Votescam: How the Ruling Elite is Stealing America
This was prepared for the Guardians for Liberty in 2012. The basic arguments, the basic laws, the basic problems – have not changed in 30+ years.
Open Letter to All Concerned Citizens of the United States of America:
We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, endorse
- the necessity of returning to computer-free, machine free elections
- where paper ballots are clearly marked by the voter with indelible pen and counted in each neighborhood polling place (precinct)
- counted by randomly selected citizens (scrutineers) from that precinct; scrutineers to be selected two week in advance by a predetermined process approved by the Board of Elections. (2 scrutineers for – approximately — each 50 ballots cast in that precinct at the last presidential election; another 50% of back up scrutineers would also be selected in case of sicknesses, etc. The Scrutineers would each be paid $100 for the evening’s work. (This would be about $800 million a year for primary election and general election, a mere pittance of a fraction of foreign aid we give away.)
- with the ballots and ballot box never having left the public sight
- counted immediately upon the close of the voting day
- with any members of the public allowed to watch at close range provided that they do not interfere with the ballot counting being conducted by the scrutineers
- with the results from each team signed by the scrutineers of that team as true and correct
- and with the total results signed by the neighborhood precinct judges at each polling place, relying on the signatures of each of the scrutineers; the county Board of Election leaders would then certify the election results based on the signatures of the scrutineers at each polling place, resulting in a verifiable election as far as humanly possible;
- with the results posted in clear public view on a wall at each neighborhood precinct before the ballots leave the polling place, and to be kept in public view there until at least 6 PM of the next Friday following the election day; and with the results remaining in public view for at least three days, or until at least 11 PM on the Friday following the election day, for inspection by the public
- Despite their effectiveness in other areas, computers and machines must be eliminated from elections for, among others, the following reasons:
- Computer counts violate at least two standing US Supreme Court decisions, namely, US v Mosely, 1915, and Reynolds v Sims, 1964 . . .
- In both cases, the US Supreme Court said that our right to vote consists of two parts: a) the right to cast a ballot; b) the right to KNOW that our vote has been counted accurately. When the “count” is conducted in secret (within a computer) powered by secretly programmed software (with source code usually programmed by persons unknown to even the local leadership) – then the second part of our right to vote is being violated and nullified.
- Another US Supreme Court decision, Westbury v. Sanders, 1964, stated that all other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.
- Defenders of the secret computer counts have echoed the sentiments spoken by veteran computer programmer Mr. PJ Lyons to Dr. Philip O’Halloran in 1996 regarding whether election computer can be hacked: “It’s certainly theoretically possible, but it has never happened, as far as we know.” Mr. Lyon in 1996 was a 25 year veteran programmer for the then largest computer election vendor in the USA, namely, BRC of Berkeley, California — now become ES &S of Omaha, Nebraska. The election computer systems are designed that everything is hidden and nothing can be proven by a public that does not have access to the relevant information. This is no defense of computerized elections, but a prime reason to ban them altogether. Let’s hear from Dr. David Dill regarding this point: “Why am I always being asked to prove these systems aren’t secure? The burden of proof ought to be on the vendor. You ask about the hardware. ‘Secret.’ The software? ‘Secret.’ What’s the cryptography? ‘Can’t tell you because that’ll compromise the secrecy of the machines.’… Federal testing procedures? ‘Secret’! Results of the tests? ‘Secret’! Basically we are required to have blind faith.” —Dr. David L. Dill, Professor, Computer Science, Stanford University, as cited by Ronnie Dugger in his article, “How They Could Steal the Election This Time”, which appeared in the August 16, 2004 edition of The Nation magazine. (The quote from PJ Lyon cited above can be found another ground-breaking 1996 article by Dr. Philip O’Halloran, “Pandora’s Black Box: Did It Really Count Your Vote”, which can be found here: http://www.votefraud.org/relevance_o’halloran_pandora’s_box.htm or linked on the home page of votefraud.org)
- “Secret” is unacceptable in public elections. Let’s here from the late Collier Brothers in their groundbreaking book, “Votescam: The Stealing of America” regarding the 1988 Presidential election:
“It was not “the People” of the United States who did ‘the speaking’ on that election day, although most of them believed it was, and still believe it. In fact, the People did not speak at all. The voices most of us really heard that day were the voices of computers strong, loud, authoritative, unquestioned in their electronic finality . . .
