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Reply #93: Diebold & ESS Republican and Right Wing Ties (not for the weak at heart) [View All]

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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #80
93. Diebold & ESS Republican and Right Wing Ties (not for the weak at heart)
These are the people, Diebold and ES&S, that the open letter would perpetuate by keeping optical scan balloting in play. They're the incumbent vendors. ESS had 56% of the precincts, they claim, and Diebold is no slouch. Diebold nailed us, Democrats, in Ohio, Florida, and Georgia to be brief. ESS is responsible for the Florida 13 Congressional District race. That had touch screens but it will be the same company handling the optical scans. Oh, those convenient machine malfunctions that they turn around and blame on poll workers or voters.

I DON'T TRUST MY VOTE TO RIGHT WING REPUBLICAN VENDORS.

THOSE VENDORS ARE SUBSTANTIALLY AIDED BY CONTINUING OPTICAL SCAN VOTING.



DIEBOLD POLITICS AND RIGHT WING TIES


Diebold's Political Machine

Commentary: Political insiders suggest Ohio could become as decisive this year as Florida was four years ago. Which is why the state's plan to use paperless touch-screen voting machines has so many up in arms.

http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2004/03/0...

By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

March 5, 2004

Soccer moms and NASCAR dads come and go, but swing states are always in fashion. And this year, Ohio is emerging as the most fashionable of the bunch. Asked recently about the importance of Ohio in this year's presidential campaign, one veteran of Buckeye State politics told Salon, "Ohio is the Florida of 2004."

That label sounds ominously accurate to the many who are skeptical of computerized voting. In addition to being as decisive as the 2000 polling in Florida, they worry this year's vote in Ohio could be just as flawed. Specifically, they worry that it could be rigged. And they wonder why state officials seem so unconcerned by the fact that the two companies in line to sell touch-screen voting machines to Ohio have deep and continuing ties to the Republican Party. Those companies, Ohio's own Diebold Election Systems and Election Systems & Software of Nebraska, are lobbying fiercely ahead of a public hearing on the matter in Columbus next week.

There's solid reason behind the political rhetoric tapping Ohio as a key battleground. No Republican has ever captured the White House without carrying Ohio, and only John Kennedy managed the feat for the Democrats. In 2000, George W. Bush won in the Buckeye State by a scant four percentage points. Four years earlier, Bill Clinton won in Ohio by a similar margin.

In recent years, central Ohio has been transformed from a bastion of Republicanism into a Democratic stronghold. Six of Columbus' seven city council members are Democrats, as is the city's mayor, Michael Coleman. But no Democrat has been elected to Congress from central Ohio in more than 20 years, and the area around Columbus still includes pockets where no Democrat stands a chance. One such Republican pocket is Upper Arlington, the Columbus suburb that is home to Walden "Wally" O'Dell, the chairman of the board and chief executive of Diebold. For years, O'Dell has given generously to Republican candidates. Last September, he held a packed $1,000-per-head GOP fundraiser at his 10,800-square-foot mansion. He has been feted as a guest at President Bush's Texas ranch, joining a cadre of "Pioneers and Rangers" who have pledged to raise more than $100,000 for the Bush reelection campaign. Most memorably, O'Dell last fall penned a letter pledging his commitment "to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President."

O'Dell has defended his actions, telling the Cleveland Plain Dealer "I'm not doing anything wrong or complicated." But he also promised to lower his political profile and "try to be more sensitive." But the Diebold boss' partisan cards are squarely on the table. And, when it comes to the Diebold board room, O'Dell is hardly alone in his generous support of the GOP. One of the longest-serving Diebold directors is W.R. "Tim" Timken. Like O'Dell, Timken is a Republican loyalist and a major contributor to GOP candidates. Since 1991 the Timken Company and members of the Timken family have contributed more than a million dollars to the Republican Party and to GOP presidential candidates such as George W. Bush. Between 2000 and 2002 alone, Timken's Canton-based bearing and steel company gave more than $350,000 to Republican causes, while Timken himself gave more than $120,000. This year, he is one of George W. Bush's campaign Pioneers, and has already pulled in more than $350,000 for the president's reelection bid.

Will The Next Election Be Hacked?
Fresh disasters at the polls -- and new evidence from an industry insider -- prove that electronic voting machines can't be trusted

http://tinyurl.com/g5gyh
ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.
Chris Hood remembers the day in July 2002 that he began to question what was really going on in Georgia. An African-American whose parents fought for voting rights in the South during the 1960s, Hood was proud to be working as a consultant for Diebold Election Systems, helping the company promote its new electronic voting machines. During the presidential election two years earlier, more than 94,000 paper ballots had gone uncounted in Georgia - almost double the national average - and Secretary of State Cathy Cox was under pressure to make sure every vote was recorded properly.

Snip

"The Diebold executives had a news conference planned on the day of the award," Hood recalls, "and we were instructed to stay in our hotel rooms until just hours before the announcement. They didn't want the competitors to know and possibly file a protest" about the lack of a fair bidding process. It certainly didn't hurt that Diebold had political clout: Cox's predecessor as secretary of state, Lewis Massey, was now a lobbyist for the company.

