READER COMMENTS ON
"NEWLY DISCOVERED DIEBOLD THREAT DESCRIBED AS 'MAJOR NATIONAL SECURITY RISK'!"
(120 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
The Old Turk
said on 5/5/2006 @ 1:47 pm PT...
Brad,.. and BradBlog contributors Bless you,...
news,... news ,.... news,...
your miles ahead of the MSM.
This Fascist Government is imploding,....
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 2:08 pm PT...
the wall of deceit is crumbling down,....
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 3:02 pm PT...
Gosh, I'm bidding on the construction of a Jericho Coffe House. Hmmm Jericho - how apropos.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 3:15 pm PT...
Ahh.. those Christian Republicans! gotta love how they love to legislate morality... for others..
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 3:15 pm PT...
bah! wrong damn thread.. lol.. figures..
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 3:43 pm PT...
I'm waiting, I'm waiting, can't wait to see what this is - hoping it is big enough to boot them out of California for 06/06/06 as well as everywhere else! Send them down the road forever!
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
The Old Turk
said on 5/5/2006 @ 3:46 pm PT...
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 4:11 pm PT...
Brad ... you are AWESOME!!!!!!
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 4:21 pm PT...
Old Turk #7
Great song - I started feeling rather ill - thought it was the pictures scrolling down but then realized it was the people in the pictures themselves that was turning my stomach.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 4:31 pm PT...
"That report confirmed the Leon County hack, and found 16 other bugs described as "a more dangerous family of vulnerabilities" which "go well beyond" what was discovered in Leon County."
And California Sec. of State Bruce McPherson certified the damn things anyway.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/5/2006 @ 4:50 pm PT...
I'm that PA former election dircetor that Catherine and Bev have been telling you about. I have one small correction for you from your story. Pennsylvania has no machine-based early voting, only paper absentee ballots, so there is time until 7:00AM May 16 until the first votes are cast on TSx machines.
Repeat: No "early voting" exists in PA.
V. Kurt Bellman
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 4:56 pm PT...
We're on to you.................
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 5/5/2006 @ 5:08 pm PT...
Thanks, Mr. Bellman. Please help keep Pennsylvania free from electoral crooks.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
The Old Turk
said on 5/5/2006 @ 5:13 pm PT...
Mr Bellman,... welcome aboard,....
THX for the input.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 5:39 pm PT...
And how are those paper absentee ballots counted?
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/5/2006 @ 6:08 pm PT...
"And how are those paper absentee ballots counted? "
I hope you have an appreciation for irony, because in most counties that will be using DRE's on Election Day, the paper absentee ballots will be hand counted, at the precinct.
A few counties may have opted for optical scan, but under PA law it would make no sense, since the absentee ballots MUST be counted at the precinct, and that would add precinct scanners cost on top of the cost of DRE's.
For those counties that are using optical scan at the precinct for Election Day votes (presumably with DRE or AutoMark for accessibility cases), the absentee ballots will be added to their precinct scans at the end of the night.
Philadelphia County is still getting away with centrally counting absentee ballots, but no one else in PA can figure out how. It seems to be illegal. I think it has something to do with Philadelphia lawyers.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/5/2006 @ 6:16 pm PT...
To Robert Rockwell Mills,
I wish I could promise you that I could have much impact on "the crooks", but I'm no longer an Election Director, and I am merely a private citizen, and there is a better than even chance that by November, I'll be an Alabaman.
Besides, since I don't live in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, according to James Carville, I'll feel right at home.
"Pennsylvania is basically Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between." - James Carville
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 6:22 pm PT...
O BOY. kEEPUP THE GOOD WORK.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 6:25 pm PT...
I think I can guess what that "horrifying" family of vulnerabilities may entail. I envisioned it on Nov. 3, 2004. Wouldn't it be lovely to be able to relax the paranoia about something so simple, so basic, so very central to the workings of our country as voting?
Welcome, V. Kurt Bellman, to the hair-pullers' club at BradBlog! And thanks for the reassuring info.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 6:27 pm PT...
It's worth mentioning here that the Utah investigation of the TSx was organized by BBV, paid for by BBV, and used source code provided by BBV. Bruce Funk took courageous action to make this possible, as did Ion Sancho last year in Florida.
As Bev Harris posted here on the previous BradBlog story, BBV will be ensuring that ALL jurisdictions using the Diebold TS or TSx will receive full technical reports containing detailed instructions for election directors on ALL POSSIBLE ACTIONs that can be taken to mitigate the risk.
This dissemination will happen immediately once the report is finished. So don't expect your local election official to know anything about these vulnerabilities yet. Personally, I'd rather the election officials get the information before Diebold does, seeing as how Diebold likes to send its technicians around the country changing equipment without notice.
Since the report with all the necessary mitigations is still being written, election officials will have to hang on tight for a few more days. Otherwise they'd be making assumptions based on incomplete information, which is the last thing needed at this point. Even Michael Shamos does not yet have the full picture.
None of these actions would have been possible without BBV's contributors, who are the unsung heros in this story. They should feel proud of what their generosity has accomplished: steadily and systematically uncovering detailed, solid evidence of serious vulnerabilities to America's voting systems, providing information and advice to election officials, and helping citizens take effective action in their own communities. For a small organization BBV packs a mighty punch.
Brad deserves great compliments for his ability to doggedly keep this issue in the spotlight and for being such a good communicator.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 6:47 pm PT...
I meant to say "the hair tearers' club." No, we don't assault each other's pig-tails!
And I second Catherine A's kudos and thanks to Brad. Great work!
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 6:47 pm PT...
Have to say to all: Great Work!
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:00 pm PT...
V. Kurt Bellman -
Welcome, and thanks for the clarification in re: early voting in PA. I'll try to amend the article for clarity there right away.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:02 pm PT...
I got your meaning in the first place.
Before you go canonizing me, in the interest of full disclosure, you should know:
1) I'm a Republican, though less of one than I once was.
2) I don't believe 2004's election was stolen, although 2000's arguably kind of was. (Unless you figure into your 2004 calculation that G.W. Bush wouldn't have been on the ballot if his "loss" in 2000 had been upheld.)
3) I don't think there's a piece of election hardware that can save Rick Santorum unless western PA Democrats decide that having a Pittsburgh area Senator is more important than having a Democrat one.
4) I don't believe much of what I read on ideological blogs, and I read almost exclusively "mainstream" media.
5) I really admire Dr. Michael Ian Shamos, Doug Lewis of the Election Center, and MOST state and county election administrators I've ever met.
6) There is a paperless electronic voting machine that I really think is "the bee's knees." It's one few of you have heard of.
7) I used to think that "election reformers" were mostly nutcases, but not any more.
8) I used to lump Bev Harris in that, too, and I once had some pretty unkind things to say about her, and her people.
9) I am more concerned about what MAY happen from electronic voting than I am with anything that has already happened so far, and
10) I genuinely like discussing these issues even with people who disagree with me, because that's how human beings learn.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
KEVIN SCHMIDT, STERLING VA
said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:16 pm PT...
Lie Told, On Hold.
Diebold? No gold.
They will die cold.
The unused machines will green with mold.
Bankrupted, their assets will be sold!
In jail, execs must do as they are told.
Molesting inmates will make sure they get rolled.
(Something, something) in their backside fold.
Diebold is finished, their machines will not be used in November's elections.
Now onto the other Conservative owned E-voting machine companies that also pose a MAJOR NATIONAL SECURITY RISK!
Bye, bye paperless E-voting machines!
Bye bye Bush/Cheney dictator wannabees!
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:32 pm PT...
V. Kurt Bellman said:
"I genuinely like discussing these issues even with people who disagree with me, because that's how human beings learn."
That is precisely the feeling of most people here, I believe,
but you'll never convince the trolls!
Thanks for your imput.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:36 pm PT...
Anybobdy have a clue what's up with Raw Story?
I've been getting a blank screen with "Currently awaiting resolution...." in the top corner for the last 4 hours or so.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
KEVIN SCHMIDT, STERLING VA
said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:36 pm PT...
...V. Kurt Bellman said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:02pm PT...
1) I'm a Republican
2) I don't believe 2004's election was stolen
6) "the bee's knees."
That must be what they call, faith based voting results. Here's how it works:
Yo, Bees on the knees!
Make the sign of the cross.
Then tally the tainted results.
Don't worry about moral delimmas,
our Jesus backed,
with holier than thou water!
(Complements of the Hellsaburpin
$1000,000,000.01 impurity system)
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
KEVIN SCHMIDT, STERLING VA
said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:41 pm PT...
...Bluebear2 said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:36pm PT...
Anybobdy have a clue what's up with Raw Story?
I told them not to get their new servers from Diebold.
Could it be a Rethug hack attack?
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:48 pm PT...
KEVIN SCHMIDT, STERLING VA said
"I told them not to get their new servers from Diebold."
"Could it be a Rethug hack attack?"
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:49 pm PT...
I got the same message at Raw story. Hey thanks Brad, Alright everybody if you want this great reporting to continue,Help support Brad and his sleuthing.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:57 pm PT...
One thing no one here has mentioned is the poor guy from Utah, soon to be an election martyr... pure atrocity this guy is getting the boot for actually doing his job- protecting the sanctity of the vote- and thus the very foundation of our democracy. Typical these days. And Mr. Bellman, while I admire your candidness, you should at least consider the possibility that the election '04 was stolen, there's enough evidence there, I believe- I'd love to run thru it for you, but I've got to go... will someone please direct this man to the proper resources? I smell a Republican refugee in the making. This story might blow up, let's see if MSM hops on board (yeah right)... one can always hope! Die, Diebold, DIE! And long live Brad, Bev, and everyone else without whom this information might never surface... Adios!
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 7:59 pm PT...
V. Kurt Bellman - Even after your caveats (and perhaps especially *because* of them!) Kurt, I say once again, welcome. I'm delighted you're here and hope you will stick around!
Bluebear2 - They switched servers today to a faster one, but it's taking time for the new IP propigate. John Byrne, managing editor, is not a very happy boy today.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
Wake up...I know, cliched now, but only beause people are stupid
said on 5/5/2006 @ 8:23 pm PT...
1) I'm a Republican, though less of one than I once was.
So you stand for people who sell America out to the European banking families and who respond to questions about aforementioned subject with silence and arrest.
You must be a very small man indeed.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 8:29 pm PT...
This story keeps growing and growing. This is just out on BBV, including yet more enticing details:
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 07:52 pm:
Utah notified of TSx problem, punished official who discovered it
This week, the state of Pennsylvania sequestered all Diebold touch-screens to implement an emergency security measure. Several more states are expected to follow.
The state of Utah has known that a critical security risk exists in its Diebold TSx touch-screens, but chose to punish the courageous public official responsible for identifying the defect instead of taking any efforts to learn what the problem is and correct it.
Below is a link to the security alert faxed to the Utah Lt. Governor, state elections director, Emery County attorney and Emery County commissioners on March 24.
Security alert - Diebold TSx
An Open Letter To The Administrators Of The Emery County Government.doc (35.3 k)
Shoot the messenger
Utah officials ignored the warning entirely, and instead flew Diebold attorneys to Emery County on the governor's airplane, where the Diebold lawyers were allowed to sit into a private executive session. In this session, a decision appears to have been made to lock Emery County Elections director Bruce Funk out of his office.
In Utah, the law requires that any employment decision be publicly noticed (it was not) and the county attorney is the designated counsel for county elections officials (County Attorney David Blackwell chose to side with Diebold against Bruce Funk). According to a tape recording of the public portion of the meeting, Bruce Funk repeatedly requested an attorney, but this was denied to him.
