[E-voting] Bev Harris comments on the Diebold story developments
cansbro at eircom.net
Wed Dec 14 22:10:50 GMT 2005
**http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00002156.htm#comments (the article
incorrectly says the hack was a touch-screen--it was an optical scanner)
This thread has 2 particularly interesting comments from Bev Harris of
BlackBoxVoting (the 2nd one focuses on the media and on those in the
academic community who knew but who kept their mouths shut prior to the
Nov. 2004 election)):
*/*...Bev Harris <http://www.blackboxvoting.org> said on 12/14/2005 @
Thanks, Brad, for this coverage.
I don't know if the dominoes are falling, but certainly the knot is
Combined with the securities fraud lawsuit and the upcoming hack
test in California, things are getting very prickly indeed.
Now the real work starts -- it isn't just Diebold, of course, and it
isn't just the Republicans, and this stuff has been creeping into
place for decades while none of us were paying attention. It isn't
just national politics either, the local races -- especially the
county and city commissioners, councilmen, aldermen and supervisors,
along with the sheriffs depts. and for elected jurisdictions, the
election supervisor positions themselves have been a playground for
The tighter we draw the knot on all concerned, the more rats desert
the ship, the more people try to maneuver themselves into the free
pass line, reinventing themselves and making excuses and pointing
And we're not even close to reaching real resolution of the problem.
I envision right now that it isn't just Diebold execs who are
huddled in a room. It is also key people who are "helping" the
American people -- you know, because we aren't capable of dealing
with the reality of this -- trying to frame the issue (ie.
Republicans trying to steal the election -- rather than the truth,
voting machines built for fraud foisted upon us decades ago), trying
to control the issue, trying to bandaid the issue, trying to divert
attention into non-essential corners of the issue.
We need to keep pressing to reveal the root causes here. In 1965, we
had the Warren Commission doctoring up reality on the Kennedy
assassination because "Americans couldn't handle the truth."
Protecting us, you know.
Let us refuse to allow such a thing to happen in the voting issue.
We want full access, we must face this squarely, we must keep at it
until the roots of the problem are exposed to full sunlight.
We are resilient. We can handle it. Now, more than ever, we must be
vigilant about spin and insist on continuing to the very core of
I can GUARANTEE you that this doesn't stop at George Bush, nor does
it stop with Republicans. Black Box Voting has dusted this baby off
to the very foundation.
Our ETA for the detailed report is March 2005. [This should
probably be March 2006 --Catherine]
*COMMENT #14* [link <http://www.BradBlog.com/archives/00002156.htm#14>]
/*...Bev Harris <http://www.blackboxvoting.org> said on 12/14/2005 @
re: mainstream media --
Only a tiny percentage of newspapers have all their stuff
online. Radio has very little online, and TV picks and chooses
what it puts online.
We've been averaging about 2 MSM interviews a day for weeks now,
and I can tell you that for a test that was only completed at 7
p.m. last night (AFTER all mainstream media deadlines had
passed) I'm pretty pleased with the pickup. Of course, my
background is in media so I know what is realistic, regardless
of the kind of story, and this is a particularly tricky one.
Last night at 9 p.m. Kathleen had an interview with a Colorado
radio station for a bigger segment to air on Sunday. I was
interviewed on Coast to Coast from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. last night.
I did another fairly large radio interview at 1 p.m. today, and
have had three newspapers call.
Reuters wire service picked up the stockholders suit, and it
doesn't get much bigger than that. Reuters is an international
The first Hursti attack in Leon County started picking up
mainstream coverage a few days after it happened, and continued
to get mainstream coverage in several major papers, for at least
three months aftewards. This stuff picks up a life of its own
after a while, and is used for fodder on subsequent articles as
related stories arise.
I happen to know that Ion Sancho was mostly not available this
morning, and that means MSM can't run with it, since they need a
confirm from him.
I agree that by and large the mainstream media has not done its
job on this story, but part of that is because the U.S.
scientists have not done their job. One requirement for MSM is
that they get an academic or public official to quote. I know
for a fact that many of the scientists have not been forthcoming
with the media, especially before the Nov. 2004 election, when
all the big ones in this movement knew of the GEMS defect, the
remote access vulnerabilities, and some of them knew the memory
cards execute code. They said nothing, so don't just blame the
media. I get chided all the time for holding these guys feet to
the fire, but come on -- why is it more important to get a
government grant and retain access to testify before panels like
the Carter-Baker Commission than to tell it like it is BEFORE
the presidential election? One prominent scientist, widely
considered to be in the "good guy" camp, has known since 1992
that the problems are very significant. Another has known since
When I needled about this just yesterday, I got this answer: "It
depends on your definition of 'knew.'"
