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How the GOP Wired Ohio's 2004 Vote Count for Bush to Win

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-18-08 03:31 PM
Original message
How the GOP Wired Ohio's 2004 Vote Count for Bush to Win
Edited on Thu Sep-18-08 03:35 PM by kpete
How the GOP Wired Ohio's 2004 Vote Count for Bush to Win

(also posted here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... )

By Steven Rosenfeld . Posted September 18, 2008.

An election whistleblower who is a Republican, a nationally known data security and computer architecture expert, and an Ohio resident has filed a sworn affidavit in federal court that describes how Republican Party consultants in 2004 built an electronic vote counting network in Ohio that could have stolen votes to re-elect the president.

The whistleblower, Stephen Spoonamore, who has run or held senior technology positions in six technology companies, and whose clients have included MasterCard, American Express, NBC-GE, and federal agencies including the State Department and the Navy, said Mike Connell, a longtime Republican Party computer networking contractor, "agrees that the electronic voting systems in the US are not secure" and told Spoonamore in 2007 "that he (Connell) is afraid some of the more ruthless partisans of the GOP may have exploited systems he in part worked on for this purpose."

"Mr. Connell builds front end applications, user interfaces and web sites," Spoonamore said in his September 17, 2008 affidavit. "Knowing his team and their skills I find it unlikely they would be the vote thieves directly. I believe however he knows who is doing that work, and has likely turned a blind eye to this activity. Mr. Connell is a devout Catholic. He has admitted to me that in his zeal to 'save the unborn' he may have helped others who have compromised elections. He was clearly uncomfortable when I asked directly about Ohio 2004."

The affidavit, which goes onto describe how a statewide computer network and vote-counting system in part built by Connell's firms in 2004 could have been used to steal votes to re-elect George W. Bush in 2004's final battleground state. It was filed in a federal voting rights suit brought in 2006 that in part sought to preserve ballots from the 2004 presidential election.

more at:
http://www.alternet.org/democracy/99337
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-18-08 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-18-08 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. Of course I'm tempted to say "NO DUH!" but it's nice to have sworn affidavits.
If only we could stop this happening in November.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-18-08 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. How much of this is new info?
"This computer located at a company principally managing IT Systems for GOP campaign and political operations (Computer C) received all information from each county computer (Computer A) BEFORE it was sent onward to Computer B (Ohio's statewide vote count tabulator)."

What is known about this? Isn't the opposite true? The county data went to the state officials, who then updated the web reporting server in Tennessee.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-08 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I finally found the affidavit...
(This link appears on MCM's site in this post.) In one sentence, Spoonamore does say, "This computer located at a company principally managing IT Systems for GOP campaingn and political operations (Computer C) received all information from each county computer (Computer A) BEFORE it was sent onward to Computer B," i.e., the state central tabulator. Most of the discussion appears speculative, and it's not clear how Spoonamore thinks he knows this; it isn't even entirely clear whether he intends to claim to know it is true.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-08 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Why is this straw house being built? We need more than hollow speculations.
We KNOW how Ohio punch card votes were switched.

These people seem to ignore that knowledge like a plague.
Why distract from what is known with baseless innuendo?

Is their focus on revealing the Ohio fraud, or just winning a lawsuit against the State of Ohio?

In all the time the SmarTech issue has been flaunted, noone has disputed the assertion that Blackwell updated the data from Ohio after the SoS complied the data. That is why the big temporal gap in updates is so alarming!

To send tallies anywhere except to the Ohio SoS would be a violation of law and all the fundamentals of vote counting. If that happened, we would know by now, I'm rather certain.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-08 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. "why people believe weird things"
I think that Fitrakis, Phillips, Spoonamore, Mark Crispin Miller et al. lead each other down certain blind alleys by mistake. Not a very interesting explanation, to be sure.

I do think this is a blind alley, and I don't think it will win them the lawsuit. We'll see.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-08 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. The lawsuit is the blind alley. They have to prove Ohio fixed the election!
Without Ohio in the defendants column, they did not have standing, I guess?? or deep pockets???

What is irksome is the Republicans stole the election, not OHIO, and these guys are ignoring a lot of evidence because their complaint is so misaligned. If they do not prove Blackwell acted to fix the election "under color of law" they have nothing, no matter how many Republicans are guilty of how fixed the election really was.

Also irksome is how the do not admit to their real situation and pretend they are election reform super heroes.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. well, here's what I think
I am not a big Bob Fitrakis fan, so it's sort of hard for me to cultivate a sympathetic understanding of his legal tactics. Yeah, this particular lawsuit has to do with what Ohio did wrong, which certainly leaves a lot of people out. They sued Blackwell in the first instance, and when Brunner replaced Blackwell, she automatically became the defendant -- no offense to Brunner intended. But if they could prove (I don't expect this to happen!!) that Blackwell actually stuck the Tennessee server between the county and state machines, not only would that help the lawsuit, but it might be a useful outcome of the lawsuit. That is, the discovery made possible through the lawsuit could be useful in itself. I'm not saying that this is so, but it is an angle to consider.

