election fraud

11/01 Final 2010 Midterms Forecast: RV/LV Polls and Election Fraud

Here’s the entire set of variables for tomorrows elections, including the ever present fraud factor. Rich has been at this for four years and has an excellent track record. MC


Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll)

The 2010 House and Senate Forecast Models are based on a comprehensive analysis of Registered Voter (RV) and Likely Voter (LV) polls.

The LV Model predicts a 234-201 GOP House and a 50-48 Democratic Senate. Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball predicts a 233-202 GOP House and a 49-49 Senate. Electoral-vote.com has a 51-48-1 Democratic Senate and a 217-200 GOP House with 18 ties. But the registered voter (RV) projections tell a different story.

The Democrats lead the weighted average of 18 Senate RV polls by 8.5%. They lead the corresponding LV sub-samples by 0.9%.

The RV projections indicate a 53-45 Democratic Senate.

The GOP leads the latest 30 House Generic LV polls by 6.8%. They lead the latest 19 RV polls by just 0.7%.

The RV projections indicate a 221-214 Republican House. (more…)

Why Does Congress Hate America?

Michael Collins

Oh, it’s just that Collins guy mouthing off again.

Actually, I was far too easy on Congress yesterday in Lawless Nation – Congress.

Here’s why:  HR 3808 The Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010

The bill is the response to the events outlined in a story that  Numerian scooped on foreclosure problems.  The banks are in big trouble.  They failed to follow the law and rules in handling mortgages.  Instead of foreclosing on home owners, those upside down and under water can consider strategic defaults on the mishandled notes.  Legal efforts have reached a point where there’s a “tsunami of legal action against mortgage servicers” as Tyler Durden calls it.

A clever Mandarin somewhere figured out that by changing the law on notarizations, after the fact, Congress could stop the tsunami by “making it more difficult for homeowners to challenge foreclosure proceedings against them.”  (See Ellen Brown)

HR 3808 passed both houses of Congress with ease.  How? (See “Major Actions”) On April 27, it passed the House by a voice vote.  On September 27, it passed the Senate unanimously.   It took just minutes for the bill to pass in both chambers.  Things move right along when there’s no debate.

It was more important for Congress to fix things for the bankers than to keep constituents in their homes in the midst of a relentless financial crisis, as a cold winter approaches.  Congress has inherent contempt for the people.   We’re probably not even important enough to hate.
(more…)

Kos, “Raw Data,” and the Mainstream Media

Michael Collins

When DailyKos publisher and owner Markos Moulitsas demanded that his pollster produce raw data from the polls Moulitsas purchased, he established a principle of election polling transparency that could open up the checkered history of presidential elections in the United States.

The controversy erupted when Moulitsas (kos) fired his polling company.  He was unhappy with their results and demanded that his pollster, Research 2000 (R2000), turn over raw data for review.  Moulitsas said:

“Early in this process, I asked for and they offered to provide us with their raw data for independent analysis — which could potentially exculpate them. That was two weeks ago, and despite repeated promises to provide us that data, Research 2000 ultimately refused to do so.”  kos

When R2000 either refused or delayed (there’s disagreement on that), kos took their actions as a sign of “fraudulent polling practices” (from the kos lawsuit).  DailyKos published a searing criticism of R2000 and the National Council on Public Polls supported kos in his demand that R2000 release the raw polling data.  Blogger Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com and the New York Times supported kos, as well.

The request by kos is well justified.  He’d paid for the polling.  Like any customer in this type of arrangement, he had a right to the product of the work done in his behalf.

Reviewing the basis for the polling results, particularly the raw data and the analytic methods, could answer two key questions:  1) were the polls actually conducted and 2) did  the techniques used meet the professional standards of  other polling organizations.

