READER COMMENTS ON
"LA County Registrar, Diebold Cover Girl, Concerned About Profits of Voting Machine Company"
(23 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 9:26 am PT...
Ranging a few freeway exits to the south of metro LA, I wonder if some of the sleepover folks gifted with machines last election in San Diego noticed any among their numbers acting peculiarly, say, as if one of the machine babysitters the eve of the election might have had a spare circuitboard to swap into the machine. The technical notes published in last week's CA Secretary of State commissioned university tests report amazingly told a tale of a design flaw whereby one machine with a substituted card could infect the entire wide area network of vote machines and skew the tally.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 9:36 am PT...
Fire McCormack! She is not just close to the edge. With her freelancing modeling for Diebold, and now her public statements of concern for Diebold's profit margins over the accurate counting of the votes of the people in LA County, she has clearly abdicated the job of Registrar.
Give her the boot, LA!
And give a raise to Molina.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 9:44 am PT...
McCormack is smart enough to be retarded.
She's probably been told that she can get a portion of that $400,000 if she can make the fee go away.
She's not a public official but a corporate official,
BURN THE WITCH!!
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 10:51 am PT...
At this point, I'm expecting the LA County Registrar and the head of the CACEO and all of their crony registrars to declare that the earth is flat!!!
What an utterly shameful denial of real evidence of the inevitable fallibility of computer based election systems by these sold out hoodlums!!!
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 11:11 am PT...
This nation is plagued by people like McCormack, and too many citizens who just don't give a damn. Sometimes I wonder if we even deserve democracy any more.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 12:22 pm PT...
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 12:46 pm PT...
Companies shouldn't make profits?....yea...that makes sense. Thanks Gloria.
P.S. that was sarcasm
You have seen what happens when a company can't make a profit right?
NO....Guess you weren't in CA in the 90's
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 12:57 pm PT...
Do you believe companies that make defective products should be allowed to make a profit off of them?
A simple yes or no - no need to try to deceive the smart folks here by claiming DREs are not defective, since it's been proven over and over that they can be used to cheat.
So yes or no.
therealrobp's (aka Robert Pelletier of Diebold) worst nightmare
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 1:10 pm PT...
P.S. No sarcasm whatsoever!
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 1:27 pm PT...
I think we forgot to say
I LOVE YOU MAN!!
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 2:21 pm PT...
Any SOE who expresses concern for vendor profits when faced with such overwhelmingly evidence as the T2B review needs to be removed immediately. She is clearly in the wrong job which is insuring the integrity of each vote cast.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 2:45 pm PT...
It's clear that what the vendors will eventually do is raise the service and support charges to make the counties pay for the auditing.
Once the vendors have locked in a customer, they can however much they want for sevice, and do. Open source sofware will ultimately free the counties from this lock-in, and open up the market.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 3:15 pm PT...
If McCormack is a public employee and appears in a corporate advertisement, that is a serious breach of ethics if not a violation of the local law, or at least it should be. It is in Hawaii, where I live. I had a colleague, a landscape architect, who did something like this for a private corporation, and he got into a lot of hot water over it, although he kept his job.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 3:54 pm PT...
This kind of thing should qualify as a treason charge. She wouldn't last three minutes in a L.A. county jail.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 4:36 pm PT...
Connie Mc C
Hangin' with the N M E?
We saw your picture alright.
On Diebold like Vanna White.
I need to know my vote is true
I need a better watchdog than you.
Step down now.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 4:41 pm PT...
I do not want a private company counting my votes, machine OR paper. period. About time a supervisor started paying a little bit of attention to LA county!
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 5:56 pm PT...
(As a reminder to those not following along, "OMSMedia" is Don Haas, the brother to San Diego county's former Registrar of Voters and one of Diebold's biggest fan/apologists, Mikel Haas. Don also believes in rigging elections. At least online polls.)
I have no problem with a company making a profit. I have a problem with them making a profit off of defrauding their customers, like your brother Mikel.
BTW, I know he's been promoting to oversee the Registrar's now (where he's quickly hired a former Diebold sales rep to take his job, and the discredited man who was forced to resign in Cuyahoga County, OH after he oversaw disasterous elections there in '04, '05 and '06), but has he yet been offered a job by Diebold?
And if so, would you have any problem with him taking it?
