October 24th, 2003

Diebold mirror.

The folks at Why War? are crossing over into the electronic voting fray and doing an excellent job of hosting/coordinating mirrors for leaked Diebold memos, which are the primary evidence right now of voting machine misdeed. There is a vigorous effort to suppress these memos, and so I'm mirroring them at http://cscott.net/Activism (click on 'lists.tgz'). UPDATE: Diebold has served a cease-and-desist: use the BitTorrent tracker at http://cscott.net/Activism/lists.tgz.torrent while I figure out how best to fight this. Be sure to page down the Why War? site to Excerpts from the Diebold Documents to discover some of the revealing quotes found in these documents, including:
"I need some answers! Our department is being audited by the County. I have been waiting for someone to give me an explanation as to why Precinct 216 gave Al Gore a minus 16022 when it was uploaded. Will someone please explain this so that I have the information to give the auditor instead of standing here "looking dumb"." [source]
"Johnson County, KS will be doing Central Count for their mail in ballots. They will also be processing these ballots in advance of the closing of polls on election day. They would like to log into the Audit Log an entry for Previewing any Election Total Reports. They need this, to prove to the media, as well as, any candidates & lawyers, that they did not view or print any Election Results before the Polls closed. However, if there is a way that we can disable the reporting functionality, that would be even better." [source] (emphasis added)

There is also some existing evidence that Diebold machines may have been skimming votes in the California recall election; someone with a better grasp of statistics ought to run this through a proper analysis.

VerifiedVoting.org has information about how you can help the "Voting Confidence Act" (HR2239) get passed. Let's make sure the shenanigans stop.

More Diebold commentary.

This thread on Indymedia has more good information on what exactly is in those Diebold memos, and why it is so incriminating. In particular, how easy it is to alter the vote log, and who does it -- from the memos:
Being able to end-run the database has admittedly got people out of a bind though. Jane (I think it was Jane) did some fancy footwork on the .mdb file in Gaston recently. I know our dealers do it. King County is famous for it. That's why we've never put a password on the file before.
Also, the indymedia commenter notes:
Then, bear in mind that GEMS programs 1.11.14 and 1.17.17 are certified -- and check out how many times they are installing 1.14.xx and 1.15.xx series and using them in elections! (Totally illegal: what this means is the software used in these elections was never looked at by ANYONE except a handful of programmers in Canada.) Pretty much throws the whole certification and testing argument out the window.
Ok, that's my last "democracy dying" post for the day. (More are definitely in the future, unfortunately.)