READER COMMENTS ON
"Howard Dean on Electronic Voting Machines, Diebold and Otherwise..."
(35 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 4/22/2006 @ 10:44 pm PT...
North Carolina owes it's success to David Allen, who served on the legislative study committee and drafted the portions of our law that scared Diebold away.
Folks in NC also received help from www.VerifiedVoting.org who sent out tons of action alerts for us, to lawmakers and later even to county commissioners.
Additionally, www.VotersUnite.org was essential for information and the 2004 election database, and the vendor problem clearinghouse. Later on,
www.VoteTrustUSA.org made a huge difference by
helping folks share information from across the country, and by their frequent newsletter.
Also, thanks to www.EFF.org who helped us to defend our law. Thanks to Brad Blog too.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 4/22/2006 @ 11:41 pm PT...
The current generation of central tabulating machines in which votes from touch-screen voting machines are tabulated are prone to tampering and vote shifting. They have not been certified secure and the software code that they use is not subject to public inspection. In fact it appears that these machines were tampered with in 10 of the 11 "swing states" where the 2004 presidential election was decided, especially in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. In these states, where it was understood that the candidate who carried two of those three states would win the presidency, there were shifts of 4.9%, 6.7%, and 6.5% from exit poll data to official tallies--all in favor of Bush. Exit polling is a well-established and reliable science, and for the election results to have been this far off from the exit polls, all in favor of Bush, is a virtual statistical impossibility. See "How the GOP Stole America's 2004 Election and Is Rigging 2008" by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 4/22/2006 @ 11:55 pm PT...
Reading the full transcripts is important.
First, a big thanks to David Grossman for doing this interview.
Second, a big thanks to Howard Dean for his answer.
After looking at the full transcripts, I am more impressed than before. This was not an interview about election reform. It was a long interview about many serious topics including the war, threats of nuclear attack against Iran, etc.
And right now, we better be laying the groundwork to prevent a nuclear assault against Iran.
We have to impeach Bush and Cheney.
This country won't make it 2 more years.
Prevent infighting of dems, pitch out idiots like Lieberman.
Rove has to keep the DEMS busy fighting themselves, so that they won't get the majority in 2006 and impeach his puppets, Bush and Cheney.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 1:13 am PT...
That part of the Howard Dean statement highlighted in bold is the strongest statement yet by a high official and I'm impressed! Makes me feel like the $700 plus dollars I've sent him are worth it! I STILL think he should have screamed LOUDER after the Iowa rally!
Thanks to David Grossman!
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 2:02 am PT...
As I recall, the Harris/Dean hack was done in 2004. (In the video, Dean's last question is about the upcoming Presidential election.) Am I remembering correctly??
And Brad and everyone who posts here: Thanks from the bottom of my freedom lovin' heart.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 5:11 am PT...
Polls are showing that the people favor democrats taking over majority party status in congress in November. It is by average about 47% to 33% and growing (link here).
However, the way congressional districts are drawn (link to your district map here) raises the very serious spectre that gerrymandering may thwart the will of the people.
The way districts are drawn can change everything (link here).
The reason that is wrong is because it is anti-voter and even when the voters overwhelmingly favor a particular outcome, this can be thwarted and republicans could hold the majority contrary to the people's will.
In other words, the design of the districts is such that it thwarts and is contrary to the will of the people at large. It is designed to preserve incumbency and thwart the political notion of accountability.
The effect is that the people cannot replace members of congress unless and until the kool aid drinking devotees of that congress member revolt.
Furthermore, districts are carved out in strange shapes that result in districts passing thru many counties instead of being defined and bounded by one or more counties.
The map link above shows how true this is. Look at the 25th and 28th districts of Texas, Tom DeLay constructs, to see what I mean.
Thus, malfunctioning electronic voting machines in a county may actually add up to malfunctioning in several congressional districts even tho only one county is involved.
We have a dictatorial situation anytime the will of the people is thwarted by its government(link here). There is no other name for it.
Some dictatorships are less vile than others, but calling a spade a spade is what I am talking about.
We have a dictatorship if the people cannot express their will by their vote. If the government allows us to vote but that vote is meaningless, the fact is that it is a dictatorship because the people cannot change the government.