And if so, did the job offer come before or after he worked (for them) as one of the worst registrars in the country, using solely their failed machines?
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 6:51 pm PT...
Not to change the subject, but in California, the state budget has still not been passed. The repugnants are holding it up, with some stating one excuse or another. Our local state senator says he wants to take 700 million away from education before he will sign.
On KCRA Channel 3 out of Sacramento, they have a poll asking who is more to blame for the budget not being passed, Democrats, Republicans or Both.
Please go to the following link and vote that Republicans are holding up the budget. It's the truth, and anyone can vote, no matter where you live. It doesn't ask for name or location. Here's the link:
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2007 @ 8:16 pm PT...
Only slightly off topic, the LA Times published another addled and ignorant opinion piece today regarding Bowen's decision (I couldn't make link work so please cut and paste: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/
la-ed-voting8aug08,0,200461.story?coll=la-news-comment-editorials). I'm pasting the rebuttal I wrote to them below but it's too long for their "Letters" section so anyone who can be more concise and less ranting, or just wants them to know we can see through their ignorance, should send a rebuttal to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Opinion Editor:
Your confused editorial starts off by agreeing that Bowen’s independent review revealed a “stunning array of potential vulnerabilities in the electronic voting machines” and that “the scrutiny of the systems was welcome, even overdue” but then you, yourselves, proceed to politicize the importance of what Bowen was trying to do instead of accepting that this is a problem that cuts across politics and strikes at the heart of a process, the integrity of the vote, that is at the core of our democratic process.
Bowen is trying to deal with a problem that is the fault of very bad decisions made at the federal level. HAVA, the ill-considered and hastily fashioned byproduct of the 2000 election fiasco in Florida, introduced a nearly $4 billion windfall into the “voting industry” with completely inadequate standards and regulatory processes to control the quality and safety of these machines. It resulted in the rapid proliferation of voting machine companies and their poorly designed machines with secret software and virtually no way to prove that they were counting our sacred votes in an accurate and honest manner. The federal institutions devised to regulate this industry, now mainly the EAC, were under funded, lacking in standards or enforcement powers and highly politicized. The Rev. DeForest Soaries, Bush’s appointee as the first chair of the EAC after it was created by HAVA, resigned from the commission in April of 2005 and stated that there are "no standards" for voting systems and that Congress and the White House "made things worse through the passage of the Help America Vote Act and that the system now in place is "ripe for stealing elections and for fraud." He went on to say that “Someone in America has got to hold America accountable for protecting the most fundamental right in a democracy and that is the right to vote.” Debra Bowen was elected by the citizens of California (despite your endorsement of her predecessor) to do just that in our state, after campaigning on a platform to bring scrutiny, integrity and openness to the vote counting process, something former SOS McPherson only gave lip service to.
You are wrong to suggest that checking the paper output of these machines is an adequate safeguard since recent studies show that voters do not tend to do this (see here) and that even if they do, the machines can be readily hacked (e.g.- during a “sleepover”) so that what is secretly recorded and counted as the actual vote is different than what is shown on the screen or on the printout (see here) and that current audit standards may be inadequate to detect this. All of these concerns are addressed in Bowen’s review (see here, especially see sections on VVPATs). Did your editorialists even bother to read it?
Thankfully, Ms. Bowen is brave enough to do what is right for the people and stand up to the voting machine industry, the local election officials that have become their clients and all too often, their lobbyists (see here and here), rather than advocates for the voters, and ill-informed or disingenuous newspaper editorialists. The inconvenience and any delays that might be experienced in the upcoming election due to her decisions will be of small consequence if we can all feel more confident that the tabulated results will reflect the true will of the voters.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 8/9/2007 @ 12:01 am PT...
Here is my response to the LA Times article of Sunday Aug. 5. In that article, Conny also spins the truth.
Dear Hector Becerra and Jordan Rau,
Thank you for your front-page article, Sunday August 5, 2007, about Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s top to bottom review of the California voting systems.
The following facts will help clarify some inaccuracies in your article. The only part of Los Angeles County’s voting system that has been rescinded (not just decertified) is called InkaVotePlus precinct based counter made by the company called ES&S, Election Systems and Software. The ES&S precinct-based scanners were used Nov. 2006 for the first time to reduce ballot “spoilage,” that is, ballots that have two votes for an office instead of one or a blank ballot. They were not officially tabulating--adding up the votes—although Conny McCormack was testing their tabulating capacity.