Funk was an eye witness to the security testing by Harri Hursti and Security Innovation, Inc. He knew first-hand that the machines represented a significant security risk. County commissioners told him he was going to be required to use the machines anyway, Diebold refused to provide a letter in writing indicating that machines it sold weren't used or loaded with inappropriate software; Diebold then told Emery County that it was going to cost $40,000 to check over the machines (the Diebold contract limits them to charging just over $1200 per day, Emery County has just 40 machines, and re-flashing all machines with a new system takes no more than 10 minutes per machine). Funk was told that he would not be permitted to watch Diebold technicians work on the machines, and they had already "visited" his machines while he was out of town for a day.
Because Funk was denied a lawyer, he didn't know that a little-known 1929 law in Utah was sometimes used by public officials to browbeat each other out of office. If certain public officials gang up and intimidate another public official, threatening punitive measures and dire consequences, urging resignation, if the targeted official tenders even a tentative and conditional resignation, under some interpretations that is held to stick. Diebold and the county succeeded in browbeating Funk into temporary submission; he quickly notified them in writing that he had no intention of resigning, so they locked him out of his office.
Black Box Voting has assisted Funk in securing qualified legal counsel and is underwriting the public policy legal actions to defend Funk against Diebold's actions --- ironically, with Diebold's own money, won in a Diebold false claims suit in California. A $76,000 fee was paid to Black Box Voting founder Bev Harris, and was subsequently contributed as a restricted donation for public interest litigation. The Diebold money is now helping support the whistleblower retaliation against Stephen Heller and actions to help Bruce Funk fight Diebold's retaliation.
In Funk's case, the lack of public notice and failure to put his employment matter on the agenda likely outweighs the 1929 law, as does the county's refusal to provide him with counsel, failure to allow him to sit in on the private meeting with Diebold lawyers concerning his employment, and insistence that he take responsibility for elections held on machines he knew to be insecure.
To date, Emery County has refused to provide Funk with either a transcript or a tape or their behind-closed-doors meeting with Diebold attorneys.
Diebold's behavior is more problematic
Experts for the state of California and the state of Pennsylvanie have now confirmed the seriousness of the vulnerabilities discovered in Emery County. Diebold was cornered by Pennsylvania voting system examiner Michael Shamos, and was given the choice of telling the truth or lying. Shamos had already sequestered one of the machines and was prepared to examine it himself it Diebold lied. Only after this did Diebold admit to knowing about the security vulnerability, which is designed into the system.
Black Box Voting is completing reports with Harri Hursti and subsequently with Security Innovation (which will serve as peer review for Hursti Report II). The Hursti Report on findings from Emery County will detail multiple back doors built into the system. This report will be released to the public in redacted form on May 10. The unredacted version will be provided to federal and state regulators, including the Dept. of Homeland Security's "CERT" alert system.
Letter to Utah officials
Here is a quote from the preliminary information which Utah officials chose to ignore (except for locking Mr. Funk out of his office):
To: Gary Herbert, Lt. Governor of the state of Utah
Cc: David Blackwell, Emery County Attorney
Bruce Funk, Emery County Elections
Emery County Commissioners
Michael Cragun, Utah State Elections Director
Mar. 24, 2006
This is a formal notification that a security defect was found in the Diebold TSx system in Emery County, Utah by professional security experts from Security Innovation, Inc. and Mr. Harri Hursti. Because of the severity of the defects, the formal reports are being prepared with sufficient precision to garner the attention of the appropriate authorities with jurisdiction over this matter. These authorities, of course, include each of you who are receiving this notice, in addition to federal authorities in the general area of computer security.
The security problems found in Emery County present potentially catastrophic security defects for upcoming elections. The issue extends outside of Emery County to additional states. The identified security vulnerability appears to be:
1) Persistent, with the ability to survive through multiple elections;
2) Difficult to detect, not only for elections official but also for security experts and even for Diebold technicians;
3) Flexible, in that the exploit can selectively affect any particular election, candidate or ballot question;
4) Accessible, in that no password, supervisor access or special equipment is needed to invoke the exploit;
5) Difficult to eradicate with any patch, reinstallation, or cleaning procedure;
6) Likely to be exploited, because the skills needed to exploit the hole are possessed by many programmers and the information needed to conduct the exploit is generally available to the public. The time needed to exploit the security hole is in the range of a weekís planning time and 60 seconds for execution.
A pattern of security failures
The testing in Emery County follows another set of tests by Black Box Voting in Leon County, Florida, which documented security flaws in the GEMS central tabulator and the Diebold AccuVote optical scan system.
A pattern of retaliation by Diebold
Like Bruce Funk, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho faced retaliation by Diebold and other voting companies. Diebold refused to honor its contract with Sancho, forcing him out of HAVA compliance. The only other authorized vendors then blackballed Sancho, refusing to sell to him.
The Florida Attorney General is now investigating Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia for collusion and antitrust violations.
Diebold has also been participating in orchestrated smear campaigns against Black Box Voting and its founder, Bev Harris, using fake Internet "screen names," identity theft (posing as board members of Black Box Voting to post defamation, organizing fake news Web sites smearing election integrity advocates in general and Black Box Voting/Bev Harris specifically. Other Diebold employees have joined with the Diebold smear squad, which also includes an individual from North Carolina, and according to public records obtained by Black Box Voting, have colluded to point elections officials toward the cyberlibel.
Black Box Voting, together with a team of researchers, has obtained documents and photographs which directly tie these retaliatory actions to Diebold. A more detailed article on the Diebold smear campaigns will be published after the dust has settled on the Diebold touch-screen security failures.
PERMISSION TO REPRINT GRANTED, WITH LINK TO http://www.blackboxvoting.org
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 8:48 pm PT...
Return to hand count paper ballots! No other way to make them accurate. Simpler is best - return to basics. But then how many politicians are there to vote for in this one party system?
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 10:12 pm PT...
Raw story had their server relocated without their permission and it will take 24 to 48 hours for it to get back on line completely. It will help if the people closest to the server keep trying to reach it. All of the dns servers on the net have to learn the new ip address.
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2006 @ 10:18 pm PT...
Brad #33 - Thanks
Wake up...I know #34 -
It seems that V. Kurt has come here to bring us some information regarding this mess. He has exposed himself as a Republican who is having some second thoughts. While he may not see things totaly "our way" I feel we should welcome him and his personal knowledge of the election process. I mean within reason people can agree to disagree. It seems he may have some things to bring to the table.
He is not at all like Paul or Ricky who come here just to stir things up, or Mike J who fills the pages with what first seems to be intelligence untill you've seen enough of it and realize it's just a bunch of hogwash.
It takes a big man to walk into a room and say I don't necessarily agree with you but here is what I have to offer.
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 5/5/2006 @ 11:19 pm PT...
Mr. Bellman, you don't believe the 2004 election was stolen. Do you have an explanation for the discrepancy in Pennsylvania between exit-poll results and tabulated vote? I believe it was 6%. Kerry won the state anyway, but that figure defies all the laws of probabilities. It's a mathematically
impossible number, really.
Now, consider that in the 11 battleground states, Kerry's exit-poll numbers ran well ahead of his actual vote count in 10 of them, the other being a standoff. That's equally impossible.
The only explanation given for these discrepancies is that "more Kerry voters were interviewed" by exit pollsters. That is a non-explanation, because it suggests there were more Kerry voters available to be interviewed...in other words, Kerry had more votes than Bush.
The only way to resolve the dilemma and make sense while doing it is to state the obvious: Bush's friends rigged the vote count.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 1:52 am PT...
Welcome sir! We can use all the help we can get.
Although the theft of the 2004 election is very complicated and not yet understood because of very shoddy to non-existent coverage. Most people agree that former president Jimmy Carter is an honorable man with an impecable record of election monitoring around the world.
Paste this address into you browser and hear for yourself what he had to say about the 2000 election.
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 3:56 am PT...
Emlev #40 and Brad #41,
There's no point putting pressure on the EAC or anyone else until all the facts are available, and all the possible mitigating factors are compiled into the final report.
BBV will be making sure that the elected official in every possibly affected jurisdiction gets this. There's not much point making phone calls or sending emails on this till the FULL report is complete--at which point BBV will be sending it out.
And you know BBV--they'll make sure they don't just send it but that they also get proof of receipt. No official will be able to pretend that they never got it.
AFTER the election officials have received it is when it'll be time for citizen action and making our views known. This will be especially important in our own local areas and to local and regional media. (And of course national media as well--like BradBlog!)
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 4:00 am PT...
The website for Bruce Funk's county seems to have already replaced him. I've got some before and after links on my site that show his page from the Google Cache. http://www.coggins.org/BruceFunk
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/6/2006 @ 5:54 am PT...
For Robert Lockwood Mills (@#39),
Okay, I can see why you feel the way you do. I had the unfortunate experience of observing NEP's people and methods in PA, and I believe their work was pretty shoddy, at least here. In my COUNTY, it was abysmal. I wouldn't trust ANYTHING they got out of here. But I refuse to extrapolate beyond my county and state, because that would just be speculation on my part, and not particularly fair. What it DOES DO is make what I've read about NEP's failures elsewhere at least PLAUSIBLE to me.
I agree that the PA exit poll to actual results swing is sizable, along with others, but you must remember that electronic voting existed in PA in only VERY few counties in 2004, and they not only went HUGE for Kerry when taken as a whole, but went WAY above Democratic registration in those areas. In short, in Pennsylvania, Kerry's "best friend" was the electronic vote.
The areas where Bush won and outperformed his Republican voter registration were overwhelmingly lever, punchcard and optical scan counties, places with "documents". In fact, in those few areas where traditionally hand counted paper was used, Bush could almost have been said to pitch a near shutout.
In addition, the areas with ridiculously long lines to vote in PA, where many voters left in disgust, were among the most heavily Republican areas, for the most part.
In short, all the things that happened in Ohio that benefitted Bush, could be said to have benefitted Kerry in PA.
In Philadelphia, where they use the one electronic system that I like quite a lot, Republicans frequently finish THIRD in many precincts, behind the Democratic AND Green Party candidates.
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 5/6/2006 @ 7:16 am PT...
Sounds to me as if there was fraud on both sides in Pennsylvania (unlike in Ohio). But Kerry ran 6% ahead in the exit polls vs. his tablulated vote in your state, so whatever factors benefited him in Pennsylvania (as opposed to Ohio) didn't translate into actual votes...quite the opposite, in fact.
I'm absolutely convinced that votes were flipped en masse, probably at central tabulators rather than in individual machines. There's no way to explain a 6% discrepancy without violating the laws of probability...and the factors you cite, Mr. Bellman, would even make the discrepancy larger than 6%.
Some day this will all come out in the wash. And if any good can be said to emerge from it, maybe the macho tradition of "Accept the results, don't be a sore loser" will go the way of the buggy whip and hula hoop.
Not to beat a dead horse, but we don't apply a "...don't be a sore loser" standard to foreign governments who rig their elections. On the contrary, we send Colin Powell, Condi Rice, and Jimmy Carter over there to remind Ukraine and Belarus that "diplomatic relations between our countries will be negatively impacted by this fraudulent election outcome." Arrogance. Pure, unbridled American arrogance. That's all it is. We can have nuclear weapons, but other countries can't...because we're the United States of America. We can rig our elections, but no other country can...because we're the United States of America, the world's role model.
Except, of course, when we invade sovereign countries that aren't threatening us, torture prisoners, spy illegally on our own citizens, and lie about all of it afterwards.
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 7:18 am PT...
Welcome Mr. Bellman. It's great to have more input on the issues under discussion.
I think that both the elections of 2000 and 2004 were stolen, but it's not a proven thing. There just seem to be a lot of indicators pointing in that direction.
Though I suppose one can question whether an election was stolen when the person stolen from, Kerry, doesn't seem to mind. I guess the answer to that would be that the votes were stolen not from Kerry, perhaps, but from voters (assuming they were stolen).
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 7:21 am PT...