The Texas gerrymandering case has been put on the fast track by the US Supreme Court (link here).
This is unusual under normal circumstances, but is all the more unusual since the cases have been stalled and have therefore been on the slow track in the US Supreme Court until now.
The case it now seems that will be reversed is Henderson v Perry (link here).
The issue of gerrymandering is equal to the problem with voting machines. Because even if we perfect the voting machines, the gerrymandering issue is just as much a threat.
Both evils ... gerrymandering and fraudulent and junky electronic voting machines ... are destroying American democracy.
And if the judicial goes down the tubes too (link here), and does not stop gerrymandering, I am sorry to say that democracy will be gone from American soil for a long time.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 5:18 am PT...
While we all know the problem has been identified, I am unsure of the solution. Yes, paper ballots are a solution, but there is HAVA. What is the logical next step, recall HAVA?
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 5:32 am PT...
NC Voter #1
North Carolina District 1 winds its way thru Northampton, Warren, Vance, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Gates, Bertie, Edgecombe, Martin, Washington, Pitt, Greene, Craven, Beufort, Jones, Lenoir, Wilson, Wayne, Carteret, Pasquotank, Perquimans, and Chowan counties.
California District 1 winds its way thru Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Sonora, and Napa counties; while California District 2 winds its way thru Siskiyou, Trinity, Shasta, Tahama, Glenn, Butte, Yuba, Colusa, Sutter, and Yolo counties.
Texas District 25 winds its way thru Hidalgo, Starr, Jim Hogg, Duval, Live Oak, Karnes, Gonzales, Caldwell, and Travis counties. Texas District 28 is similar.
Utah District 1 winds its way thru Juab, Tooele, Box Elder, Cache, Rich, Summit, Morgan, Davis, Webber, and Salt Lake counties.
Alabama District 7 winds its way thru Tuscaloosa, Pickens, St. Clair, Greene, Hale, Perry, Sumter, Chocktaw, Marengo, Dallas, Wilcox, and Clarke counties.
New York District 23 winds its way thru Clinton, Franklin, Essex, Hamilton, Fulton, Saint Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, Oneida, and Madison counties.
Indiana District 9 winds its way thru Monroe, Brown, Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings, Ripley, Dearborn, Ohio, Switzerland, Jefferson, Scott, Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Perry, Crawford, Washington, Orange, Dubois, and Spencer counties.
Up to ten, twenty, or more counties can be touched in just one congressional district. It's a gerrymander thang.
These facts illustrate the point that election officialdom is bounded by county lines and state lines, however, these gerrymandered congressional districts (link here) have no such political boundaries. This is problematic and it exacerbates the problem.
If counties use different voting machines and techniques, you could have ten different types of voting procedures for one congressional district. Add precints to the count, and it becomes more and more obvious that political cacophony and helter-skelter are apt descriptions for the gerrymander world.
Further, if a congress member wants to challenge election results for only one congressional district, that congress member may have to pay up to ten, twenty, or more counties for a recount.
You know what I mean ...
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 8:30 am PT...
I am a man of no great stature,
Diebold did the country capture.
Times were great,
In lone star state.
A nuke or two then the rapture.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 8:52 am PT...
Thanks for continuing to focus on our gerrymandering problems. That's next, should we get VVPB and a reasonable, believable way of tabulating and re-counting them.
The price of democracy in never-ending vigilence...
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 8:54 am PT...
DREDD raises an important point.
I admit I haven't paid attention to jerrymandering, but we do have a few sharp members who have.
I am sending the two comments about it to this colleague of mine.
We do have some state legislators who are tough and strong, of different parties, who would work together on this issue.
Realistically, I just can't get my hands around it,
the voting machine issue takes up so much of my energy.
But I see that yes, gerrymandering is key, as well as the online voter registration/id issue.
I predict that this years disenfranchiser will be the
voter id/registration problem. We got a tast of that in California.
But thanks for the thoughts, wish I could do more.
But I will try....
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 10:15 am PT...
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 12:02 pm PT...