It doesn't take a genius to see these flaws, and it doesn't take
a $7 million grant either. I mean damn -- I figured out the GEMS
password was worthless while practicing cut and paste in my
basement, and everyone knows I'm no expert. I was so broke I had
to borrow my mortgage payment, after working this issue nonstop
for nine months and shutting down my business to do so. If WE
don't need $7 million to expose a memory card hack, and if two
old ladies can find a guy with no fancy academic credentials
from Finland to do this, why did this stuff have to sit there
for over a decade with no scientists confirming it to the press,
or ever writing an honest study on it?
I myself took Dr. Herbert Thompson to meet face to face with key
members of the California secretary of state's office AND
California's chief technical consultant in Aug. 2004. Despite
his courageous work, they said nothing -- NOTHING -- to the
press to confirm the GEMS defect and said they would work on it
AFTER the election. And, of course, now even Diebold admits it's
Why would we expect the mainstream media to take courage when we
see so little among the experts the MSM must look to for quotes?
All things considered, I think we're (most of the time) getting
reasonable coverage. What I've heard, through the grapevine, is
that the scientists chose not to say anything because they plan
to unveil a "solution." My take on this, if true, is that we
absolutely cannot trust humans who withhold critical evidence
right before an election from an already aneomic press, just so
they can fully bake up a solution and ride in on a white horse
at some unspecified date in the future.
Most of the experts in this country who are dealing with the
voting machine issue have had years -- sometimes as much as a
decade -- to tell it like it is. They have not done so. Is it
any wonder the press is gun-shy?
As I say, root causes. Let's not be so anxious to cozy up to
power that we sacrifice truth for access. The citizenry is the
ONLY hope we have to tackle these very difficult issues.
If you think the experts did a great job over the past decade of
handling this, fall in line behind them as they ride in to save
the world. I can tell you now, if that happens, it will ONLY be
because we, the ordinary citizens, set the stage, crafted the
saddle, provided their weapons and slapped the horses on the
rump to get them moving.
I say, the healthiest thing that's happened in 50 years in this
country is the massive movement of ordinary citizens to insist
on watching, questioning, and becoming involved personally in
our own elections. Never again should we think someone else will
get it right. It's up to us to hold public officials' feet to
the fire, and the scientists as well. If they won't play ball,
as we have done before, the two old ladies from Black Box Voting
will hunt for people with guts in foreign countries. Once they
tell us what's in the machines, the U.S. scientists tiptoe into
the waters to confirm.
There are reasons why the press is so slow to respond. So far,
the response isn't bad, considering that we're operating with a
lobotomy on this country's academic brains.
They will come forward, but only after citizens like you and I
and Brad make it "safe" for them to do so. You know, wouldn't
want to lose a nifty grant or a day's pay or get a whif of
criticism on one's Ph.D. I'm also getting damn tired of the tidy
refusal to look at incriminating program code due to DMCA
concerns. I'll put it on the line here: I have stated to these
scientists and now publicly -- if someone has to go to jail for
reverse engineering elections code that has put our national
security at risk, I'll do it.
In fact, there are many of us who'll do it. We don't have three
or four elections more to waste while the tidy bowl men tiptoe
around this thing.
Sorry for the rant. You can't believe the stuff I see, day after
day, while out in the field. Watching the hack yesterday --
which took a grand total of 45 minutes for Harri to create, and
just minutes to execute, literally made me sick. It made Florida
Fair Elections Director Susan Pynchon cry. She's been begging --
BEGGING the U.S. scientific community for help with hundreds of
pages of Volusia County logs she has, filled with anomalies,
from the 2004 records that she got and we got (I gave the whole
stack to her for her lawsuit). From the big cheeses who waltz
around Washington D.C. she got zip, nada, and mostly not even a
glance at her documents.
Too busy to look at evidence, but not too busy to hobnob or
accept a 7 million dollar NSF grant. I have learned of an all
hand-counted paper ballot location with 3,500 voters and up to
30 questions on the ballot that gets its votes counted
accurately before the voting machines are done on Election
Night. Asked one of the scientists why they are rejecting paper
ballot solutions based on one lame-ass study about how the human
brain works, presented at NIST, instead of fricking studying
actual locations that do it. Of course we all know the answer:
Keep the computers involved, keep it complex, and you've got
lifelong job security. The answer I got, by the way, was that
"ACCURATE" will look at that. In a year or two. What the hell is
Well I am not waiting for some "solution" that we don't even
know is even there to appear in a few years. We've got to roll
up our sleeves and make this happen, working around our
country's lobotomized academia to get this into the press any
way we can.
All things considered, reporters are struggling just like we are.
And as Harri Hursti always says, "It is what it is."
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