[EM] FWD: An urgent plea for your assistance -- this is NOT spam!

Steve Barney barnes99 at vaxa.cis.uwosh.edu
Mon Dec 8 16:59:06 PST 2003

Here's an interesting piece of histeria about voting machinery. What do you 
think of it?

Steve Barney

>===== Original Message From "Eric A. Smith" <snowdog at juno.ocn.ne.jp> =====
I'm writing today to ask for your help because I'm very, very frightenedI'm 
writing today to ask for your help because I'm very, very frightened.

My name is Eric Smith. I'm a journalist and IT instructor in Tokyo. And after 
three years of study I've come to a terrifying conclusion. As British security 
expert Scott Granneman put it: "the heart of American democracy is at risk."

The import of this threat cannot be overstated -- the issue is very real and 
very grave. The chilling, incontrovertible fact is that America's elections 
are being silently, deliberately and PERMANENTLY compromised. The problem lies 
in the rapid installation of unauditable, unverifiable DRE (Direct Recording 
Electronic) touchscreen voting machines in advance of the 2004 elections.

Just how vulnerable are these machines? Author Bev Harris's diagrammed 
analysis of the "hacking" of a Diebold "Accuvote" machine to reverse an 
election proves it's not just possible -- it's easy:


These e-voting machines are being quietly installed across the country in 
preparation for the 2004 election, as per the characteristically 
disingenuously-named "Help America Vote Act" President Bush mandated in the 
wake of the 2000 debacle.

Alarming summaries of independent research by Johns Hopkins and Rice 
University, MIT, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and even Congress echo 
Harris's concerns:





The full extent of the threat to our electoral process has been documented in 
Harris's explosive expose, "Black Box Voting", which  can be downloaded free 
of charge here:


In light of these stunning vulnerabilities, US Representative Rush Holt has 
sponsored "The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003" which 
which calls for printed receipts for the 2004 and subsequent elections:


Unfortunately, Republican support hasn't been forthcoming, and the measure has 
stalled. Because of the stillborn status of Rep. Holt's initiative, the 
outlook for Americans is rapidly worsening to the point of emergency: 
primaries for the 2004 election will begin in two months.

And so, I'm writing to ask -- in fact to BEG -- for your help in seeking an 
immediate moratorium on the use of paperless, unverifiable e-vote machines in 
the 2004 election. The use of paper ballots may be the only interim solution 
to assure a verifiable election: DREs which produce verifiable paper receipts 
are available, but are not currently in widespread use.

An immediate legal injunction to halt the use of non-verifiable DREs in the 
2004 election is a stop-gap emergency measure, perhaps at this late date the 
only way to ensure the integrity of our Democratic process. Over the long 
term, lobbying for the implementation of Congressman Holt's Voter Integrity 
Act will provide a more permanent solution.

Today,  I'm asking you to aggressively and persistentky bring the legal and 
personnel resources of your organization into the effort to save our electoral 
process.  Before it's too late.

Steps you can take right now:

1.        Sign the online e-petitions at EFF and VerifiedVoting.org:



2.        Bev Harris is in immediate need of attorneys for coordinating legal 
injunctions to stop insecure voting machine use before the 2004 primaries:

                Bevharriscontact at aol.com

3.        Solicit the help of your organization's members in lobbying Congress 
to support Rep. Holt's Voter Integrity Act:


            Just in from VerifiedVoting.org:

               DECEMBER 2nd - 8th IS HR2239 WEEK!!!

One more week until the Congressional session is over (probably).
One more week this year to make a huge difference.
One more week to call Representatives at 1-800-839-5276 and urge support.
Start today.

4.        Lobby your state's elections boards to require verifiable, secure 
voting machines:


5.        Contact your friends, family, associates and the media:









Act now - your country needs you. And the time is getting very, very short.

Tomorrow might be just one day too late.


Eric A. Smith

Tokyo, Japan





State elections boards:


State Attorneys General (party affiliations listed):


Rep. Rush Holt:


E-mail campaign links:



Alternative e-voting machines:




Media Contacts:










Compelling evidence for the gravity of the situation can be found in the 
following "smoking gun" internal emails from Diebold. As you've no doubt 
heard, the company began a desperate attempt at suppressing the distribution 
of these emails on the Internet, in a series of gag lawsuits succesfully 
countered by the Electronic Frontier Foundation last month.

One of these emails  -- from Lana Hires to Global Election Systems (now 
Diebold) -- baldly states how 16 THOUSAND e-votes for Gore were "disappeared" 
during the 2000 Presidential election. Hires frantically asks how she should 
explain this to an auditor:

<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 [votes] 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"

Additional excerpts from the Diebold internal emails:

<For a demonstration I suggest you fake it. Progam them both so they look the 
same, and then just do the upload fro [sic] the AV. That is what we did in the 
last AT/AV demo.

<Right now you can open GEMS' .mdb file with MS-Access, and alter its 
contents. That includes the audit log. This isn't anything new.

<Elections are not rocket science. Why is it so hard to get things right! I 
have never been at any other company that has been so miss [sic] managed.

<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.

"Diebold - The face of modern ballot tampering"


"If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines"


"How George W. Bush Won the 2004 Presidential Election"


"Safeguarding the Vote"


"Electronic Voting Machines Blasted by Scientists, Hacked by Author"


Last month, California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley mandated that 
Californians be provided with a verifiable paper trail in future elections:


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