AlwaysFree - You are right. That clip was from 2004. I've corrected the text of the article to make that clear. Thanks for clarifying that for us. Time certainly flies when your democracy is crumbling...
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 1:08 pm PT...
Heh, that's funny, Brad. I'd just been thinking that this crumbling democracy has made each minute seem like an hour. Time slows when you're in agony.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
Paul in LA
said on 4/23/2006 @ 1:29 pm PT...
Thanks for your work, Brad.
"No, Dr. Dean. It wasn't anything of the kind. We'll assume you were kidding."
He wasn't kidding, he was being circumspect, which is basic political speech. He does not want to be controversial --- his responsibility to the caucuses is too entrenched.
It is important not to require political-correctness of our politicians, since double-talk is basic to politics AS IT REALLY IS. The real issue is not what Dean says, but what he will DO.
And basic to that is creating state-level VOTE-FRAUD RESPONSE TEAMS. Dean is perfectly suited for that task, and it is crucial that he begin it --- because 2006 will be, have no doubt about it, another stolen Bush election.
I also firmly believe that Bush will not leave office in 2008 --- because this is a coup, not a legal government. But it's OK with me if Dean doesn't jump on that bandwagon and embarrass himself --- that's my job...so far.
We need rapid response, set teams, specific protocols, people who know how to work the state system, and who they can trust and who is going to Diebold. We need that from our hero, Howard Dean.
Brad, you should try not to whine about the past, and about your past efforts (with Kerry, Clark...). Direct address to Gov. Dean is also not the right stuff. We need you to work smart, not sassy. Please do everything possible to pass on your wealth of knowledge to these politicians, and try to abstain from blame.
In the long haul, we are going to need DISPASSION as well as passion. It will probably not be our second, third, fourth, fifth... efforts that get this nail driven in Diebold's heart, but the monster will be driven over the precipice by our continued poking with pitchforks.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 1:44 pm PT...
Yes. I read the whole transcript, and was sick to see Dean still speaking as a politician. He really doesn't have much of a choice. We are desperate to hear one of them drop it and speak truly, but when they do that they mostly lose as many as they gain. It's only made worse by how poorly informed, and misled, the public is. If we had a mass media getting the truth to us, we might have a chance to hear politicians drop their little memorized sound bytes and address issues like real humans for once. That sure ain't happening.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
Paul in LA
said on 4/23/2006 @ 2:19 pm PT...
I responded to Dredd's gerrymandering post in the next posting downpage, if anyone is interested.
Basically, it is my understanding that these are EQUAL POPULATION districts. Several tiny counties have to be put together to reach the 370,000 pop dividing line.
While that makes recounts difficult, there is no obvious solution, and certainly no solution coming until AFTER THE 2010 CENSUS. States that redistrict mid-decade, such as the Texas impropriety that packed 5 more seats for the Rs, would already have done it. The norm is for the next redistricting to occur in 2011 or so, but it will still be on an equal pop basis.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 2:29 pm PT...
From my observations, one media person who doesn't mince his words is Lou Dobbs. Has anyone thought of contacting him..? But then again.....come to think of it, I've heard him speak his mind re the illegal immigrants, your gas prices, obscene retirement settlements, the war etc, yet I can't remember him ever talking about corrupt voting machines. Could that be because CNN has told him to keep his lips zipped on this particlar topic.?
Please correct me if I'm wrong..!! I can handle it....I have broad shoulders...;-)
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 2:57 pm PT...
That part of the Howard Dean statement highlighted in bold is the strongest statement yet by a high official and I'm impressed! Makes me feel like the $700 plus dollars I've sent him are worth it! I STILL think he should have screamed LOUDER after the Iowa rally!
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 4:05 pm PT...
Paul in LA #17
You said "... Basically, it is my understanding ..."
I have not read your response to my gerrymandering series .
But I am going to do so. My response here, before reading it, is in principle, and based on your past posts. Last post of yours I remember is where you called me an ASS because of my retort to someone wanting Brad to change the colors here.
Your understanding is no better nor worse, at the starting line, than anyone else's. But I notice a pattern that you tend to provide no links. No support for your position.
