Busby States Confidence in Machine Counted Results, Ignores Fact that Hackable Voting Machines Were Sent Home with Poll Workers Prior to Election and Thus are to be Considered Contaminated Until a Full Manual Hand Count Can Verify, Validate Reported Results
Confirms She Could Still Be Certified as Winner Despite Previous 'Concession'
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2006, 10:32pm PT  

I've now heard from several high-level folks in the DNC's Voting Rights Institute who have expressed concern about the situation in the CA-50 race. I've been told they will be having more meetings to discuss the matter tomorrow, and will likely be contacting me soon for further information and/or details about the matter. They seemed to be very concerned about the information I've given them and as previously reported on the matter here at The BRAD BLOG.

I can only hope they do a better job paying attention to this, and the larger matter at stake here, than they did with their report supposedly looking into the problems with the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio. In that report, they stated they found "no evidence of fraud." Though when I drilled the now-former VRI Executive Director, Vincenty Frye about whether or not they actually investigated the many reports of fraud in that election and its recount, he admitted --- on air [MP3] --- that they did not.

In the meantime, it seems Francine Busby's campaign (who has still failed to return any of my calls) is now replying via Email to those who have questioned her position on the matter, and whether or not she plans to demand a 100% manual hand count of all the paper ballots and "paper trails" in the race now that it's been indisputedly shown that the secure chain of custody for the voting machines was irreparably violated when San Diego County officials sent the world's most easily-hacked voting machines home with poll workers days and weeks prior to last Tuesday's important special election run-off for the U.S. House seat vacated by the disgraced Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

Her emailed statement, as forwarded by Dr. Mike Byron --- a friend of Busby's and the 2004 Democratic nominee for the U.S. House in CA's 49th congressional district --- was posted earlier today in this BRAD BLOG comment. The statement illustrates a number of troubling issues. In particular, that Busby doesn't yet seem to have a grasp on what the actual concerns are about the tainted results, as currently reported, in her own election...

(NOTE: I've not yet been able to authenticate the email response, as I've still been unable, personally, to hear back from anybody who can speak for the Busby campaign.)

The statement is troubling, because it seems to reveal that she has little or no understanding about the contentions being made about the validity of the reported results. While Busby writes in her statement that, "observers from both parties from Washington D.C as well as local monitors have been carefully observing the counting of ballots," its clear that she doesn't understand that observers --- no matter which party they are from --- would most likely see no evidence of tampering or inaccuracies in the machine counted optical scan ballots, even if there was a problem with the systems, if all they did was "observe."

Underscoring her apparent misreading of the situation, and what's at stake, she writes: "All absentee, provisional and damaged ballots were accounted for and are continuing to being counted."

She is speaking, of course, about the ballots being counted by the optical scanners, which are now to be considered corrupt and contaminated --- never mind their accuracy.

As the so-called "Hursti Hack" back December in Leon County, Florida demonstrated, the results of an election held on Diebold optical-scan systems (which uses paper ballots) can be completely flipped without a trace being left behind --- save for manually counted the paper ballots --- due to Diebold's use of a type of computer code which is actually banned by the FEC Voting Systems Guidelines of 2002 precisely because of such a vulnerability. How these machines ever received certification for use in elections at the federal level is another issue, and the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) has some answering to do on that, though it's clear they are almost entirely impotent when it comes to taking action on any election related issue of note.

As well, last Tuesday, two different elections in Pottawattamie County, Iowa --- in which two different incumbents both lost their races based on the count of optically-scanned ballots, only to find out they'd actually won their races after a manual hand-count of the ballots --- illustrate the susceptibility to error in optical scan voting equipment. In one of those races, a Republican Primary, the incumbent came in 10th in the race, until the hand-count had revealed he had actually won.

I'll not rehash here, for the moment, how easy it's now been proven to be to hack into Diebold touch-screen systems as well as optical-scan systems, and leave no trace behind --- other than to say the gross breach in security for those systems in sending them home with poll workers for days and weeks before the election, simply underscores the necessity for a full manual recount of the CA 50th race so that certainty and confidence can be gained in the reported vote count as currently based only on optically scanned ballots, and machine-reported touch-screen numbers.

As to her previous "concession", Busby's carefully worded email statement speaks to the lack of legal meaning of such a concession, which is, as we learned after Kerry's concession in the 2004 Presidential race, merely a nicety with no actual legal significance.

"I conceded as part of my statement following election night because the margin of difference was beyond the amount to trigger an automatic recount." she writes. "Should the Secretary of State find reason to certify me as the winner, I would be declared the winner despite my original concession statement."

Busby's complete emailed statements, as posted by Dr. Mike Byron, follows...

I forwarded the information found on Brad Blog concerning the Busby/Bilbray race, along with a Brad Blog link to Francine Busby, who I know personally, (we were candidates together in '04, when I ran against Darell Issa in the CA 49th, as the Dem nomineee, and Francince ran against the Dukestir in the neighboring CA 50 CD. In a carefully worded statement Francinne replied:

Concession and Recount

Many of you have called to express your interest in a recount.

On election night and for several days following the election, observers from both parties from Washington D.C as well as local monitors have been carefully observing the counting of ballots.

While there were a few reports of malfunctioning machines, there was not widespread reporting of problems on election day. All absentee, provisional and damaged ballots were accounted for and are continuing to being counted.

I conceded as part of my statement following election night because the margin of difference was beyond the amount to trigger an automatic recount. Should the Secretary of State find reason to certify me as the winner, I would be declared the winner despite my original concession statement.

Thought we all wanted to win this race, we can be proud of the fact the we garnered over 45% of the vote despite $5 million in relentless negative assaults and kept Bilbray under 50% in a district that should have been theirs for free. This was a huge victory in itself. With your continued support, we will keep up the pressure through November.

Francine