V. Kurt Bellman #11, #24
You said you are a republican. Evidently you realize most here are not. In another thread I noticed awhile ago on this blog, a long list of "republican" sexual arrests were listed (link here), I pointed out that these are not "republican" sexual arrests, these are human behavior problems with no nexus to political affiliation (link here). Just so you know, I like to keep things as straight as possible. I do not like unfairness that way.
But I do not pull any punches when it comes to identifying this regime as a republican dictatorship. I do not limit the definition of "dictatorship" to the ancient concept based upon the behavior of Hitler, Musolini, or Stalin. Instead, my definition of a dictatorship is any mechanism or process that thrwarts the will of the people when they want to make changes to their government thru their votes ... and for any reason are prevented from doing so.
IMO when the president is rubber stamped by a congress of the same party, and the polls shout that the people are not with them, and it cannot be changed thru checks and balances, the only thing remaining to change from a dictatorship mode is an election. And if the government cannot be changed by an election, then a dictatorship is in place. That is the reality in modern times like ours as John Gideon, Brad, BBV, and the bloggers here are pointing out in the analogy to a train wreck.
I would like to ask you what your take is on exit polling. The trolls that post here go into hysterics when any phrase contains the word "poll", so they tend not to distinguish the science from the bunk.
Exit poll science provides tools that have been used for decades successfully. Accurate predictions are the legacy of these tools.
The 2000 and 2004 official election results were at odds with the exit poll predictions for the first time and for the first time electronic voting machines were used.
Those doing the polls, Edison/Mitofsky, were of the popular mindset "it can't happen here". This mindset is not prepared to entertain any notion of election fraud as the reason for the massive first time discrepancies.
They instead offered the explanation that "republicans were more shy than democrats" and that is why the massive discrepancy. They did not even consider vote fraud.
A study done by 8 Phd's and one MS pointed this out and that fraud must not be ruled out (link here). They said:
"3. Inaccurate Election Results
Edison/Mitofsky did not even consider this hypothesis, and thus made no effort to contradict it. Some of Edison/Mitofsky's exit poll data may be construed as affirmative evidence for inaccurate election results. We conclude that the hypothesis that the votersí intent was not accurately recorded or counted [fraud]cannot be ruled out and needs further investigation" (ibid. at page 3, bold added).
Other experts have said: "Flaws in any of these aspects of a voting system, however, can lead to indecisive or incorrect election results" (link here).
Edison/Mitofsky and the MSM, who used the data, can't bear to even consider that America could be corrupted in its election processes.
A position entirely at odds with common sense and scientific inquiry, which does not rule out ... before starting the test ... any particular potential result the evidence may point to.
Are you of the same opinion, that the only thing exit poll discrepancy can not be attributed to ... is wrong final tallies by the election officials?
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 7:25 am PT...
Blogging and commenting is all fun and good, but what you people have to understand is that all of this info will NEVER, NEVER, EVER see the light of the MSM.
With that in mind, I believe that if the Democrats DO NOT take back the House and Senate in November, Americans will either have to stand up or shut up. Only protests and removal of administration liars by force - by the people - will save the nation.
Anyone who thinks that the 2006 elections will be any cleaner than 2000 or 2004 is simply "whistlin' Dixie." The fix is already in and despite the valiant and heroic efforts of people like Brad and Bev, there's no way around the theft of these upcoming elections.
America was hijacked in 2000. Don't believe for a moment that they're about to give it back. We're screwed, been screwed and it's probably going to have to get a lot worse before it gets any better.
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 7:49 am PT...
You bring up a most excellent observation. One everyone should subscribe to.
That is, elections do not belong to anyone except the people.
It does not matter whether or not a campaigner or an election official thinks an election was improperly conducted to the point of thwarting the will of the voters ... what matters is what the people think about it.
It is the same with search and seizure issues ... the constitution says a warrant must be used and issued only upon probable cause.
Some dorks say "I am not worried because I did nothing wrong and so search me I don't care about warrants". They think they can do away with the constitution (4th Amendment) simply because they think they have nothing to fear by a government that can search or seize anytime it feels like it.
Same with voting ... if the people think something is wrong it does not matter what the candidates or election officials think ... what the people think is the fulcrum of the issue.
COMMENT #49 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 7:50 am PT...
"We're screwed, been screwed and it's probably going to have to get a lot worse before it gets any better." Boo-yah
Yes, we are, if we don't do anything. Everyone that is worried about election fraud should get involved with their local election process, and try to affect changes. Don't just sit around and moan - do something!
COMMENT #50 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/6/2006 @ 7:59 am PT...
I really don't have the time to go into a long explanation of where I stand regarding the NEP's polling failures, so what I'm offering here is a "Reader's Digest Condensed Version", with all the limitations that implies.
If you want a pretty extensive version of what I believe, see www.mysterypollster.com. I tend to give a lot of credence to Democrats who opine opposite of what you'd expect from Democrats, and similarly situated Republicans who buck the trend of what you'd expect from them. That's just the way I think.
I witnessed first hand what E/M or NEP folks were doing in my area, and it makes me dubious of their data elsewhere. In my area, the NEP exit poll takers VASTLY oversampled Democratic precincts, oversampled Democrats within each precinct, and generally looked and behaved in a way that would be instantly "off-putting" to any conservative Republican. I EVEN witnessed an NEP exit poll taker with Kerry/Edwards buttons on, contrary to the standards given by Edison Mitofsky.
All wore shirts boldly emblazoned with the logos of AP and the major TV networks. Now where I live, that's analogous to waving a red flag before a bull, when presenting to, say, a Rush Limbaugh fan. I do believe that there was a large "refusal to participate" among Limbaugh-esque Republicans, and Limbaugh "owns" the Noon to 3 time slot in my area.
That's why I believe the official "differential participation" explanation of events.
COMMENT #51 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 10:29 am PT...
Kurt, re: the peculiar results in some areas of PA, these should be investigated regardless of who apparently benefitted.
Optical scan results are highly questionable for several reasons. Just because they use paper doesn't mean the paper is ever used for a count--especially as you've commented that it's very difficult to get a recount in PA.
COMMENT #52 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/6/2006 @ 11:00 am PT...
You've stumbled into one of our "problems" in Pennsylvania. Our election system, at least as far as investigations and challenges are concerned, is a completely "adversarial" process. That is, no one from "outside" will be found to have standing to even look at anything.
If the putative "aggrieved party" doesn't complain, no one else may. We simply have nothing in place for outside oversight. It's analogous to Kerry not challenging Ohio. I know that other parties intervened in Ohio. In PA, not only couldn't another party intervene, they'd have nobody to intervene WITH.
Besides, it would be bad form for Bush to investigate what happened in PA, since he won the election.
There is a hard and fast rule that applies. Only the states lost by the loser will ever get investigated. States lost by the winner never are investigated, frequently because there's no way to investigate them.
COMMENT #53 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/6/2006 @ 11:10 am PT...
"The 2000 and 2004 official election results were at odds with the exit poll predictions for the first time and for the first time electronic voting machines were used."
You do know, don't you, that both halves of that sentence are demonstrably false?
My county has used electronic voting machines since 1989, and the county two counties west of me has been using them since 1984.
And exit polls have failed numerous times in history, just one example being Illinois 1960 and 1968, not to mention 1948 all over the place, lest we forget "Dewey Defeats Truman."
COMMENT #54 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 11:11 am PT...
:OAxis of Evil Bush Chenny Rummy
Voting Diebold machines have to provide someone to
keep the axis of evil out of Hauge
COMMENT #55 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 11:36 am PT...
V. Kurt Bellman #52
Your lack of response is what I call The Silence of The Goats. Your avoidance of my questions places you in a group we know well.
You apparently feel that the Phd's who wrote the articles I referred to are not as capable as you are. You poo poo their explanations with silence.
You do not explain whether or not you read the scientific papers I linked to, and responded as if exit poll science is a political tool.
That is not the history, legacy, nor use of exit polls. But if people like you continue to make politics of science in your mind, that may be the way the only test left will go. Use it or loose it.
Then we will have people like you all over the nation who offer platitudes for these obvious technical failures.
What if Ford, GM, MicroSoft, and other technical entities go that way too? Will we explain accidents and thousands of deaths as "driver problems"?
Listen, it is quite obvious that mass produced machines behave the same everywhere because of one simple fact, they are the same. They have to be as a matter of law if a test is going to be applied to one of two of them as representative of the entire line.
What this means is that the same machine goes to a place where the election officials declare "all is well" and the same machine goes to a place where the election officials declare "this is hell".
Yep, The Silence of The Goats is fooling only about 33% of the people at this time ... and heading towards zero.
COMMENT #56 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 11:42 am PT...
V. Kurt Bellman #55
Provide links to your assertions as we are in a habit of doing here.
Otherwise your assertions have little if any weight.
And also indicate whether or not you read the links I provided, and your thoughts on them.
I am loosing trust in you because the foundation of your position is "trust me", while I ask you to trust only what there is valid evidence for.
And I assure you I am representative of the practices of Brad and most bloggers here.
COMMENT #57 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 11:43 am PT...
Catherine a #43 said:
"AFTER the election officials have received it is when it'll be time for citizen action and making our views known. This will be especially important in our own local areas"
Let us know when it is time - I'm waiting to do my part!
COMMENT #58 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 11:48 am PT...
RLM #46 said:
"and lie about all of it afterwards."
Correction: "and lie about all of it BEFORE and afterwards."
COMMENT #59 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 5/6/2006 @ 11:52 am PT...
For Bluebear2: Correction noted.
COMMENT #60 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 12:00 pm PT...
Axis of Evil -G Bush,Chenny,Rummy
Voting Diebold machines has to provide someone
to keep the Axis of Evil out of the Haugue.
Some high Priest of Bohemian Grove
COMMENT #61 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 12:00 pm PT...
COMMENT #62 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 12:03 pm PT...
So, what if we know more about Diebold being corrupt. We knew the last election that they were stealing the elections. We knew to use the available alternative and that is Absentee Ballot. The trouble is the TV network owners and their minions want this corrupt administration to keep on destroying the Constution and the social and health safety nets for all but the 1%ers. They like this corporate fascist government and want more of it. So, they want to have the winner announced by midnight on the day of elections and want to back us that way into using the fastest counting methods - their corrupt electronic machines. This way the absentee ballots do not get counted until after the winner is announced, a very hard mess to straighten out when the paper ballots reveal the real winner. You saw it happen twice before with Bush II. You are right to keep pursuing Diebold. But, we need where to go beyond that to get fair elections. I have stood on streets with the other protestors with my signs for absentee balloting and mandatory ballot hand counting and to make it mandatory that the winner not be announced until the absentee ballots received by midnight on voting day are all counted. We can wait a couple days or a couple weeks for a honest hand count of our votes. This is a cure we can afford and have in place right now. Nobody is working the replacement to these corrupt electronic vote countings that I can see. We do not have to do the count fast. We just have to do the count correctly.
COMMENT #63 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 12:06 pm PT...
About alerting other jurisdictions of these newly discovered problems, do you think they really won't hear, or just won't hear any official word?
If the former, it seems to me that it wouldn't be so hard to organize a plan to tell them ourselves.
If the latter, and if only official notification has any hope of making a difference, then it's the officials we need to pressure.
COMMENT #64 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 12:59 pm PT...
Emlev - I'd suggest pressuring the EAC to do their job and issue a complete notification to all 50 states and to the media would be appropriate and a very good idea. It's their job. They should start doing. I don't care how damn underfunded they are by the cretens who created them via the HAVA bill.
COMMENT #65 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 1:45 pm PT...
Everyone is going to be surprised when they learn who is behind organizing what appears to be "planned" design flaws. What many don't know are the connection links with all the other scandals and Indictments.
COMMENT #66 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/6/2006 @ 2:14 pm PT...