I tend to post links, even tho I am well known, because my understanding is not as important as the reality. I must submit to some authority ... some reality ... not only my own.
This is a respect I have afforded all my fellow bloggers here for years. They know I don't fancy myself nor take the prima donna angle. I do hold to an argument when no-one is controverting it. And anything I focus on belongs to us all.
I was in prison as a peace activist and fighting war when many of the posters in the blogosphere were still in diapers. The government made an attempt on my life when they could not overthrow my convictions ... and blood flowed throughout the prison ... while many were still sucking their thumbs. If The Hole in a major federal prison has never been your abode because of your standing up for freedom, peace, and the American way, then don't try to shout down those of us who have been there.
When you come in here please remember that we are all in this together. We welcome new ideas borne of investigation and communal participation in a struggle to put it all in perspective. And to work our way around, above, and thru the dictatorship forming before our eyes. Our egos are the least of all things important.
But don't get prima dona or I will call you on your sh*t.
Provide backup, links, etc. or just say IMO (in my opinion). Your opinion is welcome because you seem to be bright. But realize that together we are stronger whether we disagree or agree. That is a strength, not a weakness.
I mean, our goal is not to get everyone to agree, it is to make everyone safe and sound in a peaceful, prosperous world where love for fellow man is paramount. Not ego, power, and self exaltation.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 4/23/2006 @ 4:17 pm PT...
Chris Dodd is going to be very, very ticked off at Howard Dean for complaining about voting machines. You see, Dodd was an architect of HAVA, and these crooked machines are a result of Dodd's having been more concerned about blind people being able to vote than about vote-flipping.
It's a start. Not nearly enough, but a start. Maybe somebody at the DNC will put two and two together and say it out loud..."The 2004 election was rigged."
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 4:55 pm PT...
Mar, I meant the WHOLE media.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 5:42 pm PT...
Howard Dean said: "I did change the vote totals on the machines, but I don't know if it was really --- could have been a program that was elaborately programmed to fool me into thinking I was doing something I really wasn't doing."
Our point, exactly.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 8:18 pm PT...
Robert L Mills - Yeah, Chris Dodd, the guy who angrily told Kerry he had looked into fraud in 2004 and there's nothing there. The huge emphasis on handicapped people is definite deception.
I was at the first Voting Equipment Selection Committee meeting here in Utah (my first time ever attending a public hearing) and felt compelled to speak. I was the second speaker, and brought up the fact that I thought the 2000 election had been stolen and commented that you people here have probably never heard of Beverly Harris, but you will! Despite the fact that most of the people there were handicapped (wheelchairs everywhere), I told them that I didn’t really think the issue was about handicapped people (I later stood up just before the meeting ended to say that I didn’t have anything against handicapped people, but stood by my position). This is where I realized the power of just showing up at a meeting. If I , and about 4 other people hadn’t been there, the only thing the newspapers could have said was that disabled people were the only ones who cared about the machines!
Imagine my amazment when I got home and saw that one of my comments had been published in both major newspapers here. “I don’t believe in virtual reality voting”. Not a bad sound bite, but consider that I had been at a virtual reality seminar just prior to rushing down to the hearing. Oddly enough, at the next, much bigger meeting, I only saw one wheelchair. When I spoke this time I thought I had a sound bite sure to get published. “This isn’t about handicapped people, because we’re ALL blind voters on these machines!” The media didn’t bite on that one. After the meeting, the person who was there speaking for the disabled gave me a look that could kill! I then overheard sombody tell her “It sure would have been great if you’d been able to have more people here to represent us”. I’ve always prefered to think that they didn’t show because they knew I was right. After all, if the republicans win, the handicapped lose (prove me wrong)!
I felt VERY vindicated when it came out that Bob Ney of Ohio who helped pen the terrible HAVA act had strong armed congress to keep the handicapped provision of the bill in, apparently to insure sales of the machines for the manufacturers, had been implicated in some of the scandals we’re starting to see. One for me!
ALWAYS be wary of ANY legislation involving children or handicapped people!
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2006 @ 10:35 pm PT...
Great job, Larry!
Proving once again the difference that ONE person can make!
Get busy people!
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 4/24/2006 @ 8:22 am PT...
