing for the democrats especially DLC democrat is intolerable and is using the same machines.
They are all in this bastardized bullshit together, so again, ALL ballots should be counted at the precinct level with manual audits.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 6:39 pm PT...
Your absolutely right. This is a bi-partisan issue and should be viewed as such, because it's the only sure way we can hope to devise the appropriate solution that will clean up the entire mess created by this, as you so aptly put it, "bastardized bullshit"!
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 9:09 pm PT...
Bev - thanks for the quick answer.
re: good companies don't get certified - that may be true, particularly in shadier parts of the nation, but it's not something that can last forever.
At least ensuring a good company is out there, and having folks know of it, could make a big difference.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 1/14/2006 @ 10:07 pm PT...
Liberty Systems and AutoMark are good machines with random manual audits.
They should be sold everywhere period......The voting machine code matters most of all. Sell the right kind of damn machines.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 1/15/2006 @ 2:23 am PT...
Hi Folks, Why not use Doug E's idea of a picture but instead of a card with a picture on it , take a picture of both the vote and the voter at the time he or she votes. If the picture of the voting material is taken digitally in a line by line manner, it can be read. In this way we would have a brace of improvements over the existant system. If the vote is on optical cards then it can be tallied in that manner and further checked by optical recognition of the digital pictures.
Voter fraud (I believe it to be a red herring, but I'll concede it is possible-although it seems just as likely to occur in, say, 90210 as the inner city) can be lessened by scanning the pictures for duplicate individuals. As far as the hanging chads go any type of cordless driver bit would eliminate that problem and optical systems could be improved by sensing (via computer ) the location on a grid of a transducer which would correspond to the options chosen by the voter.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2006 @ 2:42 am PT...
Doug Eldritch #32: that long description of an extremely complex "ideal" voting system (DREs, which download their software automatically from the Internet on election day!) was written by a right wing extremist, a shill who promotes the corrupt voting equipment vendors' agenda. He describes us with words like: "paranoia", "wingnuts on the far left," "Luddites," "tin-foil hats," "black helicopters," "boorish allegations and attempts to undermine the legitimacy of Republican office holders." In other words, he is fighting AGAINST us.
Furthermore, the system he described is TERRIBLE. It's worse than anything even Diebold has come up with. He completely misunderstands (or deliberately misrepresents) the reasons why DREs are unverifiable. He recommends a system in which every voter gets TWO paper receipts (one while voting, and one several days later by mail) but neither one of those two bits of paper ever gets counted: they both go home with the voter! The counting is just a bunch of easily falsifiable DRE records being tallied inside a computer. The only thing his extravagant use of paper (and postage) would accomplish, would be to put the voters' privacy at risk.
I hope you'll stop linking to that guy. Unless you want to provide free advertising for his worthless "solutions," and his insulting mischaracterizations of our legitimate concerns.