For some facts supporting your's and Chris W.'s statements...John, you said:
Premier filed suit against the state that the state took action in a countersuit. Rather than being courageous plaintiffs in this case, the state is a defendant and Diebold/Premier chose the most favorable court to hear the case. If the state had done the right thing two years ago they very well may have had the funds to have gotten rid of all Diebold DREs in the state for this November. Instead counties are still at the mercy of Diebold and their flawed voting systems. And remember it may be Diebold/Premier in this case but the other vendors play the same game in a different ball park. They are all complicit.
With all the inconsistencies now presenting, it’s obvious that this timing, or lack of, has little to do with “courage,” or even doing what most might consider “justice” or “the right thing.”
Consider that Diebold highly inoperable registrations systems, DIMS, and their electronic poll books, which are still the major ones (re)-approved by the OH SoS’s own 3 people - her Bd. of Voting Machine Examiners- late last year, even AFTER the EVEREST Report. Despite all the damning reports about those poll books and Diebold/Premier, and the way they can easily “lose” registered voters - even ’selected’ ones, and gum up a polling place on election day, it seems that the company still has” a pass,” to squeeze many more multi-millions from Ohioans, via individual counties/ coffers, as SoS Brunner still has not taken her wishes off the table, that all counties have electronic poll books - despite this “delayed” move against the company.
Also, it is clear that the Diebold GEMS problem cited - which has morphed names but not the essential problem - did not first show up in OH in Butler County in March ‘08. It happened in Cuyahoga in the counting of the 11/07 election. The Assist. SoS was there and saw it firsthand. (So was I.) It was widely discussed in Cuyahoga and with the SoS. Cuyahoga spent another hundreds of thousands of dollars, and days of county workers’ time (taxpaid $) with Diebold/Premier “analyzing” “the problem.”
In fact, on December 12, 2007, Larry Calvert of Premier came to the Cuyahoga board meeting and explained “the problem". You can see film of that at http://citizensboe.blogs...m-here-aka-new-gems.html
The SoS reps were at the meeting. Conversations ensue between Cuyahoga and the SoS office continually. If I knew in 12/07 then the SoS certainly also knew.
So an additional question arises, not only about Diebold not sending out a product advisory alert, but why, after all that “analysis” time and money, and the time and expense of EVEREST, did the SoS office not at least warn other OH Diebold touchscreen counties before the March ‘08 election. Why, when it happened in Butler County, was it treated like a big surprise - and according to this lawsuit -still is being treated that way?
And yet another question arises - about why, because of the problems in Cuyahoga with Diebold in November ‘07, did the SoS essentially force Cuyahoga to spend yet another almost $2M leasing ES&S equipment for March, uniquely forcing Cuyahoga into the dangerous, completely opaque practice of all centrally counted votes, with an only one vendor “alternative”, and with the with tabulator, the software and people that determine the “winners and losers,” then being run by ES&S. Why did she not sue then? Why did she not, at least, make all 44 Diebold touchscreen counties move away from the “evil” machines?
I was at the board in late March and early April ‘08 also, in the “observers area” of the tabulation room, even until late the night before that March Primary election certification, and from what I could NOT see despite my efforts, there is no way I could ever attest, that the Cuyahoga Primary results which were certified were truly a reflection of the voters’ will.
(And why, especially since EVEREST, does Sec. Brunner refer to only the touchscreen machines as “electronic voting” (that we now get the idea she’s moving away from,) when it is obvious from even her own study and nationwide reports, that optical scanners at both the precincts or central count, and their tabulators are just as electronic and just as undiscoverably manipulatable as touchscreens; and that ES&S appears essentially no more competent or ethical than Diebold.)
And we need to ask why - after the high-level help of getting their foot shoved into Cuyahoga’s door last March - ES&S recently “won” the bid for another 5 years in Cuyahoga, for ANOTHER approx. $15M - on top of the minimum $22M already soaked up by Diebold basically in 2 years, from ‘05-’07, including the 6,000 touchscreens that sit in storage, which the board is not even using on the very low scale, auditable, controllable basis of one per polling location for handicapped access (until a real election solution can be found.)
ES&S won that bidding against Hart’s lower priced, more popular products and services - about $3-$5M lower - based on guess what? Yep. ES&S’s “successful” (questionable to those there watching) previous experience in the county in March!
And while those 6,000 Diebold touchscreens sit in storage, though actually able to be used somewhat properly for the far fewer than 1,000 expected handicapped voters (out of an expected 5000,000+votes; and there were only 267 handicapped votes registered in March ‘08) ) ES&S ( and friends ) are collecting an approximate $9M-$10M (still from county taxpayer monies) for their handicapped access product - the very slow, very expensive, very heavy AutoMark - which Brad showed in this very column can also wrongly mark the ballots - of the blind, no less.
And last, one must ask why Greene County OH, one of the 4 counties named in the suit is leasing 50 more of the Diebold touchscreens from Van Wert, the latter, one of two small counties that also went to ES&S all central count in March - seemingly willingly, and seemingly to attempt to save money from pouring to Diebold (or possibly get money from the state for their ES&S. central count equipment,)
Now forced by the OH legislature to also go to precinct-count op scans, and still cash strapped, as reported in this column days ago, Van Wert will be recovering dollars to give to ES&S by leasing 50 of their machines to Greene, the latter, a county that is a defendant in the SoS lawsuit against the same company that makes the touchscreens they’re now paying Van Wert to get.
Nope, to me, this lawsuit and its timing bears no resemblance to courage or lack of. Currently it looks like a rather twisted case of Robin Hood - taking from counties whose elected and appointed funders are willing to play along - with taxpayer dollars (that could go for roads, healthcare, childrens’ lunch programs, anti-foreclosure programs etc.) -and for who knows what rewards - while also giving our millions to these same seemingly highly ethically challenged vendors who happen to also hold the potential of controlling election results as desired.
Though to some - with very short memories, or who weren’t watching in the first place, thus are swayed by every media carrot presented - these lawsuits may look like justice.
But when one really looks, and thinks - no matter if some dollars are recovered - it becomes apparent that nothing really “adds up” about them, which then might possibly mean that what does make sense is something we’re not seeing at all. Aside from the travesty of the millions, and the oddness of the lawsuit (MORE taxpayer millions to the lawyers) its timing and venue - the real travesty is that all of these resources and windings in big circles still leave citizens more deeply out of any reward – of even knowing that those “elected” are really OUR choices. Our elections are still being run by companies proven over and over to be unfit to do business with, let alone run our elections. But bigger than that, the real travesty is that more citizens are not standing up and saying STOP the circles of all the complicit that keep the big circles going, with us expected to have blind faith - and that so many still sadly do.
All of the millions from just Cuyahoga alone could have funded real R&D into honest, completely observable companies that could serve the people in elections. Citizen-witnessed hand-counting of the presidential race at the polls, with precinct results posted that night at each one, and mandatory valid audits, not manipulatable exercises that are called audits would serve as one real step toward non-complicity in the current situation, but the absolute cost-efficiency and transparency needed in citizens’ elections.