Brad, I was so glad to see you write this story. Your commentary was dead-on.
What Dean said was not really strong enough, and justifying it by saying there is a need to be political isn't really adequate either. What there is a need for is truth.
Indeed it was Black Box Voting that showed Dean how to hack the system, and to imply that I would make up a program to fake the hack was a little surprising. I can't imagine Dr. Dean saying such a thing about the head of VotersUnite or League of Women Voters. We do not accept such a statement made about our work, and it also weakened Dr. Dean's statement.
Dr. Dean need not worry whether the GEMS hack is real. It has been verified. The software used in Glades County Florida in the 2004 presidential election was obtained in a public records request. It shows the exact same vulnerability, and is available for download on our Web site. Anybody can verify this for themselves.
The vulnerability was confirmed in the CompuWare Report. The vulnerability was proven in Leon County Florida (twice) by Dr. Herbert Thompson. Dr. David Dill has written that central tabulators can never be made secure. Now, that's a problem, isn't it? Central tabulator vulnerability is still an elephant sitting in the living room and no one has done anything meaningful about it as we go into yet another federal election using defective GEMS tabulators.
When Dr. Dean talks about optical scans being secure, he ignores the ability to hack the central tabulator with a couple of keystrokes. With absentee ballots there is no poll tape and even in states that do spot checks, they often don't check the mail-in ballots. The GEMS central tabulator is wide open for tampering with no check and balance for mail-ins.
Now, I assume the study Dr. Dean is referring to, which cost half a million dollars and was headed by Donna Brazile, involved Election Science Institute. As I understand it, they did a hack test on an ES&S iVotronic in Franklin County, Ohio. Reportedly, they learned how to break security. Problem is, the report was never made public and the public has never been able to evaluate what the vulnerabilities are or whether they have been addressed.
This is a wasteful government spending boondoggle. We should be having congressional hearings to get the the bottom of all this spending on systems that have turned out to be defective. No doubt cost taxpayers will be required to fork out even more money when all this defective stuff is finally replaced. It's premature to politely offer up remedies. First, we need to really get to the bottom of who is responsible for the wasteful spending in the first place.
Under consumer protection law when a company misrepresents its product, the company has to make the customer whole again. That's the direction we should be going.
The Bowen hearings in California demonstrate that Diebold misrepresented its product to the testing labs. She's given us a good start for further hearings and she's proven it can be done.
. . . . .
Now, I'm going to address another issue. Believe me, I'd rather not. But for the good of the entire movement, this has to be addressed. Bear with me on this, because this I believe it also relates to the Dean story.
I hope that negative statements from within the movement targeting Black Box Voting did not play a role in causing Dr. Dean to lose confidence in the importance of the GEMS central tabulator hack. If they did, this is tangible evidence of the kind of damage that's done by backstabbing. It's time for the smear game to be deemed unacceptable by the rest of the election reform community.
While some may say it is divisive to bring this up, consider this: Isn't it the behind the scenes backstabbling itself that's divisive?
For more than a year and a half, leaders of election reform groups have been using fake names to troll the Internet spreading malicious gossip about Black Box Voting, and also about Brad Friedman. This has not just been limited to fake-name posting on forums. In more private settings, this negative gossip has been spread to public officials and through e-mails to election reform groups.
I realize that it is divisive even to discuss the behavior. So what should be done?
Black Box Voting has been willing to come to the table for a frank discussion of these infighting problems for quite some time now. I'm sure Brad would join such an effort. That's how it's done by grownups. Unfortunately, you can't accomplish much if only one side shows up at the table.
So the next step is to apply public pressure to resolve the issues. That can only happen when the identities are known.
Dr. Dean was correct that the North Carolina group has done fine work. At Black Box Voting, we have acknowledged their excellent work. An ongoing problem, however, is the infighting within election reform efforts. David Allen and Joyce McCloy (NC Verifiable Voting), under the fake names Kelvin Mace and WillYourVoteBeCounted, have been among the most prolific attackers of Black Box Voting. Can you imagine how unfortunate it would be if they repeated such negative gossip to the head of the Democratic National Committee?
