Saturday, November 06, 2004

Americans Take Democracy for Granted

Is there any surprise?

We take life for granted, wealth for granted, food and clean water for granted, the environment for granted, etc etc etc.

I don't want to perpetuate conspiracy theories, but we've embraced a system of paperless democracy. Whoever thought electronic voting systems with no paper trail would be a good idea was obviously thinking "unilaterally".

So here's the problem.

Published on Saturday, November 6, 2004 by

Evidence Mounts That The Vote Was Hacked

by Thom Hartmann

The State of Florida, for example, publishes a county-by-county record of votes cast and people registered to vote by party affiliation. Net denizen Kathy Dopp compiled the official state information into a table, available at, and noticed something startling.

While the heavily scrutinized touch-screen voting machines seemed to produce results in which the registered Democrat/Republican ratios largely matched the Kerry/Bush vote, in Florida's counties using results from optically scanned paper ballots - fed into a central tabulator PC and thus vulnerable to hacking – the results seem to contain substantial anomalies.

In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry.

In Dixie County, with 4,988 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry, but 4,433 voted for Bush.

The pattern repeats over and over again - but only in the counties where optical scanners were used. Franklin County, 77.3% registered Democrats, went 58.5% for Bush. Holmes County, 72.7% registered Democrats, went 77.25% for Bush.

Yet in the touch-screen counties, where investigators may have been more vigorously looking for such anomalies, high percentages of registered Democrats generally equaled high percentages of votes for Kerry. (I had earlier reported that county size was a variable – this turns out not to be the case. Just the use of touch-screens versus optical scanners.)

More visual analysis of the results can be seen at http://us, and Note the trend line – the only variable that determines a swing toward Bush was the use of optical scan machines.

On the CNBC TV show "Topic A With Tina Brown," several months ago, Howard Dean had filled in for Tina Brown as guest host. His guest was Bev Harris, the Seattle grandmother who started from her living room. Bev pointed out that regardless of how votes were tabulated (other than hand counts, only done in odd places like small towns in Vermont), the real "counting" is done by computers. Be they Diebold Opti-Scan machines, which read paper ballots filled in by pencil or ink in the voter's hand, or the scanners that read punch cards, or the machines that simply record a touch of the screen, in all cases the final tally is sent to a "central tabulator" machine.

That central tabulator computer is a Windows-based PC.

"In a voting system," Harris explained to Dean on national television, "you have all the different voting machines at all the different polling places, sometimes, as in a county like mine, there's a thousand polling places in a single county. All those machines feed into the one machine so it can add up all the votes. So, of course, if you were going to do something you shouldn't to a voting machine, would it be more convenient to do it to each of the 4000 machines, or just come in here and deal with all of them at once?"

Dean nodded in rhetorical agreement, and Harris continued. "What surprises people is that the central tabulator is just a PC, like what you and I use. It's just a regular computer."

"So," Dean said, "anybody who can hack into a PC can hack into a central tabulator?"

Harris nodded affirmation, and pointed out how Diebold uses a program called GEMS, which fills the screen of the PC and effectively turns it into the central tabulator system. "This is the official program that the County Supervisor sees," she said, pointing to a PC that was sitting between them loaded with Diebold's software.

This is a rather lengthy article, but certainly worth the read.

Let's put aside the corrupt election hypothesis for a second and just recognize that many Americans were casting votes on an inherently flawed electronic system with no paper trail. Who's bright idea was this anyway?

I was surprised by the results of this past illection. Knowing the history of how Karl Rove drives conservative politics, is there any wonder that we now rest on the eve of illection scandal?

What does the future of America hold?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

QjsIaw [url=]outlet Moncler[/url] MttJbm

LwaJyc [url=]Nike Free Run Danmark[/url] DnzEcv

VomEbh [url=]Piumini Moncler[/url] CqgMwo

YomTdu [url=]Canada Goose From Canada[/url] BkrNbh

PwuEmj [url=]Canada Goose From Canada[/url] WpfFdm

YoeBbt [url=]Canada Goose[/url] BqzIdj

HdpAyo [url=]Canada Goose Canada[/url] UgdVdl

8:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home