The president of R2000, Del Ali, defended his polling and denied any and all accusations of improper conduct:  “Every charge against my company and myself are pure lies, plain and simple, and the motives as to why Kos is doing it will be revealed in the legal process and not before that.”  Some of the criticisms of R2000 polling methods have been answered by independent analysis at RichardCharnin.com (more…)

HARDBALL IN OHIO & THE LOST BALLOTS Democrats May Lose Big with Brunner Senate Bid

HARDBALL IN OHIO & THE LOST BALLOTS

Democrats May Lose Big with Brunner Senate Bid

Michael Collins

Also published at Scoop Independent News & American Politics Journal

“Democracy is mocked by the Senate candidacy of the chief elections official, Jennifer Brunner, who did absolutely nothing about the massive defiance by the 58 county election boards that lost or destroyed the legally mandated records of the 2004 presidential election.  Some champion of democracy, some Democrat.” — Michael Collins

Ohio election politics now rival the political hardball of Texas, Illinois, and Florida at their best.  As a result, the state’s Democratic Party may once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the 2010 election cycle.  Through a bid for the open United States Senate seat, the self described election reform Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner puts two critical goals of Ohio Democrats at risk.

The first is the Senate seat held since 1999 by Republican George V. Voinovich who announced plans to retire at the end of his term this January.  This provided a short-lived advantage for a unified Senate candidacy by Democrats.  But the unity ended when the candidacy of Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, the party favorite, was challenged by Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

Election 2008 turned the tables on Ohio Republicans.  President Obama’s 51 – 48% win inverted the questionable 2004 outcome, the Bush 51% to 49% “win” over Sen. John Kerry (D-MA).  Obama not only reversed the 2004 results, his 2.9 million vote total is the highest ever in Ohio, a state with static population growth since 2000.

The Brunner candidacy threatens an Ohio Senate win by Democrats in 2010.

The absence of a contested primary is always preferred by either party.  Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) has the solid endorsement of top Ohio Democrat Gov. Ted Strickland.  Strickland and Fisher ran as a team to defeat the Republican Governor-Lt. Governor ticket 60% to 35%.

Brunner will divide the party in the primary election.  Those costs and efforts will reduce money for the general election.

Ohio currently has 18 members of Congress, with a ten to eight advantage for Democrats.  Had Brunner chosen to run for re-election as Secretary of State, Democrats would have been virtually guaranteed an advantage on the state Apportionment Board.  With her departure, control of the three member board would be up for grabs should Republicans win the Secretary of State contest.

Brunner offers up a slow pitch for any future opponent by holding onto her office as the chief elections official of Ohio.  She’ll be running in a primary and general election (if she wins the primary then resigns) that she’s preparing for right now as the chief elections official.  Former Republican Secretary of State Blackwell was severely criticized for massive conflict of interest when he did the same thing in 2006.

Brunner’s Record as Secretary of State and the Lost Ballots

Jennifer Brunner was a local judge before running for Ohio Secretary of State.  She ran for and won that office as a Democrat in 2006, part of a sweep of state executive offices for the Democrats.  She replaced J. Kenneth Blackwell, the most controversial Secretary of State in any state for decades.  The resolutely partisan Blackwell ignored multiple warnings that helped create a catastrophe in the 2004 presidential election.  This is well documented as was the pattern of election fraud throughout the country.

Brunner’s qualifications for the United States Senate seat depend largely on her record as Secretary of State.  How did she do?

Brunner promised a fair and open elections program if elected.  She was tested early.  When a federal judge ordered the collection of 2004 presidential ballots from Ohio County election boards, 58 of 88 failed to return some to all of their ballots.  The ballots were to serve as evidence of election fraud in a federal lawsuit underway in the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio charging election fraud in  the 2004 Ohio presidential contest.

The defendants are J. Kenneth Blackwell, the 2004 state Republican Party Chairman, and major election officials.  After initiating the suit, attorneys for the plaintiffs got a court order mandating retention of all 2004 presidential ballots.  By Ohio and U.S. Code, these were to be retained for 22 months.  The court order extended those dates by telling election boards to preserve all ballots “unless and until such time otherwise instructed by this Court.”  Each and every county elections board received a copy of the order.  But when it was time to deliver, a majority of counties said they’d lost, “inadvertently” destroyed, or in some other manner discarded 1.8 million 2004 presidential ballots.  This compromised the law suit.