“The computers that spoke in November 1988 held in their inner workings small boxes that contained secret codes that only the sellers of the computers could read. The programs, or “source codes,” were regarded as “trade secrets.” The sellers of the vote-counting software zealously guarded their programs from the public, from election officials, from everyone on the dubious grounds that competitors could steal their ideas if the source codes were open to inspection . . .
“You may ask: What “ideas” does it require to count something as simple as ballots? Can the “ideas” be much more complex than, let’s say, a supermarket computerized cash register or an automatic bank teller machine?
“The computer voting machines do not have to do anything complicated at all; they simply must be able to register votes for the correct candidate or party or proposal, tabulate them, count them up, and deliver arithmetically correct additions . . .
“People with no formal training, even children, used to do it all the time. So why can’t the public know what those secret source codes instruct the computers to do?
“It only makes common sense that every gear, every mechanism, every nook and cranny of every part of the voting process ought to be in the sunlight, wide open to public view. How else can the public be reasonably assured that they are participating in an unrigged election where their vote actually means something? Yet one of the most mysterious, low-profile, covert, shadowy, questionable mechanisms of American democracy is the American vote count . . .
“Computers in voting machines are effectively immune from checking and rechecking. If they are fixed, you cannot know it, and you cannot be sure at all of an honest tally.” (End quote from the Colliers)
If you understand the above quoted brilliantly written paragraphs from the Colliers, you understand the problem.
The “pre-election” accuracy tests are a ridiculous joke. They prove nothing. These tests are where a bunch of local dignitaries gather to watch a few hundred or a few thousand votes fed through the election computer on perhaps the day before the election. Let’s hear from computer expert Howard J. Strauss of Princeton University as explained in Dr. Philip O’Halloran’s article, “Pandora’s Black Box: Did It Really Count Your Vote”, which appeared in his own Relevance Magazine:
“Howard Strauss, the director of Advanced Computer Applications at Princeton University, is a nationally-renowned expert in the field of computer voting. He categorically dismisses the efficacy of the so-called “logic and accuracy test” verification procedure. Strauss recently told Relevance: “That turns out to be no test at all. That doesn’t prove a thing. Any system that was designed with a ‘trap door’ or a ‘Trojan horse’ or any kind of fraudulent thing in it could pass that test easily…
Strauss: ‘There are a hundred ways you could do this and probably any freshman in any school that teaches computer programming could figure out a half a dozen ways to do this. I’ve talked to folks who’ve said, ‘Oh no, we’ve fed a thousand votes in and then we looked at the other side and they were counted correctly’. I said, ‘So what? That doesn’t tell you what’s inside the box.’
“Strauss explained further that since most computers have clocks and are programmed to be aware of the date, the machine could be set up so that the fraudulent counting activity only occurs on a given date, such as November 5th 1996.
“Relevance raised this concern to Douglas Lewis, the director of the Election Center, a Houston-based project of the National Association of State Election Directors, an entity earmarked by the federal government to develop standards for election administrations. Mr. Lewis dismissed the threat of such tampering, stating that the testing of the machines is done in many cases as late as 5 a.m. on the morning of the election and so would defeat a “time bomb” rigged to go off on that date.
“Similar statements were made by state and local election officials, betraying what skeptics of the system cite as their lack of understanding of the ease with which programmers could defeat the testing process – i.e., the same criminal who can instruct the computer to rig the count only on November 5th, can just as easily program this misbehavior to occur after the voting as already started – say at 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. The same computer clocks which keep track of the date are also aware of the time.” (End Quote from Dr. Philip O’Halloran and Relevance Magazine, November 1996 edition.)
In a 1988 CBS interview conducted by Dan Rather, this exchange with Princeton’s Howard J. Strauss took place:
Rather: Realistically, could the fix be put on a national election?
Howard Strauss: Get me a job with the company that writes the software for this program. Then I’d have access to one third of the votes. Is that enough to fix a general election? [Note: Strauss was referring to the software employed in the most commonly-used vote-counting computer program at that time from the company BRC.]
Strauss then summed up the unverifiable nature of the system: “When it comes to computerized elections, there are no safeguards. It’s not a door without locks; it’s a house without windows”. (End Quote from the 1988 CBS interview of Howard J. Strauss by Dan Rather.)