What? You want "links" to prove that Pennsylvania electronic voting (in Dauphin County, home of the State Capitol) has existed since 1984? Or 1989 in my county (Berks, county seat Reading, as in the railroad in the Parker Brothers game)? C'mon. Those are facts. The same system has been used almost as long statewide in the state of Delaware, which Kerry also won.
The facts also are that exit polls are better than pre-election polls, but are still polls, subject to sampling error, methodology errors, and especially in 2004, poll taker training and presentation errors.
Yes, exit polling got MUCH better from its inception until about 1998-2000. The 2000 experience (a once in a lifetime screw-up, IMHO) wrongly convinced everyone to throw the baby out with the bathwater and get rid of VNS, which had a pretty decent track record, and replace it with NEP, who blew the job badly.
Read extensively at www.mysterypollster.com, done by Mark Blumenthal, a highly regarded Democratic pollster.
When the Edison Mitofsky people themselves admit that there was about a 5% pro-Kerry error, I'm sorry, for me that's game, set, and match. I don't care how many PhD's dissent.
The uncomfortable truth is that if your only standard is that you can point to a group of PhD's that will say a thing, you can prove anything under the sun, because you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a PhD that has something provocative and "out there" to say. I'm a college grad, too, and some of the dumbest things ever written came from PhD's. Sorry, I've taken classes from some of them.
I told you, I do not subscribe to things on highly ideological blogs, left or right. They are too tainted to be credible to me. I get 90% of my information on election reform from www.electionline.org, a site with no apparent political axe to grind. The rest I get from places like BBV and here, because Brad understands the magnitude of the train wreck that has already begun, and Bev does NOT widley apply mass political motives to a vast problem that exists nonetheless.
This IS a bloody scandal, yes, sure as shootin' it is. But there is no political "puppetmaster" pulling the strings. Sorry, there just isn't. No one from Washington ever called asking me for any access to my systems. No midnight Karl Rove calls,. Sorry, it just didn't happen. It is a story of unbridled corporate greed to rape the taxpayer by a few companies with shoddy products that work like crap, and are darned difficult to run correctly. They also declined to disclose to duped local jurisdictions how much the "total cost of ownership" of these pigs is.
By the way, unless Brad got it from somewhere else first, I am the one that broke the Allentown Morning Call story about the Pennsylvania Diebold matter onto the "alternative blogosphere" by posting it on BBV. It ran on electionline.org, and I grabbed it from there. The Allentown Morning Call IS mainstream media. The mainstream media DOES report the story, but they don't "connect the dots" correctly. Neither do those who see a political motive in it all.
It's not about Republicans and Democrats. It's about crappy overpriced products that don't work, and a greedy industry that conned a willingly stupid bipartisan Congress into passing a historically bad piece of legislation - HAVA.
COMMENT #67 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/6/2006 @ 2:52 pm PT...
One other brief thought.
I have read your links, and I believe the version from Edison Mitofsky and mysterypollster.
I think that the 8 PhD's and the MS missed the actual problem. It was NOT the "reluctant" Bush voter that was the issue, it was the HOSTILE Bush voter that was the issue.
It's not that Bush voters were "shy" to use the word you posted earlier, but rather the Bush voter who would likely have told the NEP poll taker to go "have relations with" him or herself. I have yet to read any scholarly report that dealt with that eventuality.
I'm no Christian right winger, I don't know if you'll ever find a more secular guy than me, but I know a good many Christian conservatives. Many of them would not lightly cuss out another human being, but some of them might throw exactly that treatment at an exit poller.
Do not underestimate the venom that right wingers save for anyone associated with the mainstream media, especially the big 3 television networks.
COMMENT #68 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 3:16 pm PT...
To say that Democrats have done as much as Republicans to make sure we'll never know our votes are counted is nonsense!
This "he said, she said" Fox news tactic is making us crazy!
COMMENT #69 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 4:36 pm PT...
Catherine A #43 said:
There's no point putting pressure on the EAC or anyone else until all the facts are available, and all the possible mitigating factors are compiled into the final report.
I respectfully disagree, Catherine. The EAC (especially now that *any* of this material is known!) ought to be flying in like the FAA does after a plane crash. They should be leading the way at not only investigating what's going on here, but making certain that every voting jurisdiction in the country is aware of the problem every step of the way. Particularly with primary elections occuring *now*.
Yes, the more info they have later, will be great, and they should be pounded on even *more* at that point if they don't take action.
But it's high time they actually *do* something at the EAC, which was formed by HAVA and which had done virtually *nothing* since then.
That despite a need for them like never before, ironically enough, *because* of the creation of HAVA!
COMMENT #70 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/6/2006 @ 4:58 pm PT...
I agree totally with that. I believe the EAC ought to be on this "like white on rice", but for whatever reason, they don't yet see their role in this, apparently.
I've personally met two of the four current EAC Commissioners, and the one who left recently. The problem I see with the EAC is that they see themselves as some scholarly clearinghouse of information, and not as any part of an enforcement or mitigation service.
I think there are two reasons for that. The NASED organization is on record that they think EAC needs to be phased out after HAVA funds are disbursed, so they are "cowed" by that, and the Congress hasn't exactly been making EAC ongoing funding a high priority. Heck, Congress has almost been starving EAC to death from the "get go". That tends to make an organization not real willing to stick its neck out.
We may just have to trust Dr. Shamos and PA SoS Pedro Cortes' team on this. Cortes "gets it", as does Bill Boehm, his Policy Director (who I'll just bet is the source in Harrisburg Bev has been talking to).
We're probably going to luck out here. There are no Diebolds in May 9th states, and if Cortes, Shamos, and Boehm believe that they can safeguard PA by May 16, I tend to believe them. William Boehm in PA W-A-A-A-Y gets this. He's been predicting the demise of the new DRE's for years now. He comes directly from the Democratic caucus of the legislature. If there's a way that these machines could possibly flip an election for Republicans, and Bill Boehm is made aware of it, Bill Boehm will expose it. I have scads of respect for Bill. He won't let you down.
This isn't in the hands of any reactionary Republicans any more (Florida, Ohio, Utah). "The mounties" have arrived. Remember, PA Gov. Ed Rendell was a chair of the DNC for awhile. These folks in charge at PA SoS are Ed's boys. They've got your back.
COMMENT #71 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 5:03 pm PT...
V. Kurt Bellman #66, #67
Why am I not surprised?
Cause you are so full of shit you are a Goat.
Which means you can not stick it to us because we know about The Silence of The Goats. We do not give traitors a trophy here. But you do qualify for the
Get back to the 33% that believe your bu$hit, cause you are wasting bleeps here.
WE are for America and do not recognize your flag of ameriKKKa!
COMMENT #72 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 5:13 pm PT...
Larry Bergan #68: "To say that Democrats have done as much as Republicans to make sure we'll never know our votes are counted is nonsense!"
Have a read of Black Box Voting (available free online here; scroll down and individual chapters are listed on the right hand side). While the winning side may vary, both major parties have engaged in plenty of unethical practices.
Have a look at states like MD, where the Democratically-controlled Senate recently voted down proposals for hand-counting paper ballots, even though the proposals were supported unanimously by the MD House and the Governor.
I am not aware of any legislator (Democrat or Republican) who has urged inspection of the machines with which they were elected. Michigan, with Democratic strongholds, is the most obstructive of anywhere in the USA regarding responding to FOIA requests, from BBV's experience.
Democratic Party leaders give lip service but they're not facilitating the kind of investigation or reform that is needed. They are not supporting transparency. Some of the highly questionable election results have been in polling districts that favored Kerry and used optical scanners.
It's quite possible that the Republicans may have been more successful in using a combination of tactics including disenfranchisement and "creative use of technology" but neither major party is making it easier to get factual data.
The burden of proof is inappropriately placed on voters to prove fraud occurred. As Kurt Bellman has pointed out on several posts at BBV, election officials over many years have been operating within a system that presumes that elections have been conducted properly. Vendors, election officials, judges and elected persons have all blocked citizens' ability to carry out investigations, get a recount, legally challenge an election result, or take a lawsuit. These restrictions make it challenging to gather the proof of fraud that is needed to pass muster with election officials who by default are assumed to be competent and blameless.
It's crucial for citizens to gather evidence as much as possible in their own local area, such as following the suggestions in this post for observing upcoming elections and gathering evidence.
COMMENT #73 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/6/2006 @ 5:16 pm PT...
What is the color of the sky in your world? Man, if I was carrying around all that venom, I don't know how I'd be able to draw breath.
Geez, man, so what happens when the pendulum swings back and Democrats take control again (as WILL happen)? How the heck do we ever live as one nation again?
Can't the venom be diluted? What has happened here?
COMMENT #74 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 5:39 pm PT...
V. Kurt Bellman #73
Venom? Don't tread on me!
You are an election official. You work for me, and all Americans.
Republicans seem to think we work for them.
Listen, you are upside down and we are going to kick you so hard in the ass your shoulders will hurt because the toe of our boots are going to be lodged there until your leaders are in jail.
You do not impress me troll. You are unaware, unprepared to serve the people, and are just too fucked up with republican dictatorship jargon.
FLUSH YOU!!!!. I am done with you ...
COMMENT #75 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 5:44 pm PT...
Re: #69 It would be great if the EAC had been taking a more active role all along. They have been sidelined by their "masters" (delays in being set up, not given sufficient funding or staff, lack of clarity as to their authority to take action).
I was just talking about a day or two of difference in timing. I don't know what the EAC can do without first seeing Hursti/Security Innovation's report. To phone them before they've even received it will make them more aware that there are issues, but they won't be able to respond in any meaningful way.
If you think it would help to make sure the EAC know we think they should be paying more attention, I can see that point of view. If you think the EAC should be urged into premature action for PR value without having received the report, I don't think that would be helpful.
What would be your preferred outcome from contacting the EAC now, before they receive the report?
COMMENT #76 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/6/2006 @ 7:10 pm PT...
HEY DREDD, you insufferable IDIOT!,
I am a PRIVATE CITIZEN, jerk. I don't work for you even a tiny little bit! The person who has the job I USED TO HAVE came there from being a DIEBOLD SALES REP. okay? Before that, she worked for another DRE maker. You like that better? Thought so.
You want links, Jerk? Okay idiot, here are some links. DRE's as long ago as 1980 were used by 2.3% of voters. See the CalTech/MIT report at:
The chart is on page 5. Enough of a link for you, jerk?
Now about the so-calle dinfallibility of exit polls. See:
There's lots of links there.
Any more ridiculous questions, you moron?
COMMENT #77 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 8:15 pm PT...
COMMENT #78 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 5/6/2006 @ 9:14 pm PT...
When people get nasty to the point of childishness on Bradblog, we all suffer.
COMMENT #79 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2006 @ 10:47 pm PT...
regarding sending information all over the place and to the EAC too --- Catherine is right. A day or two's difference won't change anything.
There was a security breach. Information was sent around by an individual in the U.S. scientific community to a list of others who had no business getting this yet. Worse, the information contained an error.
Now, let's look at reality vs. jumping on a bandwagon and just muddying up the water:
- There are two states that have primaries next week, Nebraska and West Virginia. Both are ES&S states. If anyone has information that any location in either uses Diebold, let me know, but I don't think that is the case. Therefore, charging around relaying information that I already know contains inaccuracies, with the rationale that "primaries are this week" really does not make sense.
- On May 16, this security alert applies to certain locations in Pennsylvania and to Jefferson County, Kentucky. Pennslyvania has taken steps to mitigate some of the problem but not all. Jefferson County Kentucky will be contacted by Black Box Voting and/or other authorities with the accurate information this week.
Even Michael Shamos does not have full information yet. I asked him a question on one of the more minor, but broadly strategic, class of vulnerabilities and he had no idea. There are multiple back doors, not just one.