More importantly, it was a massive show of defiance by county elections officials.

Many counties simply reported the ballots were no longer available without any explanation.  Other counties offered a collection of excuses known as “the dog ate my homework letters.” The elections board in Allen County said the 2004 ballots were “compromised by water damage and subsequently destroyed.”  Water damage was a popular theme.  Holmes County said that the ballots fell on a coffee pot “and broken glass (was) strewn throughout the ballots.  These ballots were destroyed later that morning, as they were saturated and covered with glass.”  In Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), hundreds of thousand ballots were thought “lost.”  In an explanation letter to Brunner explaining the sudden appearance of the ballots, the acting elections director, in her own hand, said, “These ballots had been found (“hidden” crossed out) in Cuyahoga’s Canal Street warehouse,” she wrote.

The most instructive letter came from a County prosecuting attorney, not the elections board, who offered the following:

“Unfortunately, the actual ballot cards were inadvertently discarded and destroyed by the Ashtabula County Board of Elections just prior to the receipt by the Board of Judge Marbley’s Order and subsequent directive to your office.”  Thomas Sartini, Prosecuting Attorney, Ashtabula County Apr. 16, 2007

Did the prosecutor write this letter because federal and state laws were violated by said destruction?

This was a prime time opportunity for Brunner to open up an investigation into the sorry state of Ohio elections.  What did she do?  She offered this statement shortly after hearing of the lost ballots.

“If I had evidence of a cover-up, I would investigate,” Brunner said. “For me, the bigger question in 2004 was, ‘How many people were prevented from voting,’ (something) you can’t quantify.”  Jennifer Brunner, Cincinnati Enquirer, Aug 12, 2007

Brunner was never asked to explain how she could have any “evidence” without an investigation.  Brunner’s comment about “how many people were prevented from voting” makes little sense as an alternative pursuit.  It’s “something you can’t quantify,” she said.  What she failed to mention is that the widespread illegal destruction of ballots prevented a major election fraud case from answering that very question — how many citizens were prevented from voting or having their vote count?  If she wanted that question answered, she would have demanded a thorough investigation of the county boards of elections that didn’t do their job.

Mocking Democracy

The Democratic Party had a chance to live up to the meaning of its name when Jennifer Brunner was elected Secretary of State.  The events of 2004, the ballot measures election of 2005, the Hackett-Schmidt fiasco of 2005 and all the other well documented election disasters cried out for a comprehensive investigation.  There was a Democrat committed to democracy in charge.  Surely there would be some justice.

Yet when 58 counties defied a federal judge’s clear order to retain ballots and, in many cases, Ohio and federal laws on ballot retention, they got the endorsement of Ohio’s elected  defender of democracy.

A court filing in the federal law suit in Judge Marbley’s court by the Ohio Election Justice Campaign (OEJC) (pp. 54-63) elaborated on the cynicism of the ballot custodians.  This is an email exchange on Sept. 7, 2007 regarding the failure to preserve 2004 ballots.  These are actual board of elections executives:

One election official said: “Someone should tell them to give it up.”

Another responded: “I’m sorry. I’m just a little to busy trying to figure out how the government killed John F. Kennedy to deal with this.”

A third election official answered the question above:  “The Trilateral Commission did it.”  OEJC filing, Federal District Court, 07/10/08

OEJC continues to fight for recognition that ballot destruction is a bottom line issue by those charged with protecting the democratic rights of voters.’

Democracy was mocked in Ohio by those obliged by law to care for the election records when they lost or destroyed evidence in a federal law suit.  It was mocked by the ridiculous excuses offered by those election boards that bothered to explain their malfeasance.  Democracy was mocked when those who destroyed or lost ballots joked about it in emails.  It continues to be mocked by the Senate candidacy of the chief elections official, Jennifer Brunner, who did absolutely nothing about the massive defiance by the 58 county election boards that lost or destroyed the legally mandated records of the 2004 presidential election.  Some champion of democracy, some Democrat.