In addition, Dr. Philip O’Halloran uncovered in 1996 how two-way modems had been placed in election computers, allowing the companies providing these computers to election jurisdictions to access the election computer DURING the election count.
Modems in election computers allowed the election count to be accessed, monitored, and CHANGED by cell phone, satellite, or hard wire technology by anyone who had the access codes.
So the election results could be changed from long distance by someone in New York City, Moscow, Los Angeles, or the Canary Islands without the local person sitting next to the election computer even knowing what was happening. The same way that one cell phone finds another from thousands of miles away, the election-rigger can find the machine he wants to rig from thousands of miles away, as long as he has the applicable codes.
Underscoring the dangers of modems in computers, consider the following passage from Dr. O’Halloran in Pandora’s Black Box: Did it Really Count Your Vote?
“We viewed with grave concern the presence of an internal (read hidden) modem which could allow outside access to the computer without anyone’s knowledge. We decided to solicit the opinion of Ronnie Dugger, the author of The New Yorker article [1988, “On the Dangers of Computerized Voting”] quoted above. Until we cited our documentation, he believed we must have been mistaken, saying
‘A modem in an election computer would be highly suspect … You can’t insulate a computer during vote-counting from outside communication if you have a modem in it.’
He granted that there may be built-in security protections, but remained concerned with the heightened danger of vote-fixing posed by an internal modem: ‘There could be a subroutine in the [source code] program which would cause the results being turned into the central computer to be phoned to you too so that you could find out how many votes you needed to steal the election.’
“Of course, when the same company that writes the source-code, also designs the internal modem, the possibilities are endless for accessing the computer either before, during or after the election to alter or, at least interrogate, the computer’s vote count. It raises the specter of a remote high-speed, vote-rigging computer automatically and surreptitiously contacting, querying and rapidly adjusting the votes inside many precincts and/or central counting machines nationwide.
“Is this just science fiction or do we have reason to be concerned? When we shared our findings about the internal modem with Votescam author Jim Collier, he stated, ‘I think you may have found the smoking gun.’.
“Relevance then asked Penelope Bonsall of the Federal Elections Commission whether dangers to voting integrity could be posed by the modems in the vote-counting computers. She paused then responded: ‘There could potentially be a problem with that.’ ” (Our comment: and that would be one of the great understatements of the new century!)
- Other sources for documentation:
- “Hacking Democracy”, an HBO special featuring the work of Bev Harris of Blackboxvoting.org (Must see 90 min video)
- “Black Box Voting”, the book, by Bev Harris, online at BlackBoxVoting.org
- Bradblog.com managed by Brad Friedman
- www.votefraud.org, managed by myself (Jim Condit Jr.), votefraud.org was the first website on the internet dealing with the dangers of computerized voting”; see all the articles down the right hand side for a quick over, especially the articles by Christopher Bollyn, Dr. Philip O’Halloran, Ronnie Dugger, and the articles, “A House without Doors” and “Votefraud in America: The Greatest Coverup of All”.
- Lynn Landes’s excellent website: http://www.thelandesreport.com/VotingSecurity.htm
- The book, “Hacked!” by Vicky Karp
- The short videos on youtube: “South Carolina, Super Tuesday, and Ron Paul” (10 min); “Ron Paul Says Watch the Vote” (3 min); “Watch The Vote 2012 – The Iowa Caucus” (15 min).
- “An American Story”, Hallmark movie (1992) based on the true story that happened in Athens, Tennessee in 1946. No one was hurt, but the returning WW II GI’s had to break out the weapons to enforce the rule of law. The bullet marks from the guns that enforced the rule of law and forced an open, honest count — can still be seen in the Courthouse in Athens, Tennessee. See short summary of what happened in, “Battle for Athens, Fight for America”, found here: http://www.votefraud.org/News/2000/3/033100.html
“When I was small I remember my Dad saying how in other countries they would shoot each other to decide the transfer of power. In our country it was done by the ballot at election time.
“Millions of American soldiers have fought and bled and died to protect your right to free and fair elections; to protect your right to an orderly, peaceful transfer of power when the people so will.” (From the article, “Votefraud in America: The Greatest Coverup of All”, found here: http://www.votefraud.org/greatest_coverup_of_all.htm
We endorse machine-free, computer-free elections, and a return to paper ballots counted by hand by randomly selected citizens from each neighborhood precinct where the votes are cast (explained thoroughly at the beginning of this paper).
Jim Condit Jr.