- Now, as to states other than Pennsylvania, there is a problem. The tools to actually deal with this are unavailable, even in Pennsylvania, so only partial measures can be taken, and even those basically rely on faith in Diebold. But also, Michael Shamos has expertise and tools available that aren't available at all to most other states right now, and I don't know if even the EAC can really help --- even if it wanted to accept that responsibility, which it doesn't. Not all states have the combination of laws and voting machine administration that can tackle this very quickly.
- Also, the truth is, even the machines in Pennsylvania --- even after Shamos implements the fix --- still can't really be trusted, due to the possibility that they were compromised with one of the other back doors before Shamos got to them. His fix is only dealing with one part of the vulnerability --- a significant part, but if the machines were already compromised using one of the other vulnerabilities, what he's doing doesn't much matter.
- The ugly truth is that these machines cannot be made secure at this time, or probably even before Nov.
Certain steps can be taken, but they don't address some remaining problems. And in the end, the machines cannot be made safe at all unless a much more difficult and time consuming fix is used, and even then, there are still going to be ways to circumvent even the full recovery path.
They should not be used.
They probably will be used anyway because "it's political" --- an unacceptable reason.
Also, there is no guarantee that the TS-R6 machines used in Georgia and Maryland have any recovery path available at all.
And Diebold is lying about the whole thing (again) anyway, so it's (again) difficult to really solve the problem, because it probably can't be done in less than six months without Diebold. And perhaps not with Diebold either.
I can think of one solution to get around this whole mess. It would cost Diebold about $40 million, but is doable before November and eliminates all the problems with the touch-screens and most of the problems with GEMS and the memory card.
It won't happen. "It's political." And --- as usual --- we have half the U.S. scientific community running away with the ball saying "it's political" and "this doesn't solve it but, well, you can't have everything". No one's even asking for real solutions.
COMMENT #80 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2006 @ 1:37 am PT...
Catherine a # 72
The cases you cite of democrats not being cooperative are after the fact and nobody likes to have themselves audited, but what I was thinking of when I posted was the fact that all the democrats in congress expediently voted for Rush Holtís bill to require paper ballots and the republicans delayed until it was too late. Tom Delay killed the chance of anything happening.
Overall, the republicans are stealing and ďwinningĒ the elections in the 21st century, and itís silly to think otherwise but I have no idea why the Democrats voted for HAVA!
COMMENT #81 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2006 @ 2:27 am PT...
Gee, everybody started out on this thread as Mr. Walker and now theyíre Mr. Wheeler!
Please forgive our side, we are the ones who have worked VERY hard with no pay and have every reason to believe that we are being robbed at the voting booth.
You say that you tend to believe people who criticize their own side. I do too! For 5 years, 100's of extremely respectable conservative people have sounded sirens about George Bushís form of governance. Nothing from the Nixon era even comes close!
I started to read a post on Mysterypollster.com, about Mark Crispin Miller. The man who runs the blog (Mark Blumenthal) whom you trust, refered to Mr. Miller as a ďbloggerĒ. Mark has written several well researched books and that seems disrespectful to me. People on my side of the isle are used to being trivialized, but I think this is over the top!
I wouldnít accept your explanation that Republicans who were mad at the media didnít vote at the exit polls if it came from a twelve year old. Are you actually saying that something like that occurred nation wide? If you think REPUBLICANS are mad at the media, you should look at the phone I broke one night trying to get them to cover ANYTHING about the Diebold TRAGEDY that is threatening our way of life!
This isnít just about greedy companies trying to make a profit by getting government contracts. If thatís all it was, the damn things would work somewhat! The other products made by Diebold work flawlessly. Republicans donít seem to care as long as they win the football game!
COMMENT #82 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 5/7/2006 @ 3:10 am PT...
For Larry Bergan and V. Kurt Bellman: To suggest that Republicans didn't talk to exit pollsters because they dislike the media, thus a 5-1/2% discrepancy between exit poll results and tabulated votes in 2004 is plausible, is folly. Look at Florida.
Exit pollsters asked the same voters, "Whom did you vote for in the Senate race?" Their polls called the outcome within 1/2%! They had it as a statistical tie, and Martinez won by a hair...within the margin for error. If Republicans were angry at the media, it would have shown up there, wouldn't it have? Wouldn't Castor have been ahead by three points in the exit polls, as Kerry was? Did angry Republicans refuse to discuss the presidential race with exit pollsters, yet gave honest answers when it came to the Senate race?
I think you'll agree that's ridiculous, Mr. Bellman. As are all the other pathetic excuses we've been offered by Mitofsky and his ilk.
COMMENT #83 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2006 @ 3:37 am PT...
V. Kurt Bellman #76
Gosh V, good for you. Let some of that steam out. It does not help your argument though.
I think it was about a year ago when another troll came here and cited to the unqualified fellow Mark Blumenthal you also cite to.
He has worked towards a masters, but not in the discipline at issue.
You are quoting unqualified people and I am quoting Phd's who specialize in the field at issue.
Your yelling at being outed does not add light it only adds heat.
The practice of political religion is your problem ... you should be practicing political science founded on exit poll science.
You have been debunked. It is not personal, it is hardball.
COMMENT #84 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2006 @ 6:23 am PT...
For quite some time I followed the detailed discussions on Mystery Pollster. I learned a lot about polling. Visitors to the website learned a lot from one another; Kathy Dopp et al improved their own model as a result of the discussion on that website and elsewhere.
I don't agree with Mark Blumenthal's conclusions. Edison/Mitofsky's DATA ruled out the "reluctant responder" hypothesis, not anyone's interpretation of them. RLM's point in #82 is well taken as well.
Disputing an interpretation based on the letters behind someone's name is not sound reasoning. I disagree with Mark Blumenthal because his ideas and analysis do not fit the data--not because of degrees that he does or does not have. I think the analyses of Dopp and others are more correct, and I appreciate their willingness to constantly revise and improve their work. I don't prefer their conclusions because of academic credentials; the work should stand or fall on its own merits, regardless of the degrees, experience or reputation of the individuals. I think Dopp's analysis represents a more thorough and accurate analysis, and is consistent with the actual data, whereas Edison/Mitofsky's is not.
Even though I don't agree with Blumenthal's conclusions I have no basis for disbelieving Kurt's personal observations in his own local area. He has already shown himself to be an election director who was willing to publicly address inequities, regardless of which party benefitted. If Kurt personally witnessed a lot of over-sampling in Kerry-dominant areas, that is a valuable observation. I wouldn't necessarily assume that this was the case everywhere, however, and I don't believe it addresses the extent of the polling inaccuracies.
Calling someone a troll because you disagree with them is inappropriate. Everyone has a right to their opinion--even if they have biases due to their own history. There's no excuse for rudeness. Demanding someone provide a link to an easily-ascertained fact and then name-calling when they don't immediately oblige is below the belt. Continuing abusive behavior even after links were provided seems even more inappropriate.
I hope Brad removes some of the comments with personal attacks, or at least removes the attack portions of posts. It brings down the whole blog.
COMMENT #85 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/7/2006 @ 7:54 am PT...
Dear Mr. Bergen,
Thank you for your reasoned response. And thank you for not being one of these people who always says, "Link, please." Tp me, that is moronic at best.
And for good reason. Much of what is on the web contradicts something ELSE on the web, and they both have links, so what's the value.
But the bigger reason is that there is SO MUCH more off the web than on it. Most of what I contribute at BBV is from the Pennsylvania Election Code, not one word of which is on the web, to my knowledge.
But that's beside the point YOU made. You asked, or mentioned:
"Are you actually saying that something like that occurred nation wide?"
referring to Bush voter hostility to exit pollers.
Yes, Mr. Bergen, that is exactly and PRECISELY what I am saying that I BELIEVE happened. And here is my reason. Both Rush Limbaugh, and Shaun Hannity, were telling their minions to do EXACTLY that. Remember, their listeners were still hacked off about the Rather thing. Real rightwingers thought that the mainstream media WAS an extension of the Kerry campaign, and incidentally, THEY STILL DO THINK THAT.
You have your legitimate gripes with the MSM. I don't dismiss them for a nanosecond. You're right about their being part of a conspiracy of silence on the Diebold issue. I don't understand it....yet. My only guess (and that's ALL it is) is that the MSM does not want to be seen as being responsible for discouraging people from going to vote.
Watching this story unfold, and how the MSM treats it, will be some riveting political theater. I think things will get better. Diebold needs badly to be thrown under the bus if even half of what we're hearing turns out to have "legs".
I don't hold out hope for this ever being the lead story on the TV network news though, because it can't be easily summarized in 40 seconds. MAybe a half hour or hourlong investigative show may grab onto it though.
COMMENT #86 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 5/7/2006 @ 11:17 am PT...
Mr. Bellman: I agree with you that this demand for links to support every statement is silly.
I'm a historian. My first published book was on the Lincoln assassination in 1994. A historian I admire very much is Michael Kauffman, author of a recent book on John Wilkes Booth. I don't agree with Michael on everything, but he makes the point that earlier books on the assassination (and on many other historical topics) were unsatisfactory because historians simply repeated one another's errors.
Academic historians (that's a semi-oxymoron) have an obsession with footnotes. Every statement must carry the imprimatur of somebody else's research, never mind that said research is often simply the flawed history written by another historian.
Same with this "links" business. Who says the link makes any sense? It might be a link forwarded from someone else. This might sound conceited, but I'd rather trust my own judgment and instincts than someone else's. I might be wrong at times, but at least I know where the idea originated.
COMMENT #87 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/7/2006 @ 12:26 pm PT...
Despite the items that we may from time to time disagree upon, Mr. Mills, I believe you are a good an decent man.
You are a man from which I'd like to read more.
I have not yet become convinced that the 2004 election was stolen (aside from the fact that GWB probably shouldn't have been on the ballot - major parties don't do Adlai Stevensons any more) , but the evidence gets slowly more compelling as time goes on.
These Diebolds are a MAJOR stinking problem. The bloody chutzpah! But remember, in 2004, Diebold was only in 2 of Ohio's 88 counties, and not with DRE's, but with OS's. (Yes, I know, there are problems aplenty there, too.) And the more I learn about what Blackwell did, the more it violates the smell test.
Mr. Mills, I want you to know that in 2004, Secretary Cortes sent state "monitors" to every one of PA's 67 county election offices, including the one I ran. Most counties screamed bloody murder. They saw it as an infringment on their county sovereignty over elections. I, too, had questions about what they would be looking for, but I welcomed them. They were an invaluable resource. When "crap happened", as it frequently does in big elections, I had first hand witnesses representing the "other party" from mine, who could be stuck right to me, to witness how we handled things.
My county is a unique place. We are the ONLY jurisdiction in the United States NOT covered by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act that is required to provide bilingual materials by a court order.
We took, and my successor takes, the protection of our citizens' rights very seriously. We're weird. We INVITE scrutiny. We like to show off. We hide nothing.
And when EITHER party pulls crap in my county, the election office has always smacked them down. They did it before me. They did it while I was there. And they do it still. Do our precinct election staff still screw up from time to time? Hell yes they do. But we always strive to make everyone whole.
I'm amazed and dismayed that some elections offices in some localities and states don't work that way. And as long as I can, I want to do what it takes to get more folks there more often.
The first step is to encourage the PA SoS office to keep on keeping on, and not let this Diebold thing slip away.
Again, thank you, good sir.
COMMENT #88 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2006 @ 12:41 pm PT...
Thanks Mr. V. Kurt B.,
For jumping into the fray and explaining your positions as a former election official well. I tend to think you're not exactly on target with the exit poll "shy Republican" idea.
