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

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Mon Dec 15 01:55:02 PST 2003

"URGENT" is the right adjective!

Those of you in smaller countries need not laugh at US stupidity - what 
makes you think you can force your country to invest in building your own, 
when your country can copy whatever the US has blessed, no matter how 
stupid that may be!

A TRUE voting machine is NOT a complex device, as such things go:
      Inform the voter as to the ballot, and accept the vote.
      Maintain totals to report at end of election.
      Keep a diary of what happens.  This I see as doing on a write-once 
CD.  Copies can be made at end of election so that all who care to can 
verify what was in the machine as a program.
      Use ONLY open source, so that it is possible to verify whether this 
truly is a voting machine.
      Do not be concerned with voter identity, ONLY with quantity.  If a 
voter is allowed to vote twice the quantity will be wrong unless some 
other voter is prevented from voting - and the deprived voter properly 
complains.  Attend to validation of voter identity elsewhere.
      ALL of machine components are OPEN SOURCE, to permit validation.
      Secrecy of what a voter votes SHALL BE ABSOLUTE.
      I care not whether something gets printed, PROVIDED secrecy is 

What might I do with a black box?
      Keep records internally, to know truth.
      If counts get big enough, bias them - perhaps 110% of truth for 
friends and 90% of truth for enemies.  I do not get caught unless more 
than 90% of the enemy voters turn up with receipts to demonstrate their 
count was low.

What might I do if I am into paying for good votes and/or punishing bad 
ones, and the pretense at secrecy involved human elements?  Pay those 
humans to tell me what I wish to know.

SUMMARY:  We NEED open source.
      Do not care about printed receipts, EXCEPT not acceptable if they 
destroy secrecy.
      Rep. Holt's effort is not sufficient. 
      Do not care how bad Diebold black boxes may be - NEED defense 
against evil that may be done more carefully.

Of all this the OPEN SOURCE is the critical item that deserves an 
injunction to ban anything else.  Any vendor offering open source has a 
strong incentive toward producing a TRUE voting machine, for they should 
not want to get caught producing anything else.
      Voting machines are a special case for we MUST demand voter secrecy, 
and thus MUST want vendors to WANT to do it right.
      Further, if we frown on vendors copying each other - if we buy only 
open source then all can see whether there is any copying.

BTW - when does secrecy matter?
      It is maintainable and matters when the true counts are near to a 
tie - this is when those into evil get active.
      It is impossible, and does not matter as to winning elections, when 
all, or almost all, vote one way.  It is certain, on nearly so, that Joe 
voted with the majority.  Those into evil care not if they have such a 
strong win, and are losing so catastrophically as not to care about 
details if they fail so badly.

-------- Original Message --------
From: Steve Barney <barnes99 at vaxa.cis.uwosh.edu>
To: election-methods-list <election-methods-electorama.com at electorama.com>
Subject: [EM] FWD: An urgent plea for your assistance -- this is NOT spam!
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 2003 18:59:03 -0600

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 
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 
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 calls for printed receipts for the 2004 and subsequent elections:


Unfortunately, Republican support hasn't been forthcoming, and the measure 
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 
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 
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 
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 
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:

  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list