The scanner is not the same as the InkaVote system. InkaVote is the name of our ballot system that replaced the punch cards which voters mark with a black marking pen; LA voters will continue to vote on those. The InkaVote ballots were tabulated in Norwalk, the LA election headquarters on the Microcomputer Tally System, MTS, a program developed by a LA computer programmer named Vern Cowles.
The reason Secretary of State Bowen issued a Rescission and Withdrawal of Approval of the ES&S InkaVotePlus precinct based counter is that ES&S refused to provide the software used in that scanner when Secretary of State Bowen requested it. When Bowen secured the escrowed software from Iron Mountain, ES&S then decided to supply the software on June 26, then too late for the system to be reviewed. But the company gave Bowen a different version of the software than the one in escrow. That is a clear violation of CA law. Page 3 of the Rescission document reads:
1. For the reasons set forth above, the ES&S InkaVotePlus precinct based counter voting system, as approved on April 21, 2006, is unacceptable, and approval for its use in the February 5, 2008, Presidential Primary Election and all subsequent elections in California is withdrawn, effective immediately; and
2. For the reasons set forth above, the approval of the ES&S InkaVotePlus precinct based counter voting system, dated April 21, 2006, is hereby rescinded for noncompliance with the conditions set forth therein, with respect to the February 5, 2008, Presidential Primary Election and all subsequent elections.
I think another reason that approval of use in CA was withdrawn is because each scanner has a modem inside and no one can tell if it is operating. In all her decertifica¬tion directives for Diebold, Sequoia, and Hart Intercivic, Bowen specifies that no machine may have any connection to a wireless or modem at any time.
On page 14 you state that L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said that the system would be recertified after a review. Perhaps he did not read the document, quoted above, affixed with the Great Seal of California. The actual documents released by the Secretary of State make moot the comments made by registrar McCormack about the review being based on telepathy. ES&S did not comply with requirements of the CA laws for the legal and binding “periodic review of voting systems to determine if they are defective, obsolete, or otherwise unacceptable.”
Three other omissions in your article cry out for response. You quote the new San Diego Registrar of Voters, Deborah Seiler. She is a former salesperson for Diebold, who sold Conny McCormack the Diebold machines used here in early voting. You say she feels that an all-paper requirement would be “pretty onerous” for the upcoming election. In recent elections in San Diego, for the couple of years, at least, the San Diego voters have voted on paper ballots that have been counted on Diebold scanners at the precincts. The entire storage area in San Diego election headquarters is filled with boxes of these sealed ballots. The election officials there are fully trained, experienced, and prepared to conduct a paper-based election.
You quoted Thad Hall, a professor of political science at the University of Utah who suggested an outrageous and probably hypothetical risk to paper ballots, but you did not consult an advocate for paper ballots who can explain how accurate and rapidly counted paper ballots can be without the use of any electronic machines. Nor did you consult or quote the expert computer scientists from UC Berkeley or UC Davis whose reports show how poorly designed the software is and how severely insecure the security is for all these electronic voting machines, scanners, and tabulating devices.
Finally you offer a comment made by Riverside County Supervisor Buster about the “bad message to allow decertified machines to be used by the disabled.” Please read the documents on the Secretary of State’s website to see how many requirements she has stipulated for the vendors of these machines to provide before they can be recertified. Buster has completely mischaracterized the process of recertification and falsely alleged that disabled voters’ rights are being diminished instead of being protected by his inaccurate and uninformed allegation.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 8/9/2007 @ 9:03 am PT...
Maybe if Diebold loses enough money in this venture, they will walk away from the business of doing the government's business.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 8/10/2007 @ 6:34 pm PT...
One misrepresentation that keeps coming up in these editorials is the reference to POTENTIAL vulnerabilities. We have gone past potential. These vulnerabilities are very real, and scientifically proven to exist.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 8/18/2007 @ 11:19 am PT...
I live in LA county and wrote the board of supervisors demanding that they fire McCormack years ago when these problems with electronic voting and McCormack's financial connection to the companies years ago.
Now, it is time for the supervisors to fire her and ask for the civil rights division of the FBI to investigate her.