The problem was, Diebold had only five months to install the new machines - a "very narrow window of time to do such a big deployment," Hood notes. The old systems stored in warehouses had to be replaced with new equipment; dozens of state officials and poll workers had to be trained in how to use the touch-screen machines. "It was pretty much an impossible task," Hood recalls. There was only one way, he adds, that the job could be done in time - if "the vendor had control over the entire environment." That is precisely what happened. In late July, to speed deployment of the new machines, Cox quietly signed an agreement with Diebold that effectively privatized Georgia's entire electoral system. The company was authorized to put together ballots, program machines and train poll workers across the state - all without any official supervision. "We ran the election," says Hood. "We had 356 people that Diebold brought into the state. Diebold opened and closed the polls and tabulated the votes. Diebold convinced Cox that it would be best if the company ran everything due to the time constraints, and in the interest of a trouble-free election, she let us do it."

Then, one day in July, Hood was surprised to see the president of Diebold's election unit, Bob Urosevich, arrive in Georgia from his headquarters in Texas. With the primaries looming, Urosevich was personally distributing a "patch," a little piece of software designed to correct glitches in the computer program. "We were told that it was intended to fix the clock in the system, which it didn't do," Hood says. "The curious thing is the very swift, covert way this was done."
Georgia law mandates that any change made in voting machines be certified by the state. But thanks to Cox's agreement with Diebold, the company was essentially allowed to certify itself. "It was an unauthorized patch, and they were trying to keep it secret from the state," Hood told me. "We were told not to talk to county personnel about it. I received instructions directly from Urosevich. It was very unusual that a president of the company would give an order like that and be involved at that level."



ES&S POLITICS - RIGHT WING TIES


ES&S Company Overview
http://www.essvote.com/HTML/about/about.html

Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, the company has a customer base of over 1,700 jurisdictions in 46 states, Canada, and several international locations. Based on the primary voting tabulation system installed within the United States, our customers represent approximately 50 percent of the precincts and registered voters in the U.S. ES&S systems have counted approximately 56 percent of the U.S. national vote in each of the last four presidential and congressional elections, amounting to more than 100 million ballots cast in each election. In the election business for over three decades, ES&S today has over 400 employees located in eight regional U.S. offices and agents on five continents.
wo voting companies & two brothers will count 80 percent of U.S. election using both scanners & touchscreens

By Lynn Landes
Online Journal Contributing Writer
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/04280...
So, for those states and counties who think they're dodging the bullet by not buying (or not using) the highly insecure and error-prone touchscreen voting machines (which will process 28.9 percent of all votes this year), a huge threat still remainscomputerized ballot scanners. They will count 57.6 percent of all votes cast, including absentee ballots.
And don't count on recounts to save the day. In most states, recounts of paper ballots only occur if election results are close. The message to those who want to rig elections is, "rig them by a lot." In some states, like California, spot checks are conducted. But, that will not be an effective way to discover or deter vote fraud or technical failure, particularly in a national election where one vote per machine will probably be enough to swing a race.
Although touchscreens have been getting the bulk of negative publicity lately, electronic ballot scanners have a long and sordid past, as well. Electronic scanners were first introduced into U.S. elections in 1964, and ever since then a steady stream of reports of technical irregularities have caught the attention of scientists, journalists, and activists, most notably the 1988 report, Accuracy, Integrity, and Security in Computerized Vote-Tallying, by Roy G. Saltman, and the 1992 book, Votescam: The Stealing of America, by Jim and Ken Collier.
Even though there are several foreign and domestic corporations involved in the U.S. vote counting business, ES&S and Diebold clearly dominate the field. ES&S claims that they have tabulated "56 percent of the U.S. national vote for the past four presidential elections", while a Diebold spokesperson told this writer that the company processed about 35 percent of U.S. electronic vote count in 2002.

History: In 1999, American Information Systems (AIS), purchased Business Records Corp (BRC) to become ES&S
http://ecotalk.org/VotingMachineCompanies.htm
* American Information Systems (AIS):
o AIS (1980) was formerly Data Mark (1979), both founded by brothers Bob and Todd Urosevich. Bob is currently president of Diebold (see below). Todd Urosevich is Vice President, Aftermarket Sales of ES&S.
o AIS was primarily funded with money from Ahmanson brothers, William and Robert, of H.F. Ahmanson Co., holding company for the nation's largest savings and loan association and a group of Omaha-based insurance companies, at the time. http://www.essvote.com/index.php?section=exec&rightnav=...
o Howard Ahmanson belongs to Council for National Policy (hard right wing organization) http://www.ifas.org/cnp/name98.html . Howard Ahmanson also helps finance The Chalcedon Institute: "Established in 1965, Chalcedon (kal-SEE-dun) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) and Christian educational organization devoted to research, publishing, and promoting Christian reconstruction in all areas of life... Our emphasis on the Cultural or Dominion Mandate (Genesis 1:28) and the necessity of a return to Biblical Law has been a a crucial factor in the challenge to Humanism by Christians in this country and elsewhere... A world that is increasingly pessimistic and disillusioned with the failure of secular Humanism is now feeling the impact of Christians who are exercising dominion and reclaiming lost spheres of authority for Christ the King." http://www.chalcedon.edu / / critical profile: the organization's purpose is to establish Old Testament Biblical law as the standard for society. Chalcedon promotes Christian Reconstructionism -- which mandates Christ's dominion over all the world. http://www.ifas.org/fw/9501/chalcedon.html

o Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) was Chairman of the Board of AIS (resigned 1995) and was also president of McCarthy & Company (resigned 1996). Michael R. McCarthy is Hagel's current campaign treasurer. source: http://www.csd.cq.com/senate_mem/s0531.html / Hagel may still be an investor in the McCarthy Group, see http://www.talion.com/Hagel.html






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