END

Permission to reproduce in whole or in part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article

Destruction of Evidence   Ohio’s 2004 Ballots Oct. 20, 2007

Stealing Ohio 2004   The Case Heats Up Nov. 8, 2007

Complete collection of “the dog ate my homework letters” – County election officials explaining why they destroyed/lost 2004 presidential ballots

Election Fraud in Pennsylvania?

Election Fraud in Pennsylvania?

(Image Source – Diebold Variations)

They’ve got a Secret

Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News
Washington, D.C.

The Pennsylvania primary could lock up the Democratic nomination process once and for all. The campaign that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean asked to be finished by July 1 could be over this Tuesday. Regardless of your candidate or party, you’re probably like the vast majority of citizens who insist on fair elections that are open to the public for examination.

Citizens want to know that the candidate taking office is the same candidate who won a majority or a plurality of the votes. A 2006 Zogby poll of 1018 registered voters nationwide found that 92% believed that they, as citizens, have the right to witness vote counting for the election of their paid public servants.

That will not be the case in Pennsylvania any more than it was the case in Florida, Ohio, California, South Carolina, and most other primary states. Almost all states bar any real inspection of vote counting, the process that determines the election result. Even if they did allow you to watch the count, all you would see is a whirring third-rate computer system run by a private company that won’t allow anyone to take a comprehensive look inside.

Post election audits are either absent or randomly selected by the people who run the election. Recounts require an exceptionally close election, less than a 1% difference typically. And citizen recounts after the election, where paper records exist, are barred by law in Florida and Virginia and barred almost everywhere else by bureaucratic fiat.

Even if you got to examine each and every ballot, the chain of custody of those paper records will likely be compromised at several key points. Ballots collected by unaccountable individuals, driven around in the trunks of cars, unsupervised, plus other election board customs, mean you can’t track the chain of custody of ballots from collection at precincts to delivery at counting locations. Post-election storage oftentimes reflects little concern for real security. If you can’t track the chain of custody, you can’t know if the ballots recounted or examined are the original voted ballots, if ballots have been replaced, altered, etc.

We elect people who pass laws that are enforced by bureaucrats who then tell us to take a hike when we want to closely examine an election.

“The results are what we say they are,” say the keepers of the vote, our so-called public servants. “Move along, there’s nothing to see here” is the prevailing attitude toward inquiring citizens.

Potential Election Fraud in Pennsylvania

When you build any system that conducts “mission critical business,” like electing a president, you need to create enough safeguards to make sure that the process is secure. How secure is the voting process in Pennsylvania?

Almost 90 percent of Pennsylvanians will vote using touch screen voting machines that have no paper record of votes cast. Once you touch the screen, the machine can count your vote any way it’s programmed. It can even give you a receipt indicating you voted for Smith and count your vote for Jones. These touch screens total their own votes, invisibly and without any outside checks. We can’t watch and even if we could, we wouldn’t know what to look for. Our election boards routinely sign contracts agreeing that the computer programs that count our votes are the trade secrets of the e-voting machine companies, no peeking. The companies even “refuse to promise that their products will work.”

Our election process is not a serious one when you examine it to any degree but it is very popular with the politicians and the election boards that they populate.

Computer scientists at Princeton University and others have been able to hack touch screen voting machines successfully on repeated occasions. A candidate in Florida’s 13th congressional district lost at least 14,000 votes and a seat in Congress in 2006 in a county with touch screens only, while surrounding counties had nothing like these vote losses. Congress promised a vigorous investigation but never delivered.