The legal system itself constrains what is and isn't germane to any particular lawsuit. I'm sure these folks would love to sue Karl Rove, but that would be hard to support on the evidence presently available to them. (I have no clue what, if anything, Rove had to do with Ohio.) We could debate the merits of suing various other people; it would probably be moot, since I don't have the resources to sue anyone.

Plenty is irksome, I won't deny that.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. They seem to be grasping at straws to salvage the suit.
And guess who they will bash and blame when they are thrown out of the courthouse for these shenanigans?
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-08 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
5. This story refuses to die. It also fails to show up.
Are we being played?

The headline says: How the GOP Wired Ohio's 2004 Vote Count for Bush to Win

The sub-headline says: A Republican computer data security expert tells how cyber-partisans could have stolen the 2004 election.

The rest of the article follows the sub-headline.

Interesting theory they share.

But that's about it. A theory. And a lot of headlines likely to mislead the reader.

I can hardly wait until "the highest court in the land to rule on" it weighs in. :eyes:

Next.

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-08 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Some serious researchers have been distracted. Here is the affidavit TEXT:.
I've gotten e-mails from other election integrity activist excited about this, before reading closer and not finding any reason to be excited.

Here is the affidavit link:

http://www.4shared.com/file/63508197/7d606cee/Spoon_Aff...


Declaration of Stephen Spoonamore
740 Quinby Ave.
Wooster OH 44691
1.
I am a recognized expert in the field of electronic data security and digital network architecture.
2.
I have agreed to serve as an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the case of King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association

.....

8.
The opinions expressed below are held by me to a reasonable degree of certainty as understood within my professional area of expertise in the detection and prevention of fraud in data processing systems.


In regard to the system set up to tabulate the vote in Ohio in 2004. 1) The vote tabulation and reporting system, as initially designed, was supposed to allow each

Case 2:06-cv-00745-ALM-TPK Document 62-2 Filed 09/17/2008 Page 1 of 4

2

county central tabulator (Computer A) to add up local information locally, and then, via a lightly encrypted system, send the information to the Sec. of State statewide tabulator (Computer B). This system, while using public Internet and public information carrying capacity, could be compromised at the level of one county (Computer A is hacked) or in the transmission of any one county to the central state tabulator (Computer A talking to Computer B). However, it would only be possible to compromise the vote on a statewide basis by a compromise at the state level tabulator (Computer B is hacked). Alternately I have been told that these processes were replaced at the last minute by fax transmitted results. It is relatively simple to establish if the security of the transmissions, whether sent by fax, or by electronic transmission, by reviewing the network architecture as operated on election night, and review the session logs of the secretary of states central tabulation computer to determine the IP address and times of communication by other machines to the the Secretary. The variable nature of the story of what occurred, and lack of documentation available, would be cause to launch an immediate fraud investigation in any of my banking clients. 2) The vote tabulation and reporting system, as modified at the direction of Mr. Blackwell, allowed the introduction of a single computer in the middle of the pathway. This computer located at a company principally managing IT Systems for GOP campaign and political operations (Computer C) received all information from each county computer (Computer A) BEFORE it was sent onward to Computer B. This centralized collection of all incoming statewide tabulations would make it extremely easy for a single operator, or a preprogrammed single "force balancing computer" to change the results in any way desired by the team controlling Computer C. In this case GOP partisan operatives. Again, if this out of state system had ANY digital access to the Secretary of States system it would be cause for immediate investigation by any of my banking clients.

3) If scenario #2 described above is true, (emphasis added) Computer C, was placed functionally in a central control position in the network, for Computer C to have even updated instructions for various tabulators at the county level (Computers A) to change their results at the county level. If this had happened, in order to cover up this fact, the hard drives of the county level tabulators would have to be pulled and destroyed, as they would have digital evidence of this hacking from Computer C. The efforts by the company in charge of these computers to pull out hard drives and destroy them in advance of the Green Party Recount from the 2004 election is a clear signal something was deliberately amiss with the county tabulators (Computers A). If even the presence of such a Computer C was found in a banking system, it would be cause to launch an immediate fraud investigation. -This computer placement, in the middle of the network, is a defined type of attack. It is called a MIM (Man in the Middle) Attack. It is a common problem in the banking settlement space. A criminal gang will introduce a computer into the outgoing electronic systems of a major retail mall, or smaller branch office of a bank. They will capture the legitimate transactions and then add fraudulent charges to the system for their benefit. -Another common MIM is the increasingly common "false" website attack. In this MIM, errors in the computers that feed the Digital Name Service are exploited directing an unsuspecting user