Roxanne Jekot (an employee of Election Science Institute and the director of CounttheVote.org), who goes by the fake names boredtodeath, vgebert, has been targting both Black Box Voting and Brad Friedman with negative smear campaigns.
At the same time (under their real names) these individuals have doing good work on election reform.
It's divisive to bring this up. But it's more divisive to troll the Internet spreading misinformation in the first place.
At Black Box Voting, we believe that had these individuals used their real names to do this behavior, the problem would have self-corrected because others in the election reform community would have been able to hold them accountable. But the attacks on Brad Friedman and Black Box Voting were done using fake names and most people didn't realize that the attacks were coming from those who were actually leading election reform groups.
For the ultimate good of the election reform community, we've got to face this head-on. I spoke with one person who heads an election reform group about this recently. This individual admitted that they had spread negative rumors about Black Box Voting which turned out not to be true. It was done under a fake name. I suggested issuing a correction. Here is the response I got:
"Well no one reads that web site anyway, and it wasn't my real name."
For all we know, one of the staffers for Dr. Dean read that Web site. This stuff matters.
Why bring this up now?
It's not just the situation with Dr. Dean somehow having been induced to lose confidence in the GEMS hack (and ignoring the Hursti hack) that illustrates thedamage done by the fake name smear game. These cybersmears have now migrated from BBV and Friedman into exploitation of the whistleblowers!
A man of great courage, whistleblower Stephen Heller, has now been dragged into the mud. Heller was so upset by the anti-BlackBox disinformation being spread by NC Verifiable Voting fake names Kelvin Mace and WillYourVoteBeCounted that he made a public statement, admonishing them that they would learn the truth some day.
There seems to be some sort of competition for sources, where whistleblowers are being urged not to come forward unless they go to EFF or one of the groups working with EFF. There's nothing wrong with a whistleblower going to EFF, but there's also nothing wrong with going to Brad Friedman or Black Box Voting. It does not benefit election reform to try to hoard all the sources into one place where the whistleblower reports don't seem to ever go public.
In what way does this benefit election reform efforts?
Such behavior is the mark of an immature movement. It's happened in other reform efforts, so this is no different. But we can rise above this by refusing to accept it any more.
. . . . .
But there's more:
Underlying the importance of extreme skepticism for any fake-name material: Surprise surprise, and thanks to Brad's cooperation, we have found that division in the election reform movement have been being egged on by PROFESSIONAL disruptors.
Again, this is nothing new. It's been going on since the 60s for sure, and it seems obvious that there would be people burrowing into election reform to help create division. Thanks to Brad, we have been able to get a positive ID on one of the professional disruptors and we've also been able to trace the tag-teaming done by this person with others who are bona fide election reform activists.
That disruptor has now been traced to identity theft and disruption of the Black Box Voting site going back more than a year. This professional disruptor has also now been traced to an orchestrated disinformation effort involving public officials.
What has evolved from your action, Brad, will turn out to be very constructive for the entire election reform community. It will help everyone become more careful about believing anything posted under fake names --- especially when they learn who's really paying for some of this. We'll be in touch with you soon Brad, to break this story. It's turning out to be important.
Brad, we appreciate your holding everyone's toes to the fire on election reform issues.
Black Box Voting
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 4/24/2006 @ 10:40 am PT...
I must share this with you.
I cannot shake the gut feeling that these politicians, like Dean & Feingold for instance, who make noises like they want reform--are literally just "making noises" to garner progressive votes for themsleves & to carry out Big Brother's overall plan. They're not serious about "gittin her done". (If they ARE serious--they sure are inept!)
Our government is no longer going to hell in a handbasket, but has already arrived (need I list all the signs that our government has arrived in hell?) & instead of us being up in arms, literally, they pacify us with hope by "making noises" in the right direction...it's a tactic to keep us from massing in the streets.
See what I mean?
As long as we have a few Representatives who seem like they'll do something & throw us a bone here & there--it keeps us from violence.
I know that's dark--but it's instinct--something I've personally learned from experience that I can rely on.
Big Brother is both parties, acting in collusion, against the people's good, to further corporate goals.
I don't know what to do against that...