The situation in Pennsylvania is so bad that Common Cause rated the state at “high” risk for election problems in the 2008 election. In addition, a citizens’ group in Pennsylvania is suing the state to decertify touch screen voting machines because they fail to provide an accurate vote count. The case was allowed by the Pennsylvania courts and is proceeding through the system.

Those citizens prefer optical scanners because optical scan machines count voter marked paper forms. However, unfortunately for those well intended citizens, optical scanners are no solution for these reasons. While the paper forms are marked by voters, they are counted by optical scanners, computers operating with programs that are “trade secrets.” Pennsylvania allows automatic recounts in only races with a 0.5% or less victory margin and lacks a uniform guarantee for citizen examination of any paper trail that may exist. Optical scanners are computers just like touch screens and can be manipulated with detection extremely difficult. Finally, other than the vendors or contractors that sell and maintain the machines, there’s no guaranteed access to the inner workings of these e-voting devices, none at all.

Will there be election fraud in Pennsylvania? We’ll never know for all of the above reasons. It’s all a secret. They have it. We, the citizens, don’t


Bethlehem Steel (above) used to be a world leader as was Pittsburgh’s U.S. Steel. The mills were closed, the companies gone, and the workers callously strewn along the highway of lost dreams. Pittsburgh’s population in 1950 was 700,000.Today it’s 300,000. atomische.com (cc)

Actual Election Fraud in Pennsylvania

Anyone who doubts the existence of massive election fraud needs to look no further than this primary. Failing to address real needs and issues of citizens is the biggest election fraud of all. Just turn on the television or pick up the newspaper.

The state faces real issues and the voters have very real concerns. The industrial base for the state left the country some time ago. Nothing replaced it except all those “new jobs” from NAFTA. As a result, there was major loss of well paying jobs for the working class and all the benefits that go with that, not the least of which is health insurance.

There are over a million uninsured in Pennsylvania. There are many more underinsured. In the rural areas and small towns, unemployment is a major concern. The tax base has taken a major hit. The state needs roads, bridges, and other vital structures and there’s not enough money.

But what are the two hottest topics from this primary election? Obama got slammed for saying small town Pennsylvanians are “bitter” about getting screwed by their “public servants” for the last two or three decades. He was then attacked as an “elitist” and chastised for “talking down” to small town citizens. Instead of pointing out that heroin is more common than hope in too many small towns, Obama backed off and apologized.

The second big item in terms of press coverage is the mockery of a presidential primary debate in Philadelphia. The condescending Charles Gibson of CBS and flighty George Stephanopoulos of ABC spent over an hour talking about totally irrelevant issues. They wasted the time of both Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama by forcing the dialog into the three ringed circus of strange mainstream media preoccupations.

While neither Clinton nor Obama openly objected during the debate, the crowd inside the debate hall did. They booed Charles Gibson which puts him in the company of Sean Hannity of Fox News who was pursued by angry Ron Paul supporters. Who needs Nielson ratings?

No Respect for Citizens

The election system in Pennsylvania is not available for inspection by the public, that 92% who said they’d like the option to observe vote counting. The machines don’t allow that, they’re computers. There’s nothing to watch. The laws prevent that. It’s a secret that only the election boards and the private contractors who count the vote get to see. The security of voting machines is in serious question and election oversight is conducted by the same people who created the system.

It’s all a magic show, a series of illusions that can be manipulated by the entertainers, also known as politicians, or anyone well placed and determined enough to manipulate a system with few if any real safeguards.

The failure to discuss real issues is an insult to all citizens. It might explain why a majority fail to vote in primary elections and why 35% to 40% consistently fail to vote in the general elections for president. A common refrain among those who refuse to participate is “Why bother, they’re all a bunch of crooks.” Among those who do vote, there are huge doubts about the honesty of elections. A 2006 Zogby poll of 707 likely voters in Pennsylvania asked this question: “Do you think the 2004 election was stolen?” Forty percent said yes.