If Limbaugh and his gang were telling their folks to ignore the pollsters, OK. I'm sure that was some kinda Republican talking point to help confuse the issue for lots of folks, but particularly for Republicans. I have certainly heard that argument from a number of them. I saw information refuting the "shy Republican" claim at the National Election Reform Conference last year in Nashville. The information presented seemed to indicate that, if anything, Bush voters were MORE likely to trumpet their vote.
I think the exit polls being correct on senate races but not on the presidency race would tell people something. I think the fact that our government believes in exit poll science enough to demand new elections in other countries should also tell us something. I'm not disputing what you saw personally in PA, I simply think there are good reasons to look at a bigger picture.
No matter whether one believes the '04 presidential race was stolen; I think we can all agree that we need to move forward to make the "train wreck" less lethal and, we hope, to avoid future train wrecks. That said, if we ever find anybody who can be prosicuted and convicted for election fraud, I hope we throw 'em under the jail.
As an American voter, I thank you for your service as an election official, and I thank you for your reasoned opinions and ability to consider information and change opinion.
Please forgive some of us who can get fired up by this issue, as we have been working it feverishly for at least a year; usually without pay and with little encouragement except from each other.
And if you come to Alabama, welcome to the South.
COMMENT #89 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/7/2006 @ 3:05 pm PT...
Been through Nashville. Wonderful place.
I frankly don't know why we hang our hats on exit polling anywhere where reason to suspect the motives of the pollsters may be an issue. I don't believe in exit polls much at all. I just re-read many of the articles on mysterypollster again today, and I am more convinced than ever that the problem was the polls' methodology.
I do remember when Steve Freeman of Penn, who has NO credentials in this area of inquiry (sorry, that's a fact) first came out with his paper's first edition. I remember thinking, "How did those exit polls get THAT close?".
In my state, Kerry won by about 2%, pretty close, but we've seen closer. In the very same election, Arlen Specter (R) won with a historic landslide for Senate, and Bob Casey, Jr. (D) won with a historic landslide for State Treasurer. One election - three widely different outcomes. That's Pennsylvania. And all this was done with election hardware and software that hadn't changed in decades, with the exception of Philadelphia, who had just installed Danaher 1242's in 2002. And there, Kerry outperformed even his most optimistic predictions.
But this one will blow your mind - in 2003, we had a "Vote for 3" race for Superior Court (second highest appellate court). The margin between 3rd (elected) and 4th (not elected) came down to 28 votes statewide, out of millions cast. THERE WAS NO STATEWIDE RECOUNT! IT WAS SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DO AT THAT TIME UNDER LAW.
Yes, the losing side did file for specific recounts in highly Democratic precincts to get a few more absentee ballots cast, but there was no law at that time that would allow a statewide recount under any circumstances. Now we get one if the margin is under 1/2%.
The point is - elections are weird here. Strange stuff happens all the time. If ever PA is the "last state standing" in a Presidential race, the whole country's gonna be treated to a whole lotta "What the f---?"
I spent literally weeks explaining to out-of-staters stuff about our election code in Autumn of '04, when we were a "swing state". People won't understand what goes on here. Our code is many hundreds of pages, and most of it is just stupid.
COMMENT #90 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 5/7/2006 @ 3:59 pm PT...
Mr. Bellman: Do you realize what you've just said?
"Elections are weird here. Strange stuff happens all the time." That isn't acceptable, damn it!
In your prior post (response to me), you said "we(Pennsylvania) take the protection of citizens' rights very seriously." Forgive me, but I can't square that statement with "elections are weird here, strange stuff happens all the time." It's an absolute contradiction in terms. Strange stuff may not be allowed to happen all the time!
I don't like the tone Dredd employs in his postings.
He's very hostile, and you're entitled to courtesy. But I'm with him in spirit, in that he has zero tolerance for statements like "...strange stuff happens all the time." As a citizen, that offends the living hell out of me. Why does strange stuff happen all the time? Who allows it to happen? Why aren't the people who allow it to happen in jail? That's where they belong. They're public servants, and you and I are the public. We're being ill served.
The people responsible for this must be called to account.
We pretend to be the role model for the world. Yet our elections would flatter the Philippines under Ferdinand Marcos. They're a disgrace. Diebold is worse than a disgrace. Election officials are complicit, as are the corporate media and the leaders of the Democrat party, who've acquiesced in the fraud through two consecutive presidential elections.
COMMENT #91 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2006 @ 3:59 pm PT...
I have always voted Democrat. But I have to admit one of the primary reasons I vote is because it is so quick and easy. There is very rarely a line where I vote because there are always plenty of voting machines. But I wonder if the reason there are so many available machines and the time it takes is so quick is because I live in a predominately Republican War Party district.
I was instantly suspicious when my election board, a number of years ago, started asking what my political affiliation was. Was I a Dem, Republican, or Independent. Why do they want to know this info?
It just seems obvious to me that the control of where and how many voting machines, regardless if they are electronic of manual, can and does have a major effect on number of votes that get counted in the end.
Ohio in 04 was a particularly obvious example. The Republicans have figured out that if they simply withhold voting machines from districts dominated by Democratic voters and redirect them to predominately conservative Republican districts the final votes will be skewed away from the Dems. I mean seriously, can you imagine having to wait 1 or 2 or more hours to vote?
Part of the point I want to make is that even if electronic voting machines ever become reliable and trustworthy, if I live and vote in a predominately Democratic district I may never get to vote as a democrat again. There will probably be one machine with a 2 hour line in front of me.
COMMENT #92 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/7/2006 @ 4:36 pm PT...
I was a little sloppy in my use of pronouns. My COUNTY is especially conscientious about our voters' rights. We have to be. We are a near-parity county registration-wise. Scandals get people thrown out of office here. Scandals have killed a few political careers here. So scandal cannot be tolerated. Everyone is in CONSTANT fear of being ousted from office countywide.
The state, when taken as a whole, has some bizarre electoral laws. There are many "features" of PA's election laws that exist nowhere else. That makes for what many would see as strange procedures.
Statewide, our voters defy conventional wisdom. Strange combinations of winners are frequent occurances. Strident Democratic union member western PA voters have often voted for Republicans from their area, rather than Democrats from the east. That's how John Heinz (rest his soul) got elected so often, and Rick Santorum twice.
In addition, it is well established that stridently Democratic Jewish voters cross over to back Arlen Specter in droves. We've elected stridently pro-life Democrats, and Republicans that are almost liberal. That's what I mean by weird.
Our state political breakdown is also bizarre. Before HAVA, when there were dozens of different systems all over the state, the early vote, from the cities would come in very Democratis. As the night wore on, the "back-country" areas would come in HUGE for Republicans. More than a few times, networks and wire services have called statewide races for one candidate, only to have to eat their words the next day.
All par for the course in PA.
COMMENT #93 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2006 @ 4:56 pm PT...
Dave Morse #91
I agree wholeheartedly. Only after seeing the problems with the lines in Ohio & other Democratic Party areas did I remember my first 2 experiences trying to vote--in both cases they were on liberal college campuses in a conservative state.
Guess what--even with the lever machines, voting machine distribution may have been used as a political tactic. This never occurred to me at the time, since I had no basis for comparison. The lines were hours long. Each time after waiting for about an hour and a half I had to leave without voting. I felt badly because I wanted and intended to vote.
It never occurred to me that perhaps the inadequate number of voting machines in my area might have been done deliberately. I was oblivious to how things like this can be manipulated. I never questioned the number of machines or the long lines; I just assumed that this is what voting was like.
Controlling the distribution of voting machines would be an effective tactic to keep some people from voting. It's also possible for genuine mess-ups can occur for non-nefarious reasons (e.g. population grows but there wasn't enough money budgeted to purchase more machines; general incompetence; inexperience; or sloppy planning).
Regardless of the reason for the shortfall in equipment there's no way the extent of the non-votes will ever be known, nor how they would have influenced the elction. No investigation can ever retrieve the votes-that-might-have-been. If done on purpose it's like carrying off the perfect crime because there will always be plausible deniability.
COMMENT #94 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 5/7/2006 @ 4:58 pm PT...
For Dave Morse: The deliberate shorting of voting machines in Democratic-leaning districts, and plentiful supply in Republican-leaning districts, was not limited to Ohio.
I served as a pollwatcher in Bealsville, Florida on Election Day, 2004. Bealsville has a large minority population, and presumably leans Democratic.
From the opening of the polls, lines stretched out to the street. Only five voting machines were in use, even though ten had been in use for the primary election months earlier. oters were angry, even though most of them didn't suspect that it was a part of a deliberate plot. Everyone knew turnout was expected to be heavy, yet the powers-that-be (Republican election officials) saw fit to provide only half as many machines as had been used for a God-damn primary election!
An honest mistake? No way. The same situation prevailed across town at the other Bealsville precinct. Half as many machines. And we're asked to believe this was an honest error on someone's part, even though the identical pattern persisted throughout Ohio and other battleground states.
COMMENT #95 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/7/2006 @ 8:20 pm PT...
Mr. Mills, Mr. Morse, and Catherine Ansbro,
I do not dismiss what you witnessed in those states, but in Pennsylvania, exactly the opposite happened in 2004, and continues to this day.
Lines are FAR FAR longer in highly Republican areas than in Democratic areas.
One of th ereasons for this is that the two huge cities in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, have huge numbers of precincts and very few voters per precinct. The heavily Republican suburban counties are where huge precincts with huge lines prevail.
I am going to link you to the precinct by precinct returns for my county in 2004. If you care to, notice how the huge precincts, Amity Township #2, Spring Township #6, and Cumru Township #2 are quite heavily Republican. The heavily Democratic precincts in the City of Reading have far fewer voters. In those heavily Republican precincts, lines of over 4 hours lasted all day.
Every precinct had at least 2 machines, the biggest 20 or so had 3 machines.
Be careful of generalizing about machine allocation. In PA, Democrats had MUCH shorter lines.
By the way, I hope DREDD appreciates that I linked this.
COMMENT #96 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/7/2006 @ 8:23 pm PT...
I should explain why there are so few machines everywhere. In Presidential years, the PA ballot is short. Our long ballots are in off-year elections, and also, we use a full-face machine, with all races visible at once.
The real bottleneck is getting folks signed in, not the voting itself. That takes mere seconds.
COMMENT #97 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2006 @ 11:52 pm PT...
I printed out and delivered this statement to officials in a meeting at the capitol here a couple of weeks ago because they said they didn't have time for public comments about the voting issue. It was worth it because I got to shake Bruce Funks hand and tell him thanks. It sums up what I believe is a simple issue.
To All Election Officials Of Utah
Former President of the United States Jimmy Carter:
"Well I would say that in the year 2000 the country failed abysmally in the presidential election process. Thereís no doubt in my mind that Al Gore was elected president. He received the most votes nationwide, and in my opinion, he also received the most votes in Florida. The decision was made as you know on a 5-4 vote on a highly partisan basis by the U.S. Supreme Court, so I would say in 2000, there was a failure."
Five years after that nation splitting decision of the supreme court, the republican dominated congress, on a nation wide and local basis, refuse to take any action that will give the voters confidence in the voting process. I donít care if the new voting machines are 100% accurate. It means nothing, if the voters have no way of knowing their votes are being counted correctly!
I am absolutely positive that republicans and democrats in Utah want that right. I will do everything possible to let them know that is not going to happen! Please donít blame me for any problems.
I can say "absolutely positive" with confidence because I went out in "red" Utah streets and got 347 signatures from registered voters and delivered them to the Lt. Governors office with thousands of others.
COMMENT #98 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 1:11 am PT...
Why couldn't the machines have been distributed more evently to avoid long lines? (e.g., 1 machine in areas with a small population, and 4 in areas with large populations? Or buying more machines so that no one would have long lines, if this was a recurring pattern?) Was this linked to the PA phenomenon of urban unionized voters who tend to vote Republican? (BTW I have good friends in Pittsburgh and have seen this kind of voting trend for myself.)