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 4/24/2006 @ 12:29 pm PT...
Bev, Disturbing post. Why do you think the smearing is innocent..people who don't know how to unite behind a cause? It sounds Rovian to me. Like Bob Woodward and Judith Miller.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 4/24/2006 @ 2:10 pm PT...
part 1: I agree with you on Dr. Dean. He is not going to take action, and certainly not in time for the 2006 disaster-in-the-making. Someone who really gets it is John Conyers and his circle in congress, and state level people like Bowen. If Dean can be influenced through them, perhaps in making the issue of electoral fraud a part of the overall 'culture of corruption' strategy, there might be some movement.
re: the giant spending boondoggle. In previous stories posted here, I observed that the subcontractor that ES&S gets its memory cards from sells them at around $160 per card. I'm not sure how much of a discount the counties get, but that is truly a ridiculous price for a 4 megabyte battery-operated memory card. A text-book example of government waste - but this time its not even really the gov't at fault.
Until that story, I didn't even know what type of 'memory card' the machines used. No one could point me to a specific make or model.
So two things - 1. can you verify the type of memory card used in the machines? Do you have public documents about the contracts, billing et c.? Is there any formal explanation why these overpriced battery-operated cards are used when cheaper, more reliable, and most importantly COMPATIBLE cards exist?
And 2. Does any proposed legislation call for the ban on volatile memory storage used in electronic voting machines? Is that a proposal you would support? Given that entire voting records could be wiped out because of a battery seems to be all sorts of important.
part 2: I've seen first hand how the smear campaign against you has fundamentally altered the concensus opinion about electronic voting over at DailyKos. Whenever a diary is posted citing BBV, the trolls come out to play, many of whom you've mentioned. If not for John Dean, of Santa Ana, their smears might have been taken as absolute truth. A few sane minds have emerged, but mostly its a Bev Bash Fest over there.
I feel this is precisely what happened with Dr. Dean. We now have an assessment of the damage done by the smear campaign. The people assembled around Dean have likely given him misinformation, which worked its way from the ground up. With that said, what benefit do you currently see in communicating with bloggers vs. communicating directly with leaders and elected officials?
And who was the professional disruptor? It's good to bring these things out in the open.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 4/24/2006 @ 2:38 pm PT...
I saw a recent PBS documentary which filmed a very large crowd of war protesters in the 60's chanting something to the effect of 'we blame you, we don't blame the troops'. Must have made it past Tomilson (man placed on board at the CPB to subvert the mission of public radio and TV). I still have deep doubts that anyone EVER spit on the troops or blamed them for ANYTHING when they arrived home from Vietnam.
I certainly don't blame anyone working in this practically invisible voting reform movement for being paraniod. I hate to admit it, but I don’t fully trust anyone myself. Not even Howard Dean! But he has had to change since he took over the reins at the DNC. He has a VERY delicate balancing act there trying to hold the old time corporate democrats together with the new “we the people” democrats. He seems to be doing the best he can. But I have no way of knowing. The fact that the media attacked him so viciously makes me feel pretty good about him! The reason I trust Beverly Harris is because I can’t see any benefit to exposing Chuck Hagel the way she did! America has become a cesspool (maybe a cessPOLL) of deception (brain damage). Too bad we’re so focused on “that green stuff”. I wish the people of America could see that NOBODY on our side is making any!
My real name is Larry Bergan. Beverly makes a FINE point!
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 4/24/2006 @ 7:23 pm PT...
BVAC --- Will check out the memory card issue for you. We have some documents that may help with that. As you know, I'm not a computer programmer --- no dummy, but I don't remember one part from the next unless it is something I have to write about and therefore learn more about. That's the trademark of writers, you know. We're "broad but shallow" --- meaning we have to learn a little about a lot of things.
At my age, I'm beginning to think my hard drive is full. Whenever I have to learn something entirely new, it's like a file gets deleted somewhere back over there to make room for it.
No legislation I'm aware of bans volatile memory.
Regarding going right to the decision makers, we are doing that more and more. We have a meeting with a budgetary sort this week. One really great idea, as we progress with this, will be to start contacting state auditors and people from the state Office of Management & Budget.