The public officials who control elections behave as though the people are stupid and ignorant of the questionable practices of secret vote counting and outsourced elections. Wrong! The citizens of Pennsylvania know what the story is. Just add the 40% of likely Pennsylvania voters who thought 2004 was stolen with the 35% to 40% who routinely stay home because they doubt the system. That produces a majority of citizens who have serious doubts about a system created to serve the elected and not the electors.

The news media act like the people are a bunch of sheep who buy whatever the media put out because some people actually watch the news. They fail to note that in polls on public respect for various professions, the television news media gets a 16% approval rating. The people who booed debate anchor Gibson are a perfect reflection that attitude.

The politicians showed their respect for citizens after the 2006 election, when the message was clear. Get out of Iraq. They have their excuses. But the reality of the charade was made crystal clear in at the Philadelphia presidential primary debate. While enduring an hour when no real issues were discussed, did you hear either candidate criticize the news people for their inane questions? Not a word.

Wouldn’t it be nice if one or both candidates said something like this?

Charles and George, didn’t your networks ignore all the public evidence that the Iraq war was based on lies, evidence available before the Iraq War Resolution and the invasion? Didn’t your networks give Alan Greenspan a pass in 2004 when he told people to go out and get an adjustable rate mortgage because things were looking so good even though many told Greenspan he was totally off base starting in 2001?

Gentlemen, what good are you if you can’t even spot the obvious scams?

How about some decent questions?

But even if one or both had said something like this and changed the tone of the campaign, it wouldn’t be enough. We would still have to contend with outsourced elections conducted beyond the public view. Our elections are shielded by federal and state law to protect the true elitists; those people who tell us who we elected while they do everything that they can to hide the election process from us.

END

Resources:

“Loser Take All” – Edited by Mark Crispin Miller
Coalition for Voting Integrity (of Bucks Co. Penn.)
The Myth of Verified Voting
Election 2004: The Urban Legend
Notes from the Underground

Special thanks to Jill Hayroot for her contributions

Permission to reprint in part or whole granted with attribution of authorship and a link to this article. See links with images for reproduction rights.

Democrats Pass on Challenge to Secret Vote Counting in SC

Democrats Pass on Challenge to

Secret Vote Counting in South Carolina

This is the place to affix the STAMP. Link

Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News
Washington, DC

South Carolinians mounted a serious protest to the onerous “Stamp Act” imposed on the colonies by British rulers. The act levied a tax to pay for the “Seven Years War” which established Great Britain as the world’s dominant colonial power. South Carolinians resisted funding their own domination through payment of the tax.

Today, the Palmetto state faces a challenge beyond the Stamp Act. Their state constitution is clear, if not elegant, in its definition of the basic elements of elections:

All elections by the people shall be by secret ballot,

but the ballots shall not be counted in secret.

Touch screen voting machines like those used throughout South Carolina are inherently private. Citizens and officials are barred form accessing the fundamentals of the voting machines. As a result, meaningful information on errors or fraud is off the table.

Once a voter touches the box next to their candidate, the machine takes over turning the vote into an electronic ballot that cannot be examined, even with access. This voting machine right of privacy is written into agreements signed by election officials all over the country. It’s called “faith based voting.” We vote and then have faith that the machines will do their job.

That adds up to a clear case of “ballots … counted in secret,” direct defiance of the prohibition of counting ballots in secret referenced above..

Challenging the Privacy “Rights” of Voting Machines

The obvious contradiction of the state law and the state’s privatized voting systems spurred voting rights, judicial reform and media activist Mark Adams of Florida to object strenuously. He began by writing John Edwards an open letter asking him to oppose the process. Absent a favorable response, on Wednesday of this week, he sent letters to each of the democratic candidates.

In his plea to Clinton, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, and Obama, Adams argued this point:

In case you are not aware, Article II, § 1 of the Constitution of South Carolina states, “the ballots shall not be counted in secret.” No one can see a computer count, and therefore, computers count in secret and using computers to count votes in secret violates South Carolina’s Constitution!