Could the unequal distribution (leaving Republican leaning areas short, resulting in long lines) have been controlled by Democratic-leaning officials? If so, this should be investigated with the same rigor as anywhere the opposite occurs.
Don't Republican voters complain about long waits?
Why are there fewer precincts in highly populated Republican areas?
COMMENT #99 [Permalink]
Linda Jean Edwards
said on 5/8/2006 @ 3:52 am PT...
Catherine A and Kurt V. Bellman seem to work in tandem defending each other. I had the misfortune of caring enough about voter reform, or election reform to take a look at BBV one day. For anyone wondering, just go to Blackboxvoting.org and read some of the recent threads on BBV and one can soon ascertain EXACTLY who Mr. Bellman is. BTW, the person who made very negative comments to Mr. Bellman received a few in return. This type of exchange is unnecessary. I have made my feelings very clear concerning his nasty comments to anyone remotely liberal on BBV, and I believe he is quite partisan.
Bev Harris seems to be the "real deal" regarding election reform, and I hope her work will make a difference. The problem is that it is very, very difficult to maintain absolute political neutrality, when the people in power (Republicans) have absolutely no reason to care about ANY kind of reform. Also, why discredit the myriad information which is available on the Internet. Articles and stated facts can be verified as to their validity; information should not be summarily dismissed just because it comes from cyberspace.
Larry Bergan stated:
"I wouldnít accept your explanation that Republicans who were mad at the media didnít vote at the exit polls if it came from a twelve year old. Are you actually saying that something like that occurred nation wide? If you think REPUBLICANS are mad at the media, you should look at the phone I broke one night trying to get them to cover ANYTHING about the Diebold TRAGEDY that is threatening our way of life!
This isnít just about greedy companies trying to make a profit by getting government contracts. If thatís all it was, the damn things would work somewhat! The other products made by Diebold work flawlessly. Republicans donít seem to care as long as they win the football game!"
Just want to say, you nailed it, Mr. Bergan.
COMMENT #100 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/8/2006 @ 4:25 am PT...
To answer your question, every precinct must have at least two machines, in case of a breakdown in one. Voting may still continue. (Our machines are completely independent of each other. They are not connected to each other.)
Creating new precincts in PA is a very expensive and time-consuming process. For each new precinct to be created or changed requires a court proceeding, weeks and weeks of public hearings, and repeated notices posted in the media and physically in the affected areas.
More machines are not an option because every square foot of space in the secure warehouse is filled. Adding more machines would not only be expensive for the machines ($6500 a pop) but a new warehouse would have to be built and the county is in a fiscal crisis. So all we were (and are) left with is shuffling the machines as best we can. In 2004, I did some shifting to match the actual registration. My predecessor hadn't done it in 15 years.
I could suggest a partisan motive for not addressing the realignment of precincts so long in my county because Democrats have traditionally controlled the ELection Board, but I don't think that's it. I think it's more because the process to change precincts is so difficult, time consuming, and expensive, under our laws. Especially where there is nowhere safe to store more machines.
COMMENT #101 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 5:36 am PT...
Could PA EDs lobby the legislators to modify the legislation so that changing precincts wouldn't present such an obstacle?
Is there a tactical political reason for making changes so impractical? Are the existing restrictions in place to prevent gerrymandering, or to protect existing gerrymandered divisions?
COMMENT #102 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 5:58 am PT...
Linda Jean Edwards #99
Defending Kurt Bellman's positions unilaterally? No. Defending his right to have a point of view that's different from mine, without being subjected to name-calling? Yes.
I don't like name-calling regardless of where it comes from. I've pointed this out to various parties. In some earlier threads on BBV Kurt apologized when his own frustration spilled over, and he has established his interest in learning more. It's possible you may not have seen some of those comments. You may have seen a thread where I focused the feedback to one side, and may not have seen other threads where I focused feedback on another side. (Or in some cases I didn't have to be the one pointing it out since another poster had already done so.) My conversations with Kurt and others here have the foundation of all those previous threads, some of which you may not have seen.
I'd be very surprised if you don't recognize that in my questions I am constantly looking for more information to understand Kurt's point of view, and that I don't hesitate to disagree with it in many cases because my base of experience is different from his. We all learn from the exchange. Understanding his point of view and learning more about the experiences that led to his point of view doesn't mean I agree with his conclusions. (For example, I stated unequivocally above that I disagree with his point of view about the election polls. Did you miss that? Have you missed the occasions where I pointed out that what Kurt has experienced in PA may not necessarily be what happened elsewhere? Have you missed the occasions where I and others have pointed out election misdeeds of which he had not been previously aware?)
I support everyone's right to be treated with respect, even when there's a strong difference of opinion. There has been a lot of bottled up frustration on all sides. When this spills out into personal attacks it inhibits useful exchange of information and opinions.
COMMENT #103 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 6:33 am PT...
You "believe" therefore your little theory of the hostile voter who won't talk to pollsters becomes...what? Gospel? Talk about Republicans being "faith-based."
Guess what? I read more than one newspaper account which showed, by statistics of past elections and by breakdown via voter registration, that Presidential votes were siphoned off in majority-Dem districts, so that although they voted Dem in the rest of the ticket, oddball third party candidates in unprecedented numbers received their vote for President. It doesn't take as big a leap as yours to "believe" that this is hogwash and that there was some untraceable clandestine "help" in flipping these votes.
Oh, and these were local papers with stories that none of the MSM would touch. But thanks to you, for calling the attribution of sources "moronic at best" I don't have to scroll through my files looking for the links it is THE MOST BASIC NETIQUETTE to provide.
You've brought so much to the table, here, being able to just argue on what we *feel* is true, with no pesky sourcing or statistics.
COMMENT #104 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 6:59 am PT...
There have been a lot of examples of this kind of thing. The CA special election where Arnold Sch. was elected was another example where there were impossibly bizarre numbers of votes for independent candidates. And there was that election in OH (I'm pretty sure) where a little-known Dem candidate for judge got more votes than Kerry did, even though she hadn't campaigned at all.
Kurt Bellman is slowly getting an education into some of these incidents where the official results were completely implausible no matter how you look at it. Sure it's unreasonable to say every weird election result was caused by fraud--but it's equally unreasonable to say that none of them were.
What's unconscionable is the barriers to investigation, and that voters have no standing to take court cases or request recounts.
COMMENT #105 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 7:30 am PT...
V Kurt Bellman #85
You said that most of what you contribute is "from the Pennsylvania Election Code, not one word of which is on the web, to my knowledge."
That is my problem with you and the republican dictatorship. You want everyone to rely on what you say, "trust me", and you are outraged at having to provide a link to the foundation or support for arguments.
Since there are contrary positions, you premise, none of them are valuable, and therefore, you deduct, I will choose the better one. That is a perfect argument ... perfect circular argument.
Catherine A has the same notion, that credentials are irrelevant. She is not correct. The issue realm we are talking about concerns science, not politics. Science is one of those places that requires credentials. Not simply opinion.
I would not doubt that Diebold has your and Catherine A's philosophy at heart when they hire software developers (programmers). It does not matter whether or not they are credentialed and therefore competent, what matters is "will they do anything I say". If you know the Clint Curtis story you know what I mean.
Hence we have the FEMA: Fucked Election Machine Association and everyone saying "you are doing a heckuva job".
You say "not one word" of the Pennsylvania Election Code is on the web. While that is not at all true (link here), that is not the most important thing that comes to my mind when I ponder your statement.
What comes to my mind is why have you not posted that code at BBV?
You should because even if you don't believe in links, others do, especially here at Brad Blog.
We believe it because that is the better way to push personal opinion into the background, and the better way to push good supportive research to the foreground.
COMMENT #106 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 5/8/2006 @ 7:30 am PT...
On the subject of probabilities, mathematicians have calculated the odds against a 5-1/2% discrepancy between exit poll results and tabulated votes at one-in-959,000. This is prohibitive.
The numbers for the Florida Senate race (exit polls vs. tabulated votes) give the lie to the notion that Republicans were angry at polltakers and snubbed them. It's ludicrous to suggest that angry Republicans refused to talk to pollsters about their votes for president but were open and honest about their votes for Senator.
But the strongest mathematical proof that the 2004 election was fraudulent is found in vote-flipping allegations. Youngstown, Ohio is the best example, but there are many others. In Youngstown votes were flipped by machine from Kerry to Bush all day long; this is well known, but the arguments have focused on whether or not enough votes were flipped to have made a difference in the total. To which I respond, "Who gives a crap?" The point is, no votes were flipped from Bush to Kerry in Youngstown, and hardly any nationwide. Claims of vote-flipping broke down at something like 98-2%.
One need not understand higher mathematics to know this could not have been a random happening.
Mr. Bellman, you can talk about DRE's all night long, and I'm sure you're an expert on them. You can talk about your experiences in Pennsylvania, and I'll grant every point you've made. But neither of us can reform the laws of probability. They're immutable, and have been since Archimedes first explained them to his Greek neighbors.
COMMENT #107 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/8/2006 @ 8:50 am PT...
You did not look at ge bottom of your own link, to wit:
"The complete Pennsylvania Statutes are not yet available on the web. However, selected portions have been made available and can be accessed by CLICKING HERE. These statutes, though available instantaneously over the web, may not be the current law. Court decisions overturning them, later statutes amending them, and a host of other factors come into play when interpreting them. They are provided here as a resource. They should provide some information about the state of the law. However, a competent lawyer, who from other sources will research the law to insure what is current, should always be employed in matters of importance."
I've reviwed what is on the link you offered (and thank you for it) but most of what is there is not probitive of much. It is the early sections thst deal PRIMARILY with mundane issues. Nothing there on any of what makes PA unique - elected pollworkers, not appointed; virtually no way to get a recount in most cases; county sovereignty with little state authority, etc.
In addition much of what is there is ALREADY out of date, starting with the sections on compensation and voter registration, both of whch have been radically changed since this version.
The Department of State only started publishing a book of the Election Code of PA in 2004. Until them yuo had to get it by buying it from WestLaw (costs about $50) and is annually updated with a "Pocket Part", so called because it slides into a pocket built into the back binding of the already 800-900 page book. Whiel what you linked is useful for getting a "flavor" of some issues, the PA Election code it is not.
COMMENT #108 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 9:14 am PT...
"Catherine A has the same notion, that credentials are irrelevant."
While credentials have a role to play in many professions, they guarantee neither ethics nor competence. They indicate nothing about whether or not someone is making sense or not. Arguments need to have merit other than merely relying on the credentials of their proponents.
Similarly, if someone without credentials makes a valid argument or produces appropriately documented scientific results they should not be ignored because of a lack of letters behind their name.
Your position makes little sense to me. I supported Kathy Dopp's efforts before she got her Ph.D.--because her reasoning made more sense to me and because it was more in line with the data. Do you suggest Kathy Dopp was not worth listening to before she had a Ph.D. in hand? Some of her critics tried that argument.
At what point do you consider someone's credentials "sufficient?" Do you then get into an argument such as, "My institution has a better reputation than yours so my opinion must be right?"
Dredd also commented: "I would not doubt that Diebold has your and Catherine A's philosophy at heart"
Wow--there's a leap of association there. You appear to be attempting to discredit me by juxtaposing my name with Diebold using reasoning that doesn't even make sense. Interesting.
COMMENT #109 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 12:30 pm PT...
Catherine A #108
No I am not discrediting you when I point out that the scientific arena is one where credentials are more appropriate than, for instance, the art world.
This thread is about software design and there is a thing called computer science. Diebold obviously cares little for this, they hired not only uncredentialled programmers, i.e. incompetent ones, to produce the junk they are hawking to election officials. And those election officials because of their lack of credentials in software and hardware computer science, are unwilling servants of the junk dealers.