And you better believe we'll out the professional disruptor. John Dean (bless him for his persistence and courage) and five other researchers are running down more details.
Well, I really liked Dr. Dean when I met him, and I also noticed that every time he opened his mouth, at first, he got attacked --- including by people from his own side. I'm sure he is in an extraordinarily difficult position.
I'm very, VERY curious about the half-million dollar study. If it shows that DREs aren't secure, why hasn't the study been released?
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 4/24/2006 @ 8:10 pm PT...
Bev Harris #31
I am very confused. I am a HUGE fan of John Dean (the one who testified at the censure hearing recently), but is he the one you mention in the previous message. I am absolutely positive I saw him on C-SPAN, and somebody brought up the voting machine question. He answered that he thought there was nothing to worry about. Not his exact words, but close.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 4/25/2006 @ 11:31 am PT...
LOL. Different John Dean.
John Dean, Santa Ana, same name, not the Watergate figure unless he's holding out on me and is secretly famous.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 4/25/2006 @ 10:56 pm PT...
As one who has been at the pointy end of Gerrymandering here in Orlando Florida I can attest to the Republican use to guarantee their dominance.
The first attack came while Democrats still held the majority in Tallahassee (in some cases by Dixiecrats).
That first attack was a disingenuous claim that Democrats were diluting Black Votes, and causing Black Democrats who had a place at that table to insist on "black majority" districts, who would presumably vote in black legislators.
But here is where the tricky part comes in, in a group that votes 90% Democrat the Democrat that runs in such a district wins by huge margins. Those "Overvotes" are votes not available in ajoining districts where the Republlican can win by much smaller margins. This is the actual method to the Gerrymandering madness.
Thus if you have five districts that in total vote 55% Democrat and 45% Republican you can have one district that the Democrat wins by 95% and FOUR Districts that Republicans win by 55% :angry:
Thus can a Democrat Majority elect a majority of Republicans. Unless there is true purportional representation, the Majority of people will go unrepresented.
Machines that screw up the count are by far, the greater danger, but untill the top several vote getters get the top several positions there will still be a problem.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 4/29/2006 @ 7:38 am PT...
"Big Brother is both parties, acting in collusion, against the people's good, to further corporate goals.
I don't know what to do against that... "
Charlene, we will never have more than two often dismal choices until we have a mechanism in place that allows us More CHOICE -more VALID choice, that is, not just another way to throw your vote away!
That mechanism is Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) and it should be the law of the land!
This means that everyone gets a first AND SECOND choice, right at the first ballot!
This means that if you want to vote for a third -or fourth party candidate, you can DO SO without your vote being cast away (defaulting) to the candidate you LEAST wanted!
So, if I had wanted to vote first for Nader, for instance, I could do so without the "spoiler" effect, because my SECOND vote would go to a Democrat, ensuring that my vote would NOT go to a Repug!
Carpers will no doubt whine that this would take too long to count, too complicated, etc, but HEY! What's our Democracy really worth!? When we hand-count in Maine we have to make a separate column for write-ins anyway!
As it is now, no third party has a prayer in hell, and the two Big Parties are morphing into more and more of the same thing! In an IRV system there would be a NOTICEABLE upswing in new and better choices and the Biggies would HAVE to pay attention to what voters REALLY want, once they start getting only second-choice votes!
(of course,there might be some Right-wing Crazy parties emerging too, but I think they are outnumbered and this system will sort them out like so much chafe!)
Please, everyone, give this some serious consideration, and next time you hear IRV discussed, give it as much support as Voting Reform in general.. it'll go a LONG way towards fixing what's wronge with our Democracy and improving its responsiveness and accountability.
(my "Real" name is Bia Winter, artist and writer, and activist ... 2004 got my town to pass a Resolution against the "Patriot" Act at Town Meetin', show-of-hands vote; still a hotbed of Grassroots Democracy!)
And YES! I was WICKED EXCITED when I first heard Howard Dean come out unequivocally against the WAR, the morning after an all-night bus trip back from a big Peace March in DC! If the Media han't helped sabbotage him for his Scream, he'd be president now!