Will you take legal action in South Carolina to require that its upcoming Presidential primary is conducted in a manner which complies with the plain language expressed in South Carolina’s Constitution and with all Americans’ rights to make sure that our votes are counted accurately? Will you take action, or will you stand by and allow our votes to be counted in the equivalent of a secret smoky back room? Complete set of Mark Adams letters to the candidates.

Democrats Say No Go but Paul Supporters Know the Score

The letters informed, but they didn’t move any Democratic candidates to file suit for injunctive relief. There was real interest among Paul supporters in South Carolina. In general, the Paul campaign watches the voting process closely and with a skeptical eye.

In South Carolina, there were anecdotal reports of sudden increases in precinct vote counts at the last minute impacting Paul’s votes and after the fact reductions in vote totals for their candidate. But a Paul suit to stop a Democratic primary lacked the weight necessary for a serious hearing.

Will South Carolina remind Obama of New Hampshire? Image

Faith in the False Idol of Voting Technology

When voting machines are sold, the manufactures include a privacy clause that prevents in depth inspection of the machine software and methods of operation. You can buy it but the only people who can look inside are manufacturer representatives.

Kim Zetter of Wired Magazine reported on a comprehensive study done for Ohio on the iVotronic touch screens, the very machines everywhere in South Carolina. She noted that “the ES&S tabulation system and the voting machine firmware were rife with basic buffer overflow vulnerabilities that would allow an attacker to easily take control of the systems and ‘exercise complete control over the results reported by the entire county election system.'”

The study discovered that a hacker with just an infrared enabled Palm Pilot or cell phone can hack any of these voting machines with infrared ports. Once in, the hacker could alter memory, “ballot handling,” and manipulate other machine processes.

This news should have rocked the nation given the presence of touch screens in almost every state.

The iVotronic machines are the very same voting equipment that dropped a carefully estimated 14,000 votes for just one candidate for Congress in Florida’s 13th Congressional district in 2006. The problem was characterized as “machine malfunction” in the election contest filed with Congress in behalf of Democratic candidate Christine Jennings. Apparently, this was the type of “malfunction” that produces consistent results in just one direction, for just one candidate.

Maybe these recurring problems and design concerns are the reason voting machine vendors are reluctant to guarantee their products. Zero Guarantee from Vendors for Voting System’s Performance, P. Lehto)

Will Common Sense and the Law Prevail?

Not a chance! It’s not at all difficult to determine the clear intent of the South Carolina Constitution. The law means what it says, “the ballots shall not be counted in secret.” But doesn’t the U.S. Constitution state that “Article 1, Section 8. The powers of Congress. To declare war”?

So much for the English language and the law. We’re at the mercy of a justice system that genuflects before power and politics and embraces convenience. Will we be saved by judges who’ve created their own code, just like those Florida voting machines: “flip-flopping” every time in the direction of power and control, by the few against the rights of the many in a relentlessly consistent pattern that strips us of our most fundamental legal protections.

New Hampshire and South Carolina are just previews of February 5, “Super Tuesday” when primaries will be held in 24 states.

These states have voting and vote counting that is conducted in secret by machines made and serviced by private firms; and voting that cannot be easily and quickly verified. The citizens’ right to know is casually surrendered to e-voting manufacturers by the officials sworn to serve those very citizens.

Almost all of the states have restrictive recount laws that require a very close election, a 1% or less difference in some cases. This effectively bars recounts unless “malfunctions” or vote stealing is marginal. Even if election fraud or “machine malfunction” is suspected for very good reasons, the right to recount is limited to only elections where mistakes or stealing produce a very thin margin.

These touch screen “ballots” are nothing more than a computerized record (not a ballot). After the election, citizens almost always lack the right to examine that computerized records and are typically barred from reviewing the paper forms they mark for optical scan voting machines.

How can those elected claim to rule when they’re unable to prove the first and most fundamental requirement of an election – that they have the right to serve by having legitimately claimed a plurality or majority of the votes cast.

END

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