Case 2:06-cv-00745-ALM-TPK Document 62-2 Filed 09/17/2008 Page 2 of 4

3

to a site that looks like the one they wished to visit, but is in fact an "evil twin" which then exploits them for various purposes for a portion of the time, and then in many cases passes them on the CORRECT web site they wanted. Once passed on, the operators of the evil twin site may continue to exploit the user, or later duplicate the session and exploit them in another manner. -Any time all information is directed to a single computer for consolidation, it is possible, and in fact likely, that single computer will exploit the information for some purpose. In the case of Ohio 2004, the only purpose I can conceive for sending all county vote tabulations to a GOP managed Man-in-the-Middle site in Chattanooga BEFORE sending the results onward to the Sec. of State, would be to hack the vote at the MIM. IN REGARD TO THE DIEBOLD SYSTEMS, Formerly Global, DESI and now called Premier. In my opinion, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY to make a secure touch screen voting system. None. Secure systems are predicated on establishing securely the identity of every user of the system. Voting is predicated on being anonymous. It is impossible to have a system that does both. It is possible to design relatively secure optical scan machines, but even these can be hacked in even the best of cases. In the case of optical scan you have the ability to recount manually the paper ballot itself, and the ability to spot check the machines for errors against a sample of hand recounting. Even considering no secure system for touch screen machines can be designed, ever, the Diebold system is riddled with exploitable errors. The SAIC report on the system architecture, commissioned by Maryland Gov. Erlich, outlined over 200 concerns. Many of these concerns are almost comical from the perspective of a computer architect. One example of this: The existence of negative fields being possible in some number fields. Voting machines as custom built computers which should be designed to begin at the number Zero, no votes, and advance only in increments of 1, one vote, until they max out at the most possible votes cast in one day. Perhaps 3000 voters could use a machine in one day, but more realistically 400 or so. There is no possible legitimate reason that NEGATIVE votes should ever be entered. And yet these machines are capable of having negative numbers programmed in, injected, or preloaded. IN REGARD to Mr. Mike Connell. Mr. Connell and I share a mutual interest in democracy building, freedom of speech and religion worldwide. We have mutually participated in activity to forward this goal. At a meeting in London last year, and again at a Lunch in Washington, DC, Mike and I briefly discussed voting security. While he has not admitted to wrongdoing, and in my opinion he is not involved in voting theft, Mike clearly agrees that the electronic voting systems in the US are not secure. He further made a statement that he is afraid that some of the more ruthless partisans of the GOP, may have exploited systems he in part worked on for this purpose. Mr. Connell builds front end applications, user interfaces and web sites. Knowing his team and their skills I find it unlikely they would be the vote thieves directly. I believe however he knows who is doing that work, and has likely turned a blind eye to this activity. Mr. Connell is a devout Catholic. He has admitted

Case 2:06-cv-00745-ALM-TPK Document 62-2 Filed 09/17/2008 Page 3 of 4

4

to me that in his zeal to 'save the unborn' he may have helped others who have compromised elections. He was clearly uncomfortable when I asked directly about Ohio 2004.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed this 17th day of September 2008.

Stephen Spoonamore
Case 2:06-cv-00745-ALM-TPK Document 62-2 Filed 09/17/2008 Page 4 of 4
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Votergater Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 04:50 AM
Response to Original message
12. Where is the evidence that a crime has been committed?
I already knew that the voting systems can be hacked in various ways. Harri Hursti proved that in
2005, the Princeton scientists and the Ohio EVEREST Report continued to prove the systems can be used
to rig elections.

If Ohio's county computers published the correct data at source then how would a "Man In The Middle"
attack computer further up the data stream defraud those voting results that were on the county websites on
election night?

And If Ohio's county computers were fraudulently programmed at source then why would anyone need a
"Man In The Middle" attack computer to change data further up the data stream?


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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Good questions! 2 Answers:
1. The same sort of thing was used in MD in the 2006 Governor's race to politicize the e-voting issue FOR THE GOP candidate, Ehrlich, who won a close election to become Gov in 2002. In 2006, the Repub. Spoonamore, released what has been described as the "holy grail" of e-voting security reports -- the unredacted SAIC report. The report itself turned out to be a real snoozer. :boring: There was no THERE there. So why all the hype about it in '06? To make it appear as if the GOP gave 2 shits about this issue, when of course, all they care about is Voter ID.

2. The other reason would be to divert attention from other more serious issues that threaten this year's election.

I'm interested in hearing any other hypotheses.
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