Honest uncredentialed folk can become victims of the junk dealers because the area of expertise in electronic voting machines is computer science. The bottom line is not an issue of morality, it is one of competence.
If you read my post you would know that I kept to the context of junk voting software on junk election machines. You want to drift off into the universe and bring up subjects not relevant here.
You said "I hope Brad removes some of the comments with personal attacks, or at least removes the attack portions of posts".
Look Catherine, V Kurt was only venting, so do not come down so hard on the guy please. When he called me a jerk and a moron he does not deserve to be censured and I hope Brad does not censure him.
He is trolling (going against the nature of a blog's longtime regulars and blogger in chief), and I pointed that out. But trolls are allowed!
I even contratulated long time troll Ricky yesterday on another thread because Ricky posted "No more blood for oil". A troll is as a troll does, and ceases to be a troll when the posts change in nature. I will welcome Ricky to our blogosphere when he ceases to be a troll. Why not?
In summation, yes Catherine A, credentials are important at times and not important at other times.
After all, the word "credible" is of the credential family, and if one persists in warring against credentials and links where they are appropriate, they will loose credibility.
COMMENT #110 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 12:54 pm PT...
V Kurt Bellman # 107
You said "You did not look at ge bottom of your own link, to wit". Well, I really do not know what to say. What is the bottom of a link? Did you mean the bottom of the page I linked to?
I did read that text. It never ceases to amaze me how some people can tell what someone read or did not read, simply by looking at a link they posted.
But you resist links anyway ... oh well ... links must be good for something ... it's in the official HTML code after all.
Whatever, with the kind of logic leaping you are prone to do, I nominate you for the Olympic Leap Of Logic try outs.
Hey, you avoided my main question again (in my first post I asked if you thought election fraud was never able to be the cause of exit poll discrepancies - which you dutifully avoided).
In my last (a.k.a. most recent) post to you asked why have you not posted these statutes, since you boldly proclaimed that "not one word" of those statutes were to be found on the web anywhere.
The reality is that even novice bloggers can search and find that to be "inaccurate" (I am being nice to please Catherine A).
But you as an advocate, a past election official, and one who obviously wants to be seen as credible, and be looked up to, you have not posted the latest and greatest election statutes.
I asked why not, because it seems to be something that should be done. You avoided the question again and decided instead to do your avoidance thingy.
Anyway, I have pleaded with Cathering A to back off from her position that wants to chide you for calling me a jerk and a moron, because I knew you were simply venting.
Hey, even good guys gotta vent once in awhile. That is what sex is for. But you know, droughts happen.
So get over it and post the damn statutes so folk don't have to ask Mr. V Kurt Bellman all those wizard of odds questions all the time.
COMMENT #111 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 2:31 pm PT...
Yes, venting allowed as long as it doesn't get to be just venting 'cause that's boring and folks can sometimes get hurt.
When you said, "He is trolling (going against the nature of a blog's longtime regulars and blogger in chief), and I pointed that out. But trolls are allowed!" I realized that we use the word "troll" differently. That's why I reacted so strongly. I think of trolls as being folks who are out to spread misinformation and to deliberately disrupt.
Venting is different.
Partly in response to comments on this thread & elsewhere (about Michael Shamos claiming that no actual election had ever been hacked, or words to that effect), I have posted "A Bedtime Story for Concerned Citizens." Let me know what you think.
COMMENT #112 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 3:30 pm PT...
Catherine A #111
I read all of your link to a post at BBV. And I respect your logical analysis.
Listen Catherine, I have been a contractor at many a governmental software project, and I know of the thousands of CIA and other spook front companies in the US and abroad.
You would not sleep very well if I told you everything I know, and don't know.
So lets keep the discussion to what I know ... and don't know (I just blew my argument didn't I)?
Listen Catherine, we can't argue or agree ourselves out of our current predicament. Great powers have drawn lines on a map and you or I, Bradblog, or any individual reading these posts cannot change what is coming down.
But we can fuse into the universe our own integrity, our own position, our own stance.
Like some shadow fused into the background granite by a nuclear explosion of those who claim, demand, and kill for the "ultimate position".
I can only tell you that I support and applaud all you at BBV do, all that V Kurt does, toward a fair democracy, and all the rest of us do to struggle toward making the will of the people a reality. And all we do to resist the dictators who would thwart the will of the people.
And I want you to know, hey, if we do not argue heatedly sometimes, then we are not thinking deeply enough.
COMMENT #113 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 4:27 pm PT...
Dredd: "But we can fuse into the universe our own integrity, our own position, our own stance."
That is magnificently expressed. Can we have a BradBlog "quote of the week" or something? You get my nomination.
And you're right that arguing heatedly can be extremely helpful from many perspectives. Don't think I'm so put off. It's a little hard for me to "read" correctly w/o body language etc. so I tend to err on the safe side online.
COMMENT #114 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/8/2006 @ 5:26 pm PT...
The answer to your query is quite simple. The PA Election Code is too long, too poorly arranged (in Purdon's Title 25), and too internally contradictive in places to be suitable for easy posting to the web. Certainly no authoritative source has done it. Pieces do exist, and I'll admit that I had never seen the one you linked before.
In preparation for my impending move to Alabama, I did some searching on Alabama election law, and found, woe and behold, the whole shootin' match is online and being maintained for accuracy and currency by an official source. My point is - 'taint so in Pennsylvania. Is it because some powerful people want to restrict information on the law and its potential protections? Yeah, probably.
Now to your questions:
Do I believe that election fraud was never able to be the cause of exit poll discrepancies? No, I do not believe that. Fraud is a possibility. But I think it is a very rare occurrance. To be quite honest with you, I can't figure out how we hang our hat on exit polling in Eastern European elections. I've never seen a detailed explanation of what deviation was observed there. So I am unwilling to merely say, "If we believe it there, we should believe it here," It kind of depends on the numbers, doesn't it?
"...you have not posted the latest and greatest election statutes.
I asked why not, because it seems to be something that should be done."
I agree. I do not possess a copy of Purdon's Title 25. I used mine extensively for 4 years, and I am VERY familiar with it, but to cite chapter and section would require a run to the county law library. I agree it should be done, preferably by the Secretary of State's office. They, after all, published a different compilation of it in 2004, and presumably they have the data files that would allow it to be web published, yet they have not. If you find that curious, so do I.
Did I miss any pending questions? Remind me if I have.
It seems to me that there are two possible explanations of the exit poll discrepancy that have not had sufficien attention. The "wrong tally" explanation, which should be thoroughly investigated, and the "hostile Republican" "theory" which has not even been considered. I really wish I had some old Limbaugh and Hannity tapes to refer to. I could swear that they were asking people to lie to and ignore pollsters.
I hope you also agree that NEP needs to tighten up the things they think they need to tighten up. There are two factors that confound me, and I'd like to know more about them. One, they reported a direct relationship between poll taker distance from the poll and "within precinct error." Two, they reported an inverse relationship between age of the poll taker and "within precinct error". Those two have me curious. I'd like to know more about those.
COMMENT #115 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2006 @ 5:40 pm PT...
"Those two have me curious. I'd like to know more about those."
Me too. IIRC the NED refused to release the detailed precinct info because it would be their equivalent of trade secrets. This limits the analysis, unfortunately. One more road block to seeing what's going on, let alone understanding it.
COMMENT #116 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 5/8/2006 @ 6:41 pm PT...
I've about had my fill of the tired old "trade secret" excuse. Voting machine makers use it. Pollsters use it. It's too bloody "convenient"!
Oh well, trade secrets, eh? Never mind, then. Give me a stinking break, will ya? What could be so damned secret about a legitimate vote counting program? What? Is the competitor going to say, "Ohhhh.. you increment the counter by ONE!!?? Wow, we hadn't thought of that.
The point is - this stuff seems pretty intuitive, doesn't it. What could be so bloody unique that some other company will learn from another company's product?
Ooops! Maybe Sequoia might have learned to put a "voters participating" counter on each separate race, as they apparently failed to do. Never mind.
COMMENT #117 [Permalink]
said on 5/9/2006 @ 9:00 am PT...
Why do they insist on using these damn things? They are a risk to not only national security but our entire system of government. Anyone who has researched this even a little knows these main purpose are to change the outcomes of elections. They never can be trusted because they are too complicated. A simple piece of paper and pen is much better. As a software engineer I am saying this. Even if they allowed everyone to look at the source code that would not solve the problems because it can be switched out right before the election. The whole idea is flawed. This definitely a time where technology is not solving a problem that needed to be solved. If it means that it takes a day to count all the votes by hand then lets do that.
COMMENT #118 [Permalink]
said on 5/9/2006 @ 5:44 pm PT...
Poster bumper stickers (should be) printed on the web, everwhere:
VOTE ABSENTEE BALLOT ONLY
LEAVE A PAPER TRAIL
COMMENT #119 [Permalink]
said on 5/9/2006 @ 9:45 pm PT...
Brad - I wish you'd host a discussion bet. Mr. Bellman & Mark Crispin Miller re '04 election. That would be interesting.
COMMENT #120 [Permalink]
Gina de Miranda
said on 7/10/2006 @ 9:53 pm PT...
SOME PEOPLE IN TEXAS MAY REMEMBER HOW I POSTED EVERY DAY FOR THREE WEEKS THAT THE ELECTIONS WERE STOLEN AND TO GIVE MONEY TO BLACK BOX. I think that it is time to discuss just how badly the country has been mislead. In Texas, I spent the entire summer of 2004 registering Hisplanic voters for Southwest Voter Project (Hey, you guys still owe me for my expenses at southwest...). I registered people who had not voted for 20 years that were signing up just to vote Bush OUT!!!!! We had a huge voter turnout. Voters don't usually show up in such large numbers unless they are unhappy.
I worked the polls on election day as well. I found few people voting for Bush. Very few. I did hear lots of stories about the machines flipping from Kerry to Bush all day long however. After the elections, I also noticed that the exit polls were changed radically between 12:00 am and when I got up at 5:00 am. Kerry had been leading in TEXAS in the high Hispanic counties. I knew that we had been rooked!!! Nobody wanted to believe me and it took a lot of pounding to get the point across.
After the elections, I noticed anomalies at the precinct level that went back "several years" that were very strange. Then I noticed that the results for Bexar County (San Antonio) were reported out on November 2, but according to the excell files on their own FTP site, they could not get the results out of the electronic voting machines until 4:30 pm November 3!
Texas is not Red. I suspect that it has not been red for a while, but somebody has tampered with the vote to get rid of one of the finest lady politicians around, Ann Richardson, and give Shrub access to the gigantic UT trust funds. Finally AND THIS IS FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK THAT BIBLE-QUOTING GOT THE GOP INTO OFFICE..Google the censuses on religious denominations in the US. You will discover that there are not 23 million evangelicals in the entire US. Then you will realize why Bush never bothered to fund "faith-based" services. He did not need to, the Religious Right was a cover story.
To find out who really makes these monsters dance, check out: sauduction.com/org or google Herb Mallard and Saud. It is very very sad how completely that we have been sold out. The elections were rigged because too much was about to be declassified and the Bushes and other Bandar "retainers" were about to be exposed to everybody.
It is no accident that Ken Lay died when he did...he was about to sing about thefts on a scale unimaginable by both sides of the aisle. WAKE UP EVERYBODY. VOLUNTEER TO MONITOR THE POLLS AND LET'S CREATE A NATIONAL DATABASE WHERE YOU CAN REGISTER YOUR VOTES BY VOTER ID. OR BETTER STILL, LET'S GET THE SWISS TO ADMINISTER OUR ELECTIONS FOR US. THEY DO THEM ON COLORED PAPER (AS I HAVE ADVOCATED).
Let's kick all of these "incumbents" or should we call them by their real names Political Service merchants and reverse Papa Bush's elimination of the prohibition on foreign "donations" to our public servants.